Paramagnetism is a reasonably straightforward characteristic of materials – if there are unpaired electrons in the atoms then the element will be paramagnetic and weakly drawn to a magnet. This demo of oxygen being paramagnetic is great – so far so scientific. Compounds can change this – water is diamagnetic although H2O is clearly contains oxygen.
When applied to soil and the growth of plants, however, paramagnetic effects fall into the domain of the woo-woo rather than the analytic 🙂 Igneous rock and volcanic soils tend to be notably paramagnetic. Philip Callahan is the go-to source, and this extract from a 1995 Acres USA article is a high-level spin on his take :
All volcanic soil and rock is highly paramagnetic, giving a CGS from 200 to 2000 CGS. The author has demonstrated that good healthy crops grow only on highly paramagnetic soil. All really good soil is volcanic. This force can be added to soil, where it has eroded away, by spreading ground-up paramagnetic rock such as basalt or granite into the soil.
With a CGS meter farmers can save their soil from the destruction advocated by present day chemical propaganda. The author estimates that 60 to 70% of this volcanic paramagnetic force has been eroded away worldwide. A meter to measure this force is absolutely necessary in order to save our chemically raped and eroded soil.
Soil should be alive with living organisms such as bacteria and earthworms, diamagnetic plant material such as compost, and the rich soil paramagnetic force. Mineralization of the soil by adding separate minerals does not mean that the paramagnetic force has been added. We know little of the effect of living forces in rock, but we do not install into the soil living paramagnetic forces in rock, by blind mineralization of the soil. Complex mixes do not necessarily contain a high CGS/paramagnetic factor. It is an absolute fact that all chemical fertilizers measured by this inventor (Philip Callahan), even those labeled organic, impart or contain the CGS force at such a low reading as to be totally useless in reinforcing the remaining natural volcanic force of the soil.
The paramagnetic forces of rock amplify not only ELF radio waves in the atmosphere generated by lightning, but also photon waves generated in the infrared and visible control region of life. Life processes are electronic, like the nervous system, but also very much photonic. Life’s complex communication system’s messages are carried by photons, as are AT&T’s.
Philip Callahan, Acres USA, 1995
It’s the amplification of ELF radio waves where he loses me. I’m not averse to the possibility of a life-force and morphogenetic fields a la Sheldrake, but amplification demands a source of power. And we ought to be able to measure the resulting signals even if we can’t understand them…
However, Callahan’s description of paramagnetic soils being good for growth resonates with some other things I’ve heard from growers, and when combined with his descriptions of the effect of megalithic structures and Irish round towers it seems an interesting rat-hole to look into. The latter go far into the woo-woo – we are into Secrets of the Soil territory with all that that entails, what with towers of power etc. Which makes some people spit bricks about pseudoscience and the misuse of one set of terminology for another.
Paramagnetism should be easy enough to measure. High precision isn’t necessary for bulk materials like soil and rocks – it’s hardly like you will get pure samples.
Callahan developed a paramagnetism meter which is available from Pike Agri-Lab supplies for $500 which to be honest doesn’t strike me as a bad price if you are convinced and just want to get on and do it. But it is still $500, so I figured it would be interesting to develop a simple way of measuring paramagnetism along the same principles. There will follow some geeky articles on developing a way of measuring paramagnetism – in samples as well as in bare rocks, because I am intrigued by the assertion that megalithic structures are made of paramagnetic rocks. While the stones in Cornwall will be, on acocount of stacks of grantie lying aroudn the countryside, I’d be a little bit more surprised is the likes of Avebury and Stonehenge were, as sarsen features strongly which is not igneous as far as I know.