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The Art of Dowsing

Updated on January 23, 2014

As a dowser, I read and hear a lot about the art of dowsing.  I've heard that it isn't real, it is pseudoscience and that it is flim-flam.  I try to listen to all of this with an open heart and mind; after all, it is a peculiar way to find things.  If you've never held dowsing rods or twigs in your hands, you should at least give it a try to find out what everyone is talking about.  The experience may amaze you.

Illustration by
Illustration by

Learning Dowsing

Experienced dowsers will tell you that some people "have it" and others don't. It isn't like you can force the rods to work because they either will respond to your touch or do nothing at all. No one really knows why they work for some people or not, but there is a lot of information out there that will tell you (usually by people who don't dowse) that the person using the rods is actually guiding the rods to move by subtle hand movements. Supposedly the people holding the rods don't even consciously know that they're doing this. This theory about dowsing is known as the ideomotor effect. Personally, I don't agree with this as I've had success in finding things from day one while using L-shaped rods, but that isn't to say that some people don't manipulate the rods to get the answer that they want.

Dowsing Naysayers

Since I claim to keep an open mind on the art of dowsing, I read the statistical research that scientists have written on the subject. It is all very interesting, however, I do wonder about the methods. Most of the research done uses plastic or metal pipes placed underground in which water can be run through at the will of the researchers. The researchers will have dowsers go out into a field, run water through certain pipes, which are going in all directions underground. The dowsers are supposed to tell where the pipes are and in which direction the water is running, if at all.

When dowsers are looking for water, they don't have to deal with another material between themselves and water, besides soil. Since the pipes don't exist in the normal realm of dowsing, that alone, in my opinion, can cause deviations in the statistical data. Some dowsers will even search for water in their bare feet, eliminating leather and rubber or other man-made materials from the mix in their search for water.

I've included some links to some of the experiments conducted on the art of dowsing at the end of this article under "Related Information."

The Art of Dowsing

Dowsing isn't just about searching for water.  The art of dowsing encompasses finding things or getting questions answered, from finding your car keys to discovering the sex of an unborn baby.  What and where you work with your dowsing tools depends on what it is you're trying to find or discover.  One popular use for dowsing rods is to find spirits in haunted locations.  They can also be used to find unmarked graves.  While many dowsers don't use their dowsing rods or pendulums for this purpose, they can be an effective tool.


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  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

    Hi, I remember reading somewhere that dowsing is real and is caused by the electrical currents that water emanates as it runs underground, the rod or sticks that is used somehow can 'feel' this electric current. fascinating! cheers nell

  • suziecat7 profile image

    suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

    Wonderful interesting Hub - thanks.

  • thevoice profile image

    thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

    first rate terrific hub work thanks