"Yeah, I was reading the brochure. So, what does it do, exactly?"
"See, we live amongst many harmful rays because of all the new technology. Do you have a microwave at home?"
"Oh! Well then this would be really good for you to have because you can put it next to the microwave and it will protect you from the deadly waves!"
"That's good, but I'm not really one of those people that puts her face up to the microwave-"
"Well you don't even have to be close for the waves to affect you. I mean, we're surrounded by radio towers and televisions and all kinds of things that can bring you down."
"...Interesting. ...Oh, hey guys! Wait for me! Um, good talking with you. Bye!"
This trippy conversation, that was thankfully cut short by my helpful friends feigning leaving, was what introduced me to the mysterious substance known as orgonite. It was also what has lead to my quandary today.
For those of you who haven't heard of it, orgonite is supposedly a magical substance with countless super human powers - a few of which are listed on Orgonite.info:
- Turns negative energy into positive energy.
- Purifies the atmosphere, detoxifies water, ends drought.
- Helps plants grow better, repel pests & require less water.
- Mitigates harmful effects of EMF radiation.
- Disarms and repels predatory forms of life.
- Inspires a pleasant demeanor and balanced, happier moods.
I was especially impressed with the claim that this rock ends drought. Who knew that by combining copper wire, random metal shavings, food coloring and resin, that we could solve most of the world's water problems? And it makes plants grow faster? My God! Why are we not mass producing this stuff and sending it to Africa!?
Okay, so orgonite is complete and total bunk (If you'd like to see more of what it's supposedly capable of, check out "Cloud Blasting". If this actually worked I don't think meteorologists would even exist.). Of course, this got me thinking about what Pagans often believe about inanimate objects. Rose quartz attracts love. Basil is good for using in money spells to attain wealth. And it got me wondering, where do we make the distinction between crazy pseudoscience and magick?
Perhaps I should be more clear where I stand. I've always believed in the power of magick and symbolism as extensions of the mind. Brains are powerful tools. I know that if I believe strongly enough that wearing a crystal around my neck will bring me peace it will. That crystal will remind me. Get me thinking about what I can do to have a peaceful day, and I will actively seek out the things that will help me relax (Bubbles!). Not to mention that when I feel at ease, the feeling radiates. Magick awesomness complete. And in this respect, I feel like orgonite makers have a bit of a right to claim that it inspires a pleasant demeanor.
I think the distinction comes somewhere in the realm that goes outside the influence of the human mind. I like to joke with my husband that my wand keeps tigers away.
"Lauren, that's really stupid. How can it possibly keep tigers away."
"Hey. I don't pretend to know the process, but I do know one thing: I don't see any tigers."
When people start claiming that a small block of resin can make plants grow taller just by its very presence, then things start getting a little weird. It jumps to the level of crazy when it claims to purify water and act as a five dollar home security system.
But what do you guys think? Where do we draw the line between magick/belief and crazy claims? Is there a line? Are the concepts of magick and spells just as insane as phrenology (Analyzing someone's personality by the bumps on their head. "Oh my gosh, Mabel! There are several holes in your skull! I'm getting that you suffer from a lot of inactivity.")?