Iridology – Part 4

By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©2006
Like much new age medicine, iridology makes use of the concept of mystical energy. In fact, the pupil of the eye is held to be a repository of sorts for the body’s “energy,” according to many iridologists. But how does one possibly diagnose the “energy” condition of the body based on the “energy” condition of the pupil? Clearly one way is through psychic or “intuitive” methods.

Occultic Potential

Like much new age medicine, iridology makes use of the concept of mystical energy. In fact, the pupil of the eye is held to be a repository of sorts for the body’s “energy,” according to many iridologists. “Most iridologists agree that the integrity of the body’s energy is reflected by the quality of energy in this [pupil] hub, or core.”[1]

But how does one possibly diagnose the “energy” condition of the body based on the “energy” condition of the pupil? Clearly one way is through psychic or “intuitive” methods. Thus, one does not study iridology long before one uncovers iridologists who claim to diagnose the iris on the basis of psychic powers or even on the basis of spirit guides.

Iridologist Brint observes, “Some of the skills involved [in learning iridology] are mechanical, but others are definitely intuitive.”[2]

When asked whether or not a psychic ability was involved in iris diagnosis Dr. Carter responded:

Intuitive skills do come into play here, and whether we want to call this “psychic ability” or not… remains to be defined. What do we mean by “psychic?” Is that just a paranormal state? It is very easy to label it as such. We may find that these skills are just a further progression of the conscious ability of the individual… a kind of hyperconscious or ultra-conscious state.[3]

In other words, for Carter, psychic powers are merely normal human “intuition.” Nevertheless, presumably because of the energy connections, Carter has incorpo­rated the principles of Oriental medicine and philosophy with iridology practice.[4]

One of the leading authorities in the area of the occult, Dr. Kurt Koch, observes:

Many of our healers and occult practitioners use eye-diagnosis mediumistically…. That means that they are only interested in the iris as a mediumistic contact. In this way the human eye serves a psychometric purpose in much the same way as hand lines do when a fortune-teller uses them as contact material or as an “intuition stimulant.” When this is the case, eye-diagnosis becomes a form of fortune-telling. Because of this, these eye-diagnosticians are often very successful. Indeed, some of them with little or no medical training can diagnose illness with 100 percent accuracy.[5]

The occult and spiritistic potential of iridology can also be illustrated by noting its historic ties to the occult, in particular astrology. Iridology can ultimately be traced to Chinese astrology practiced four thousand years ago.[6]

The occult concept of “as above, so below” is an ancient hermetic formula ex­pressing a magical occult principle. The very term “hermetic” is derived from Hermes Trismegistus, the Greek name for the Egyptian god Thoth, the alleged inventor of the occult sciences. It refers to a universal principle of correspondences said to exist between the heavens and the earth.

Just as ancient and modern astrologers believe that the destiny of the individual below on earth is dependent on the heavens above, so the ancient Chinese astrolo­gers taught that the organs of the big world (macrocosm) of man were reflected in the small world of the eye (microcosm).

The famous occultist, astrologer, and medieval father of modern new age medi­cine, Paracelsus, also regarded the eye as the microcosm and man as the macro­cosm.[7] A modern astrologer observes, “The eye reflects the cosmos of the human body from the point of its birth and it registers all changes that have happened since.”[8]

The supposed interrelatedness of the macrocosm and the microcosm forms not only the basis of astrology but a great deal of additional occultism and significant portions of new age medicine, including general magic, palmistry, acupuncture, anthroposophical medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and other practices.

Iridologist Brint notes this hermetic application of iridology and how it can alleg­edly become a means to detect levels of individual consciousness in a new age sense:

From an Eastern point of view, the eye may be viewed as a mandala…. The mandala links the microcosm and the macrocosm…. Through the mandala man may be projected into the universe and the universe into man…. In iridology, the macrocosm and the microcosm are linked in our eyes…. Iridology may be summed up as the observation of the change that arises from the interplay of various levels of consciousness and results in one’s unique evolution into greater [occult] truth and light.[9]

This connection between iridology and astrology supplies one avenue for spiritistic influences in iris diagnosis. Why? Because astrology is often a spiritistic practice, as the authors have documented in detail elsewhere.[10] Since many iridologists employ astrology, spiritistic contacts are therefore possible.

How do we know many iridologists employ astrology? For one reason, Dr. Jensen himself does, and we have already noted his influence in American iridology. He has even named the spiritistic, astrologically oriented sect of the Rosicrucians as his “spiritual abode.”[11] In an interview conducted in the Rosicrucian magazine Rays from the Rose Cross, he explains how astrology and iridology may be blended:

Because astrology has its effect on the body. and the condition of the body is revealed in the iris of the eye, we find that various organs work in harmony with the [astrological] influences existing at birth—the influences with which we came into this world. For instance, people who are waterlogged or who have lymphatic gland congestions tend to hold water in their bodies. By looking at their [astrological] charts, we see that they are greatly influenced by the water signs.[12]

Perhaps the potentially occultic nature of iridology is one reason why evenJensen occasionally confesses that iridology is, after all, not really a true science. He calls it a science that cannot be proven through scientific testing—in other words, an occult science:

Iridology is based on scientific observation. [However] It is the kind of science that cannot be related through scientific tests, for it does not provide clinical information…. Iridology can only be judged by those who use it properly. Iridology has not been used properly by those who have criticized and say it fails the test.[13]

This is quite a confession: Iridology only works for true believers and can be properly evaluated by them only. In essence, to practice iridology “effectively” re­quires faith on the part of the iridologist, who must not only know and believe iridology but have intuitive or psychic abilities as well, and perhaps knowledge of other occult sciences such as astrology. The iridologist who is properly trusting and “sensitive” will have favorable results. The critic and unbeliever will not, and are excluded from commenting on the practice by definition.

Thus, we find the peculiar hallmark of new age medicine—a failure to justify one’s practices:

Even though proponents may have used iridology “properly” since von Peczely published his theories in 1866, they have failed to publish even one well-documented study to support the validity of any of the information presented on their iris charts. Since efficacy has not been established, the ultimate questions faced by practitioners of iridology is one of ethics in their relationship with patients.
It is clear from a logical, theoretical, and clinical perspective that iridology is a pseudoscience of no clinical value. Unfortunately, the use of iridology by unorthodox practitioners is all too common today.[14]

Therefore, iridology is worthless as a diagnostic technique, and it may involve a person in the occult. Whether considered from the perspective of logic, scientific tests, or iridology theory itself, iridology is a pseudoscience of no value. The prac­tice has deceived both practitioner and patient alike.


  1. Berkeley Holistic Health Center, The Holistic Health Handbook: A Tool for Attaining Wholeness of Mind, Body and Spirit (Berkeley, CA: And/Or Press, 1978), p. 159.
  2. Ibid., p. 161.
  3. E. M. Oakley, “Iridology: Your Eyes Reflect Your Health,” New Realities, Vol. No. 3, pp. 51-52.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Kurt Koch, The Devil’s Alphabet (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1969), pp. 40-41.
  6. Samuel Pfeifer, M.D., Healing at Any Price? (Milton Keys, England: Word Limited, 1988), pp. 84- 85.
  7. Jeffrey Mishlove, The Roots of Consciousness: Psychic Liberation Through History, Science and Experience (New York, NY: Random House, 1975), p. 46; Pfeifer, p. 85.
  8. Pfeifer, p. 85.
  9. The Holistic Health Handbook, pp. 155, 162.
  10. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Astrology: Do the Heavens Rule Our Destiny? (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1989), pp. 201-256.
  11. “Health and Spirituality: An Interview with Dr. Bernard Jensen,” Rays from the Rose Cross, May, 1978, p. 226.
  12. Ibid., p. 227.
  13. In Timothy White, “An Interview with Luisah Teish, Daughter of Oshun,” Shaman’s Drum, Spring, 1986, pp. 176-177 emphasis added.
  14. In Worrall, “Iridology,” p. 177.4NAStaff0506 Iridology Part 4

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