Basaltic Lava from Flagstaff, Arizona

Proving conducted in December 1994

Misha Norland and the School of Homoeopathy









Introductory comments by Misha Norland


It was after my second visit to Sunset Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona that I picked up some pieces of basaltic lava for the purpose of remedy making. The scale of the eruption (which had occurred a mere 1,000 years ago), the vast area of devastation, had me in the grip of an experience too vivid to permit me to consider collecting specimens on my initial visit. Upon my return I selected a few chunks of the brittle and aerated rock, ha-ha lava as the Polynesians call it, for Helios pharmacy to run up into potencies.

I have always marvelled at the mighty formative forces of our planet. As a youngster of three years, my reccurring nightmare was of escaping from exploding volcanoes and having to leap over chasms filled with scorching lava. Whenever I drew a picture, it was always of the same scene: volcanic landscapes. Of the various substances that I have had the privilege to prove, this one has been the most personal to my experience. Therefore, I shall personalize my introductory paragraphs.

At the outset I must mention that Lava is by no means my present constitutional remedy, although aged three, it probably would have been useful. So, here is a piece of my story: I am the second child of European refugee parents and, after a caesarean birth (very traumatic for my mother) I became the object of her devotion and love. In brief, I was over indulged and accustomed to getting my way. I spent my childhood in the peaceful environment of a small fishing village on the Welsh coast. For my parents this was safe haven from the raging war. (The terror of war may well have spilled over into my dream world providing an impulse for my nightmares, although it is of interest that my dreaming imagination called forth, out of the archetypal collective, images of volcanic destruction, hitherto completely unfamiliar to my conscious mind.)

After armistice I moved with my family to London and at the age of five started kindergarten. This was annexed to the top school. During the lunch break of my first day, I ran out of bounds and up to the 'big kids' chemistry labs. I found the teacher and demanded to be shown Sulphur. I had expected to be taken into the imaginal world of volcanic eruptions. You may picture my crestfallen disappointment upon being handed a small lump of cold crystalline yellow stuff out of a brown glass jar. "Is that all!" I was reported to have exclaimed.

I was expelled from my nursery school, aged seven, for unruly behaviour! I was not given to obedience or other 'civilized' traits of a 'good' upbringing. While I had been dubbed a 'bad' child, I retained absolute confidence in myself. It was after that time, after changing schools and being bullied and frightened, that self doubts crept in. I became increasingly introverted, lonely and secretive. Now that was clearly pathological.

I consider that the primary state of any substance, is just what it is, neither intrinsically good nor bad. It is only when the person who is it, is unable to integrate this state into their lives that problems arise. It is the secondary state, the compensation, that may involve suffering. However, should the compensation be successful and acceptable, then the suffering will be minimal and short lived or not apparent at all. It is the decompensated state, the failure to integrate primary with secondary state, that is obviously pathological.

1) The primary state of Lava is flowing and going; going for it no matter what; nothing gets in the way of an active Lava flow. This is a child-like state, which, if found in an adult, would obviously be viewed as their characteristic (forceful) predisposition.

2) The compensated, secondary state of Lava, is hardness (like the crust of cooling Lava), resistance and obstinacy.
Both primary and secondary state may be viewed by others as unfeeling, the behaviour as callus and amoral.

3) The decompensated state is not brought out in the proving, yet we may expect that characteristic psychological components might be aridity and barrenness. Isolation.

These active states of action and reaction, obviously have a continuum of tendencies between them. For example the primary state of flowing and going, has its polar aspect of unsteadiness and unsureness. Dictatorial and quarrelsome tendencies find their opposite expression in naive, childlike states and feelings of being under attack, of being forced against one's will, sexually compromised; fears of being killed, of being criticized; feelings of neglected duty. Feeling tall, powerful, alert, clear and active are contrasted with falling, lacking focus, distraction, self despising and cowardice.

In contra-distinction to the relentless confidence of the primary state, there is a sub-theme of twoness in the remedy, one prover dreamed of two paths, and in another dream, of two persons running on a cliff path, one of whom, despite the danger, said, "I'm going that way anyway!" and fell over the cliff edge. The, "I'm going that way anyway!" aspect , and as another prover found herself singing, "I know what I want and I want it now", is characteristic of the unfeeling aspect of Lava which can give rise to others disliking and being critical of that state, as did the supervisor of prover 10. "She is arrogant, unfeeling, dictatorial. Totally disinterested in anything anybody has to say except herself. I hate being around her - it's a horrible state - repulsive! People say what would be hurtful things to her - she doesn't care. Usually she is very sensitive, and over careful not to hurt another's feelings. If anyone crosses her, she just goes for them, otherwise she doesn't bother to talk.

In essence Lava is a simple remedy; it is primal, basic. This is hardly surprising when bearing in mind that it originated in primordial times and played a considerable role in the evolution of our planet.

From the perspective of the four temperaments Lava represents the Phlegmatic/Choleric axis. Choleric aspects being: hot, dry, forceful, determined. As already mentioned, nothing gets in the way of flowing lava. Phlegmatic aspects: childlike, inward, unsteady.

A secondary proving was carried out with two students at the Burren School in Co Galway, Eire. One of these was affected to the highest degree. A section of the prover's and supervisor's notes are given below by way of an introduction to the proving proper, in which they are included.

I feel it's a babyıs remedy - I canıt stop eating. Eat - chips, pancakes - childish food.
Lunch 2:00 today. 4:30 starving again.
I'm so tired. Blue rings under eyes.

I'm allergic to serious stuff
Dreaming about work society - angry mood.
I block out things around me -
I donıt want to hear about them. I don't have a problem saying what I feel or think.
Last week, guy at work interfered with me. Interfered too much (in her work).

I won't work for somebody as arrogant or egotistical as he is. If he becomes office manager, Iım leaving - I donıt have a problem calling a spade a spade.
I don't care if my feelings are right or wrong or if I'm stupid or not.

Dreams - Don't write dreams down
I feel drained.
Not aware of things affecting me.
Quite focused and awfully spaced. - Timelessness feeling - Not connected - Thinking is not connected. I have to focus on things.

Nothing seems important. I don't give a fuck about things at the moment.
I just want to drift on carefree, not a bother in the world.
(She doesn't look like that)

I don't feel any great sense of obligation or duty or moral imperatives.
Life is just happening - if things come up, I deal with them.
I submit to what I have to do - I just do it.
I don't over extend myself - it's not real - Drifting in timelessness.
(She's really annoying me.)
I'm doing what I have to do - it doesn't have a meaning - I'm not going anywhere, it's like today is Tuesday - I don't work on Tuesday - all I want to do is eat.
If I have a choice - Iım indecisive.
I don't mind to sit down and do my cases
I can be anywhere or do anything - it doesn't make any difference
I feel like I'm a child - I'd be treating myself to food and chips.
I can just block 'me' off and space out - nothing matters.
I don't have a clue - I don't have to have a reason why I do what I do.

Curling up in bed like a ball.

She is arrogant, unfeeling. Dictatorial
Totally disinterested in anything anybody has to say except herself.
I hate being around her - it's a horrible state - repulsive!
People say what would be hurtful things to her - she doesn't care. Usually she is very sensitive, and over careful not to hurt another's feelings.
If anyone crossed her, she just goes for them, otherwise doesn't bother to talk.

I mentioned a few days ago to her about my ideals of a group working together - where everybody got a chance to air their views. She just laughed mockingly at the concept.



A piece of Basaltic Lava brought from Sunset Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona was triturated in milk sugar to the third centesimal and then potentized by the traditional single vial Hahnemannian method.

The remedy was prepared by The Helios Homœopathic Pharmacy, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.



Time and dates

Times given are the actual time of day, not time from taking the remedy. XX.XX indicates no specific time was noted.

Days are numbered from 1, the day the remedy was taken. Day 0 indicates a symptom that was general and not tied to a particular date.

Classification of symptoms


NS A new symptom never before experienced.

OS An old symptom previously experienced, but not in the preceding year.

RS A recent symptom experienced within the last year.

AS An altered symptom, one previously experienced but with at least one quality changed.

CS A cured symptom, a symptom that was removed during the proving.