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Article ID: 2161

VoxAcct: 1

Section: wrenwalker

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 7,272

Times Read: 17,785

Wren's Mini-Dowsing Tutorial

Author: Wren
Posted: July 23rd. 1998
Times Viewed: 17,785

Dowsing is easy! Almost anyone can do it. The only prerequisite seems to be an open mind. How much success any one person will have with dowsing does vary according to the method used and the state of mind of the dowser.

BRIEF HISTORICAL NOTES:--Dowsing, as it came to be used in European countries, was first written about in and around Germany. The practice was used to find ore veins. The use of dowsing suffered a decline in the years where anything that could not be scientifically explained was thought to be of "devilish origin." (As Pagans, we know the difficulties that can arise in reclaiming any occult art after centuries of repression.)


I don't know. Neither does anyone else. There have been many theories about just how dowsing works or why it works or IF it works. Scientific experiments have been inconclusive. Sometimes it does work under laboratory conditions. Most of the time, it doesn't. Why?

It seems that the dowser is an important part of the equation-part of the process of dowsing itself. It seems that you cannot separate the dowser from the method. (Ah! Fans of quantum mechanics will understand this one!) Some people do have the ability to move objects without touching them. But this is really more in the realm of telekinesis than dowsing. Concentrating on moving an object with mind power alone is time consuming and requires intense-sometimes dangerous- amounts of energy output. (It gives me a headache!) Using concentration may actually hinder the process involved in dowsing. I have found-and other dowsers concur- that a detached mind-rather like that of sitting in a canoe on a lazy pond and trailing the fishing pole in the water-seems to be the most effective.

I know that an ex-friend wouldn't go fishing with me. He was very competitive and he was there not only to catch fish, but to catch the MOST fish. I was there to experience the beautiful surroundings and relaxation....and didn't care if I caught fish or not. You guessed it! I caught all the fish (and let them go) and he didn't catch a thing. He wasn't a very good sport about this either, I must say. Did I mention that he is an EX-friend?

I am a very practical Witch. I don't care how high and mighty or "airy-fairy" a concept or magickal practice may sound. It has to have a practical use or I am just not interested. Dowsing works for me. That is the key here. If it works for you, then it does. You can measure the results if not the process itself. If you are dowsing for an object and you find it, the process has been a success. If you do not find the object, the process has failed. If your successes outweigh your failures, then you will probably find that dowsing has a practical application in your life. And if it isn't useful to you, then why bother?

Two researchers, Dr. Evon Vogt and Dr. Ray Hyman, I think have best described the method by stating, " The unconscious muscular reaction results from a suggestion from the subconscious of the diviner."

We know the process has something to due with 'energy fields", the "life force", electrical magnetism, whatever you want to call it. These energy fields are present in and around all objects and seem to be affected by the moon's cycles much like the tides. (Oh, big surprise huh, Witches?) This "discovery" and much of what we know about dowsing today comes from the experiments of an archeologist named Tom Letherbridge.

Through his experimental work in dowsing, Letherbridge constructed the following chart. Using a long pendulum, he found that the dowser could "connect" with various elements depending on the length of the cord.

Inches: This chart is actually what got me interested in dowsing. I am a bit of an amateur archeologist myself and could see that this method might help me to locate interesting finds. But if your main interest at the next festival event is in locating some mead, you might want to try a pendulum set at 25.5 inches and dowse the campsite! (Told you it had a practical use!)

5.5 = Phosphorous
7 = Sulphur
10 = Graphite
12 = Carbon
13 = Slate, concrete
14 = Silica, glass flint
15 = Glaze (on pottery)
21.5 = Potassium
22 = Silver, lead, calcium, sodium
22.5 = Magnesium
23.5 = Vegetable and mineral oils, amber
24 = Diamond
25 = Aluminum
25.5 = Alcohol
26.5 = Oxygen
29 = Gold
30 = Hydrogen
30.5 = Copper and cobalt
32.5 = Iron
32.5 = Nickel


The Pendulum:
Just about anything that can be suspended by a string or cord can be used as a pendulum. Rings, needles, keys, crystals, safety pins, carpenters' plumbs and just plain ole rocks can be used. Try a few different things and see how they work for you.

Pendulums can be used for indoor and outdoor use. (Obviously heavier objects would work better under windy conditions than light objects would.) Pendulums are excellent for finding lost objects when you know the approximate search area. It is hard to get a "Which direction is the object in?" answer from a pendulum, so it is best used in small spaces with clearly defined perimeters. You can also use pendulums for "yes or no" answers to questions and to find places of interest on maps.

The "L" Rods:

These can be simply a coat hanger cut in half and bent into a "L" shape. There are commercially made rods available at a pretty inexpensive price. These move to the right or left or can cross and spread away from each other. This allows at least four various areas of questioning or questing to occur thorough pre-programming. Crossing can always mean, "yes", spreading can always mean, "no" and then you still have a directional feature left over for "to the right and to the left."

This makes them excellent for outdoor work where you are looking for an area to begin searching. Then you can pull out your trusty pendulum to get down to the fine tuning.

The "Y" Rod:

This is the classic 'water witch' tool. It can used inside (If you really ARE interested in finding your water pipes!) or outdoors. The wood used should be flexible and relatively fresh. This tool points direction-right or left, straight ahead or turn) and "pulls" up or down when locating objects. The "Y" rod seems to generate a very strong response which is greater than the other tools. It is like your entire body is involved rather than just your arms or hands as with the other methods. Pretty much guaranteed to freak you out the first time it happens to you!

The are other devices such as the "bobber"-really just a weight or cork at the end on a supple rod-as well as more sophisticated electronic devices that measure electronic waves and magnetic fields.


Pre-programming will save a lot of time in the field. Holding your pendulum between your thumb and forefinger-having a knot at this spot helps-or your L-rods at waist level with your elbows tucked against your sides, ask questions that you know the answers to.

To establish what means "yes" ask questions to which you know the answer is "yes." Then switch to "no" questions. The pendulum should spin, rotate or sway in a specific way depending on a yes or no response. This demonstrates the way your natural subconscious responds to yes and no questions. For most folks it is instinctive that up and down-shake your head "yes"-is yes and side to side is "no". Keep practicing until you are consistently getting the same response for yes and no.

When using "L" rods, the standard is crossed in front for "yes" and spread apart for "no."

The rate of spin or rotation-or the speed in which "L" rods respond- is an indication of how emphatic a response may be. A slow lazy spin may mean "Yes, but..." while a faster spin may indicate "GO for it, dude!" Like in magickal practice, it pays to be specific. "Is there gold nearby?" may lead to your neighbor's dental work. "Is there gold beneath my feet between 0-5 feet down?" may get you a long lost class ring.

The size of the arc or circle can also indicate how large the source is. Try dowsing over object of the same material in different sizes. (Containers of water are the obvious easy ones with which to begin.) Water is vital to our survival. If you have ever been very, very thirsty, you can focus on this feeling to help you to locate water sources.


  1. Finding lost items.
  2. Answering questions.
  3. Searching for sacred spaces.
  4. Ghost hunting and investigating haunted houses. (Yes, really. It works!)
  5. Healing. (Including dowsing to see what food is right and healthy for your body. Ever have a craving, but couldn't figure out what it was that your body was crying out for?)
  6. Checking for pollution or mineral content. (Good for checking the potency of your oils and herbs.)
  7. Divination using various charts, tarot decks, runes, lucky numbers. (If you win the lottery, remember that I get 10%!)
  8. Fault lines, ley lines and fairy trails. Locating the "anima loci"-the soul of a place or its unseen guardians.
  9. "Companion" gardening. See which plants increase another's energy and plant these close together.
  10. Dating found objects, choosing sacred talismans or investigating reincarnation or past life experiences.

Dowsing is fun, practical and easy to do. My personal feeling is that it also helps to align your energy field with the earth's and so makes you much more receptive to what Mom may be saying. As practitioners of an 'earth-based" religion, this can be a wonderful experience!

Good Luck!

Walk in Light and Love,

The Witches' Voice - Clearwater, Florida

Dowsing Has Many Uses

July 7, 1998


ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - When utility workers installing a new water pipe came across a coffin, they feared they might be disturbing an unmarked graveyard. They called in Ben Young, who uses the ancient art of dowsing to find buried bones.

``I told Mr. Ben what I needed,'' said Larry Marchbanks, an engineering associate with Albany's Water, Gas & Light Commission. ``I gave him no clue as to where the graves might be. He started working ... and he pinpointed them.''

State archeologists found two graves at the construction site and Young found four more, Marchbanks said. It turned out to be a long-forgotten family cemetery.

Young, an 80-year-old post office retiree from Albany, uses two L-shaped rods to find buried remains. Dowsers are best known for locating underground water supplies, although they claim to be able to find oil deposits, precious metals and other buried items. Some use forked sticks, known as Y-rods, while others use L-shaped rods, pendulums and flexible rods known as bobbers.

Historians believe dowsing may date back 8,000 years or more, based on cave drawings that show humans holding forked sticks.

Brenda Paquin, operations manager for the 5,000-member American Society of Dowsers Inc. in Danville, Vt., said dowsers often disagree on how it works.

``If you were to ask 12 different dowsers, you'd probably get 12 different answers,'' she said. ``It's a sort of sixth sense. Anyone can dowse as long as they have an open mind. You must focus on your intent. If you are looking for potable water, you must be focused on that intent.''

Young said he doesn't know what makes dowsing work. "Some claim it's from mental telepathy,'' he said, but ``I don't think I have any special powers. I've taught too many people to use it and they've been able to do the same things I do. Of course, you have to have a little practice.''

Young began dowsing 15 years ago to locate missing golf balls, keys and other objects. He got interested in looking for graves while conducting a genealogical survey of cemeteries in Lee County, north of Albany.




Location: Tampa, Florida

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