Dowsing Methods

by Walter Woods

Dowsing is the ancient art of finding water, minerals and other objects that seem to have a natural magnetic, electromagnetic or other perhaps unknown energy. Energies that the body seems to detect with its built-in, laboratory demonstrable sensors that are no more mysterious than seeing, hearing or feeling, and seem to be natural to all of us. As it is with music, many persons can develop a degree of dowsing skill with training, and practice.

A certain visual scene may cause a feeling, in your stomach and probably other unnoticed subconscious reactions. It may be that similar types of subtle unnoticed subconscious reactions, possibly from water or other sources, may give a subconsciously controlled response by means of the numerous types of dowsing devices. We are sensitive to and respond to much subtle energy. The dowsing device seems to be simply a connection between our sensing system and our conscious mind.

The Dowsing Tools: A dowsing tool appears to be simply a read-out, interface or communication device. It seems to be controlled through or by your subconscious, or something of that nature, although I'm sure there are many other factors involved. These are usually the L Rod, Y Rod, Pendulum and the Bobber.

Time and Place: Find a quiet place where you can be alone and where you feel comfortable; this seems to be very helpful if you are just learning to dowse.

Step 1. Relax, become quiet and drift into a prayerful mood (alpha state).
Step 2. Take your pendulum and hold the string between your thumb and first finger. Hold it with about 1/2 to 3 inches string length. The string length will determine how fast it will swing. Next, hold the pendulum over the center of the chart.
Step 3. By moving your hand and fingers make the pendulum start swinging towards the "yes" and ask and expect it to keep swinging on its own without your help. Ask it out loud, with about the same normal speaking voice and tone as talking to a person. If it stops, start it over again, ask it to keep going. Watch only the upper or forward half of the pendulum's swing and ignore the other half, from the center towards you. Repeat until the pendulum keeps swinging on its own. You will be deliberately starting the pendulum and then asking it to keep swinging with no additional help from you.
Step 4. Do the same thing for the "no". Your fingers are still over the center of the circle and you are ignoring one half of the swing.
Step 5. Once it is swinging by itself to the "no", ask it, while it is still swinging, to work its way clockwise back to "yes" and then continue to the "ready for question".
Step 6. Next, ask it to work its way counter-clockwise from the "ready for question" to "yes" and to the "no", and then clockwise back to the "yes". Practice Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 several times.

The Method of Answering by the pendulum or any dowsing systems is:

(1) Swinging to (?) or other agreed on methods or systems, indicates ready for question.
(2) General, swinging or moving to "yes", "no" or other information indicating the most appropriate answer for the question asked, or other information methods or systems.
(3) Clockwise spin is for hold, indicating waiting, searching or other agreed on systems.

Preferably in your favorite spot, you will need to ask some practice questions that you have no emotional attachment to. An example would be: What is my vitamin C level? You don't emotionally care if it's a little high or low. It is not like a question about your lost kitten which you may be very anxious and upset about.
It's like playing a musical instrument. If you carefully follow the instructions and practice a little bit each day, your skill and accuracy can become very good. And don't become discouraged if you're not right all the time. Even the best dowsers sometimes have interference or a bad day.

In The American Society of Dowsers Quarterly there was an example of an experienced dowser/instructor who asked his L Rod to point to north. Instead of pointing north, it pointed to the audience. This was strange because it had always worked before. He tried again with the same results. While he was discussing some possible cause with the audience, a hand went up and a man said, "My name is North". The dowsing was 100% correct to the question asked. I suspect the dowser then changed the question, asking for the rod to point to earth's magnetic north, and then got a correct answer. The Dowsing System seems to take every word in a question by its literal meaning.

Make the question a definite request for information that exists somewhere. Normally, don't ask for an opinion. Let me give you an example. I'll ask you a question: Are you strong? Your answer would be based on what you think I meant by the word "strong"; strong physically, mentally, emotionally, perfume, etc.
Do not try too hard, do not be too serious. Let it flow naturally. Relax and use your intuition. Let the information flow through you. You should always dowse with a loving heart and for the best good for yourself and others.

When sensing for information, do not attach yourself to it. For example, if you are watching a movie, you are free to react to it in many ways. Two examples night be: You could view it from a "feeling" standpoint and tune in with deep, strong emotions and really live the part, or you could see it as a scientist, objectively looking for information and taking notes. Both could get the same basic story. How you approach the seeking of information is your choice. This is especially important when working with unhealthy or noxious energies. The advantage of using a dowsing device is that you do not need to try to physically sense or become part of the energies.

To avoid absorbing undesirable energies, simply program or direct your mind to have a detached sensing attitude. When seeking dowsing information, talk to your pendulum as if it were a person. This will direct the energies to the pendulum and not to you. This keeps your mind on the action of the pendulum and not on the energies.

If we are tuning into the subconscious, then we have access to a lot of information. Never dowse a person without their personal request. Always dowse for the best good of others. Never try to use this gift for evil or selfish gain. Always remember it's a gift to cherish and give. Do not diagnose or give medical advice of any kind! Always keep your mind open to new ideas and look for ways to improve. Be a life-long student.

PENDULUM: Can be anything that you can hang on a string or chain. They can be any size, even as small as a paper-clip on a thread. The chain or string is usually about 3 to 4 inches long. Materials: anything you can find. How to use: hold as shown. The usual response request is for: swinging straight forward for "yes" sideways for "no" and at an angle for “ready for question”. Easy to make, use, small enough to go in your pocket, quick response, excellent tool for dowsing charts or maps.
RODS: Angle Rod, Swing Rod, Pointing Rod
Shape: with or without a sleeve handle. The top wire can be 4 inches to over 2 feet long. The usual length is around 12 to 16 inches, usually made with wire. You can use about anything you can bend into the L shape. How to use: hold loosely in your hand with the top wire tilted slightly downward. It acts as a pointer or a swing rod. It can be requested to point towards a target or direction, or to swing sideways when encountering a specified energy field. (i.e. an aura or noxious zone.)

Y ROD: Forked Stick, Talking Stick
Shape: traditionally it is a forked stick looking like the letter Y. They can be any size, usually around 12 to 24 inches in length, and made of wood, metal or plastic. How to use: hold with pointed end down. Thumbs will be up and palms towards center. Hold tight and spread Y Rod outward while rotating your wrist outward. Your thumbs will now be pointed outward and your palms up. The Y Rod will flip up into a delicate balance. Pointing upward at an angle of around 45 degrees is usually used for the ready position and swinging down from the ready position to point at a water vein or target. This may also be used for the "yes" response. Swinging up from the ready position is usually used for the “no" response. Disadvantage: not as versatile as other dowsing tools; it only has an up and down motion and you will need to turn your body to find direction.

BOBBER: Wand, Spring Rod, Divining Rod
Shape: any flexible rod, branch or wire, can be most any length from one foot to over three feet. They sometimes have a coiled wire and a weighted tip. Use anything that is flexible. How to use: hold it down at around 45 degrees. You can program it to simply mimic a pendulum, by bobbing up and down for "yes", sideways for "no", 45 degrees for “ready for question”.

Let's start with the possible involvement of the mind, which apparently needs to be busy, it's designed that way. You can, with a lot of practice, learn to quiet the mind, but for dowsing it is best to keep it busy because you need to talk and listen. The mind also needs to feel it understands what is going on. We can satisfy these two needs, being busy and understanding, in several ways. First, if we use a dowsing instrument, the mind is busy watching the tool work. There is motion, intrigue, expectation and anticipation, all of which the mind enjoys. Next, if the mind has a plausible explanation of what is going on, it doesn't become frustrated and pass this and doubt on to you. So what we need is at least a partial, rational explanation of how dowsing works.

Information about our sensory systems is found scattered throughout many scientific and metaphysical books and articles. It has been discovered that we have three sensors that can pick up electromagnetic information; one near or in the pituitary and one on each adrenal gland. Having three points, the subconscious can determine both distance and direction of an electromagnetic source.

Moving water underground seems to cause or to be associated with electric flow. Any time electricity flows in any kind of conductor, it creates an electromagnetic field. This electromagnetic field could then be picked up by our internal sensors. And like the eye that can differentiate between forms, shades and colors, the magnetic sensors, at least according to dowsing, seem to differentiate between patterns of electromagnetic energy fields from different sources. Therefore, the subconscious can easily have information about the location of moving underground water.

The problem is getting this information from the subconscious to the conscious mind. This is where the dowsing devices come in. And here is one way it may work. You may have heard of muscle testing, a procedure in which the subconscious can be programmed to cause the involuntary muscles to be strong for a true statement and weak for a false statement. It is used by many chiropractors, psychologists, complementary medical workers, etc. If you have not had this experience, find someone who knows how to do it and you will be amazed how well it works. You can program the subconscious to respond to any number of requests, including dowsing; Electronic muscle testing instruments attached to dowsers have shown what appear to be subconscious controlled involuntary muscle movements which seem to affect the dowsing instrument.


Excerpt from, 2005