Twilight Times Feature

The Ancient Art of Dowsing

Melinda K. Rucker Haynes

Dowsing has been known by many names: Water Witching, Divining, Questing, Doodlebuging. Like many people, I thought dowsing was only about traipsing around the countryside trying to find water with a forked stick. Really, I didnít gave dowsing any thought at all until last summer when I began investigating Space Clearing and Feng Shui, The Chinese Art of Placement, and read about dowsing for noxious or harmful energies. Intrigued, I then attended the annual convention of Big Sky Dowsers in Livingston, Montana to learn from master dowsers who were ranchers, professional engineers, teachers, business people and hobbyists.

The first thing I learned was that dowsing is actually an ancient divinatory art of finding not only water and minerals but anything that has a magnetic, electromagnetic or some other unknown ENERGY. That is the keyword here - energy. Modern electronic apparatus can detect energy radiation fields that the human body seems to have been able to perceive with its own innate sensors from time immemorial.

Humans are constantly interacting with energies whether or not we are conscious of them or choose not to acknowledge them. Dowsers actively acknowledge the existence and effects of subtle energies and are able to detect them several ways. One is radiesthesia or dowsing with tools to determine an energy field.

The Big Sky Dowsers demonstrated the common tools of a Y-Rod, a Y-shaped stick or bent wire; L-Rods of bent wire; pendulums made of any material that can be suspended on a string or chain; Bobbers, a flexible rod, branch or wire as well as other tools. Each has its advantages and disadvantages in a given situation, but each dowser seemed to have a favorite tool that they used in most applications, though they were very interested in and willing to try other kinds of tools.

During the field test day, I tried several kinds of rods and pendulum, but found the most success with borrowed L-Rods of bent gas welding rod, then decided to make my own. After cutting a thirty-six inch rod in two, I took the pieces to a master dowser who dowsed each rod for the positive and negative ends or poles. A four inch handle was bent on each rod and I set off to test them.

They worked! The rods, held straight out, crossed when I accurately located the unmarked test well or best source of water, then I determined the depth and number of gallons per minute by the number of swings of one rod held over the water source. The instructor dowser who had originally located and logged in the well confirmed my findings.

Dowsing isnít limited in its uses. Master dowsers have found everything from gold to missing people to energy fluctuations in a personís aura. One dowser used two coat hangers, holding them on the bottom with the hooks facing out, to read auras, the energy fields that surround all matter. She walked around me, the hangers open until she encountered the edge of my aura and the hangers swung closed. If she moved out of my field, the hangers opened.

Though most of my aura had nearly a five foot boundary, she was able to get within inches of my lower back before the hangers closed. I acknowledged that Iíd been having lower back pain, and she said that oneís aura draws in close to the part of the body having problems. I understood that to mean diseased or stressed organs, tissues and cells might be radiating a weaker "signal" or energy level that can be read. Sensitives report that disease can be seen in the aura before it manifests on the body.

A dowser must take care to protect his/herself from attracting unhealthy or noxious energies by programming the mind to have a detached sensing attitude and by using a dowsing tool which absorbs the noxious energies. A dowsing tool needs to be programmed, the purpose of which is to achieve maximum accuracy. "You must establish some mutually acceptable, pre-established, agreements and understandings about words, phrases, conditions and what is meant by different dowsing tool movements." It is recommended that when seeking dowsing information you speak to the tool as if it were a person. And how you pose the dowsing question is critical. "It must be a definite request for information existing somewhere, and not for an opinion of the past, present or future."

My in-laws hadnít been unable to get a decent nightís sleep and my father-in-law had frequents bouts of illness since moving into a much remodeled house. Open and willing to experiment, they asked me to dowse their bedroom. I requested information about any noxious energy that might be present, then walked the room with my L-Rods. They indicated that a wide strip of some sort of energy crossed the foot of the bed and another crossed the head. After dowsing the guest bedroom and finding no noxious energies where I had slept wonderfully many times, I recommended they sleep there. Now my husband and I are out of a bed when we visit, but they are sleeping and feeling great.

The trick with learning to dowse is to approach the experience with an open mind, a relaxed attitude and a sense of playfulness. And it does take lots practice before you can really trust yourself and the accuracy of your interpretation of the information your dowsing tool gives you. Most importantly, dowsers must be aware of a universal law: what you send out will somehow return to you, so:

  • "Always dowse for the best good of others.
  • Never try to use this gift for evil or selfish gain.
  • Itís okay to dowse for your or others needs.
  • Always remember itís a gift to cherish and give."

The foregoing quoted material is from a book I recommend, A Letter to Robin: A Mini-course in Pendulum Dowsing by Walt Woods. Further information on dowsing is available from THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF DOWSERS, P.O. Box 24, Danville, Vermont 05828. Website: or just put "dowsing" in the search box on Excite and youíll be given one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine fun places to look for more information on dowsing.


Author Bio

Melinda K. Rucker Haynes was born the summer the UFO crashed in Roswell, NM. All her life she has been wondering about and investigating paranormal phenomena and subjects, many of which have found their way into her writing projects including her Golden Heart winning young adult novel. She presented a workshop at the national RWA convention in Anaheim entitled, Exploring Paranormal Themes for a New Millennium. Watch for her article in the next issue on Remote Viewing.



This article Copyright © 1999. Melinda K. Rucker Haynes. All rights reserved.
This page last updated 8-8-99.
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