Reich, an Austrian-born psychiatrist, would not have considered himself a magician or occultist. Yet in his work with the life force, which he called orgone, he traversed the same territory and uncovered many of the same secrets that magicians had known about for centuries. What makes Reich's discoveries significant is that he approached the etheric realms and spiritual forces from a scientist's perspective, offering objective evidence for mystical experiences.
“Reich also understood the nature of energy and how the human body gives access to that unitary, planetary energy which we see active in the formation of hurricanes and in the aurora borealis, through sex and bodily sensation. What makes sex magick possible is that all living systems have the capacity to store a charge of energy.” — Donald Michael Kraig,
Best known for his contributions in the field of psychology, particularly his book
Reich emphasized the significance of sexual energy as the life force responsible for mental and physical health. He proposed that repressed psychosexual energy could produce physical blocks, a condition he called “body armoring,” that led to physical illnesses including cancer and arthritis. He presented these ideas and the results of his scientific studies of human sexuality in his book
While living in Scandinavia, Reich began extensive studies of how orgone operated in the body and in the environment. He believed cancer was caused by the depletion of orgone energy. As a result of his experiments, he attempted to capture, heighten, and direct this “primordial cosmic energy” for healing purposes. In 1940, after relocating to Maine, he began building orgone accumulators, wood-and-metal boxes in which an ill person sat while orgone was channeled through her body.
To collect orgone from the atmosphere, Reich designed a “cloudbuster” that allowed him to produce rain. His experiments with orgone attracted UFOs, which led him to theorize that orgone fueled these crafts (discussed in his most controversial book,