by James Borges, BSRA

Carl Ludwig Reichenbach (1788-1869)
Baron von Reichenbach (1788-1869)

"Odic Force" definedFurther Investigation of the OdExperiment with Crystal OdExperiment with Magnetic OdExperiment with Focused Od

In the mid 1800's Baron Karl von Reichenbach opened up a whole vista of new knowledge when he discovered the existence and properties of what he called Od force. This force flows from minerals and light, in plants and animals, and even radiates from the stars. The Od, Odic force was named after the Old Norse god Odin, the "all transcending one," and the old Norse word "voda" which means "I go quicky...! I stream forth". Od was seen to dance and glide in spectacular beauty when it flowed along magnets and crystals. It permeates all things yet certain materials seemed to focus it more than others. Reichenbach used the term "concentrator" when discussing Od sources, for Od is not generated by these objects at all. He declared that the Odic streams "flowed on eternally." It flows trough the Earth and travels along the light that streams from the Sun, Moon, and stars.

This mysterious force is everywhere present actually seen by so few. The Baron being a scientist developed his ideas through rigorous experiments. Special darkrooms were created that were connected to wires that would conduct Od from plates that collected the force from the Sun or Moon. Minerals, magnets and crystals were brought into the darkroom via special rotating tables that permitted no light to enter. Various displays of Odic force manifested themselves during these sessions, elaborate descriptions of which are to be found in his own writings.

The Baron, curiously enough, utilized sensitives for his research. During his early work with Somnambulism he was introduced to the idea of sensitives; his idea was that sleepwalkers are sensitive or allergic to something being carried in on the moonlight, an Odic agitation. This experience opened his mind to the possibility of humans sensing the Odic force. In his wide travels he met many people who claimed to be "sensitives". If they were used in his research, the Baron put them through rigorous tests. He used a wide range of sensitives from medical persons to a few who were from asylums. The Baron would eventually begin to see these Odic displays himself in small measure after his persistent endeavor in Odic research. The sensitives are however the main source of much of the information we have about the Odic force.

One of Baron von Reichenbach’s most moving accounts comes from his introduction of bar magnets into the darkroom. A bright blue flame issued from the north pole, which were cool and soothing; from the south pole issued red flames that were hot and irritating. Glittering rainbows, or dark rainbows could be seen radiating around the largest magnets. Magnets were to be used as the strongest Od focuser until crystal formations were introduced to the sensitives.

When Reichenbach introduced a large crystal into the darkroom it appeared to be streaming with fine white Odic light of great power. Lost Science by Gerry Vassilatos summarizes Reichenbach's descriptions so well I'll just quote:

"The sharp crystals point projected a deep blue Od jet, some eight inches long. This bright blue projection was in constant motion. Emitting numerous sparks, the flame-jet in the space beyond the sharp point was tulip shaped. Turning the crystal around, the broken crystal base revealed a dense red and yellow smoke."

Reichenbach also discovered that this Odic force would flow through wires and that flames and hot and cold sensations traveled along their length. While at first glance it might seem that only sensitives can access these experiences, or that these experiences are the vain imaginings of deranged minds, it may be possible for everyone to participate in this knowledge. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy and a pioneer in spiritual science, advanced the idea of an ether, Steiner's Ether and Reichenbach's Od having very similar properties. Steiner believed that all human beings had senses that could perceive the ethers, and that especially through Initiation and mental discipline these senses could be awakened. This is a very important idea: that the mind may also be trained to see the Odic force through a gradual awakening of the senses. This may explain the Baron's own ability to observe the Odic displays after a vigorous and extended research. His consciousness was expanded to perceive the subtle qualities.

These powerful claims are worthy of further investigation. The experiments of the Baron can be reproduced. By combining several of the Baron's discoveries into one small unit we can focus the Odic force in a darkroom. We can easily obtain and combine magnets, wire, and crystals in a darkroom. We may not observe the colorful displays described by Reichenbach's sensitives [9] - at least, not on our first attempt; we must wait and watch. The Process itself must precede the experience. Experiments in this vein serve as excellent objects of meditation, a means for the senses to develop.

Preparation for these experiments requires a darkroom. This can be any room at night, to insure darkness place heavy wool blankets over windows and doors. The blankets should insure that no light will enter, especially from under the door jam. Prepare a place for a jar to be eye level on a table three of four feet from a comfortable chair where you can remain relaxed and alert. The length of time the experimenter can remain in the dark with his mind focused on the object should be prolonged as long as possible. The length of time should steadily grow longer. The attention is being disciplined not to wander, which is difficult, as the eyes tend to wander about looking for light. The more the eyes become attuned to the Odic luminosity the longer the gaze may be focused, and more time in deep observation. Keep a written record of all experience, even the lack of phenomenon. Observe without judgment, without the "lust of result". The entire experiment runs about a week, and is meant to be repeated for up to a year or longer. The senses will gradually become more sensitive to the subtle formative forces at play within growing crystals and along the surface of the bar magnets.

Black and white diagram of a suspended crystal cube between two bar magnets on a solid surface.


In large jar mix one cup of salt with two cups water. Mix well to create a saturate solution. Drop three or four lengths of wire about four inches long into the solution. Place jar uncovered under a bright desk lamp for several hours.

Observation 1: (before crystals form) Close jar and bring into the darkroom, place on table. Observe any phenomenon and write it down in your record. Return the jar to the bright lamp for several more hours. Repeat this process for several days until crystal salt cubes form on the wires.

Observation 2: Bring the jar with the crystals into the dark-room, observe any phenomenon and write it in your record. Note any similarities or differences in the Odic light that you perceive.

Observation 3: Remove the wire with salt crystal from jar, gently shake off excess water. Retire into darkroom. Hold one end of wire with right hand and the other with the left hand. Observe any Odic effects from the crystal. Note any sense of Odic currents in the hands, arms, chest. Write these experiences in your record.

EXPERIMENT 2: Magnetic Od

The Odic forces focused by magnets are good for observation. The darkroom, chair and table along with two bar magnets are required for these observations.

Observation 1: Place single magnet on table in darkroom. Observe any phenomenon, write in your record.

Observation 2: Place two magnets in proximity to each other, attracting one another but not touching. Note any differences from the single magnet observations.

Observation 3: Place two magnets in proximity to each other, repelling each other. Note the differences from the single magnet and any differences from the attracting magnets.

EXPERIMENT 3: Focused Od

Whereas the previous experiments dealt with focused Odic forces, this experiment is an attempt to show that Odic concentrators (magnets and crystals) may be combined to achieve a very high concentration of the Odic force.

Observation 1: Place two bar magnets upright three inches apart from each other. Suspend each end of the wire with a crystal from the top of the bar magnets. Observe and record as before.

Observation 2: Suspend crystal and wire from either face, front or back, of the upright magnets. Observe any differences and record.

Observation 3: Suspend crystal and wire from either face of the upright magnets. Then suspend a bare wire from the opposite side near the base of the magnets.

Refer to our Project Od page for more resources.

Ready to go further with your Odic research? Look up "Dynamics of Vital Force" (#B0437) and "The Od Force" (#B0202), two required texts by Reichenbach that present and explain his experimental observations, as originally performed and documented in the mid-19th century.


  1. Vassilatos, Gerry. Lost Science. Bayside, CA: Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, 1998. Print. [Spiral-bound research editions available in BSRF xerographic format: <#B0387, "Lost Science">]