Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

Typology in Homeopathy Book Review part 1

I was recently reading the book “Typology in Homeopathy” by Leon Vannier, a French Homeopath, and it was an interesting book to read. Much of this was completely new to me, never having come across these “types”. 

Leon Vannier was a French Doctor turned Homeopath who lived from 1880-1963, and was the founded a French homeopathic journal and society, and also supported the creation of homeopathic manufacturing laboratories in France. 

In this book Vannier brings together works from the 17th century looking at mythological and planetary types of both form (appearance) and character. For beginners he recommends a standard technique including looking at height, skull shape, face shape, forehead, ears, nose, mouth, chin, eyes and eyebrows, body and limbs. As well as that it is important to look at the stance, gait and gestures of the person to help establish the dominant type for the person in front of you. This then helps with choosing an appropriate homeopathic remedy.

It is always interesting to read the impressions from the past, and sometimes necessary to read past the assumptions and misogyny of the day. My discussion below is about the general characteristics for the eight prototypes, and partly ignores the discussion of women because it makes assumptions about their abilities and unflattering comments that are more to do with the role women had in society when this was first published in French in 1955. The first four are below, and come back tomorrow for the other four prototypes. 

However before discussing these types, Vannier also divides people into three constitutions, which he compares to Calc Carb, Calc Phos and Calc Fluor. 

The Carbonic is resistant and stubborn, logical, organised and responsible. Physically their structure is rigid and straight with teeth white and almost square. 

The Phosphoric constitution is expressive, loves all things beautiful, searches for perfection, but physically can be more fragile and have poor immunity. His teeth are long and the palate has a high arch. 

The Fluoric constitution is impulsive and uncertain, making decisions that contradict. They have an overbite and the jaw may recede. 

The first type is Mars. 

These people are tall, with an aggressive stance and a jerky gait. They have a “date-shaped face”, with a narrow, receding forehead, long nose “like an eagle’s beak” and thin lips. Vannier also states that redheads are usually Marsian types. Their actions are rapid and abrupt, and even when helping can come across rudely because of this. Their voice is described as harsh, nasal and loud, talking over others. 

Marsians are impulsive, aggressive and argumentative. They can be brutally honest and prone to rage.

There are two main remed types for people from Mars- Lycopodium and Nux Vomic, but also other remedies including Chamomilla, Aurum, Sulphur, Anacardium, and Colocynthis. Most of these remedies you can see the easy temper or irritability, or symptoms that come on with intense or even violent pains. 

Vannier does note that Marcian people need to be outdoors and exercise to keep the irritability away. They are people who are easily angered- particularly if their pride is hurt, they can be impulsive, not stopping to think on the current or past problems, and their motto could be “might is right”. 

Saturn types are tall, thin people with big bones and thick joints, but can appear to be tired or even prematurely aged, and will walk slowly or awkwardly. They have a long, narrow nose that protrudes down towards the mouth, which is wide and turned down. The back of their head is flat, they have an “almond-shaped face”,  a square chin and big ears. 

Saturnians rely on logic, and can be precise about categorising their interests. They are introverts who have a strong sense of duty and will stand by their word. They prefer to live alone, and because they can distrust others they find it difficult to make friends. They work hard, are tidy and clean and careful with money. They can be sad and pessimistic and have a fear of death. 

Vannier identifies two remedies for Saturn types: Sepia and Thuja. Both have sadness, but Sepia also has the physical and mental exhaustion, desire for solitude and irritability. Sepia gas the drooping sensations that are Saturnian. 

Thuja has obsessions, and because of weakness in the legs will have a staggering unsteady gait.  

Apollo types are of medium height, slim, elegant and with aristocratic features. They don’t show their emotions on their face, instead appear calm, and will smile from politeness but not laugh out loud. They have an oval shaped face and a prominent forehead- men can be prematurely bald. They have light and clear eyes and a slim, aquiline nose. 

They are elegant and graceful, with easy flexible movements. 

Apollonian have a prominent imagination and can be highly strung and anxious. They love beauty and culture, appreciating art and literature although not usually an artist or writer themselves. My favourite description of Apollo is that “the Apollonian woman is always young- there is no time in her life for growing old”. Furthermore it states that women love to dress up, and can’t pass a mirror without looking at herself. 

The primary remedy Vannier discusses for Apollonian is Natrum Muriaticum, particularly if they have lost weight after an emotional shock. The other remedies are all quite different and would be easy to differentiate- Kali Carbonicum, Pulsatilla, Iodum, Phosphorus, Arsenicum Album, Ignatia and Ferrum Metallicum. 

Venus people are reasonably tall but relaxed about life and casual in stance. They have an “egg-shaped face” – early in life with an inverted egg with a pointy chin but can also be a plump, rounded chin. Venusians also tend to have a dimple in their chin. The word voluptuous describes Venusian women with a soft, rounded hour glass shape, men are described as effeminate. 

Venusians have a large, straight nose, almond shaped eyes and a small, round mouth. They are also graceful, and dance well, and can be talented in music or acting. 

Venusians have a good memory and sociable and easy going. They like to dress well, and like pretty things – more ornamental than valuable. 

They are trusting people and also relatively lucky. They have many friends, and are generous with them. Love is important to them and care deeply for those they love. On the downside, they can be lazy and can be physically inactive. 

The three main remedies Vannier notes for people from Venus are Calc Carb, Graphites and Thuja. 

Calc Carb has the slowness and apathy that Venus May end up in. Graphites is suggested for Venusians who gain weight as they age, developing a rounded abdomen, double chin and cellulite. 

This post is already pretty long, so pop back tomorrow to read about the other four prototypes and find out about what Vannier called the Metatypes. 

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