Energy as the Mediator between Natural and Supernatural Realms


  • Kristel Kivari University of Tartu


energy, folk beliefs, place-lore, dowsing, healing


This article discusses contemporary vernacular theory about the elusive energies that emanate from the ground. These energies are reported to be the ultimate reason for different remarkable occurrences, both natural and supernatural. The hypothesis of special energies is expressed in local tourism, in ecological debates and healing practises, driving the curiosity of amateur science. In these expressions knowledge as a form of engagement with the supernatural plays an integrating role between the individual and the forces beyond. Dowsing reveals the ‘energetic’ nature of reality, which will be discussed using three examples. Tuhala Nõiakaev (the Witch’s Well) as a peculiar natural sight in the north of Estonia has drawn together many reports of energy columns that are linked to underground rivers and cultic stones. Another place under discussion is also famous for healing energy points: Kirna Manor works as a centre for spreading knowledge of the interdependence of physical health and the search for a spiritual path with the help of energies that the next example, the Society of Dowsers, attempts to discover using scientific methods. In these examples ‘energy’ designates the position of the individual, in which the participative relationship with the environment works as a form of folk epistemology within the limits of cultural understanding.


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