The term refers to the paranormal properties of the ancient pyramids of Egypt and objects of similar shape especially when aligned to the magnetic north using a compass. With this cosmic energy, model pyramids are said to preserve foods, sharpen or maintain the sharpness of razor blades ,improve health, trigger sexual urges, and cause other dramatic effects.
Pyramid energy is one of many pseudo-scientific theories regarding pyramids. Such theories are referred to as pyramidology.
The idea that small models of pyramids can preserve food when correctly aligned to the magnetic north was developed in the 1930s by French hardware store owner and pendulum dowsing author Antoine Bovis. Stories persist that Bovis came across a supernatural force while standing inside Khufu’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
According to this story, he saw a garbage can inside the chamber which had been piled with dead animals that had wandered into the structure. Bovis noticed that these small carcasses were not decaying, and inferred that the structure was somehow preserving them.
Inspired by Bovis, in 1949 Karel Drbal from Czechoslovakia applied for a patent on a “Pharaohs shaving device”: a pyramid shaped model alleged to maintain the sharpness of razor blades. According to the patent, The technique of maintaining the razor blades and straight razor blades sharp by placing them in the cosmic energy field (exactly at the center of the pyramid) in such a way that the sharp edge lies in the direction of the magnetic lines.”Drbal alleged that his device would focus “the earth’s cosmic energy” although he was unclear how this would work or whether it was the device’s shape or materials that exerted the effect.
Drbal’s contention that razors could have their sharpness maintained by alignment with the points of the compass was probably not original to him. Junior Skeptic magazine discovered exactly similar claims published years earlier. In 1933, The Times of London carried some letters claiming, “if I oriented my razor blades…N. and S. by the compass…they tend to last considerably longer” and “The idea of keeping razor blades in a cosmic energy field is not quite new. About the year 1900 I found this out…
In 1968, paranormal authors Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder visited Czechoslovakia, where they came across a cardboard pyramid manufactured commercially by Drbal. They met with Drbal, and then dedicated a whole chapter of their popular book Psychic Discoveries behind the Iron Curtain to pyramid power. This book introduced to the English-speaking world both the concept of pyramid energy and the apocryphal origin story about Antoine Bovis.