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Julian Winston

Meeting homoeopathic history in Ankaran, Slovenia, Europe


Homoeopathy: yesterday, today, tomorrow

a series of presentations by

Julian Winston
(† June 12, 2005)

August 28-29, 2004

It was a nice place, this old monastery/hotel at the seaside where more or less 30 people from several countries (Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain – just to mention a few) met to  listen for 2 days to Julian Winston talking about  homoeopathic history.

To give a short overview  here’s  Julian’s list of topics:

  • Introductions
  • who I am, where I'm from, what I'd like to do in the next two days
  • the causes of homoeopathy's decline
  • where we are and thought of the future
  • the role of women in homoeopathy
  • a visual journey through some remedies
  • some clinical cases of the old masters
  • the heritage of homoeopathic literature
  • the sources of rubrics
  • myths in homoeopathy
  • homoeopathy in New Zealand: a model

First of all: it was a pleasure to meet him again, 4 years after our first meeting in Germany when  it had taken me a 6 hours’ drive - through the worst snow-storm I had ever experienced  - to Gypser’s house, where Julian was staying for a week in 2000. We had enjoyed an afternoon and evening talking…it was wonderful to finally be able to meet the man before me who had incited my interest in the ’real’ homoeopathic history through the many years of discussion on various homoeopathic email-lists, especially on Jon Haworth’s Lyghtforce list.

Saturday started. Though I knew quite a bit about Julian, it was quite interesting to see the photos which accompanied his various careers as an industrial designer, as a banjo and pedal steel guitar player – and of course his development as a homoeopath, a teacher and historian. On he went with lecturing about the history of homoeopathy in the United States, showing us that many of the quarrels in those times repeated itself nowadays.

One of the topics I loved most was the role women played during the centuries: first of all, there’s still now not too much written information available (But, as JW mentioned, just recently a book was published about the topic by Ann Kirschmann. ) I just LOVED the stories JW told about the women: how they had to fight to make their way into the homoeopathic schools, about a woman with several children who started to study medicine at the age of 41 to become a homoeopathic practitioner, …..so lovely stories, wonderful portraits of strong characters.

The ‘plant talk’ was interesting, too – as colourful slides of the remedies (photos often taken by JW himself) accompanied the information, like material source (roots, flowers, twigs, dried ink in the case of Sepia, etc.), and were filled out with anecdotes. I especially LOVED the skunk-story (an extended version of it JW had  already given to me on Thursday evening – and I had nearly fallen off my chair laughing…..) – great stuff, that’s why such a seminar is really worth participating. So if you meet JW next time, ask him about the  story ‘The Skunk and the Fisherman’!

After presenting several interesting cases from the American Homeopathic Review, 1862, we switched over to the lesser known books like:

The Organon, Materia Medica Pura, Therapeutic Pocket Book by von Bönninghausen, A Textbook of Homeopathy by von Grauvogl, Plain Talks on Materia Medica by W.I. Pierce, etc.

How realiable are our Repertories? Where do rubrics come from? The necessity to check the original sources (as already Hahnemann had postulated)  was demonstrated by discussing the rubric 'Crawling, larynx' in Kent's Rep.

Off  JW went to presenting some of  the Myths in Homoeopathy: That was a special great part, in my opinion. We all know there is much gossip, even in homoeopathy. Several beautiful stories get told, and written and copied and get known and loved by everybody -  but 'where is the beef'?

E.g. the story about Hering during the first proving of Lachesis,  and the delirium he went into.

Myth or Truth?

Or: The idea of potentization came to Hahnemann after carrying the remedy in the saddle-bags and noticing the greater efficacy.

Myth or Truth?

Or: Kent - a product of incest???

Interesting stuff, I can assure you!

Last, but not least, he told about the development of Homoeopathy in New Zealand, the organisations involved, the ways trying to set up standards for education and practice.  Perhaps models for other countries?

Some info about it can be found via http://www.julianwinston.com/ or directly at http://www.homeopathic.co.nz/

On the whole:

I enjoyed the seminar, the heated discussions during the meals, the stories, being with old friends and meeting new friends.


Whe he died in 2005, I lost a good friend.

Some of his works:

  • The Faces of Homoeopathy
  • The Heritage of Homoeopathic Literature
  • American Homeopaths: 1825 - 1963 (CD-Rom)and the
  • The Organon by Samuel Hahnemann, translated by Bernhardt M. Fincke,
    transcribed by Dr. Maria Mackey, edited by Julian Winston

...and of course his music - for Winnie Winston was a great pedal steel guitar player.

Copyright Gaby Rottler, 2014

Last update:  July,  2014