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Continuing the quartz / orgone series. So far, I’ve found that the layered orgonite (metal + paper) was magickally inert, but that quartz is magickally interesting: It has significant, stable magickal structures, and if you put energy into it, those structures will absorb the energy and re-emit it in the quartz’s signature, which is usually more noticeable than the same amount of energy in your own signature. (That’s why people think quartz amplifies energy).
There’s one more component of the orgone generator Ananael used to charge his talismans: An oscillating magnetic field. So today, I’ll test quartz with a magnet.
Short story: Magnetism does not appear to affect quartz, at least in terms of magickal energy. I didn’t have an oscillating electromagnet, but I did have a powerful magnet from a fridge-mounted spice rack, and moving it near and around the quartz does not produce magickal energy.
And if that were the only story, I would’ve just tacked it onto the end of last post and called this series done. But today, I want to tell you about some errors I made in researching this, and the importance of rigorous testing.
In this post, I’ll use normal text like this to tell you the chronological story, and what I thought at the time.
And I’ll use this tabbed-in gray text to tell you what I now think was actually happening.
Initial Test: Sensory Connections
After discovering all this stuff I’d never expected — magickal structures in quartz, ice and water, and how temperature influences the structures — I was pretty ready to accept other new findings, too.
So, I held the quartz in my hand, connected to the structures, and moved a magnet in a circle over it. (A vertical circle, so the bottom of the circle was close to the quartz, and the top was far away).
And I felt something. A tingle in my palm (the one holding the quartz). And when I looked hard, I could sense energy in the quartz. I was amazed, because I never expected the magnet to influence the quartz, but it was.
I now think that the tingle in my palm was proprioception — the feeling you get when your hands almost touch. It’s a tingling, but it’s not energy. (You’ll often see beginner energy healing classes tell you to almost touch your hands so you can “feel energy emanating from your body.” But if you close your eyes and have a friend almost touch you, there’s no tingle, so clearly, it’s not actual energy.)
The bit of energy in the quartz was from my own sensory connections. Remember, good sensory connections have very little energy. But moving my hand — the one with the magnet — distracted me a bit, and made my sensory connection worse. Add in the tingling, which made me think there was energy there, and I can easily see how I would have sent a little energy along the connection, which the quartz would reflect back at me.
I also tried moving the magnet in a big circle around the hand holding the quartz, but didn’t feel any energy. At the time, I figured it had something to do with the flat verse rough sides of the quartz. (My piece of quartz is the size of a small fist, one side with flat facets, the other side broken roughly.)
What I now think happened: Moving my hand in a circle around the quartz didn’t activate the same proprioception tingling. And I didn’t send energy along the connection either because this movement was less distracting, or because, without the tingling of the proprioception, I wasn’t thinking about energy.
With all my talk about scientific testing, I’d better not leave it with just my sensory connections. So I devised a fairly simple, but fairly rigorous, procedure:
I close my eyes, make the sensory connections, and tell Lisa I’m ready. Lisa flips a coin. If it’s heads, she moves the magnet in a circle just above the quartz. If it’s tails, she moves her hand in the same motion, without the magnet (which should produce the same breeze and any sounds from her shifting her weight, but no magickal energy in the quartz). In both cases, she doesn’t say anything. (We don’t want me picking up any clues from her voice). I say whether I noticed the energy before opening my eyes, to prevent me from reading her body language.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, it didn’t work. Once my eyes were closed, I didn’t feel the proprioception tingles. Depending on how hard I tried to sense the energy — which correlates with how much energy I accidentally put on the sensory connection — I’d either notice energy, or not notice it. Lisa sometimes put a bit of energy into the quartz, too, so I’m glad her hand was there in both conditions.
After a few trials, I stopped, and figured out what happened. Then I paid more attention to keeping my sensory connection quiet, and when I did, didn’t notice any energy in any of the test cases. I would still feel the tingles when my hands got close, and I’d still feel the energy if I let myself get distracted. All those senses were real, but when I tried to add them up into a story of how all the moving parts work, I got that story wrong. And that’s why it’s so important to do proper, blind testing.
Seeing What You Expect
This isn’t unique to sensory connections. If you expect something to taste good, it probably will, as long as it doesn’t actively taste bad. In a dark room, your eyes will naturally start to see spots and shapes, and if you expect to see something in particular, you will probably see it in those shapes.
The key to doing good research isn’t avoiding errors. It’s creating tests that can show you your errors, so you can accept them and learn from them. My hope is that, by showing you my errors, you’ll be a little less worried about making your own.
Other posts in this series:
Hat tip to Doing Magick. His post on the importance of teachers to have humility helped me decide to post this and show you my errors.
- Energizing Quartz, Water and Ice (February 16, 2012)
- Do Magnets Energize Quartz? (February 20, 2012)
- Experiments with Orgone (February 13, 2012)
- Just What Is Orgonite? (February 13, 2012)
- Exploring Quartz (February 14, 2012)