Posts Tagged ‘Crystals’

Crystals and Energy: A Placebo-Controlled Exercise

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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Crystals are supposed to amplify energy. That’s what people say, anyway. But have you ever tested it? It’s easy. Here’s how. (And we’ll be doing this at the next Energy Geek Meetup, March 22.)

Here’s the claim: If you send energy into a crystal, the crystal multiplies that energy.

(To be more specific, based on my testing, the crystal changes the energy to make it easier to feel. It changes the energy’s signature (or type). Think of it like putting a colored gel over a flashlight — it doesn’t make the light brighter, but it makes it more noticeable.)

Most people have tried holding a crystal in their hands, feeling energy as it flows through the crystal. But… How do we know those feelings were caused by the crystal, and not simply my expectations affecting my own energy or affecting my perceptions? That’s where placebo and blinding come in.

I love testing energy techniques using placebo controls, blinding, and the other tools of science. When the test works, I can be confident it’s actually my energy, and not just luck or placebo. And when it doesn’t work, I know what to work on, what to improve, and I have a way to measure my improvement with energy.

Here’s how: Get 3 small boxes. Put a piece of quartz in one box, a piece of amethyst in another, and a metal weight in the third. (You can use any two types of crystal. The metal is the placebo, it shouldn’t affect energy like crystals do.)

Have a friend select a box. (They don’t tell you which one). They give you the box, you send energy into it and feel how the object inside the box affects the energy. Feel whether that’s the energy of quartz, the energy of amethyst, or unchanged energy (the placebo weight).

Do this a few times, track your results. Were you able to tell crystal from metal? Were you able to tell the two crystals apart?

A few notes:

  • Before doing this blind test, practice with each crystal. Learn how each energy feels so you can recognize them later.
  • If you shake the box, the metal weight may feel slightly different than the crystals. So have your friend place the box on your lap (or your torso if you’re lying down), rather than handing it to you, so you don’t accidentally (unconsciously) shake the box.
  • What if you can distinguish crystal from placebo, but can’t tell the crystals apart? That’s actually a success. It means you’re building, moving, and feeling energy. The next step is to practice listening to energy, by making your own energy steady and quiet, so you can feel the difference between different types of energy.

About the Meetup

The Energy Geek Meetup is for practitioners who want to take their energy skills and confidence to the next level. It’s the 4th Wednesday of every month, 7-9pm, at the Embodiment Arts Collective, 3490 20th Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco (near 24th st BART). Suggested donation $5-10.

Please RSVP on Facebook or Meetup. (Popular events draw more people. RSVPing helps us grow. Thank you!)

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Do Magnets Energize Quartz?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

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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.

Results Summary

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.

Proper Testing

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.

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.

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Energizing Quartz, Water and Ice

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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Last post, I told you about the structures that I found when I connected to quartz. Today, I have two more findings: How quartz responds to magickal energy, and what I found looking at other materials with regular atomic structures.

How Quartz Responds to Magical Energy

Most people say that quartz amplifies energy. This is always struck me as dubious, because “amplify energy” sounds a lot like “perpetual motion machine”: They’re both holy grails of pseudoscience.

Yes, I’m conflating physics::energy with magick::energy. Mea culpa.

My model has always been that quartz changes the signature of the energy to one that’s more obvious and tingly. See, when you feel energy, the tingles happen more when the energy is in a different signature than your body. And if I align the energy with your body’s signature, you don’t feel anything.

I’ve verified the insensitivity to properly-aligned energy numerous times in healing sessions. It also applies to connections: A connection in a different signature is obvious, while one in your signature is hard to notice, though there are other considerations to making a hard-to-notice connection, too.

Before, that was just my best guess. Now, I can watch the quartz react to energy, and see how it works:

When I send energy into the quartz, the structures absorb the energy, becoming active. (Remember, previously the structures were inactive, meaning not charged). 1-2 seconds later, it emits energy with the signature of the structures, and the structures become inactive again. Watching each step, and seeing the timing, it’s pretty clear what’s going on.

The amount of energy emitted by the quartz equals the amount of energy you put it (as nearly as I can tell with my sensory connections). It feels more tingly because the signature is farther away from your body’s signature, not because of the quantity of energy.

What About Other Materials?

My guess is that the regular atomic structure of the crystal caused the magick structure I observed. A spirit I asked about this shared that opinion, as does Ananael.

Lisa is wonderfully geeky about a great deal of science, and pointed out the water has a regular atomic structure, and ice even more so. She suggested that, according to this model, they should both have similar magickal structures.

I initially dismissed the idea, because no one uses ice or water for energy work, at least, not the way they use crystals. It just sounded weird. But sounding weird is a bad basis for science, so I tested it.


Much to my surprise, water does have magical structure. A few notes:

The amount of water correlates with the size of the structure. Not surprising, but worth noting.

Within a gallon of bottled drinking water, you can see a lot of different areas of magickal structure. The boundaries between areas change over time, probably as the water moves.

When you first pour a glass of water, it won’t have a magickal structure. If you stay connected, you can watch the magickal structure form over about 30 seconds.

The water will absorb energy sent into it, but not re-emit it. Instead, that energy breaks down the magickal structures it touches. It looks like there’s some sort of sturdiness to the structure, perhaps related to the difference between solids and liquids.

Note: I tested tap water, bottled drinking water and distilled. The distilled had a more obvious structure, and re-emitted a bit of energy, but the results weren’t substantially different.


We froze a cup of tap water, then tested the same things. Notes:

There is a magickal structure there, but it’s hard to see. I haven’t explained enough about energy and activation, but the magickal structures in quartz aren’t 100% inactive. They’re just inactive enough that they’re not sending out energy. But in the ice, the structures were even less active, and thus harder to see. Degrees of inactivity is something I’ve seen before with hibernating mental muscles, but haven’t explained on the blog yet.

When I sent a bit of energy into the ice, it absorbed most of the energy, emitting only a small amount. By making more connections, and trying to follow the path from magickal structure toward physical atoms (in the same way I follow paths from energy to cells for energy healing), I could see the energy draining away.

These two results make me think there’s a relationship between magical energy and physical heat*. A lot of energy would equal a tiny amount of heat, based on what I saw of how the atoms responded (or whatever was at the end of those paths). I’ll suggest a test after discussing some more results tomorrow.

*This is another result that I would never have predicted. I’ve always seen magickal energy as distinct from other things called “energy,” like heat.

After telling Lisa about putting energy into the ice and only getting a tiny amount back, she tried it. At this point, we hadn’t discussed how much energy I put in the ice, so she just did what she normally does and sent a continuous stream for about 10 seconds. She reported feeling a return of energy just like quartz, and after several trials, had an energy headache (same as you would with quartz).

I tried her procedure, sending a continuous stream for 10 seconds, and got the same results: A slight delay, then a full return of energy, just like quartz.

I made a bunch of connections to the magical structure and watched. The first bit of energy indeed gets absorbed into the structure (presumably going toward physical atoms, though that’s really just conjecture). But that path can only carry so much energy per second. As you send more energy, it fills the paths, and any new energy coming in gets re-emitted, just like energy sent into quartz. In my initial tests, I just hadn’t sent enough energy to fill up the pathways.

Sensory Connections

One of the reasons I’m confident in my sensory connections is they routinely show me things I don’t expect. All the results with the ice and water were surprising, and if someone with a new age fluffy persona had told me those things, I would’ve simply dismissed it. Lisa’s finding about ice re-emitting energy was particularly surprising, because my previous testing had made me expect the opposite. These kind of results make me trust my sensory connections much more than if they always confirmed what I expected to see.

There are other reasons I trust my sensory connections too. I just wanted to highlight a few items from these tests.


I’d love to get some independent verification of sending energy into water (no energy re-emitted) and ice (energy re-emitted with a few-second delay, depending on the rate you send energy in). Try it, and let me know what you find.

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Exploring Quartz

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

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In this series, I’m investigating how an orgone generator can produce magickal energy and charge a talisman. After some preliminary testing, I’m now focusing on the quartz at the center of the orgonite.

My first step, whenever I start exploring a new part of magick, is to simply connect and look around. This is tricky for me to explain, because we don’t have a mag-o-scope to display the magickal structures like x-rays display bones, so it’s not immediately clear what I mean by “look around.”

I’m normally skeptical when someone says they connected to X and saw Y. You should be too. Most mages mean that they absorbed a bit of X’s energy, relaxed their mind and let images enter their thoughts. And we all know how easily your expectations can influence the images that happen into your thoughts.

Sometimes, the images come from a source of psychic intuitions. Which means they’re symbolic, and a response to whatever question that ethereal software thinks was asked. So, not a firm basis for exploring how magick works, either.

To explore the inner-workings of magick, I had to develop a reliable way of seeing the moving parts. I call that technique “sensory connections.” Let’s review it before using it to explore the crystals.

If you just want the results, skip to “Exploring Quartz.”

Sensory Connections

I’ll start with a review of sensory connections, one of the core techniques of direct magick. It’s somewhat advanced, so don’t worry if you don’t follow every step, but here’s a quick summary of the technique:

  1. Quiet your energy. Not so you don’t have energy, but so it’s steady. That way, changes in your own energy won’t distract you.
  2. Make a connection without energy along it. This requires good control of mental muscles that handle connections.
  3. For a good sensory connection, the structure that makes up the connection should also have a low amount of power.
  4. Break that connection into many smaller ones, each covering one building block of the overall signature. The sum of those building blocks should add up to the overall signature. The smaller the scale of building blocks, the better.
  5. Make many of these connections through the area you’re interested in, so you get a map, rather than a single point. The more points you touch, the better.
  6. Align to signature of the area (which feels like getting the right focus for a microscope). Now you’re ready to look around. It’s more of feeling than seeing, even though I say “see” most of the time.

It’s… a bit complicated. Most direct magick is. To learn it, you’ll need to develop the mental muscles for each step, walk those muscles through the process, and practice each step it until it’s easy. Then practice the whole sequence together. I developed sensory connections over several years, but you could probably learn it in a few of months with focused practice. The full series on sensory connections is here, and I’ll be returning to it as I write my book.

Summary: I don’t have a mag-o-scope. Instead, I have a fancy technique that gives me a pretty good picture of magickal structures, along with some exercises for you to learn it. But ultimately, you’ll just have to trust me. Which hopefully you do, because distrust-fully reading a blog doesn’t sound like much fun.

Exploring Quartz

I connected to the quartz crystal, and spotted a large structure. Not energy at this point, because I’m not sending any energy into the crystal. (Remember, sensory connections don’t send energy.) But a large structure that could contain energy if you put some in.

That’s quite unusual. Normally, when I connect to something that’s alive, I see a lot of active structures, with their own energy. And when I connect to something that’s not alive — whether it’s dead wood or inorganic material — there’s hardly any structures there. It’s quite hard to spot anything, really. So a large, obvious, unpowered structure in nonliving matter? This is the first time I’ve seen that.

I also connected to an amethyst I had lying around. (I’d bought them around a decade ago, then gave them to Lisa because they were pretty.) Same deal: A large, obvious, unpowered structure. It had a different signature, but it’s essentially the same thing. So I’m guessing this is common to all quartzs, and possibly all crystals.

Lisa also had a necklace made of rose quartz, machined into half-inch beads. I could see a similar structure in each bead, but it was much smaller and less obvious. I think the machining damaged the magickal structure in some way.

And one last test: Do two pieces of quartz connect to the same magickal structure, or does each one have its own structure? If this is all based on some ethereal software for quartz, then all pieces of quartz would probably connect to the same structure, which would probably go to the ethereal software. Whereas, if the quartz itself creates a magickal structure, each piece would have its own.

I took two pieces of quartz, one in each hand, connected to them, and looked through those structures for my other connections. (This is a standard way that I test if two paths lead to the same structure. Spotting my own connection is fairly easy.) I could not spot my connection, which means each piece of quartz has its own magickal structure. Which suggests that the crystal generates the magickal structure, rather than receiving it from ethereal software.

This is the first time I’ve encountered a physical object generating a magickal anything, aside from living cells. I’m intrigued.

Tomorrow: How quartz interacts with magickal energy, and why people think quartz amplifies energy.

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