The Spiral and the Vortex: Viktor Schauberger, water and earth energy

In this post I’d like to talk about some of the theories of a man called Viktor Schauberger. I found that I wanted to write a great deal about this man as I sympathised with so many of his views about the way Nature works, and the appalling treatment of Nature by mankind. However, I intend to keep the post limited to those ideas of his that I have found correspond to my own findings through dowsing and druidry. Reading about Viktor’s work with water and centripetal forces will, I am sure, suggest many other interesting areas for me to pursue with the dowsing rods, but for now I wanted to highlight those elements of his theories that I have already found fit with my own thinking about subtle energies.

viktorViktor Schauberger was responsible for some quite remarkable theories, all of which he derived from his observations of Nature. He was born in Austria in 1885 and died in 1958. He was a “forest master” in the Alps as a young man, and developed a pioneering log flume to transport logs down the steep slopes using the motion and qualities of water that he had discovered. Beyond that, he was co-opted to work for the Nazi government during the war where he developed a flying saucer based on his ideas about centripetal forces, but his prototypes were destroyed on the orders of the German Army, and his papers confiscated by the Allies as the war came to an end.

He was passionate about the idea of replacing the trees that were, and still are, being removed from the environment. He knew that trees gave the necessary shade to keep the rivers and streams running that supply fresh “living” water to our species. He worked on projects to enliven water through the same processes as he observed in mountain streams, and in such phenomena as tornadoes and water spouts.

He developed new forms of propulsion through his ‘implosion engine’, and developed methods of producing electricity directly from water. In his later years he worked on agricultural projects trying to convert farmers from using iron implements to copper as he knew that iron had a debilitating effect upon the quality of the soil.

To the end Schauberger attempted to ensure that his work would be for the benefit of all, and not to be used for commercial dominance or for military purposes. It is debatable as to how far he was able to do this, as an American consortium cheated him of his patents leaving him a desolate and destitute man.

Yet he leaves a legacy of ideas that, although unable to be implemented in his own time, I hope will begin to see the light of day in our lifetime, or we will inevitably witness the decline of our own species – his ideas were that important. Here’s what Alick Bartholemew, a writer trying to bring Schauberger’s views back into circulation, say of him:

In the years to come he will be acknowledged as one of the principal guiding spirits of the 21st century and beyond, who brought about a fundamental shift of Copernican proportions in humankind’s appreciation of Nature and natural energies.” (Nexus magazine article)

 Mystical experience

I find a lot of what Schauberger talks about seems very aligned with modern Druidic philosophy. It therefore was not much of a surprise to find that, as with many great thinkers, he found his inspiration from direct contact with Nature’s intelligence. Here’s a quote from the book Hidden Nature (reference at foot of post) that describes a process that is now very familiar to me:-

“As a young man, searching for inspiration in his beloved forest, Viktor was sitting quietly by the bank of a pristine stream when he unexpectedly found that his consciousness entered the water. It connected with an intelligence in the water that spoke to him. It told him what movements it needed to make in order to stay healthy, and under what conditions. It was from this mystical experience that he built up his awareness of how healthy water is essential for the creation and maintenance of all life.”

The above quote shows that many people who go on to study Nature’s workings are initially inspired by a mystical experience, or that such an experience is a great motivator to continue delving deeper into the mysteries. It also demonstrates that when the human mind resonates in sympathy with Nature all sorts of connections can be made revealing knowledge and inspiration. I liken this episode to the many instances where I have achieved the same levels of connection, a prime example being West Kennet Long Barrow, where I was informed about the purpose of and path through each of the chambers within. That was not information that I could have deduced or reasoned for myself – it took ‘divine inspiration’, if you will.

Male and female energies

Nature favours a constant movement between male and female polarities and continuously seeks higher states of complexification. So states Schauberger,but the theory is also similar to statements made by another more modern mystic Terence McKenna when he talks of Nature’s development, or the journey through time towards the Omega point at the end of time that he called The Eschaton. Nature’s energies spin clockwise and anti-clockwise, they expel centrifugally then pull back in centripetally. These movements, these breaths of life, are the heartbeat of the planet, the pulsations that permeate existence. Schauberger warned us that to head for the stagnant middle ground where nothing oscillates, the stable central point, is to head for a monochromatic existence which will deny growth. Instead we thrive most when dancing around that centre point in active spirals and vortices of creativity and destruction, balancing out their forces through the constant movement between their poles.

I see this reflected at ancient sacred sites where energies play in the sun and moonlight, where the spirals and vortices make the dowsing rods twirl in sweeping movements of sacred geometric patterns. In the ambiance of these living energy fields I feel very alive myself, interacting with the earthly and celestial energies, creating my own imaginary energy movements to contribute to the dance. Some sites I have visited no longer have any of this movement. Destroyed circles and ruined barrows often have mere remnants of these forces. Some may still have a neutral ley line going through them, but the female and male energies that once swirled around these ley lines are no longer there. Sometimes we see the hand of modern man in this destruction – stones removed; iron cages and concrete houses erected; streams dammed or diverted; trees chopped down; power lines swooping overhead; transmitter masts atop ancient hills – all these factors nullify and neglect the interplay of natural energies, and dowsing such sites can be a very dull and dispiriting affair.

The Spiral and the Vortex


Whilst reading about Schauberger’s concepts of energy I had another of those spine-tingling moments when I saw the double-vortex shape. That shape was exactly what Kal and I had dowsed at Arbor Low stone circle. We had talked about our lack of drawing talents and whether we could render the shape sufficiently well to include it in a post for all to see. Here was that shape, not only in its conical format, but also shown as a wonderful spherical shape too. It was at that moment that I knew we were speaking the same language – the mathematics that had arisen out of Schauberger’s energy concepts and which was revealed in its sacred geometry was the same three-dimensional shape that we were dowsing at ancient sacred sites all over the country.

The point at which the cones meet is the “earth point” – the point at which the energies touch the earth. This is where we were dowsing the spirals – on top of the earth – but we knew that we were dowsing a two-dimensional pattern that was something that existed in three dimensions as cones of energy rising above and going down into the earth. The favoured shape of energy is the spiral and the vortex – the spiral being centrifugal and male, the vortex being centripetal and female. These are the most natural shapes in existence:

“Spirals are a basic form of motion in Nature, but Schauberger’s recognition of the vortex as the principle creative movement system in the Universe is at the core of his Eco-technology and the key to his valuable implosion research. From the tornado to plant growth, it is nature’s mechanism for transforming energy from one level to another.” (p.33 Hidden Nature)

The spiral is the shape that is aligned to the male energy and which moves outwards from the centre – centrifugally. The vortex is the shape that is aligned to the female energy and it moves inwards towards the centre – centripetally. Here is a comparison of the qualities of those forms of energy:

  • Centrifugal energy:  male, sun-powered, disintegrating, decelerating, dissipating, destructive, divergent, loosening, friction-inducing, gravity -> diffused power is noise -> inward to outward
  • Centripetal energy: female, moon-powered, consolidating, accelerating, integrating, contracting, convergent, formative, friction-reducing, levity -> concentrated power is silence -> outward to inward.

If these energetic forces are removed from water or the earth, then they become stagnant or infertile. They die. The process that Viktor was describing was the very life force of the planet itself. Notice how that life force is also dependent upon the direct and indirect energies of The Sun and Moon, but also how we, the human race, have a responsibility to maintain its vitality and flow as well. This man was defining scientifically the very essence of what I feel it is to be a druid in the modern world – an energy worker, an ecologist, a student of Nature.

The effect of moonlight and sunlight


One of the things that Schauberger discovered very early on in his studies of the properties of water was the effect that sunlight and moonlight had upon it. The “strength” of water was altered by the effects of sunlight, making it “weaker” and less able to support weight. Conversely, moonlight, especially a full moon, strengthened water. These effects were at the heart of Schauberger’s successful construction of log flumes to transport timber from the higher slopes of the Alpine forests to the timber yards in the valleys below.

When water was cooler and moonlit he could transport heavier logs. Temperature was part of this equation certainly, but there is also something more esoteric at work in this finding. Moonlight was having a centripetal effect upon the water – it became more consolidated, had a greater power of levitation. Sunlight made water ‘disintegrate’, i.e. lose its carbonic qualities, shedding oxygen and ‘weakening’. Callum Coats explains it rather prosaically like this:

“In the spawning season, when the rays of the full Moon strike water with a high content of negative-ions at the right angle, its levitational force intensifies to such an extent that even small stimuli are enough to cause a highly excited trout to float upwards in plunging waterfalls. The effect of gravity on the respective body is therefore a question of the inner constitution of the water, the blood or the sap.

Apart from the movement arising from their healthy composition, the carrying and tractive forces of these vital fluids are also influenced by the Sun and the Moon. For instance, were there no Moon, then the heavy Earth would be unable to float autonomously in the space infused with high concentrations of qualigen surrounding it.” (Callum Coats – The Fertile Earth – 2000)

The moon has always had an effect upon us, whether it be literal or metaphorical. It is been associated with the feminine forces of humanity and the Otherworld of myth since we first recorded such things. It is the symbol of creativity and darkness, and is forever associated with the element of water. It is the oscillating effect of the moon as it travels across our  planet between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer that provides the rhythmic pulse of our ocean tides.  The Sun is seen as the direct life-giver, without whose influence life would not exist at all. It is the prime motivator, feeding the movement of all energies. From it we derive the solar-hero myths of taming the dragon (energies) through its counter-balancing effects to the female forces.

Sonic fertilisation

One final point about Schauberger’s work that relates to subtle energies. In his later career he worked with farmers trying to solve some of the problems associated with agriculture. The problems he saw were those of how to maintain the fertility of the land in the most natural way possible, again by copying the processes inherent in Nature. He observed a rural farmer’s ritual of stirring a barrel of water first one way then the other, whilst sprinkling soil into the mix and singing. When the water was revolving clockwise, the old farmer would sing up the scale of notes. When the direction changed he would sing down a scale. The resulting soil, he found, had a much-increased fertility over the soil that had not been through this process. The old farmer then used this mixture to sprinkle over his farmland to promote the fertility of the fields.

In my own findings relating to sound and earth energies I have been able to find a that a sacred stone’s energetic aura is composed of various levels, each of which correspond to a colour – one of the colours of the rainbow it turns out. As one dowses closer to the stone, so one goes through levels or fields of energy that resonate at a vibrational frequency that corresponds to a colour. For example the outer edge will be red, then orange, then yellow and so on until the inner aura field next to the standing stone is violet. When I played a musical scale at the boundary points of each of the colour fields I found that I could get a positive dowsing response to musical notes as I moved up the scale, so the red boundary would dowse for the lowest note, and the violet boundary for the highest note. The sequence passed through three octaves, but I need more examples before I publish this information.

Schauberger was also the inventor of the “Golden Plough”. Ploughshares were usually made of iron, but Schauberger knew the effect that iron had upon the earth energies in the soil and knew that they created an effect that neutralised the soil making it less fertile. He produced a ploughshare that was copper-coated, and also one made of phosphor brass. The shape was also a unique design being a vortex shape that turned the soil but didn’t damage the root systems in the soil. All these elements contributed to increases in the fertility of the land that made use of his unique designs. The idea that iron negates earth energy echoes the work I did investigating whether iron spikes can neutralise earth energy spirals – they can. Kal and I have also find that iron cages around trees prevent the tree’s aura from extending beyond the cage (see the post on the Holy Thorn Tree on Wearyall Hill). At the Rollright Stones, the King Stone is caged and its aura is limited, however earth energies still pass into the through this stone somehow. Clearly we need to do more work to understand this fully.

I hope I have whetted your appetite for doing some more research on this fascinating man and his theories. To assist you here are some videos and links to books about him.

Related videos:-

Nature Was My Teacher


The Extraordinary Nature of Water


Sacred Living Geometry


Related books:-

Hidden Nature: The Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger” – by Alick Bartholemew [buy]

The Fertile Earth: Nature’s Energies in Agriculture, Soil Fertilisation and Forestry” – bu Callum Coats [buy]

The Water Wizard: The Extraordinary Properties of Natural Water” – by Callum Coats [buy]


Following the the wet footsteps of the water wizard.


  1. BR
    Aug 3, 2010

    I’m slowly working my way through all your posts, starting at the beginning. So far, it’s been a fantastic read / ride! I have learned a considerable amount for my own work from reading your posts.

    I just wanted to say that it’s from posts like this that I learn even more! It’s so good to see this sort of confirmation and information on what we are doing. Fantastic stuff and I’m looking forward to exploring the links and resources offered. Thanks so much for doing what you are doing!

    • Gwas
      Aug 7, 2010

      We love it when you post comments like this! It makes our path feel leafier and mossier 😉

      Confirmation is re-assuring of course, but just to re-iterate – we never post just to please. Our work may be based upon the ideas of pioneers and people we trust in their respective fields, but we test out and find out everything from that point onwards for ourselves. We always urge others to do exactly that. Use anything you read here as a starting point which must be tested for its usefulness for you. We are all different, and our way may not be your way. It is better that you find your own way,and that our tales merely inform you of some possibilities to try out.

Submit a Comment