What is Dowsing?

Dowsing is a form of scrying or divination that concentrates on locating objects, usually beneath the surface of the earth.

The most well-known form of dowsing is locating water by using rods and for this reason dowsing is often known as water witching. Although water dowsing with a rod is probably the most common form, dowsing skills can be applied to finding many other things than water and use a variety of tools such as a pendulum – or even no device at all.

Dowsing Tools

The most common traditional dowsing tool was the Y-shaped forked stick. Opinions vary as to what type of wood is best, however most agree that a fresh piece of wood is more effective than an old one.

Today many people use metal dowsing rods, and you can buy a variety of specially made instruments. There is some speculation that the metal might help in focussing the “fields” – magnetic, psychic or otherwise.

A popular alternative to the traditional Y-shaped dowsing rod is a pair of L-shaped rods. The short section of one rod is held in each hand with the longer section pointing straight ahead. When the target is near, the rods will cross.

Many people prefer to use a brass dowsing rod. Some metal dowsing rods come with a coating on the handles to prevent the user’s own natural electrical currents from interfering with the dowsing process. You can even purchase high-tech long-range dowsing rods – top of the range models that are intended for long distance dowsing.

Other people prefer to use a simple pendulum. This is the method frequently used for map dowsing.

Does Dowsing Work?

There is no doubt that dowsers do locate water and other targets. The questions are 1) is dowsing more effective than chance? and 2) what is the mechanism?

The Skeptics claim that dowsing is simply a result of involuntary muscular movement – the ideomotor effect. According to them, dowsing gives results no better than luck.

Despite that, dowsing has been used for thousands of years and is still used regularly by many people today. I personally know a professional civil engineer who uses dowsing regularly in his career. Whether he is using some psychic force or is simply tapping in to information his subconscious already “knows” doesn’t matter to him – so long as it works.