To most people, a mention of dowsing conjures up a man walking across fields with a tree branch attempting to find underground water. Indeed, this is what Dowsers are probably most used for in this country and many have reached great success with this. But it goes much further.
Dowsing has been with us for thousands of years and is used for many activities; water and resource divining, finding missing objects and persons, healing, food allergy testing and siting of ley lines and energy centres etc.
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No firm scientific evidence has proven it right or wrong but Dowsers are regularily used by the Police, NASA and the armed forces. American soldiers are trained to find underground hideouts etc.
What has been proven by science is the existance and whereabouts of ley lines on which were built many monuments and stone circles etc. Plus major oil companies have found the friendly dowser a much cheaper alternative to moving expensive, highly technical equipment around the countryside!
The fact is that some 90% of our brain remains idle and what dowsing achieves is basically 'tapping' into this area to be more open to what is around us and to be more at one with our Earth.
The 'L' Rods
Probably the most used and easiest Dowsing tool and very popular for finding underground streams, objects, ley lines etc. They are made from two equal lengthed pieces of thick wire bent into a 'L' shape. You can buy these already made and these usually have plastic handles which allow the wire to move freely. But like all Dowsing 'tools', there is always a frugal or natural alternative and in this case it's two coat hangers cut about 15' long and bent at right angles at about 6' - 7'.
For the handles you can put the shorter ends into two emptied BIC type biro pens but after a while you will find the 'assistance' of handles is probably not necessary. Holding them in the position of two hand guns and pointing them straight in front of you, you can walk across an area concentrating on what you're looking for. When you cross the target, the rods will cross each other. Once you've found an approximate line, walk along it, again holding the rods straight ahead.
All the time you are on the right line, the rods will remain pointing ahead. If you go off a bit, the rods will 'steer' you back on line.
The 'Y' Stick
The 'Y' stick can also be used for searching but is more effective finding single objects i.e. a covered well etc. Apple and Hazelnut branches are the most used. Just find a suitable Y from a branch of the tree and cut it to the length you feel happy with.
To use this you must hold the twig and bend it away from you until you feel it could spring upward or downwards. Getting the balance, you then proceed to walk until the twig either, literally, springs up or down. For most it will go down but for some it will go up (should it go up, watch out for getting hit in the face !).
Flexible plastic taped together at one end can also work. Some say they should be black but I've had no problems with my white ones. This is the one tool which needs getting used to and 'practice makes perfect'.
Because of it's 'Yes / No' and pointing principles, this is the most diverse tool for most and has a bounty of uses. You can purchase various types made from gemstones, brass or wood but I've seen keys, bits of wood tied onto string and just plain necklaces with a pendant.
To find your 'starting' or 'are you ready' position, hold the pendulum away from you and ask it to show you. If it doesn't move - that's it ! If it does, it will swing backward and forth thus telling you to find the yes/no's you must first swing it.
To find the 'yes' position, go to your starting position and ask it to show you your 'yes'. If it circles clockwise, that's it. The 'no' will be the opposite. Should the pendulum swing straight but at 45 degree angles, this is telling you either 'maybe' or you have asked the wrong question
Once you've achieved that, you're away. It is important that you go through a procedure before commencing always asking if it is ready and if you may start asking questions. This then opens you up to a plethora of uses.
You can find things by asking the pendulum to point, by swinging, at the lost item or person, leak etc.
Say you've lost your keys in the long grass down the garden. Go to one corner and ask for the directional line, then the same in another corner, join the two together and you should find them.
This, like all dowsing, will only work if you are precise about what you are asking and what you are seeking, a mental picture will help. The 'yes/no' has many uses and is used in healing and food allergy.
Healing obviously needs more training with ability. For food allergy in regard to overall health, the pendulum is used by placing various foods on a table and one by one asking if this food is good for you. The pendulum is also used in conjunction with the L rods and Y sticks for pinpointing objects and measuring depth using charts etc.
The Wand (or 'bobber')
The wand is either a single twig or purchased long thin rod with a weight at one end which will 'sway' at random having the same effect as the pendulum to give you yes / no answers. A fishing rod end held the wrong way round will usually work.
The final tool is no tool!
Known as 'deviceless dowsing', this is where a person has literally trained him or her self to find the necessary answers in their mind. I've only seen this once when a chap told a person the depth of a well plus the height of water level by simply walking around it, stopping occasionally and immersed in thought. He got the depth (132') spot on and the water level (117'), one foot out!
I tend to use mainly the 'L' Rods and Pendulum and have only recently started to progress from simple searching to more health and wellbeing matters. I am finding a whole new world out there. I would stress the point of concentrating on the matter in hand. I thought I had successfully found an underground stream I was looking for, only to find out it was a disused gas pipe! This came about simply because I rushed into it and was simply thinking 'something underground' and not 'underground water'.
If you try it, start with the more obvious things like the water, gas pipes and cables leading from your house. Get someone to hide a coin under a large rug and try finding it. Like all things, you will get it wrong a few times but after a while it comes naturally and it's a nice feeling to know you are as much of this planet as the earth, water, trees and animals are.
Be prepared for a few faces looking around the curtains and possibly becoming 'the strange person at the end of the road'. But it is very surprising how people are interested in hearing your exploits.
British Society of Dowsers
A good starting point with many links
American Society of Dowsers
A good starting point for our American friends
Excellant site from Ireland about how stress lines through your house can cause ill health, lack of sleep etc.
More Dowsing Links
Loads more sites for you to probe through
Dowsing at Netley
Abbey in Hampshire
British Astrologer Val Harrisons hugely informative web site covering almost everything !