Dowsing and Divination as Pseudo-scientific Methods for Research

Dowsing and its more encompassing cousin, divination, are methods long used in many cultures for detection, location, quantification, qualification and, in general, learning more about the world around us. These methods, even when approached with rigorous precision and scrupulous attention to detail, are called "pseudo-scientific" simply because they may not be repeatable by anyone chosen randomly off the street.

If you read more about the subject in
Wikipedia you will get a good overview of methods, tools used, and some of the scope and history. But their cited "scientific studies" of effectiveness that call its results, "no better than chance" are quite misleading. Even if we severely limit the discussion to water detection, consider the well drilling trade. Many very successful well drillers are also water dowsers. Do you suppose that in an endeavor where equipment cost are quite high and where the entire process is fraught with the uncertainties and complexities of terrain, weather, underground obstacles, and equipment failure, that a driller would use some procedure that proved, "no better than chance"?

When I began to dowse I started with water detection and moved into well site location, finding the depth and flow data. I then got into locating buried pipes, tanks, wires, and even errant electrical flows ("stray voltage"). But I read about British dowsers like Guy Underwood ("Pattern of the Past") who found energy patterns related to ancient archeological sites. And I learned about other European dowsers and physicians who correlated "cancer clusters" with underground water passages and planet-wide energy "grids" (Ernst Hartmann, Manfred Curry, Baron Gustav von Pohl, Kathe Bachler, etc.). Chinese geomancers have had thousands of years experience finding energy pathways and formations that can have either harmful (geopathic) or helpful (geobeneficent) effects on humans, forming the roots of Feng Shui. And still other dowsers discovered that locating water on maps or aerial photographs could be just as effective as being on site (Henry Gross). I have worked to replicate their work and to move a bit further along the same path.

But What Can I Do and What Can I Prove?

My college background is an undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology (Analysis-Synthesis), with lots of work in logic, epistemology, and phenomenology. I feel your pain, O.K. skeptics? As an "object" dowser, it was weird enough having my arm or a dowsing rod swing when crossing a "target", because I could tune out other things and select just one. How could that work if dowsing was just a physical process, amplifying some electromagnetically-induced muscle spasm?

Then I started using even more "divinatory" dowsing, where I spent more time asking yes/no, qualitative questions about energy formations/pathways. I refer to it as a "conversation with the planet". This was further out on the limb of "paranormal", and it has bothered some people! I have 3 replies.

1) I'm not a fool, I know the risks, and I take all necessary logical and epistemological precautions, including written research, repetition of questions, reverse-logic questioning, and cross-checking with related, previously revealed information. Whether the answers to my questions come from angels, fairies, demons, the Earth itself, my "higher self", or the creator of the universe, they are all simply treated as just unseen sources, as neutral data subjected to a suspension of belief.

2) More esoteric, "out there" data is treated as such, which is why I used animal studies to verify some of it, and continue working with human clients to see what effects they can describe when I change their personal energy environment.

3) At a workshop given at a Catholic retreat center, one devout woman asked whether I was concerned about getting information from "the devil". The resident nun's reply was interesting. She asked, "If the intention is good, and the results are good, why would you even suggest that"? Although that can't be implied to be a blanket endorsement by "The Church", I can see her point. Doing harm with this stuff is so beyond my capabilities that it's laughable!

Perhaps I can suggest some further reading to enlighten you on the psychological roots of skepticism, the religious fundamentalist aspects of the scientific method, and how to better integrate the two halves of your brain. The book, "Extraordinary Knowing - Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind", by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, Ph.D. is a good starting point. But actually developing your own intuitive faculties is far preferable, since you re-acquire an ability you probably lost, or had browbeaten out of you, as a child. My best dowsing student was someone who was a complete "nay-sayer", WAY beyond skepticism. The look on his face when he found that a twig twisted in his hands over an underground channel of water was precious!

The Dowsing Fundamentals

  • Sensitivity
You need to develop the ability to detect a useful signal in a world full of noise and distraction. Different dowsers use different tools to pick up this signal, ranging from the twitch of a finger, to pendulums of various materials, to the various L- and Y-shaped rods of metal, wood, or plastic seen in images of working dowsers, and even to the silver plates used in radionics. You need to develop your own tool set and your own "conventions" for the responses you receive. In my case, with a "Y-rod" or forked twig, a downward pull indicates "Yes" or the location of (or direction to) the targeted item.
  • Selectivity
Next you need to discern one signal from another unrelated one nearby, like tuning a radio or television to the right station. This is where divination comes into play. A simple physical reflex could possibly explain the unintended movement of a dowsing rod, but how do you explain what happens when it responds only to a specific phenomena and no other? This is where we start to lose touch with what can easily be explained away as a sixth or seventh sense.
  • Logical Inquiry
This is perhaps the hardest part of the process for many people who excel at the previous categories. Putting your questions into some sort of order which allows you to corner a specific piece of data has become almost a lost art. Sometimes it can also be a matter of technique. When I search for, for instance, a sinkhole (or "Cavity Vortex", as I call it) I can either:

  1. Stand in one spot, ask to find the nearest (or largest, or deepest, etc.) sinkhole, and, while holding a dowsing rod, rotate in place until the rod pull downward, indicating the direction.
  2. While standing in place, ask how far it is to the sinkhole, then, while holding the dowsing rod, state certain ranges of values like "is it between 50 and 100 feet away" or, (is it less than 500 feet away". A downward pull on the rod indicates "Yes"
  3. Or I could just wander around until I stumble across a sinkhole. This can be fairly easy if I search for "Dry Etheric Lines", the radial energy lines that flow toward sinkholes, and which become more closely spaced as you near the sinkhole. Once, when demonstrating this in a tall grassy field, I mentioned to my client that the sinkhole is right about...                                                                                                                                                                                             ......Here.                That space jump indicates the 2 feet that I fell as I dropped off the edge of the field into the sinkhole.
  4. Or I could sit in the comfort of my home and use a map to find sinkholes using a tiny "Y-rod" made from a single strand of a steel bicycle brake cable, bent into shape and used between pointer fingers and thumbs of each hand.
  • Quantity

One early technique used by water dowsers to find depth to a water source involved standing in place, dowsing rod in the ready position, and treading from foot to foot while counting upward in "depth in feet below my feet". I prefer asking about specific ranges of values or values above/below a threshold. Quantities can be distance, amount, concentration, intensity, frequency, etc.

  • Quality

This can be anything from 3-dimensional energy pattern surveys, to specific effects on a client, or any other thing you can think of that does not involve a numerical value. For instance, when I check a new energy pattern I ask to find all of its structure. Sometimes this involves "dowsing sideways", which is where I rotate one arm directly above the other while dowsing instead of holding my arms side-by-side. This is handy for finding "Primary Curry Grid Lines" that are horizontal, since I can sweep the rod up or down to intersect the line. Doing this with "L-rod" or a pendulum would obviously be impossible.

  • Results: The aim is prediction
  • Inevitably you will be required by someone to prove that you are actually able to find something, change something, or affect something. In water dowsing this is pretty straightforward; someone digs or drills to find the water you predict and they either find it or they do not. One of my friends found it very entertaining when I could pin-point the location of someone traveling to their home and predict exactly when they would arrive. With Earth Energies, first you must be certain that the individual is actually being affected by geopathic energy by checking their major sleeping, resting, and work areas. When you complete the required energy remediation work it may take a week or two for them to notice the difference. Younger people seem to react quickly, while those who have spent many years in a geopathic zone may react much more slowly.

  • Legal Matters

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of the information contained herein (nor is it likely to!), and said information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.