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Click here to obtain a copy of the publication Pulse of the Planet #5,
in which this article, and several others on the subject of Ether-Drift research, are published.

Reconciling Miller's Ether-Drift with Reich's Dynamic Orgone*

by James DeMeo, Ph.D.

Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab,
Greensprings Center, Ashland, Oregon, USA.

E-mail to: info(at)orgonelab.orgx
(Click or copy into your email program and insert the "@" symbol)

* Previously published in Heretic's Notebook: Emotions, Protocells, Ether-Drift and Cosmic Life Energy, With New Research Supporting Wilhelm Reich (Pulse of the Planet #5), 2002.

For background details to this article, see the paper "Dayton Miller's Ether-Drift Experiments: A Fresh Look" by James DeMeo.

This article Copyright (C) 2002, All Rights Reserved by James DeMeo.

Dayton Miller's extensive research on the subject of ether-drift and light-beam interferometry led him, by 1933, to publish the following conclusions:(1)
     A) The ether of space is a real phenomenon which has subtle interaction with matter, can be deflected or blocked by dense materials in the surroundings of a light-beam interferometer, and also may be entrained along the surface of the Earth, moving faster at higher elevations than at lower elevations.
     B) Earth and the solar system are moving at a speed of 208 km/sec towards an apex in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere, towards Dorado, the swordfish, right ascension 4 hrs 54 min, declination of -70° 33' (south), in the middle of the Great Magellanic Cloud and 7° from the southern pole of the ecliptic. Miller believed the Earth was pushing "southward" through a stationary but Earth-entrained ether in that particular direction.
     C) Light is not constant in all directions, but shows a measurable direction-dependent variance (anisotropy).

As I have previously documented,(2) Miller's findings were never effectively rebutted when he was alive, but he was largely ignored, and brushed aside as irrelevant after his death. Mainstream physics was then in a rush to embrace Albert Einstein's relativity theory which demanded, as one of its fundamental assumptions, constancy in the speed of light in all directions. Light-speed variance and a tangible ether filling all of space were incompatible with Einstein's theory. The theory of the luminiferous ether - of an all-pervading mass-free cosmic medium through which light waves were propagated, and which played a fundamental role in other material and physical forces - was quickly dropped by most physicists, without serious investigation of Miller's findings. "Empty space" and a dead universe were thereafter considered as proven fact, and defended with great emotional resistance.

Reich's Dynamic and Pulsatory Orgone

Less than 20 years after Miller's milestone research, in the 1950s, Wilhelm Reich was documenting the existence of a unique and new form of energy, called the orgone, which existed in living organisms and the atmosphere, and was postulated to exist in cosmic space as well, with properties remarkably similar to Miller's ether:(3,4)
     A) Mass-free orgone energy filled all space, much like a cosmic ether. Orgone could penetrate matter easily, but also weakly interacted with it, being attracted to and charging all matter. Organic materials held the orgone charge strongly, while metals rapidly discharged, or reflected it.
     B) Orgone energy was postulated to play a fundamental role in planetary dynamics, specifically the rotation of planets on their axis, and the revolution of planets around their suns, and of moons around planets. Orgone energy also was postulated to be the medium of transmission of electromagnetic waves, and of the energetic excitation which led to the local development of light.(5)
     C) Reich's theory postulated the existence of large spiraling streams of orgone in cosmic space, notably a streaming motion along the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy, with secondary streams flowing parallel to the Plane of the Ecliptic (of the Solar System), and to the Earth's equator. Reich described these spiral wave-forms, giving them the German name Kreiselwelle (spinning wave or, literally, "gyroscopic-wave"), which he believed underlay various biological, atmospheric and cosmic motions.

Draco - Vega - Hercules
North Pole of the Ecliptic

Dorado - Great Magellanic Cloud
South Pole of the Ecliptic

Figure 1: Relative Motion of the Earth and Ether. Is the Earth pushing southward through a passive, stationary ether, or is the ether dynamic, similar to Reich's orgone, streaming northward in a superimposing spiraling spinning-wave, and carrying the Earth-Sun system with it? The "X" marks on the Earth diagram represent Dayton Miller's interferometer cross-arms at different times of day, showing how the movement of ether would vary according to civil time, but still remain constant according to specific sidereal or cosmical coordinates.

The orgone thereby fulfilled the requirements of a cosmological luminiferous ether, though one with specific identifiable properties which expand into the realms of biology and meteorology. However, orgone is not comparable with the older concept of a static or stagnant and immobile ether, nor fully compatible even with Miller's passive Earth-entrained ether. However, it does appear to be compatible with - and this will be the thrust of this preliminary discussion - a dynamic ether, something which would also fulfill the role of being a cosmic prime mover.

Reich's orgone was a pulsating and streaming phenomenon whose properties had originally been determined from observations of living creatures; he later found similar orgonotic expressions in the non-living world as well. His theory of Cosmic Superimposition4 encompassed the phenomenon of cell growth and division, sexual excitation and attraction, emotional phenomenon, cloud dynamics and atmospheric circulation patterns, and finally, planetary movements and galactic structure. Matter was not only created in the universe by streams of flowing and pulsing cosmic orgone energy, but this same energy also acted to move the planets and suns along on their paths in the heavens, much as a ball floating on the water is moved forward by the water waves. Reich described the process as follows:

"The sun and the planets move in the same plane and revolve in the same direction due to the movement and direction of the cosmic orgone energy stream in the galaxy. Thus, the sun does not 'attract' anything at all. It is merely the biggest brother of the whole group. ...
     Both moon and Earth spin along in space, with their respective open (not closed) pathways mutually approaching and separating again. Therefore it is not the gravitational masses, but the PATHWAYS of the gravitational masses, which meet.
     The moon does not 'circle around the Earth', since the lines of movements are open, spiraling curves. ...
     The cosmic orgone energy flow that carries both moon and earth along in the same direction, in the same plane, and in perfect coordination of their speeds, is the true agent of the gravitational free fall. ...
     The function of gravitation is real. It is, however, not the result of mass attraction but of the converging movements of two orgone energy streams. From these converging streams the 'attracting' and 'gravitational' masses once emerged and they are still carried along in the universe by the same streams in an integrated, unitary fashion as expressed in their common direction of movement, their common planes of motion, the mutual approach of their centers, and the mutually coordinated speed of their spinning motion".

Reich further compared the spinning-wave to the line described in space by a point near the rim of a turning wheel, or by a rotating top, and as seen in the behavior of pendulums:

"The 'Swing' can be easily visualized as the line described in space by a point on the rim of a wheel rotating forward. In relation to the ground, this point on the rim though rotating with even speed in itself, describes a movement of alternating acceleration and deceleration. In other words, its motion expands and contracts alternatingly. On the forward turn, the point moves faster. On the backward turn, it moves slower. The ratio of speed change depends, of course, on the basic speed of rotation: The faster the rotation, the shorter the contraction with respect to the forward motion.
     A spinning top shows the same basic function of speed contraction and expansion. The top will move in a more or less curved line at high speed. The line of motion forward will be more even the greater the speed.
     At a lower speed of rotation, the pin on which the top rotates will clearly describe a spinning wave, a KRW (Kreiselwelle) and swings with alternating acceleration and deceleration thus: [see Figure 2, the length of the segments] indicate the acceleration and deceleration.
     Alternating expansion and contraction of forward motion may also be easily observed in the movement of swinging pendulums under the condition that the point of suspension moves onward in space, while the pendulum body swings."

These and other descriptions in Reich's writings suggest very real and testable hypotheses regarding planetary movements, some of which already appear to be accepted at a basic level by modern astronomers, though for completely different reasons and certainly without the emphasis given by Reich. For example, it is acknowledged that stars and planets move through the galaxy, and the orbits of the planets describe large spiral-forms in space. However, no special emphasis is placed upon this fact, given the assumption of empty space. Only a few textbooks make mention of it. Reich, by contrast, worked out his own special functional equations of gravitation and pendulum behavior,(4) based upon his insights on the spinning wave.

As introduced above, the measured observations and ether-theory proposed by Miller have various points of agreement with Reich's orgone: Dense materials affected the speed of movement of both, as did altitude. Both orgone and ether moved faster (or was "more active" as Reich put it) at higher elevations. Both could penetrate matter, though at different rates of speed depending upon density and other factors. Miller's interferometer excluded metal shields and other dense materials over the light-beam paths - a problem with many unsuccessful ether-drift experiments before and after Miller(1,2) - as it would "block the ether"; Reich used a metal-lined enclosure, with other material arrangements, to attract and accumulate, or "trap" the orgone inside, to higher concentrations than was found in the outer environment.

Figure 2. The Kreiselwelle or Spinning Wave (Top), as described by a point on a rotating wheel. The points A-B, B-C, C-D and D-A describe equal periods of time along the curve, indicating an acceleration at A-B, B-C, and deceleration at C-D, D-A, with segments B-C and C-D having roughly twice the velocity and distance covered per unit of time, as segments A-B or D-A. The Center-Left figure below presents this idea with the wheel actually drawn in, shown sequentially as it moves from left to right. One might consider the black dot as a planet orbiting a larger body at the center of the wheel, suggesting planets and moons inscribe large swings in space, spiral forms with periods of acceleration and deceleration, and with varying net velocities. If one considers each of the separate circles or "wheels" below to be successively moving out of the page, towards the reader (like a stack of large coins) the context more clearly mimics planetary motions, where central Suns move through space. The Center-Right figure below represents a forward-moving pendulum, where the swings in the forward direction cover a greater distance, with greater velocity, than the backwards swings. The Bottom figure is yet another manner of viewing the orbiting motions of a moon around a planet, or a planet around its central star, with vectors matching our "point on a wheel" or "forward moving pendulum". These figures will gain a larger significance when viewed against the Figures to follow. In all three figures here, the vectors A-B and D-A are shorter than the vectors B-C and C-D. Drawings made after Reich's original figures or concepts, from Contact With Space.(4)

The Ether: Stationary (Static), Earth-Entrained, or Dynamic?

Ever since Isaac Newton, many physicists considered the ether to be a static or stagnant phenomenon, something which existed throughout the cosmos, but primarily as a non-moving and immobilized background medium. A static ether or "Absolute Space" was a necessity for Newton, in large measure to reconcile his mathematical laws of motion with his theology. Newton's laws of motion - which can be distilled down to the consideration that "nothing moves unless something else makes it move" - eliminates entirely any spontaneous or dynamical qualities to Nature or the ether. By contrast, the ether of Galileo Galilei, who died on the same year Newton was born (1642), was a dynamic phenomenon, a cosmic prime-mover which put the heavens into motion, a natural force which was responsible for solving the large mystery of where all the motion in the universe ultimately came from. Church theology prior to Galileo and Copernicus portrayed the Earth as stationary in the cosmos, apart from the "perfect" and dynamic heavens, which were put into motion by God. Earth was the home of Satan and sin, and was considered immobilized in the heavens, by contrast to the heavenly planets, Sun and stars, which were pure and daily moved across the skies. The Copernican-Galilean heresy, for the Church, was that it breathed life into places where previously Church authority had declared things dead. The new scientific revolution which came with and stimulated the Renaissance also made "God" irrelevant, insofar as the cosmic ether or prime mover was concerned. The cosmos was animated by Natural Law, and not by deity. The theologically-preoccupied Newton was unsettled by such ideas, and sought to restore the patriarchal god to his proper role as cosmic clock-maker, who set the universe into motion; his celebrated laws of motion factually worked to undermine and block the progress of scientific and social revolution implied within the writings of heretics such as Bruno, Copernicus and Galileo. Newton appeared motivated to "heal the schism" between Science and the Church, which had developed since Galileo, by ridding the universe of any notion of cosmic prime mover. The ether was henceforth declared dead, static and immobile, and God was rescued from the unemployment lines, his role as the source of all universal motion preserved.(8) This viewpoint is not apparent from his mathematics, but is a part of the underlying philosophy which led to Newton's equations being considered "Laws".

Basically, if one assumes space is empty and there is no prime mover, or that an ether exists but is totally static and immobilized in its behavior, then one must assert some additional principle or metaphysical mechanism for all the observable motion in the universe, whether it be a metaphysical god, or a metaphysical creation-event such as the "Big Bang", or a mathematical-metaphysical abstraction, such as Einstein's relativity. If the ether exists, and is not static, then Nature simplifies things tremendously, but leaves human metaphysical belief systems even more isolated from reality.

Newton's "Laws" surely hold a strong central truth, in describing how inanimate and dead matter behaves, but they are not absolutes, and fail utterly with respect to the phenomenon of life, emotion, love and sexuality. They also fail with respect to certain dynamical physical processes, such as seen in weather, or solar-geophysical phenomenon. Textbook theoreticians will proclaim this heresy, but the honest weather forecaster, observing a jet stream to "spontaneously" diverge hundreds of miles without apparent "cause" or "reason", or the honest astronomer witnessing solar pulsations suggestive of a heart-beat, or dramatic and surprising solar flares following geomagnetic and not gravitational laws of motion, basically throwing the "Laws of Inertia" out the window, will acknowledge there are dynamical behaviors in the non-living world which cannot be so easily reduced. Nature moves, and frequently without any apparent physical force to "make" it move - at least, as currently acknowledged within the framework of "empty space" physics.

The emphasis of modern science upon dead things, the tendency of many modern scientists to invent so many deadly new things which work to destroy Nature, and the tendency for many scientists to be so "up in the head" and emotionally dead themselves - leading them to vicious reactions in opposition to anything which is suggestive of a dynamic living energy principle in Nature - I have discussed elsewhere,(9) as has Reich.(10) The growing perception of modern science as a belief-system, or religion, quite willing to use the repressive and censorial tactics of the old Vatican hierarchy, stems directly from this constellation of emotional (and motional) factors. It is therefore not accidental that mainstream physicists today emphatically deny the ether of space, in a manner not too different from the way the American courts decreed "the orgone energy does not exist", ordering Reich's publications (including those cited here) to be burned in incinerators. They will insist with great passion that ether and orgone "do not exist", and that space is mathematically abstract and totally static, dead and intangible, as did Einstein.(11) Any scientist whose work suggests otherwise - as with Miller and Reich - is expeditiously isolated and silenced, one way or another.

In fact, Miller's view diverged from the concept of a static ether only insofar as was necessary to explain an Earth-entrainment phenomenon, and ether-reflecting capabilities of dense matter which his empirical measurements demonstrated. Consequently, he viewed the Earth as pushing towards the constellation Dorado, near the South Pole of the Ecliptic, through a passive but Earth-entrained ether. Such an interaction was, as Miller argued, the reason why his interferometer detected a flow of ether in a generally south to north (Ecliptic-Pole) direction. Reich, by contrast, put the ether into dynamic motion as his pulsatory and streaming orgone energy, which he viewed as THE prime mover. Reich's theory demanded the ether (or, orgone) NOT be passive. Reich's prime mover was flowing and moving, carrying the Earth along upon its waves of excitation, or capturing the mass of the Earth directly within the streaming flow of its own structure, albeit of a very tenuous and "ethereal" quality. His prime mover, the orgone, also was slowly and dynamically transforming itself from an "ethereal" mass-free form, into more substantial mass-form particles. In so doing, momentum was imparted to matter, which was one mechanism by which the Earth, Sun and stars were affected by the movements of the energy substrate. Figure 1 gives a rough approximation of the empirical observations derived from Miller, which can be interpreted as Miller proposed, or as Reich proposed. The "X" marks on the globe in Figure 1 represent the interferometer at different positions throughout the day, and one can see how the ether-flow would intersect the interferometer cross-beams at different angles as the Earth rotated. The Figure suggests some differences between Miller and Reich which are difficult to reconcile, but this is not necessarily so.

Miller's 1928 Conclusions

As mentioned above, Miller's final conclusions of 1933 were that the Earth was drifting towards a point near the constellation Dorado, close to the South Pole of the Ecliptic.(1) However, his earlier conclusion made from the same data, viewed the direction of motion along the same axis of ether-drift, but in the opposite direction, towards the North Pole of the Ecliptic. As late as 1928, when he spoke at the Conference on the Michelson-Morley Experiment,(7) Miller embraced the idea that the Earth-Sun system was moving towards Draco, which is generally close to the northern pole of the ecliptic, 180 degrees opposite of Dorado.

"...variations in the direction and magnitude of the indicated motion are just such as would be produced by a constant motion of the solar system in space... towards an apex in the constellation Draco, near the pole of the ecliptic, which has a right ascension of 255° (17 hours) and a declination of +68°..." ... "The location of the apex [of ether-drift] in the constellation Draco... is within 6° of the pole of the ecliptic, that is, the indicated motion of the solar system is almost perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. The Sun's axis of rotation points to within 12° of this apex".(7)

Miller's original calculations of this northerly apex appear to be more compatible with a dynamic theory of ether drift, where the ether flowed and moved from Dorado generally towards the northern pole of the ecliptic (Draco), a movement which would carry the Sun-Earth-Moon-Planetary System along with it as it moved, though only a small portion of the ether's velocity could be detected (~10 km/sec) due to Earth-entrainment. The interferometer, as he noted, could determine "...the line in which the motion of the Earth with respect to the ether takes place, but does not determine the direction of motion in this line."(1) In his original 1928 paper, he reviewed various observations by astronomers of his day, in their attempts (primarily using measurements of stellar aberration) to fix the direction in which the Sun and solar system was moving. Most of the available studies in the middle of the 20th Century suggested a movement of the Sun and solar system generally towards the northern apex, aimed roughly between the constellations Hercules and Cygnus, and lying within the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy. Today, the calculated direction of solar movement is towards Vega, in the constellation Lyra, which lies in the middle of a small triangle created by the constellations Draco, Hercules and Cygnus. All these constellations are reasonably close to the northern pole of the ecliptic, and to Miller's northern polar axis of ether-drift, and they all are found close to the plane of the Milky Way.

Miller noted, "The choice between the two possible directions of motion is determined by the consistency of the results in satisfying the original observations taken as a whole, and in connection with known phenomena."(1) However, even while criticizing static ether concepts, his calculations for determining the final axis of ether-drift, were all based upon static-ether assumptions. In his 1933 conclusions for a southerly apex, he stated: "...the solar system might be thought of as a dynamic disk which is being pulled through a resisting medium, and which therefore sets itself perpendicular to the line of motion".(1) He suggested there could be a relative motion of the Solar System towards other stars in the more northerly constellations, with the whole group of stars moving in a net sense towards the southerly apex. This was a reasonable conclusion, given the static-ether assumptions. However, there is another way of looking at his data which yields a different conclusion.

One of Miller's data graphs from 1928 is reproduced in Figure 3, presenting the final averages from all four seasonal epochs of his Mt. Wilson data. A deeper understanding of this graph, for those who are not working astronomers, is obtained most simply by use of a standard rotating globe with 23.5° tilt, placed on a table (representing the Plane of the Ecliptic), and fitted with a small X-mark at latitude 34° in California, representing the Mt. Wilson interferometer. With an appropriate mark on the ceiling and floor identifying the axis of ether-drift, and major sidereal hours of 0, 6, 12 and 18 marked on the four walls of the room (in the nature of a planetarium) the relationships can then be followed as the Earth rotates on its axis over the course of 24 hours. From this graphic, and the model, we can observe the following:
     A) At around 5 hours sidereal time, the flow of ether across the Earth's surface at Mt. Wilson is largely horizontally directed (on the globe), thereby creating maximal fringe shifts.
     B) At around 17 hours sidereal time, the flow of ether is more vertically-directed, affecting both arms of the interferometer more equally, and thereby yielding minimum fringe shifts. Since the interferometer at the latitude of Mt. Wilson sits "on top" of the Earth at that sidereal time, the mass of the Earth basically shields the interferometer from any measured flow moving "up" from the South Pole of the Ecliptic towards the North.
     C) The compass azimuth of ether-drift generally pointed across a set of coordinates with seasonal variations which ranged from approximately -10° west to +55° east of 0° north, with an oscillating displacement of the drift axis generally towards the east.(1),2 The specific variations are: February -10° (west of north), April +40° east, August +10° east, and September +55° east. A striking fact about these variations is, their average equals 23.75°, very close to the Earth's axial tilt of 23.5°. This fact was not mentioned anywhere in Miller's writings, to my knowledge. In the context of our discussion here, it suggests this particular vector is the net result of the energetic streams proposed by Reich3,4 (elaborated upon below) which move the Earth on its path around the Sun, with a biasing towards the east due to the energetic west-to-east flow along the Equatorial disk at the Mt. Wilson latitude. A strong energetic streaming within the galactic disk moves the Sun and solar system towards a location in Draco-Vega, while an apparently weaker energetic streaming in the ecliptical disk rotates the planets on their axes, biasing the net detectable ether-drift towards the east by an average angle of 23.75°. The fact that this angle is so close to the Earth's axial tilt of 23.5°, and that the average vector sustains itself in an easterly deviation (without diurnally shifting back 23.5° west of north) suggests it is an expression of the causal cosmic-energetic principle responsible for the Earth's axial tilt.
     D) The average directional vector of ether-drift shifts westerly, back towards the north, after 17 hrs sidereal, when the Earth rotation would place the North Pole of the Ecliptic (and North Pole of the axis of ether-drift) in such a due northerly position relative to the interferometer at Mt. Wilson. With further Earth rotation, the vector returns back to 23.75° east at 5 hrs sidereal, and then shifts farther to the east, which is when the northern poles of both the ecliptical plane and ether-drift axis appear on the northeasterly horizon. More discussion will be made on the issue of seasonal variations in ether-drift measurements at a later time.

Figure 3: AVERAGE VELOCITY AND AZIMUTH OF GLOBAL ETHER DRIFT, from Dayton Miller's Mount Wilson Ether Drift Experiments, 1925-26. Top Graph: Average variations in observed magnitude of ether-drift from all four epochs of measurement. Maximum velocity occurs at around 5 hours sidereal time and minimum velocity occurs around 17 hours sidereal. While Miller's 1933 paper assumed the Earth was pushing through the ether and moving towards Dorado, near the southern pole of the Plane of the Ecliptic, the movement and direction of ether-drift past the interferometer was exactly opposite to this, towards Draco near the northern pole of the Plane of the Ecliptic (17 hours right ascension, declination of +68°). It is important, from the standpoint of his working theory, to clarify the concepts of the "net motion of the Earth" versus the "direction of ether-drift". However, if the ether itself is in motion, acting as a cosmic prime-mover, the direction of ether-drift and the net motion of the Earth would be identical, though at different velocities. Bottom Graph: Average variations in observed azimuth readings according to sidereal time. This graph uses a data curve published by Miller in 1928, but which was at that time given a different baseline average. The same graph is presented here, for the first time, using Miller's revised seasonal averages as published in 1933,7 which help define the axis of ether-drift. Amazingly, the independent averages for the four epochs provided by Miller (Feb.= -10° west of north, April= +40° east, Aug.= +10° east, Sept.= +55° east) together yield a mean displacement 23.75° east of north. This is very close to the Earth's axial tilt of 23.5°, and can hardly be coincidental. Graphs adapted from Miller(1 p.363) and Miller(7 p.235); also see DeMeo(2 p.121).

For these and various other reasons, Miller's original 1928 interpretation of a northerly-directed apex for the net motion of the Earth appears to be more compatible with observed facts, but we must set the ether into motion as the cosmic prime mover for this to make any sense. As we shall see, this interpretation brings Miller's empirical work into greater harmony with Reich's theory, and more fully integrates both of their works with current astronomical findings.

Spiral Forms in Space

Reich noted3 that nearly all cosmic motions are spiral-forms, inscribing the Kreiselwelle, or spinning wave across the heavens. There are no "circular" or "elliptical" orbits per se, only large spirals. The Earth may "move around" the Sun, but since the Sun is also moving through the heavens, a large spiral motion is created, as seen in Figures 4 and 5. Here, we can observe there are some seasons when the Earth moves quite a large distance through the heavens, while at other seasons, the Earth moves across only a relatively small distance of space. The distances for B-C and C-D from March 21st through September 21st, for example, are approximately twice those for D-A and A-B, which cover the period from September 21st through March 21st. There is a period of where the Earth accelerates to maximum speed, starting around the time of the Spring Equinox (B towards C) followed by deceleration (C towards D) where the Earth then enters a region where it moves relatively slowly in relationship to the background of space (D-A and A-B). With the cycle completed, there is once again a rapid acceleration the next Spring. It gives the impression of a singular strong energetic wave or pulse, which imparts momentum to the Earth; or, alternatively, the Earth seasonally enters into a region of space characterized by a very high speed of energetic streaming, and then leaves that region to a more slow "backwater" area, as with a circular eddy in an ocean current or river. One can match the letters on the spiral-form segments given in Figure 5, with those previously given on Figure 2, regarding Reich's ideas on the spiral spinning-wave.

Figure 4. Ecliptical Spiral: The Earth spins on its axis (shown here in summer solstice position), and moves around the Sun in a spiral. The Sun, according to classical astronomical determinations, is moving towards the star Vega. The constellation Draco marks the approximate location of the northern pole of the Plane of the Ecliptic, and the North Pole of Miller's computed Axis of Ether-Drift. The cosmic prime-mover (call it ether or orgone for the moment) flows in a spinning wave (Kreiselwelle) generally towards Draco-Vega, carrying the planets and the Sun along with it, pushing them into spiral motion.

Figure 5: Earth Spiral Movement Around the Sun transverse a greater distance during the period March through September (B-C and C-D) than during the period September through March (D-A and A-B). The line segments can be easily matched with Reich's diagrams, as previously given, regarding the spinning wave.

Reich's theory of Cosmic Superimposition suggests the Earth was put into spinning motion by the intersection of two basic cosmic streaming motions. One of these streaming motions occurs in the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy (termed the Galactic Orgone Stream) and is responsible for the superimposing spiral arm-bands of the galaxy. The other major streaming motion occurs in the Plane of the Ecliptic of the solar system, setting the planets into rotation on their axes and into revolution around the Sun, and their moons into revolution around the planets. This latter Ecliptical streaming motion, as it appeared near to the Earth, was called the Equatorial Orgone Stream, due to its circling the Earth along the equator; he argued the stronger Galactic Stream placed a torque on the rotational axis to yield the 23.5° axial tilt of the Earth which, like a gyroscope, precesses on its axis of rotation every 30,000 years, approximately. In fact, the net resulting motions from these two energy streams are a series of spiral-forms, with the planets making large spirals around the moving Sun, and moons spiraling around each spiral-turning planet. The planets, such as Earth, appear to come under varying greater or lesser influence from each of the two streaming motions, depending upon seasonal configurations, and these are expressed in the changing velocities and directions the planets take along their spiral-paths around the Sun. Reich noted, a basic west-to-east influence from the Equatorial Orgone Stream, and a southwest-to-northeast influence from the Galactic Orgone Stream, intersecting at a 62° angle. This latter point is standard astronomy, that the Earth's Equatorial Plane is inclined to the Galactic Equator by an angle of 62°. This same set of factors appears to exist in Miller's ether-drift measurements, which "...oscillated back and forth through an angle of about 60°...".(7) Reich emphasized the Earth's translational movement through the cosmos, as it spiraled around the Sun, while Miller similarly emphasized the same translational movement.

The precise details of the seasonal variations in Miller's measurements cannot yet be fully integrated into this discussion - as mentioned in a prior paper,(3) his data is no longer available to fully inform us. Further, Miller's basic measurements at four periods of around 10 days each, while clearly sufficient for determination of the existence of an ether-drift, as well as the final determination of its average velocity and azimuth, only vaguely inform us about seasonal variations over the course of a year. Optimally, we should have some ether-drift data for each month of the year. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note periodic variations in velocity, with azimuthal displacements along west-to-east and southwest-to-northeast axes in Miller's data, suggesting alternating influences along a spiral-form Kreiselwelle trajectory, similar to what is proposed in Reich's theory. Miller's work has also been the subject of a recent set of papers by Maurice Allais,(12) with added discussion on the question of seasonal displacements.

A similar set of considerations were also pointed out by the Italian chemist, Giorgio Piccardi,(13) whose study of anomalous variations in laboratory phase-change experiments (such as the precipitation of bismuth chloride from solution, or the freezing of supercooled water) suggested similar cosmical factors at work. Piccardi emphasized the helicoidal movement of the Earth around the Sun as a factor which seasonally imparted anomalous variations within tightly-controlled laboratory physical chemistry experiments. The anomaly, he demonstrated, could be affected by metal enclosures very similar to Reich' orgone energy accumulators, and expressed itself globally. That is, the phenomenon affected identical experiments in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, in an identical manner, indicating that it was something affecting the entire Earth all at once, and not something related to ordinary seasonal factors, such as temperature or humidity. Piccardi's work was also subject to the academic silent-treatment, and his contemporary advocates were similarly subjected to a blatant censorship after his death, though for a short period of time in the 1950s and 60s, his work did enjoy research support through the UN International Geophysical Year science programs. Piccardi noted other aspects to this planetary movement, which are illustrated in his original diagram, presented in Figure 6, and in the provided photos of his 3-dimensional model:

"1) during the month of March the Earth moves in its equatorial plane.
2) during the month of September, the earth moves, if not along its axis, then in a direction not too far removed from that of the North Pole
3) the speed of the Earth's helicoidal displacement varies during the year and phases from a maximum in March (45 km/sec) to a minimum in September (24 km/sec).
4) the Earth is displaced with the Northern hemisphere leading, except during a small part of [early] March.
If space were empty, empty of fields of matter and inactive, a consideration of this type would be of no importance. But today, we know instead that both matter and fields exist in space. For this reason, the displacement of a body such as the Earth in one direction or another is not inconsequential. Its general physical conditions must vary in the course of a year."
[emphasis Piccardi's](13)

Figure 6. Piccardi's Diagram of the spiral motion of the Earth around the Sun. Over the course of a year, the Earth follows a spiral-form trajectory which brings its forward movement through the heavens roughly parallel to the Equator, or parallel to the polar axis. (from Piccardi 13)

Figure 7. Piccardi's Animated Model of the Helicoidal Motion of the Earth around the Sun, presented at the Brussels World-Fair in 1958. (from Piccardi 13)

It is clear, Piccardi's experiments suggest a mechanism similar to that observed by both Miller and Reich.

From the above, we have converging lines of evidence, from three independent sources who do not appear to have been aware of each other's research: Miller, Reich and Piccardi. Miller measured an Earth-entrained ether-drift with seasonal-sidereal components, including lawful episodic displacements along a west-to-east or southwest-to-northeast axis. Reich's study of biological, atmospheric and cosmological factors led him to conclude the existence of streams of cosmic energy in space, moving generally southwest-to-northeast (the Galactic plane or stream of energy) or west-to-east (the Equatorial stream). Piccardi's observations of anomalous variations in phase-change chemistry led to a similar conclusion, regarding energy fields in space which affected basic physical chemistry, depending upon the Earth's velocity through space. He never plotted the axial displacements as they affected his experiments, but a varying south-to-north and west-to-east expression is implied from his materials (Figure 6).

The research findings of Miller, Reich and Piccardi appear to be in general agreement on certain basic points regarding the nature of cosmic space, and the importance of cosmic spatial-geography in the understanding of experimental results, and in formulation of theory.

More detailed discussion on these points must wait for another time. This paper gives only a rough sketch of a complex subject, and patience will be required for development of a more complete understanding of these cosmological factors, and their integration with other empirical facts from astronomy and other branches of science. We are only now reclaiming and resuscitating entire lines of research which were forcibly demolished by police actions or academic blockades, being closed off to serious investigation during the years c.1930-1960, a time when many innovative scientists were willfully ignored and censored, or worse: Reich was subject to imprisonment and bookburning, only a few years after writing the materials cited in this article, and this happened with the active participation, or passive consent and approval of the dominant academic mainstream. In this regard, it must be said, things have changed only a little.

The above discussion shows how the addition of the dynamic spiral-form movement into our view of the solar system - of the Sun moving through the heavens and the planets spiraling around in open loops rather than moving in simple closed circles or ellipses - has dramatic consequences for the larger cosmic view. It is as radical a departure from the old way of viewing the Universe, as was the original revolution of Copernicus and Galileo, who put the Earth into motion around the Sun, and helped shake the authoritarian social institutions of their day to their foundations. We can hope for no less.


1. Miller, D.: "The Ether-Drift Experiment and the Determination of the Absolute Motion of the Earth", Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol.5(2):203-242, July 1933 (specific refs. to p.231-235).

2. DeMeo, J.: "Dayton Miller' Ether-Drift Experiments: A Fresh Look", Infinite Energy, #38:72-82, July/Aug. 2001; Pulse of the Planet #5:114-130, 2002. Also at: http://www.orgonelab.org/miller.htm

3. Reich, W.: Ether, God and Devil; Cosmic Superimposition, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, NY 1973.

4. Reich, W.: Contact With Space, Oranur Second Report 1951-1956, Core Pilot Press, NY, 1957, p.95-110.

5. Reich believed light was a local phenomenon, created from the excitation and lumination of orgone energy per se, with only the excitation being transmitted over a distance, at the "speed of light". See Reich, W.: "Orgonotic Light Functions" Parts I, II, III, Orgone Energy Bull. 1:3-6 & 49-51 & 97-99,1949.

6. Reich, Cosmic Superimposition, ibid, p.191, 274, 276.

7. Miller, D., "Conference on the Michelson-Morley Experiment", Astrophysical Journal, LXVIII:341-402, Dec. 1928; also in Contributions From the Mount Wilson Observatory, No.373, Carnegie Inst. of Washington. (specific refs. to p.356-357, 361, and 365-366 of Astrophysical Journal version)

8. Stecchini, Livio: "The Inconstant Heavens", in The Velikovsky Affair: Warfare of Science and Scientism, A. deGrazia, Ed., University Books, 1966; Kubrin, David: How Sir Isaac Newton Helped Restore Law'N Order To The West, unpublished manuscript, 1972.

9. DeMeo, J.: Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, Natural Energy, 1998.

10. Reich, Ether, God and Devil, ibid.

11. Einstein, A.: "Relativity and the Ether", in Essays in Science, Philosophical Library, NY 1934.

12. Allais, M.: "Experiments of Dayton Miller and the Theory of Relativity", 21st Century Sci. & Tech., Spring 1998, p.30-31 (Reprinted in Pulse of the Planet #5:131-136, 2002). cf. C.R.Acad.Sci. Paris I. 327 Serie IIB, p.1411-1419, 1999. Also see: Allais, M.: L'Anisotropie de L'Espace, Clement Juglar, Paris, 1997.

13. Piccardi, G.: Chemical Basis of Medical Climatology, Charles Thomas, Springfield, 1962, p.97-99.

Additional References:

by Courtney F. Baker:
- "The Gravitational Spinning Wave", J. Orgonomy, 2(1):95-99, 1968.
- "Mass and the Gravitational Function", J. Orgonomy, 2(2):210-214, 1968.
- "The Red Shift", J. Orgonomy, 4(2):183-191, 1970.
- "The Perihelion Spiral", . Orgonomy, 12(1):55-63, 1978.
- "The Spinning Wave", Part I and II, . Orgonomy, 13(1):55-80, 13(2):192-219, 1979.
- "The Orgone Energy Continuum", J. Orgonomy, 14(1):37-60, 1980.
- "The Orgone Energy Continuum: Ether and Relativity", J. Orgonomy, 16(1):41-67, 1982.

by James DeMeo:
- "Dayton Miller's Ether-Drift Experiments: A Fresh Look", Heretic's Notebook: Emotions, Protocells, Ether-Drift and Cosmic Life Energy, With New Research Supporting Wilhelm Reich (Pulse of the Planet #5), Natural Energy Works, Ashland, Oregon, 2002, p.114-130.
- "Origins of the Tropical Easterlies: An Orgone-Energetic Perspective", Heretic's Notebook: Emotions, Protocells, Ether-Drift and Cosmic Life Energy, With New Research Supporting Wilhelm Reich (Pulse of the Planet #5), Natural Energy Works, Ashland, Oregon, 2002, p.212-218.

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