Also known by some as divining, Dowsing is a method of accessing information which is usually beyond the range of the normal five human senses. Most people associate dowsing with using a forked stick to locate underground water. Indeed this practice is still widespread and water dowsers are in demand all over the world where water is a precious resource. But over the years the skills learned in dowsing have been applied to a wider range of activities needing the application of the human ‘sixth sense.’ There are four main areas in which dowsing is employed and these can be divided into two categories – one you might call ‘tangible’ and the other ‘intangible’. The tangible areas of dowsing are in locating Water & minerals and Archaeological remains and the intangible are Health and Earth Energies (the latter now often referred to as subtle energies).
The four tools mainly employed by dowsers are the ‘Y’ or ‘L’-shaped twig or rod, the pendulum and something called a ‘bobber.’
While the art of dowsing goes back thousands of years there are more and more uses being found for it in the 21st Century. It does not require a special gift – rather like playing a musical instrument anyone can learn to dowse. Becoming good at it requires regular and dedicated practice.
When inventor Thomas Edison was once asked, ‘What is electricity?’ He replied: ‘I don’t know – but its there – so let’s use it’.
Dowsing is the same. Something is there. When dowsers use their skill, it works. Dowsing is a human faculty allowing access to information not normally available to our five senses. It has been used by human beings for millennia to find objects or information that we can neither see, hear, smell, taste or touch. This ancient art is in increasing use today to search for underground water and minerals or tracing lost pets & people or diagnosing allergies, choosing therapies or improving the well being of our living environment.
Dowsing is within the abilities of both children and adults. To become a proficient dowser requires careful and patient training and practice, and the development of mental clarity and discipline.
Historically, dowsing has been known for its ability to locate water, gold, oil and other minerals, but it has also been used in many instances involving issues of life and death. In France, physicians have used the pendulum to assist them in making diagnoses. During the Second World War Colonel Kenneth Merrylees worked as a bomb-disposal expert, using his dowsing skills to find unexploded ordnance with delayed-action fuses which had penetrated deep into the ground. And during the Vietnam war, some US.marines used dowsing to locate underground mines and tunnels.
During the Cold War in the 1960’s, American dowser Verne Cameron, using a pendulum, shocked US Navy officials by successfully map dowsing (locating on a map) every submarine in the Navy’s fleet. He then went on to locate every Russian submarine in the world. Afterwards, the CIA determined that Cameron was a risk to national security and he was forbidden to leave the United States.
Dowsing is best known as a tool for discerning the presence of underground water which can then be accessed by either shallow digging or drilling a borehole to create a well for domestic, community, agricultural or industrial applications. The services of water dowsers are in high demand in many rural areas and third world countries where the presence of reliable sources of drinking water is an essential resource for human presence and activity.
Besides prospecting for oil and mineral resources underground, dowsing has also been widely and successfully used for archaeological research and excavation.
The presence and location of other concealed subterranean features such as water pipes, drains, electrical and communications utilities are frequently detected by dowsing, giving it immense practical value both in urban and agricultural settings.
Many practitioners of a wide range of holistic therapies find dowsing of assistance in assessing their clients and in the selection of the most suitable and appropriate treatments for them. And the diagnostic possibilities of dowsing also find their uses in vehicle and appliance fault-finding and maintenance!
Some dowsers are skilled in the location of lost or missing objects, animals and people, and dowsers are intermittently called upon to assist in a variety of search-and-rescue activities.
The Guernsey Society of Dowsers supports, encourages and promotes dowsing and dowsers in a manner consistent with the highest standards of personal integrity and behaviour, and is a resource for all those interested in exploring and contributing to the field.
The world’s great libraries have thousands of books on this ancient art.
Dowsing Q & A
What is dowsing?
It is the ancient art, in growing use today, of seeking information not available to our five senses – from locating underground water and minerals, tracing lost pets & people, to diagnosing allergies, choosing therapies or improving the well being of our living environment.
Is dowsing a special gift?
No, almost everyone can dowse. It’s rather like riding a bike or learning a musical instrument – some are gifted but for the rest of us practice, practice, practice makes perfect.
What tools do you use?
The primary instrument is the mind of the dowser. To engage the sub-conscious in the dowsing process the dowser uses any of four main tools – the pendulum, the Y-rod (forked stick), the L-rods or the bobber. These act as indicators much as a needle on a gauge. The tools respond in a binary fashion giving yes/no or true/false answers to carefully worded questions. Dowsing is sometimes called divining indicating that the source of the answers might be from a higher consciousness or the universal mind.
How does it work?
Nobody really knows. There is a consensus emerging that when our minds receive the answers to the question our muscles respond and this response is magnified by the tool we are using. There is no magic in the pendulum or rod – if there is any magic at all it is in us.
What is dowsing used for in the 21st Century?
The more the digital age dominates our lives the less we are feeling connected to the world of nature around us. The dowsing tool gives us back that connectedness with the universe in both a practical and spiritual way. On the one hand dowsing can be used for locating minerals, water, archaeological remains or lost objects; on the other it can detect unseen energies, both natural and man-made, some of which are harmful to our health. Many dowsers use the process to test the nutritional value of food, diagnose physical ailments, plan gardens, or study ancient sacred sites like Stonehenge.
How can a person get started?
Joining a dowsing group would be a good way as you can be guided in the techniques by others who have walked the path before you. However, that is not essential. The first three steps are: find a tool that suits you, get your mind ready, and assume the ready position. You don’t need to buy expensive devices from the internet as they are easy to make at home – a wire coat hanger can be fashioned into a pair of L-rods and a key on a piece of thread will work as a pendulum. The internet is full of ‘how to ‘ information. Or there are plenty of inexpensive books on dowsing available.
Could I make a paid career of dowsing?
Some do, ranging from multi-millionaire specialists hired by oil or mining companies to the more humble health practitioner who is happy to earn a living doing what he/she loves. For most, though, it is a fascinating hobby which can transform your life.