7 Dowsing and Divining - Including Water Divining

Water Divining and Other Dowsing

Most people probably think of dowsing as 'water divining'. This term has passed out of use because one can find far more than water by using a dowsing rod or pendulum: oil, minerals, buried objects, missing people, and so on. The list is endless. There are experiments described in this chapter and the next which will enable you to discover which of these techniques interests you the most. And you should try the exercises, because dowsing is easy and simple. This can make it a useful starting point for the development of psychic ability for those people who are, shall we say, sceptical by nature!

In dowsing, as in all psychic techniques, we are obtaining informacion which is hidden from the normal senses through the use of our psychic faculties. This time, however, any information received is exposed to view with the aid of a tool such as a forked twig, angle rod or a pendulum. Most frequently, dowsing is used in the field as one walks over the ground. Sometimes, however, a dowser will use a map of the area which he wishes to search. (This map, or 'distant', dowsing is explained in the next chapter.) Other dowsers specialize in finding missing people; some even try to diagnose illness at a distance.

Dowsing is probably a form of clairvoyance. Thus, in theory, you could use it to obtain any information which you require. In practice, however, there are advantages in knowing something about the objective of each search. This is a short cut, so that when searching for oil, say, you start by searching an area geologically likely to produce it. Clearly, certain areas do not contain oil, and it would be a waste of time to look for it there. Perhaps by now you are beginning to have some doubts. If you were not aware of the different uses to which dowsing can be put, it may be looking less and less plausible. To overcome these doubts, I shall first of all describe how you can try it for yourself. Most people find that dowsing works the first time they try it. This is proof positive of the reality of dowsing in particular, and of psychic ability in general.

How to dowse

You will need to start by obtaining the correct tools. For a beginner, the angle rods are probably easiest to use. To make these, any two pieces of metal rod about 1 inch (3 mm) in diameter and 24 inches (60 cm) long will be satisfactory. The metal should be bent to form an angle rod with two arms at 901 to each other, the shorter being about 6 inches (15 cm) long. The base and part of one side of a metal coat-hanger will make a good angle rod if the shorter side is bent at an angle of 90 degrees to the base. Some authorities on dowsing have suggested that better results are obtained if the short arm is placed in a holder, such as the empty case of a ballpoint pen, and the holder is then grasped in the fist. I have never found this necessary and I would not recommend it, because if the ground where you are working is slightly bumpy, or the wind strong, the rods tend to move independently of the dowsing reaction. You will probably be quite successful if you hold the angle rods (one in each hand) with the short end grasped loosely in the fist with the long arm pointing forward, parallel to the ground.

Your arms should be comfortable, with the upper arms straight downwards by the side of your body and the forearms held parallel to the ground in front of your body. You may place your thumbs lightly on the bends in the rods to stop excessive movements caused by wind or the unevenness of the ground. When the dowsing reaction occurs it will be quite distinctive, and you need have no fear of preventing the rods moving. Opinion varies as to the degree of tension you should have in your arms.

General J. Scott Elliot, who is an acknowledged expert on dowsing, recommends having the upper arms hanging loosely by the sides;' however, since the dowsing experience is primarily a personal one, I would be reluctant to make such a definite statement. On my first attempt I pressed my arms firmly into the sides of my body and this seemed to work quite well. Indeed, there may be a sound reason for this: it appears that the subconscious muscle movements responsible for dowsing may be greater if there is already some tension in the arms.

Most people identify dowsing with the forked twig, even though it is not as suitable for beginners, because a much stronger response is needed to give a movement. However, when a strong response is obtained, the twig twists upwards or downwards in the hands of the operator with such force that he may appear to be fighting it. My advice would be: start with the angle rods, and use them until you have identified and cultivated the dowsing response.

In this way, you will avoid any problems which might be caused by the need for greater skill when using the forked twig. It is true that a few people know clearly and positively, from the first time they hold a dowsing rod, that they are natural dowsers. Such people might be able to start with the forked twig. For example, in my own family one of my brothers had no reaction on his first attempt while another was an expert from the word 'go'. 1 think one of them failed because his mental attitude was not correct - we will return to this in a moment. The point is that if you are slightly sceptical on your first attempt, you are much more likely to suceed with the angle rods than with the forked twig. However, if you are really determined, this is how you could try the forked twig.

Traditionally, forked twigs are made from hazel, apple or peach. In reality, as long as the twig is springy, the type of wood is not particularly important. Unfortunately, each time the wood dries out and becomes brittle, you will have to cut a new twig. You are aiming to obtain a tool which can be put under tension by holding the two long arms of the V apart. In fact, this is not as simple as it sounds. Whether or not a dowsing reaction is obtained depends upon the length and thickness of the arms of the V, and also the angle between them. So probably the best way of deciding which twigs will do is to try several until you find one you are happy with. Normally the arms of the V will be at least 20 inches (50 cm) long, as symmetrical as you can find, with the end part where they joint about 3 inches (80 mm) long. The thinnest part of each arm of the V should be flexible, probably about 6 mm in diameter.

Once again, the upper arms are held vertical with the forearms parallel to the ground in front of the body. The palms face upwards, and the end of one side of the V is grasped with the fingers of each hand. This means that the wood is flexed through a right angle and protrudes out of the clenched fists with the thumbs pressing on the very ends. You can have the main body of the fork pointing upwards, downwards or out in front of you when you start: most commonly, the twig is pointing downwards to search and moves upwards (away from the body) when the response is obtained.

A small amount of tension will be needed to make the twig respond correctly; you can achieve this by pulling sideways and backwards slightly to place the twig in an unstable equilibrium. (Before going on to describe the different responses and search techniques, I should mention that there are many other dowsing tools. The pendulum is generally used for map dowsing and similar activities; for work in the field, besides the angle rods and the forked twig, you might find wands, nylon V rods and even dowsers who use their hands alone. However, it is my belief that if people develop sufficient skill and interest in dowsing, they will research the subject themselves to find out all they wish to know and so these other approaches need not concern us here.')

Having obtained the tools, you are now ready to dowse for the first time. Perhaps a little sceptical, you will certainly need to feel the dowsing response from a known source, so that you can recognize it again when trying to locate a hidden source. The best place to start is with water running underground, because there is a wealth of accumulated experience from which to learn and interpret the results. I suggest that you work in a field which you know to be drained or over an underground stream of which you know the course. You can then try the 'stream test'. Before I describe this, however, there are one or two other points which I want to make.

Some years ago, when I was at university, I watched the agriculture students being shown dowsing as a method of locating underground drainage systems. Using angle rods made from welding rods, they tried to detect the layout of porous clay pipes forming a herring-bone drainage system in a wet, marshy field. On their first attempts, almost 90 per cent of the students were able to dowse with a fair degree of accuracy. Perhaps surprisingly, amongst a group of intellectual students who might be expected to question an activity which falls outside normal scientific experience, there was total acceptance of the results.

You will find that the same sort of attitude (that is, open acceptance of the procedure as something which works and does not necessarily need explanation) will help you to succeed as well. Do try and keep preconceived ideas out of your mind. If you expect or try to get particular results while dowsing, you may find that you are consciously moving the tool and so misleading yourself. (This is not the same as knowing that you should get a result in the stream test.)

Because dowsing is a psychic technique, it is easier to be successful if you are in a quiet.9 alpha state. If you have practised relaxation and visualization regularly, you will find it easy to stay in alpha with your eyes open as you dowse. But dowsing, as 1 have already mentioned, seems to work for most people anyway. It is as though the very act of dowsing 'forces' you into the correct level of mind. Here is a description of the state of mind in which most successful dowsers work. It is taken from Francis Hitching's book, Pendulum: the Psi Connection:

. . it involves a series of paradoxes and contradictions, a balance between two opposing moods. You have to concentrate on what you are looking for, but at the same time be relaxed and uninvolved. ... It has been compared to a mild state of hypnosis, or trance, or meditation; and certainly most dowsers, even if they talk to you, when they are working, give the appearance of having temporarily removed part of their mind from normal consciousness. It is a state that involves harmony, instinct 'and simplicity. Another adjective used is 'receptive' . . . some part of your mind, deep down, always knows what you are looking for. . .As long as you settle your mind into a state where it is comfortably receptive, the reaction will happen anyway.'

There is little to choose between visualizing an image of what you are looking for, such as an underground stream, or posing a mental 'question' such as: 'Please indicate when I am directly over water.' However, if you wish to determine the depth and flow rate of water, you will certainly need to pose questions mentally, so it might be useful to start learning and develop with this one technique. Essentially, though, you must try these experiences for yourself and concentrate on whatever works best. Dowsing is a very personal experience! Someone once said to me, 'Well, who do you ask for an indication that you've found what you're looking for?' So note that you are not asking the question of a person: it is merely a way of consciously setting your subconscious psychic faculty to work.

The importance of having your objective clearly in mind was brought home to me once when I was showing a friend how to dowse field drains like the ones I mentioned earlier. In 1976, when Britain was in the grip of the worst drought for over a hundred years, I could not obtain a response as I moved over the ground, mentally 'asking' the rods to indicate when water was flowing under my feet. Only after several failures did I realize that I should have been thinking, 'Please indicate when 1 am directly over a drain pipe' because, of course, they were dry and no water was flowing through them.

First of all, try and cultivate the attitude described above. Then, form a mental 'image or pose a question relating to your target. Next, walk slowly towards your target. For a beginner, the rods will often move together coming up to the target, and cross when you are past it; but do not worry if you miss it, because your accuracy will improve with time. At this stage, the dowsing reaction itself is more important - an opinion that you are likely to share when you experience it.

If you are using the angle rods you will probably think they have a life of their own and there may even be an overwhelming sensation that some arcane power is m6ving them. In fact this can be awe-inspiring, but it is quite wrong; the angle rods move because of minute muscle movements produced by the subconscious which twist the arms one way or the other. Some dowsers (myself included) prefer to hold the rods in the bare hands rather than to use a holder because the feel on one's palms is quite distinctive - a tingling sensation, often very noticeable.

I presume this is due to increased perspiration, which in turn is another sign of the subconscious at work. The movement of the forked twig is somewhat puzzling. From the search position it moves upwards or downwards, sometimes with such strength that it twists out of the hands of the dowser. If minute muscle movements are causing this, they must be very powerful indeed!

But despite the incomplete explanation of the movement, the response clearly indicates when the search object is found - and perhaps that is all we need to know? On any future occasion when you need to use dowsing techniques, you can follow the same basic procedure. That is, you walk across the ground in which you expect to locate your target, with the dowsing rod in the search position.

As you do so, mentally ask a question or form an image of the target. If the target lies in the area you are searching, the dowsing reaction will show you where. There are several refinements of technique which you can use to obtain far more information about your target. For example, if you wish to determine the depth of water accurately, the technique is easily adapted: you stand over the water with the tool in the normal search position and count

To be continued