Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Egely Wheel

Over the weekend an old friend of my neighbor's dropped by and brought with him a rather curious instrument called an Egely Wheel. This device consists of a wheel mounted on a very low-friction pivot so that it can spin freely along and a sensor that monitors the spin rate. Supposedly the wheel can measure the flow of Qi, spinning faster in response to its presence. As most of you already know, I've been interested in the intersection between magical practices and technology for some time, such as the integration of EMF detectors into evocation rituals.

Although some of the basics of the phenomenon are not yet fully understood, extensive control experiments have proven that the rotation of the wheel during measurements is not driven by heat, convection, or electromagnetic energy. The inventor, Dr. George Egely, a Hungarian physicist PhD formerly with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is an expert in the field of energy transfer processes. After thousands of sessions with over 1500 test subjects, he found that those with the highest levels of "Life Energy" could make the wheel turn faster. Internal electronics measure the speed of rotation, and the state of the art flashing, colored LED display lights up your score, from 0 to 400 (the "average" range is near 100).

The first challenge with the Egely Wheel is to isolate it from anything in the environment that might affect it. The wheel is very sensitive so it moves a little on its own just sitting there. You also need to pay attention to air currents in the room, since even breathing on the wheel will make it spin wildly. I did find that I was eventually able to get it to spin fairly quickly, and this is key - it would only spin that way when I held my mind a particular way. Not my hands or my breath, but my mind. I found that particular detail rather intriguing.

Of course, the skeptic in me is now trying to work out what exactly is making the wheel move. I read some Chinese studies years ago suggesting that an important component of medical Qigong is the emission of infrasonic waves from the hands that impart physical energy to the patient in a particular way, and that more experienced Qigong masters seemed to be able to emit much stronger waves. If this research is accurate such waves would certainly be strong enough to move the extremely sensitive wheel. We also set up the EMF detector alongside the wheel for a bit to see if there was any correlation between the two, and were unable to find any.

The Egely Wheel is a rather expensive device for just playing around with, but since I now know someone who has one of these I'm going to see about integrating it into an evocation ritual to see if the wheel spins in the presence of a spirit. As always, I'll keep you all up to date on my findings. Has anyone else ever worked with one of these devices? I would be interested in hearing any accounts that readers are willing to share.

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Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

I never even heard of this device before today.

Scott Stenwick said...

I hadn't either. Apparently they were popular among the "psychic power" folks a number of years ago when they first came out. As far as the magical community goes, though, they're not nearly as well-known.

Anonymous said...

This is news to me. Another gadget to put on my wishlist. After a bunch of my Tibetan stuff and a new EEG.