Anthroposophical Veterinary Medicine
Diagnosis and therapy of animals via the human energetic system versus via their own energetic system.
By Are S. Thoresen DVM
Veterinarian acupuncturist homeopath osteopath agronomist
Rudolf Steiner created the theory behind and the myths related to the evolution of Anthroposophical medicine. I suspect that Steiner was wrong in many of his theories, but I share without doubt the effect of the relationship between humans and animals and the importance of the human will and intent in these interactions.
According to Steiner, treatment of disease dates far back into prehistoric times. According to myth, Atlantis, a prehistoric continent, had sunk into the sea and humans had to work with the more condensed materialistic world. (Although Plato mentioned it, there is no historical evidence of this mythical continent). At that time strange life forms, mixtures of human and animal, were said to be present. These forms had evolved as a result of a great misuse of life forces by black magic, which finally caused the destruction of Atlantis. Today, we have a pale memory of these forms in the concept of the Centaur.
According to clairvoyants of this century, for example Edgar Cayce (American psychic and a man who claimed to be able to see both back and forward in time), initiates at the beginning of historic time felt responsible for these creatures, created by the former misuse of black magic. This was especially so in ancient Egypt. Using powerful etheric forces, which the initiates were able to use, they divided the animal-human hybrids into the animal-like and the human-like. Thus, human souls, in human form, could work themselves back to human consciousness.
However, as a consequence of and in contrast to this, the domestic animals of today arose. These were formed as two groups: those with hooves and those with cloven hooves. This division was widely known in folk medicine up to 1800, which can be seen in the fact that up to this time health advice was separate for horses, humans and cows. Thus, in esoteric theory (especially Steiner's theory), our domestic animals have a dual origin from the human entity.
For the first type of animal origin, all the animal kingdom has emerged from the human development as described by Dr. Hermann Poppelbaum (a student of Rudolf Steiner). In his book "Animal and Man", he says: "When you look at the tree of human evolution, it shows how human development is the trunk from which all the other forms spring. The lower, higher and highest forms of animals have sprouted as branches, always at higher places from the upwards striving human trunk".
The second type of animal origin was from the deformed human-animal hybrids previously described. In the splitting of the human-like and the animal-like, they sacrificed themselves (or humans sacrificed them) for human misdeeds. In the service of humanity, this sacrifice continues today.
We shall see later how the evolution that took place especially in ancient Egypt repeats itself in a similar way today. From the solutions of the Egyptian initiates, we can find new ways of treating our animals. However, in our hands, we have the power to destroy as well as to heal. We can misuse our powers; such misuse of power is said to have caused Atlantis to sink into the sea. The destructive force was the misuse of etheric forces for the sake of egotistic purposes. This was especially in manipulating life forms, which were put into human service against their will. This is seen clearly today in genetic manipulation of plants and animals.
Magical healing rites
Advice on how to treat animals by magical rites and spells was common.
- For example, to cure a cow with mastitis, the farmer was asked to draw a little milk from every other cow and put the milk in the middle of a circle made by hot glowing coals. From here, the milk would trickle into a mixture of sulphur and carbon from burnt wood (ashes) (advice from Martin Luther, 1483-1546).
- We also find advice to cure hemorrhage in verses as: "Blood be standing in the vessel, as Christ was carried on the cross. Blood be in the wound, as Christ was nailed on the cross".
- For eye disorders in horses: "if a horse has pain in the eye take then a little honey mixed with some butter and stir with some free white copper smoke (sulphur + zinc oxide) and rub in the eye (advice from Ole Hodtvet 1796).
The "Sixth Sense" is just another sense; is most important for survival in harsh, unpredictable and dangerous environments, such as in jungles, mountains or open plains. During evolution from prehistoric to modern times, "civilised man" has lost many instincts and innate survival skills; urban dwellers and hunter-gatherers need and have different emphasis on these innate abilities. The instincts and survival skills of so-called indigenous peoples (jungle people in Borneo, North- and South American Indians, Esquimos, Australian aborigines, etc), who must live in very close harmony with nature, contrast sharply with those of urban dwellers.
Human magical rites have lost much of their power in "civilised" society. We have lost most of the esoteric knowledge of the difference between the evolution of human and animal types, karma and etheric structure. Few people in modern society have, or even know of, the skills and powers to work directly with human and animal etheric structure. The rediscovery of homeopathy by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was a very important first step to regain the ability to work with the etheric structure of humans, animals and plants. However, even Hahnemann did not appreciate the esoteric knowledge of human-animal differences, or the power of human magical rites. This knowledge still remains alive in shamanistic traditions and practices.
Dawn of scientific materialism
The more rational folk medicine expelled magical advice from its repertoire. As folk medicine evolved, botany, pharmacy and medicine slowly emerged as a unity out of the magical and mythical forms. However, as the Age of Enlightenment proceeded, medicines for similar disorders in humans and animals became more and more alike, until they became identical. Similar symptoms in all species are supposed to have the same causes and, today, usually are treated with the same medicines and therapies.
The Age of Enlightenment continues as modern medicine, agriculture and animal breeding develop. But what is happening as we go down the road of this scientific, profit oriented, intensive animal and agriculture system? Our animals are being drained of their etheric forces. Their original forms are being destroyed. The old harmonic proportions, which our animals had and which stood in direct communication with the macrocosmic world, are being lost. Powerful drugs, such as growth promoters, beta agonists, synthetic hormones, antibiotics and steroids allow greedy producers to force unnatural levels of production and further drain the animals' Qi. Also, intensive methods of animal production, and unnatural feeding practices (such as urea, fat and high levels of concentrate feed, etc) have greatly increased stress-related, digestive and metabolic diseases. The latest effects of unnatural feeding methods are bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and its human form - new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD) - due to the feeding of recycled animal waste as infected meat and bonemeal. That disease threatens to destroy the multi-billion dollar beef trade in Europe.
Return to compassionate ways
Now more than ever before, we need a total reform of animal husbandry, management, breeding and veterinary therapy. Here, as in also other areas, Anthroposophy may point to an answer. Already in the name of Anthroposophical veterinary medicine we are beginning to feel the possibilities of renewal. We are working toward a humane veterinary medicine, where humans become conscious of their responsibility for these unhappy forms (the animals) and offer their own human etheric forces or structure as a sacrifice. We also can carry on our shoulders responsibility for ourselves and the development of the earth to its fulfilment (karma). In particular, we need to influence our Governments to rethink their attitudes towards the free movement of animals and animal products across national borders from countries in which highly contagious diseases like Foot and Mouth disease and Swine Fever are endemic.
Like so-called "primitive peoples", we can work to return to more natural ways of living, in which we show essential respect for our natural environment and embrace all of creation in a universal love. We, who work closely with domestic animals, can work into the etheric structures of the animals in the same way as the old Egyptian initiates, who worked formally, directly and helpfully into the etheric animal forms. By sacrificing our own structure, our own etheric process, to the healing process of the animals, we can make atonement for human misuse of animals in the past and say "thank you" to them for their patient and faithful service to humanity.
Many healers do this subconsciously all of the time. It is possible because animals have the memory of a human etheric structure within themselves from the common development of all mammals. Thus, in the domestic animals (and of course in the wild ones also), one can find the corresponding Channels and the working of the corresponding human homeopathic remedies.
Two (at least) energy systems in animals
The human etheric system occurs in animals in addition to their own etheric structure. This is the energetic system that we usually have used, probably because of our attempts to transpose the theory and principles of human AP / TCM, including Five Phase Theory, the Channel pathways and their acupoints to animals. Thus, two different medical systems can be applied to domestic animals.
We can see this most easily in equine energetics. Transposition of the human Channel system is used widely in horses. Apart from having no physical gallbladder, horses have a GB Channel, similar in many ways to that in humans. But we may also consider the equine energetic system as unique in its own right. It is at one with itself, a completely balanced system: the substantial (material) horse is an expression of the etheric (immaterial) horse. As Goethe said, "the material is the secret revelation of the invisible". In that idea, we find an up to now unknown system of etheric energy. By looking at horses in this way, especially the distal limbs, we find that human etheric analogues do not apply directly to horses. This is easily seen in regards to the locations of the Command Points. The reality of these differences has been shown previously by the author, for example in his work on the equine Ting Points.
Although both systems work, by treating horses according to the theory of Goethe, I find AP points that are more effective than points transposed directly from human AP concepts. This shows that animals have more than one energy system. This theory also applies to humans, both in Tibetan medicine and in European esoteric traditions concerning the presence of a "doppelganger" (the personal double). This is a double in the human body that calls on the nervous system to function as its working instrument. Thus, the nervous system, the blood system and the etheric system are not identical.
When treating animals directly, we may use both etheric systems (human and animal), although the animal system is the more effective. But by treating via the human etheric system we must use the human-animal system. Into this last system we can sacrifice our own etheric forces. How is this possible? We have seen that human etheric forces are in continuous and direct contact with human surroundings and other etheric forces. This communication is not random or by chance. As a key fits a lock, it is possible to work therapeutically only with similar etheric forces, ones with a structural congruence or empathy, a similar feeling, or those in direct communication.
We often see that etheric weaknesses in the owner manifest in the animal attached to him or her. This is easy to see in regards to temperament shared by the dog owner and the dog. But this communication applies to all animals - cows, horses, sheep, pigs and their keepers. A nervous, irritable owner often has nervous, irritable animals.
Use of etheric concepts in diagnosis and therapy of animals
Now we are at the kernel of this article: techniques of using the human etheric system to treat animals. We can regard animal and human disease as an etheric or energetic imbalance. This Qi Process Imbalance can manifest in physical symptoms. The cause of the Qi Imbalance can vary from time to time and from case to case. It can have nutritional, parasitic, toxic, allergic or immune-mediated causes. Other causes include atmospheric, climatic, geographic, constitutional and managemental (human-induced) causes, as mentioned already. In practice one finds many causes from all of these groups operating together.
To prevent further disease it is important to recognise and remove (or alleviate) these causes. However, a more direct therapy is necessary as a first aid veterinary treatment. This may involve direct etheric intervention but, first, we need an etheric diagnosis on the animal.
On the basis of etheric intercommunication, special diagnostic methods are used. Etheric diagnosis is discussed in separate articles. There are many different methods. One method relates closely with diagnostic crystalline precipitation patterns or metal blots formed by the combination of silver nitrate and copper chloride salts with specimens of body fluid (blood, saliva, urine, etc.), as used in Anthroposophical medicine. (See also the sections on Pulse Diagnosis, radiaesthesia, medical divination, etc, discussed elsewhere in this book).
With one exception, any healthy human can give etheric treatment. The exception is the person who is the cause of the disease, if we have found this to be the case. The therapeutic approach is to strengthen the same Processes in the treating human that are Weak in the animal, i.e. if the animal has a Weakest Process in SP, tonify SP Process in the therapist. When this is done the therapist spends a few minutes in contact with the animal, with a conscious, loving intention to heal. Then the necessary etheric forces can flow over from the human to the animal, or organise the etheric forces in the animal so that they balance themselves. During this therapy the therapist may feel certain exhaustion but this feeling soon vanishes when the therapy is over.
Anything that works energetically can be used as support therapy: homeopathy, AP, Anthroposophical medicine, reflex therapy, herbs and others.
Anything that works energetically can be used as support therapy: homeopathy, AP, Anthroposophical medicine, reflex therapy, herbs and others.
I have tried etheric methods on several cases since 1985 with very good results. (See case reports at the end of this article). In my experience, the effect of this therapy far exceeds that of conventional therapy given impersonally (without compassion or a feeling of love) to the animal. I have found this to be true even in disorders such as arthritis, heart failure, traumatic indigestion, hormonal and other difficult disorders. In addition to its efficacy, I believe this method to be ethically correct. This type of diagnosis and therapy is possible not only between humans and animals but also between adults and children, humans and plants and between a human as microcosms and the whole macrocosm. Humans have a clear responsibility to Nature and Creation. We can and should use our powers in the healing processes in our companion creations, the animals.
CASE 1: A 4-year old female cat had a 5 cm wound on the left foreleg. The wound had not healed for at least 6 months. It had been treated unsuccessfully with various ointments. Its owner, a 20 year old female, was told to place "Heilsalbe" (a complementary healing ointment from Weleda) on her own left arm in the area analogous with that of her cat. She applied the ointment, as directed, in the evening while the cat was in her lap. The cat became anxious and ran out into the night. The wound had closed when it returned in the morning.
CASE 2: A 55 year old farmer presented a 5-year old cow with reticulitis, reticular pain, anorexia, ketonemia and icterus. An acupoint in the farmer's ear showed reactivity when the farmer was placed in contact with the cow. A permanent needle was placed into this point in the farmer's ear. Very soon the farmer reported heavy pain in his stomach. Within a day or so the cow began eating. The icterus and ketonemia gradually disappeared. After three weeks, the farmer slaughtered the cow for human consumption. After slaughtering the cow, the farmer's stomach pains subsided.
CASE 3: A 6-year old horse was presented with lameness of the left forelimb for three years. On Pulse Diagnosis, the horse had BL Deficiency (Weak Process in BL Channel). The owner, a physiotherapist, did not believe in AP at the time. However, when requested to remove his left shoe and place his hand on the horse's back he agreed in disbelief. Placing a needle for 20 minutes in his BL67 treated the owner. He reported that he was drained of energy at the end of treatment. After this treatment the horse became sound. The owner has since become a certified acupuncturist.
One can not overemphasise the power of love and willed, directed intention in healing. It is very important that we activate and project our intention to heal our patients, i.e. we really want to make the treatment work and we visualise that this is happening. I have mentioned this above several times and will do so again. Late in life, Rudolf Steiner had a revelation after he had met the well known German naturopath, Marie Ritter. He realised that healing did not depend on the remedies themselves but on the awareness or intention of the therapist at the time of prescribing or administration of the remedies. Rudolf Steiner wrote: "In reality it does not depend on the remedy given but on the intention of the one making the remedy" (may be the therapist then often made the remedies themselves?) (R.Steiner,1920). Even without remedies, without needles or direct treatment of any kind, focused intention can heal. Sometimes it can work even better than a treatment given directly.