The Mystery Of Dowsing
By James Donahue
few years ago our well began to go dry and we were forced to hire a
well driller. After spending time as a young man working with oil well
crews, I know from experience that every driller has a "system" for
finding water, and it is usually based on superstition rather than
all, knowing exactly what lies deep in the Earth under our feet is
hardly an exact science. Geologists think they have some idea, but
there are always surprises.
well driller we hired was no exception. He thought he knew were to find
water on our property, and proceeded to set up his rig in the side yard.
wife, Doris, was a fly in his ointment, however. She has known most of
her life that she can dowse for things. Using bent willow sticks or
sometimes bent coat hangers, she has had remarkable success in making
those long extended parts go crazy in her hands when she stands over a
target. She is especially good at dowsing for water.
offered to check for the existence of water where our driller said he
thought it would be. When she stood over the spot with coat hangers in
hand, the metal rods stood motionless. Strangely, when she took one
step to the left, the rods sprang to life. She suggested an
obstruction, and proposed that the bit be moved slightly south from
where the driller had it parked.
out of pride, or just pure arrogance, the man refused to budge. He
insisted on drilling right where he said the water was. It was a big
mistake. When he was about 800 feet down, his diamond bit hung up on
something very big and hard . . . I suppose a large bolder. After
fishing for the bit for another day, our driller sadly gave up, moved
his rig a few feet to the south, and successfully found water.
was a hard lesson. Either because he didn't believe in dowsing, or
perhaps he thought a woman could not, or should not dowse, the man lost
more than his profit in the cost of his diamond tipped bit and the lost
days of labor on our site.
though the practice is commonly used all over the world, science looks
at dowsing with a jaundiced eye. I think that is because it smacks of
psychic or right-brain functioning. It cannot be explained in any other
have read of dowsers who successfully found a variety of other things
buried in the earth, like gas and water lines, septic tanks, old road
beds and building foundations. One man in England uses it to follow ley
A woman in Indiana uses pendulums and other devices to find lost grave sites.
think science rejects dowsing as a valid tool because it does not seem
to work for everybody. Also, because they fear public ridicule,
practitioners don't like to admit they use it.
various names given dowsing by scoffers helps explain why it has
escaped serious public acceptance. The names include rhabdomancy,
divining, witching, and doodlebugging.
easiest dowsing tool can be made from common metal coat hangers. Cut
the hangers at the neck, then straighten and bend them at right angles
so that the shorter pieces form handles. Some like to cut the handles
to a length of about four inches, so they don't extend below the hand.
Doris dowses, she holds the rods in both hands, and walks around until
something happens. Proper dowsers are said to hold the rods forward,
with elbows at the waist and forearms parallel to the ground. Grip the
rods enough to keep them parallel to each other, and horizontal to the
a target is underfoot, the rods will swing wildly. For some they
criss-cross. For others they will swing away from one another. When I
followed Doris in her quest for water, I discovered that I too can
dowse. When over a water bed I tried to hold the metal rods in place,
but found the force that drove them so strong, my grip failed to
prevent them from swinging.
as to why dowsing works range from altered energy fields created by
running water to breaks in magnetic polarity from the disturbed soil.
so many different things can be found through dowsing makes me think
there is something else involved here. I believe dowsing is another
form of tapping into the collective matrix. To be successful, the
dowser must be capable of using right brain functioning.
it is possible, when the handler of the rods has a specific target in
mind, to easily locate missing objects in the Earth by just thinking
about the target and letting the rods tell us what we already