Dowsing FAQ

Dowsing: Easy Instructions

What is Dowsing?

Remember when your grandfather “witched” for water with a forked stick. . .that is dowsing. The basic dowsing tools have evolved into L-rods, pendulums, Y-rods, bobbers and auremeters.

Who Can Dowse?

Everyone is born with the capability. Children up to the age of 15 or 16 are almost universally sensitive. It has been established that in any group of 25 adults, between two and five will obtain the dowsing reaction immediately, when properly instructed. Others may have to practice for a while before they manifest what seems to be a birthright talent.

Those who discover they can dowse stand on the threshold of new and challenging experiences. Dowsing normally begins on sources of underground flowing water. As your interest grows you may find yourself putting in many hours of practice. Other targets may present themselves as success follows success.

How Can I Tell If I Am A Dowser?

Try one of the basic devices. Hold it in the search position and walk forward, keeping the mind focused on your potential target, i.e. underground flowing water. If you feel you have covered too much ground or passed over a known target without result, try one of the other devices. Remember that with a little practice and some patience nearly everyone can achieve a dowsing reaction. As with all human skills, aptitude will vary. We believe, however, that dowsing is a basic ability and that familiarization with it is a simple matter for old and young alike.

How may I learn to Dowse?

Attend a National or Regional ASD (American Society of Dowsers) Conference. Also many dowsers are willing to share their craft with others if you ask.

Which Device Shall I Start With?

Angle rods will respond to most people on the very first attempt. You can make them from metal stock, preferably 1/8 to 3/16 inch in diameter and from 18 to 30 inches long. Bend two rods at a point approximately 6 inches from the ends to form a right angle “grip.” Hold the rods at waist level pointing forward like two pistols. As you walk forward, mentally ask for whatever it is that you seek. The rods will swivel, either crossing inward or diverging outward, as you pass over the target. As you pass beyond it, they should resume their original position.

The forked stick, however may suit you just as well. It is also called a Y Rod. It has an age-old connection with dowsing. Simply cut a fork about 18 to 20 inches long and 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter, from a tree or bush. It should be limber enough to be responsive when the two ends are held in a palms up position, yet stiff enough to resist all but a definite pull from a vertical, or search position. Proceed as with the angle rods, mentally holding the desired target until the forked stick reacts over it by a pulling motion. This may be towards or away from the body, although many dowsers find the latter response to be the norm.

You may want to try forked sticks made of metal or plastic. The pendulum is equally favored by beginners. Anything of 1/4 to 1/2 ounce weight such as a finger ring or a hex nut will serve. Secure it to a six inch string or chain. Hold the string or chain between the thumb and forefinger of your master hand about two to four inches above the suspended weight. Position it above your right knee and set in motion. Then, keeping the hand steady, allow the weight to find its pattern of movement. This will often be a clockwise circle, but whatever the pattern, let this be your “signal” or sign for “positive” or “yes.” After stopping the swing, move the hand over the left knee and, after an initiatory motion, let the weight settle into a pattern. Frequently this will be counterclockwise or the opposite of “yes.” Let this be your signal for “negative” or “no.” Finally, move the hand to a position between the knees, and as above, let the weight describe a pattern. Often, this will be a straight back and forth swing. Let this be your signal for “neutral” or “don’t know.” If after repeated trials the modes appear differently to you, do not attempt to change them but use the pattern that is consistent for you. It is only necessary to set the weight swinging in motion in the neutral mode and proceed over the target area until it reaches a positive mode in order for you to know that you’ve made a “hit” and are on target. (Everyone’s directions for yes/no are different for the pendulum.)

The wand or bobber is another device, and can be made from a four foot branch of a tree, stripped of leaves and shoots, and about 1/2 to 1/4 inch in diameter. A similar length of rigid wire or the plastic tip of a fishing rod will also serve. Grasp the wand close to the smaller end and set it in motion, either vertically or horizontally, as you walk over the target area, the opposite motion or a circular motion will prevail and signal you that your search has been a success.

Using Dowsing Skills

When you find you can get a dowsing response from the instrument of your choice, you may feel that you are ready to carry on all kinds of searches. You may be fortunate and make some successful hits with very little experience and preparation. You will soon discover however, that a lot of practice is necessary if you wish to have consistent results. The ASD calls your attention to this fact and underscores its desire to help you achieve a high standard of competence.

Dowsing is More Than Dowsing for Water. . .Did you know that there are many applications for dowsing? Dowsing for water is an important application of dowsing, however dowsing is not limited to water, search or location. There are many other aspects including dowsing for minerals, dowsing electromagnetic fields, noxious rays and geopathic zones, dowsing for lost objects, dowsing for lost persons, dowsing for personal-related subjects, spiritual dowsing, dowsing and the immune system—the list goes on and on. The applications are endless. Map dowsing is another of the applications.

What is Map Dowsing?

The following explanation of map dowsing is given by the American Society of Dowsers. “With a map or a sample sketch of the terrain, an individual property, whether a house lot less than an acre in size or a ranch of several hundred square miles, can be dowsed by one proficient in this method. Map dowsing is best performed not with Y or L rods but with a pendulum. One way is to overlay the map with a grid dividing it into rectangles (though this grid can be mentally pictured or imagined). The dowser then asks which rectangle(s) on the grid will contain the best site(s) for drilling a water well. The pendulum will supply the answer. Note that in the act of map dowsing, the dowser has transcended the limitations of space. The map can represent a property in a neighboring country or in a country halfway around the globe.”

Are There any Scientific Studies of Water Dowsing?

Yes there are several. A recent study of water dowsing in arid regions was published by the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

What Makes Dowsing Work?

There have been many attempts to explain dowsing over the course of history. Various books have contained theories and attempted explanations, but the fact is that the pages of science are incomplete on this matter, and we are dependent still on judgment by result. The facts, as we know them, have been preserved in our quarterly Journal, to which we invite all to communicate to further understanding. The Society maintains an open forum to this end, with freedom of expression as a rule. With results, we sense the potential and we hope for understanding. In the mean time the Society holds no corporate views on the nature of dowsing and does not favor one technique or tool over another.

Is There More to Dowsing Than This?

After you’ve chosen a device and discovered you have consistent reactions with it, you can begin to develop the dowsing art. Start with water. The dowser usually seeks flowing underground veins suitable for drilling and pumping. The veins can be large and deep or small and shallow. You can discriminate by focusing on a need, real or imaginary. For instance, as you assume the search position, ask mentally, either successively or all at once, for a “vein of good drinking water, less than twenty feet in depth, which will flow uninterrupted at the rate of 5 gallons a minute or more.” Thus when you receive a reaction, you will know that it is not a pipe, a polluted vein or a source that might otherwise be too deep or seasonally unreliable for the purpose at hand.

When the dowsing reaction takes place, mark the spot and approach it from the opposite direction. If the two points do not coincide, the midpoint between them should be the center of the vein. There are several methods for determining the rate of flow of a vein. One is to ask “How many gallons a minute are flowing right now through this vein that I have just marked?” Then start counting, “1 gallon a minute or more, two gallons a minute or more, 3 gallons a minute or more,” etc. When the right answer is mentioned, the stick should go down or indicate “yes.” The same procedure can be followed for determining the depth and quality, such as grains of hardness or degree of pH.

How much Further Can Dowsing Take Me?

Dowsing will take you as far as your sensitivity allows. As soon as you develop confidence in the dowsing reaction, you automatically begin to develop selectivity. If you can pass over metal pipes, plastic pipes, and electric lines to find a flowing underground vein of water, by inference you can also eliminate the water from your search to find one of the others. With practice and patience other targets, both tangible and intangible, can be dowsed.

What is Geomancy?

The art of geomancy considers the relationships of natural hills, waterways and earth surface features as understood by the diviner-surveyor from a totally earth-cosmos overview. Western Geomancy is divided into three main lines of research and work.

Mathematical (geometric) line and grid projections by map, Physical inspection of ancient lines, sites and verification. In field detection of same and all types of earth energies usually by means of dowsing. There is a fourth way known as Feng-Shui. (Bill Cox ,1982, The Cameron Auremeter in Action).

What is Feng-Shui?

Feng-Shui sees a beginning point, relating to the cosmos, as an intersection of the four symbolic gods, with Mountain to the North and Plain on the South, Stream lying East and Pathway to the West.. Everything appearing in nature, or if created by man, must adhere to the divine laws of order, or imbalances and disharmony will result. (Bill Cox, 1982). What are Labyrinths? A labyrinth is an ancient magical path that can bring balance, playfulness, spiritual connectedness, and healing to those who walk it (Marty Cain).

What are Energy Ley Lines?

Energy ley lines are natural flows of cosmic energy that are of the plus electrical sign. By definition they come down to the earth at places we call “power centers,” which have domes.

You will find many ideas presented on the theme of what makes dowsing work. The ASD believes much research remains to be done before all the facets of the dowsing process can be explained in terms of what is known in academic science and the study of human behavior. Your interest in dowsing may turn in the direction of this mystery, where there is opportunity for you to contribute to man’s knowledge. You will find the study of dowsing a true pioneering venture.

Where Can I Learn More About Dowsing? More information can be obtained by calling the ASD Headquarters at 802-684-3417, or visit the web site (below).

Authors Details: William H. Jack. – American Society of Dowsers: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web Site

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