Odic Force

The Odic force (also called Od, Odyle, Önd, Odes, Odylic, Odyllic, or Odems) is the name given in the mid-19th century to a hypothetical vital energy or life force by Baron Carl von Reichenbach. Von Reichenbach coined the name from that of the Norse god Odin in 1845. As von Reichenbach was investigating the manner in which the human nervous system could be affected by various substances, he discovered the existence of a new force allied to electricity, magnetism, and heat, a force which he thought was radiated by most substances, and to the influence of which different persons are variously sensitive. His proponents and followers believe that Odic force permeates all plants, animals, and humans.

Od is best detected through certain materials that focus it more than others— for example, it was seen to dance and glide when it flowed along magnets and crystals. Reichenbach used the term “concentrator” when discussing these Od sources, as Od is not generated by these objects at all; he declared that the Odic streams “flowed on eternally”, as it flows through the Earth, and travels along the light that streams from the Sun, Moon, and stars.

One of Baron von Reichenbach’s early accounts of his Odic force came from bar magnets into his darkroom experiments. In one such account, he wrote that bright blue flames issued from the north pole, cold and soothing; and from the south poles, red flames, hot and irritating. This effect has been confirmed by those who practice magnet therapy. Glittering rainbows, or dark rainbows, could be seen radiating around the largest magnets. When Reichenbach later introduced a large crystal into the darkroom, it appeared to be “streaming with fine white Odic light of great power”.Magnets, it seemed, were the strongest Od concentrators.

Reichenbach stated that, through experimentation, possibly 1/3 of the population could view the phenomenon if properly trained. Author Sydney Billing claimed to have witnessed it, as well as colleagues who were medical doctors in England at the time who viewed it through experimentation. Discussion on the subject continues into the present day, with some claiming to be able to see it naturally even on sunny days with clear skies. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, 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 key: the idea that the mind may be trained to see subtle forces, like the Odic force, through a gradual awakening of the senses. It explains the Baron’s developed ability to observe the Odic displays after a vigorous and extended research— his consciousness was expanded to perceive the subtle aether.