Life Energy Beliefs

Life Energy Beliefs. God gives life to Adam, by William Blake.

Life Force Ideas Around the World

Here are the O entries of life energy beliefs around the world and from antiquity to the present. An edited and expanded version of this Life Energy A to Z is published in my book Life Energy Encyclopedia.


Od see odic force.

Karl Ludwig Friedrich Reichenbach

Odic force is an expression introduced by the German baron Karl Ludwig Friedrich Reichenbach (1788-1869) for an almost magnetic force, od, which radiates from the body – especially from the mouth, hands, and forehead. Reichenbach also imagined a pure life energy, actinic force, emanating from life itself, and by time transforming to odic force. Actinic is from the Greek aktis, which means beam.

Oki is a collective name among the Huron Indians, for the mightiest spiritual powers in the world – such as heaven, the sun, and the moon. These powers are summoned in rituals.

Okra see kra/okra.

Önd is a Norse word for spirit. See hugr.

Orenda is a word among the North American Iroquois Indians, for a fundamental spiritual force. It exists to differing degrees in people, and is possible to increase to the extent that one learns from life. Compare manitou.

Wilhelm Reich

Orgone is a term for life energy, introduced in the 1930's by the Swiss psychologist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), who was one of Sigmund Freud's students. To Reich, orgone was a primordial blue cosmic energy, omnipresent, at work in celestial events as well as a driving force for emotions and sexuality. It is unclear how he came up with the name orgone. It may be derived from the word orgasm, since sexuality is a central expression of orgone, or from organism, since orgone is essential Orgone accumulator.for all life. Some sources speculate that the word is formed from org(anism) + one. Reich constructed machines, orgone accumulators, to stimulate this energy. He also claimed that sexual activity had the same effect, which led to frequent persecution of him, also from governing bodies of the USA, where he had moved at the end of the 1930's. He died in prison, sentenced for violating the injunction against selling the accumulator. The orgone concept has many similarities to the life energy qi, which is also pointed out by many defenders and practitioners of it.

ORMEs (Orbitally-Rearranged Monatomic Elements) is a theory from the 1990's by the American agronomist David Radius Hudson, about the change of the properties of precious metal through manipulations of their atoms, in what he calls modern alchemy. Among other things generated, is a white powder supposed to be healing and giving spiritual experiences.

Joseph Priestley

Oxygen (from the Greek oxys, acid, and genes, producer), the life-supporting element in air, was discovered in the 1770's by the English theologian and natural philosopher Joseph Priestley (1733-1804). The Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786) and the French chemist Antoine- Laurent de Lavoisier (1743-1794) made similar findings at about the same time. Lavoisier named it oxygen in 1777, because he thought it was present in all acids. Before their discoveries of it, oxygen was unknown, but its importance in combustion, breathing, and oxidation, had been observed and the subject of much speculation. Many theories were introduced through the centuries, in order to explain these phenomena, such as the concept phlogiston (see this word). It is also quite possible that many beliefs in a life force have been attempts to explain the necessity for living creatures to breathe – the idea of a vital invisible substance within the air. Qi, with its link and proximity to breathing, is definitely one such concept. So are prana, ruach, spiritus, pneuma (see these words), and many others.

Life Energy Beliefs from A to Z

A   B   C   D

E   F   G   H

I   J   K   L

M   N   O   P

Q   R   S   T

U   V   W   X

Y   Z

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Qi Energy Exercises

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained and how to exercise it.

Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.

Cosmos of the Ancients

What the Greek philosophers believed about the cosmos, their religion and their gods.


Taoism, the ancient Chinese philosophy of life explained. Also, the complete Tao Te Ching online.

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Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Qi - Increase your life energy

The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with several very easy exercises to awaken, increase, and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

My Other Books

Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

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The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist classic, translated and extensively commented chapter by chapter. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker

Fiction. A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd

About me

I'm a Swedish author and historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. I've also written books about Taoism, the Tarot, and life force concepts around the world. Click the image to get to my personal website.