The forked stick or diving rod has been with us a long time.
Welcome to the Divining Rod and the Paramormal.
Horses & Carts.
When I was a little boy cars and trucks were a rarity in our street. Much more common were horses pulling carts. Those carts brought, bread, milk, coal, men who sharpened scissors and collected rubbish. ‘Steptoe & Son’ businesses were common. But more importantly for us children, the ‘rag and bone’ men who collected rubbish and things no longer of use, would give us kids a half-a-dozen or so two-day-old chickens...little chicks so small you didn’t know if they were male or female.
Mum's pendulum: dangling her wedding ring on a piece of cotton.
That was no problem to my dear old Mum (not then old, of course) for she would simply dangle her wedding ring on a piece of cotton and hold it over them. In this way she could invariably find out whether out whether they were male or female. We had no name for this procedure. I was later to find out that it’s commonly called ‘Dowsing.’
The divining rod or rods. They in various materials, shapes and forms.
Paranormal ? Mum believed she could tell the sex of unborn children and invariably she did.
Dowsing in itself seemed to me a wondrous feat. But imagine how we felt when we found out Mum could also predict the sex on unborn babies! She simply held it over a pregnant woman abdomen and made a pronouncement. Of course, there was always a fifty-fifty chance. But what happens when time after time the predictions are right. What happens to chance then?
Typical metal rods used by the 'Water Witch', or Water Diviner.
I began to realize it was not a hoax.
It was something that I didn’t give a lot of thought to. But then, in the years ahead, I began to realize that not only was it not a hoax, but that many people right around the world have this gift of being able to find out the answers to questions without any seeming logic. And as time went by, I began to occasionally run into people who claimed to have the gift...or know of someone who did. In fact, in many rural districts in England, Australia, and North America, dowsing was a well-known phenomenon.
The Divining Rod and the Paranormal.
So what is Dowsing?
The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines dowsing as:
“Searching for latent water or minerals with the rod or forked stick held by the dowser dipping at the right spot.”
The most common thing searched for with the divining rod is water. But it certainly doesn’t stop there. It can be used to discover oil deposits for example. It doesn’t always work. And when it doesn’t the skeptics come out of the woodwork. But it works far more times than can be considered chance. For example, farmers often pay good money for people to find underground water beneath their properties.
On the search for something - probably underground water.
It can even be used to find lost golf balls.
I even ran into a guy who had patented a device that was claimed to enable golfers to find lost golf balls! When I examined it I realized that the only way it could work was the same way a diviner’s rod worked- It was simply dowsing. The instrument pointed in which the golf ball lay. By that time, of course, I’d learned a bit more about our subconscious...and when we do that well...we begin to realize that nothing that is imaginable is impossible unto us.
Divining deep into the rock strata - How does it work?
Here is what Lyal Thomas, in his thirty-seven-year-old book, Supernature, published by Hodder & Staughton, has to say about Dowsing.
“We are all sensitive to the physical forces around us, and it seems that there are ways of enhancing this sensitivity. One (such sensitivity) has been in use for at least 5,000 years. Bas-reliefs from early Egypt show figures in strange head-gear carrying at arm’s length in front of them, a forked stick. And Emperor Kwang Su of China is depicted in a statue dated 2200 BC carrying an identical object. Both, it seems, were in search of water.
Paranormal often becomes 'the normal' over time.
“The classical method of water divining or dowsing, is to cut a forked twig from a shade tree such as a willow, hazel, or peach and hold it in front of the body parallel to the ground. In this position the muscles of the arm are under some tension. It is claimed that as the dowser approaches water, this tension somehow extends into the twig and induces it to move.
“The patterns of movement depend very much on the individual. Some say that the upward thrust of the dowsing rod indicates the upstream side of the water flow and the pattern of gyration indicates depth. But others disagree entirely. There is a tremendous variation in technique among dowsers. Instruments in use include metal rods, coat hangers, whale bone, copper wire, walking sticks, pitch forks, Bakelite strips, surgical scissors, and pendulums.”
The typical water searcher finding out where to dig that well
The rod is not actually finding anything.
This seems to indicate that the rod is not in actuality finding anything. It is simply a tool in the hands of those operating that tool, albeit the operating is being carried out by some unconscious part of the diviner himself. But to continue with Lyal Thomas.
“For each dowsing aid there are as many different ways of interpreting the way it moves. Just one thing takes all this extraordinary pantomime out of the area of sheer farce- the dowsers enjoy a very high rate of success.
Paranormal or not, every major water and pipeline company in the U.S. has a dowser on its payroll.
“Every major water and pipeline company in the United States has a dowser on its payroll. The Canadian Ministry of Agriculture employs a permanent dowser. UNESCO has engaged a Dutch dowser and geologist to pursue its official investigations for them. Engineers from the U.S. First and Third Marine Divisions in Vietnam have been trained in the use of dowsing rods to locate booby traps and
sunken mortar shells. The Czechoslovakian Army has a permanent corps of dowsers in a special unit. The geology departments of Moscow State, and Leningrad universities have launched a full-scale investigation into dowsing- not to find out whether it works (they know it works) but to find out how it works.”
Finding the pay-dirt via a map or chart. How can it work?
Soviet Russia's Army were right into it.
Research into dowsing began in a serious way back in the Cold War days. Soviet Russia’s army were right into it. They put the claims to the test. After thousands of trials and test the group assigned this testing task found that forked twigs, held in the hands of those sensitive enough, could respond to both underground sources of water and even to underground electrical cables. They also found that it did not matter if the dowsers paced slowly and walked quickly. But even more importantly, they found that if he or she was screened with steel plates or even lead armor, the dowsing rods still responded.
The report also mentioned that the twigs were only good for two or three days. Apparently they dried out. Also, that a broken one could not be repaired without a loss of sensitivity.
Minerals such a lead, zinc, and gold could sometimes be detected as deep as 240 feet.
Tests revealed that lead, zinc, and gold could sometimes be detected at a depth of 240 feet. The Russians therefore concluded that dowsing could be used with striking success to locate underground electrical cables, pipes, damaged points in cable networks, minerals, and water. They suggested that the old Russian name meaning “Wizard Rod” be abandoned, and so today research on dowsing carries on under the safe, new, demystified name of “The Biophysical Effects Method.”
So we begin to get into an area where many people become quite uncomfortable. What is REAL and what is UNREAL. It seems that, in the long run, it depends to a great degree on what we believe. For what we believe affects our unconscious mind. And our unconscious mind...has no limits other than what we place on it.
You wouldn't think water is needed here. Just what is she after?
The 'Normal' and the 'Paranormal.'
So lets take a look at how the majority of people interpret their world, and compare it against those who believe in psychic phenomena...
In the Sensory Reality (i.e. based on the old Newtonian Laws of Physics)
1. All valid information comes from the senses.
2. All events happen in time and space.
3. All events have a cause.
4. Causes occur before effects.
5. Objects separate in space are separate objects.
6. Events separate in time are separate events.
7. All objects and events are composed of parts and can be dealt with separately.
8. This is the only valid way to regard reality. All other ways are an illusion.
Quantum Physics points more and more towards the Clairvoyants reality as being the MORE REAL.
The Clairvoyant’s Reality.
1. All objects are part of the total fabric of being. (To quote Professor Albert Einstein: “There is no place in this new kind of physics both for The Field, and Matter, for The Field is the only reality.”
2. The most important aspect of any object is that which is part of the total.
3. Boundaries, edges and borders do not exist. All things primarily are each other.
4. Division of time into past, present and future is an error and illusion.
5. Events do not happen, they are.
6. Valid information is not gained through the senses but through a knowing of the
oneness of observer and observed, spectator and spectacle.
7. The senses give a false picture of reality. They show separation of objects and
events in space and time.
8. This is the only valid way to regard reality. All other ways are illusion.
The forked stick or twig: the most commonly recognized form of dowsing.
This Hub, along with so many of my others, is to help you to help yourself. Stop limiting what you are with your thoughts. You are an immortal being linked to The All. The more you believe that, the richer and more rewarding your life will be.
More on the writer
- Tom Ware - YouTube
Tom Ware is a Master Storyteller. Known as 'The Prince of Storytellers, Tom has been entertaining audiences with stories for thirty years. Tom joined his fir...
- Tom Ware Public Speaking The Prince of Storytellers
Tom Ware Public Speaking! Tips, events and videos to help you become a gifted speaker. Visit now!
Polo on July 24, 2013:
We were discussing this qusioetn and in essence IF someone chose to use a pendulum dowser for spirit guide interaction one that is blessed with intent in construction & design ~ ie: use of angel wings, love, rose quartz, hearts and genuine metals ~ the user could be ensured that the interaction was more blessed than not. We always ask Heaven's Angels as they are closest to God ~ Great Spirit ~ Creator& see the bigger picture and all miracles possible.Dowsing & Pendulum can be susceptible to cheekier spirits or lower energies ~ so if when someone does use one in that way they do so at their own risk ~ as it also can open portals for lower vibration entities, spirits to travel through ~ LOL ~ We have both great experience with this and also Tibetan Etheric Weaving so we have chosen in our design to stress the healing aspects of pendulums. I have seen a Priest even take of his crucifix and dowse whether a baby was a boy or girl. This is an age old practice.I hope this answers your qusioetn.Much Love
Zain on July 23, 2013:
Richard.Alan is a remarkable dosewr and has put forward a convincing argument to counteract the scientific rejection of dowsing as a natural ability. I only wish I had read this before having to amend my claims to dowsing proficiency on my website at the behest of the Advertising Standards Authority complaining that I could not claim to detect water and archaeological items through dowsing; and using dowsing for health and healing , because this could not be substantiated and assessed on the basis of the available scientific knowledge . Scientists should be more open minded and not just reject dowsing on the basis that there is no scientific proof to date. I am pleased to learn that a number of scientists are now investigating the dowsing phenomenon.
Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on July 30, 2011:
What a wonderful hub! I have always found dowsing a fascinating subject and this hub has filled out a lot of what I didn't know previously.
I remember reading Lyal Thomas's book 'Supernature' many years ago and I find it just as pertinent and fresh today as it was back then. This was one of the main books that set me on my own path of spirituality.
Loved this hub. Voted up + awesome.
Tom Ware (author) from Sydney, Australia on December 12, 2010:
It's probable, Sembj, that all people can dowse. Why should some be exempt except, maybe, that they either haven't been introduced to the idea, or are skeptical to the point of disbelief.
The subconscious mind - the 88 percent below the surface - is the part of us linked to The Whole. But that 88 percent is subject to our beliefs.
Sembj on December 12, 2010:
Most interesting and I can add one small personal story. When living in the country, I had a dowser in to tell the back-hoe driver where to dig the well. He invited me to put my hands on his. Whenever the twig jerked or pushed, something very strange was going on. My impression was it seemed that the dowser was a conduit for some strength and power much greater than his slight build. However, we already know that individuals can tap into unknown strengths to lift cars off children, etc. And, yes, we ended up with a well that didn’t go dry unlike the previous one.
Tom Ware (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 18, 2010:
pjk_artist, you're comments bring home something most people don't think about. e.g. Does the falling tree make a noise when there's no one or nothing to hear it? The answer has to be no. It makes a vibration. It is not interpreted as a noise unless it is picked up by an ear who's owner hears it.
CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on October 18, 2010:
Greart hub encouraging "thinking out of the box"
CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on October 18, 2010:
Greart hub encouraging "thinking out of the box"
pjk_artist from Turkey Point, ON on October 18, 2010:
Great hub Tom!
I wonder to what degree dowsing actually causes that which the dowser is looking for to be created. Quantumly speaking, the underground water doesn't exist until you "observe it"