Reprinted with the permission of The ARH (from the magazine 'Homeopathy in Practice', Winter 2005 edition):
Reviewed by Elizabeth Adalian MARH;
When I was asked to review a book on the proving of the remedy Python I felt quite excited. The symbolism of snakes is so embedded in the collective unconscious that I believe all homeopaths will be interÂested in a new snake proving - especially of the python, which is often considered to be the archetypical snake.
I must say that, on receiving the book, I was attracted to the double-sided presenÂtation on A4 size paper with its 'elemental' illustrative designs.
The enthusiasm of the author shines through; for example, in her amusing portrayal of her quest to obtain the source of her remedy. I appreciated the imagery of the python guarding the oracle at Delphi (revealing the mystery of this primeval snake). The symbolic way in which the python swallows its prey (whole and without harm) is explained well, along with details of its habitat. The dream section is very comprehensive and points to the theme of the remedy very well. The proving symptoms are listed comprehenÂsively with clear gradings.
However, the presentation of the book is somewhat unstructured. At the end of each chapter there is a summary of its contents, which goes some way in consolidating the information given. I also question the meaning of 'a sort of meditaÂtive proving', even though this is expanded upon.
I found the language rather inconsistent, but this could be due to translational discrepancies. The text is extremely short of comparisons to other remedies, espeÂcially those deriving from other snakes, which could have been a valuable addition.
I was very interested to learn of Python's co-dependency and identity issues. This is linked to eating disorders: a common cause for eating disorders is a persistent, close addiction to either the mother or the father. The child either hates them or adores them... This is also linked to relationship addicÂtion. Later the author writes, 'the challenge of change is a strong curative force in solving problems with addiction'. With the idea of the snake shedding its skin, this theme could have been expanded on.
We learn the essence of the remedy towards the end of the book; that is, losing one's identity, and being sucked in by the other gender. I would have preffered to have learnt this at the beginning of the text. The substance of the remedy picture could then have been built on this theme - one so applicable for today's times. A comparison of remedies like Carcinosin and Folliculinum would have been helpful here.
Despite the fact that it is documented that some of the provers were men, the proving highlights Pylon's ability to assist women throw off the yoke of oppression. It takes female intuition to elicit this hidden feature of the remedy: writing from the heart of the author's own experience of Python adds to the 'hearty' flavour of this book.
Based on this review, I recommend readers regard this text as a workbook to be expanded upon according to their own terms of reference.