The WingSmith Project

Recently a few members of Devon Dowsers took part in the WingSmith project. In a traditional forge deep in the heart of Devon there is pure alchemy going on.

Two skilled and passionate artisans are bring some magic into the world. Nick Mussell (the Tanglewood Project) and Matt Coe ( Dingle Design) posed a question    “What if they we were able to create an aspiring sculpture made by members of the public to show their support for front line workers?”

WingSmith was born; the project to encourage members of the public to learn coppersmithing skills and forge a feather that would become an amazing sculpture.

The inspiration for the project Karen Stead-Dexter and her amazing birds of prey. Karen is a regular guest speaker at Devon Dowsers sharing her knowledge and wonderful bird medicine with our members. Karen arrived during our feather making with Rosie her Eagle Owl and George her Barn Owl, who watched over our smithing skills.

Nick and Matts vision to encourage ‘new apprentices’ to create two copper feather, one to add to the amazing sculpture, the other a unique keepsake as a permanent reminder of the day.

The original launch day was restricted to the new Covid guidance that came in, when the original plan was for an open venue which had to be shelved along with the attendance of ourselves to the event. Matt and Nick were resourceful as ever and came up with an alternative plan to use the permanent forge instead of the mobile and those of us that had already brought tickets, the opportunity to create our copper feathers.

Following their first forge day on 27th September despite all our hard work, there is still 384 feathers to go!

There will be more opportunities for you to forge your own two feathers so keep a look out for new dates coming up. You never know you may find yourself forging a feather with one of Karen’s birds watching on.

More information can be found on the project can be found at WingSmith and to meet the inspirational birds Kingfisher Falconry

Funeral of John Bowers ~ 13th October 2020

The funeral of John Bowers will take place at 11.00 am on Tuesday 13th October 2020 at Winkleigh Parish Church. 

Covid regulations permit thirty people to be present at the funeral, so only invited family and friends will be in attendance. John Down will represent Devon Dowsers. 

Any members of Devon Dowsers who wish to pay their respects in Winkleigh, can do so by standing on the pavement in the street, socially distancing, or in the church yard if there is room. 

By sharing his dowsing knowledge and skills over the years, John touched many people’s lives in Devon and beyond. Devon Dowsers are forever indebted to him.  We can each say our ‘Goodbyes’ to John in whatever way feels right for us and we send our love to Marjorie and Kathryn.


John Bowers

Zoom Talk Sunday 18th October 2020

A joint Sunday afternoon talk by Ali Denham for Devon Dowsers and Tamar Dowsers. This is a talk for members of both groups to meet on Zoom to hear Ali talk about ‘Guy Underwood’s Features in the Southwest’.

Devon Dowsers ~ Talks in September & October

Please find the links below for more information on the upcoming Zoom Talks in September and October.


Maria Wheatley ~ September


Sean Ferris ~ October



‘I give unto you…………’

I give unto you …………………’

This is a place I go to when I want to ‘let go’ of stuff. It’s no dragon but the female earth energy current running through Welstor Rock on Welstor Common and Buckland Beacon above Buckland in the Moor has such a gentle grounding energy.

It also has some of the best views to the South, down the Teign estuary and to the West over Dartmoor in this SE corner of Dartmoor, just north of Ashburton.


When enjoying a pint of Jail Ale from the Dartmoor brewery, sat on Back Beach outside the New Quay Inn in Teignmouth, I decided to find out what hill on Dartmoor I was looking at when I was new to the area.

Buckland Beacon is known for it’s ‘tablets of granite’ on which the ten commandments have been carved. In 1928 Parliament rejected the adoption of the proposed new Book of Common Prayer. In celebration Mr William Whitely of Wellstor celebrated this victory by commissioning the scultor W.A. Clement to engrave the ten commandments on two ‘tablets of stone’ on Buckland Beacon.

Since this date the lettering has been restored. Today they are clearly exposed. The word ‘Commandment’ seems antiquated living in our Western Liberal Democracy. Divine moral imperatives have been noticeable by their absence for many years.


It has taken a pandemic to hail their return. Thou shalt ‘ wear face marks on public transport’, ‘keep social distancing of two meters wherever possible’, ‘only meet with one other household’ etc



The recumbent granite tablet lies within the female earth energy current which runs South East to North West. Some commentators have regarded the granite carvings as an act of vandalism, violating the integrity of Dartmoor.

It is not unique. Another triangular slab of granite has been carved to commemorate the death of an oak tree felled in Wistman’s Wood, in order to discover its age in the name of ‘science’. Two acts of vandalism for sure. A simple dowse could have answered that question.



A Dartmoor Letterbox lies under the granite fingers of Welstor Rock, which even I couldn’t miss. The note book was full of messages of good will, written by delighted Letterbox hunters.




I forgave Mr Whitely’s granite carving on reading the New Commandment he added,

‘I give unto you that you love one another’


Gwynn Paulett, August 2020.

Blue Sky Days

Devon Dowsers is grateful to Sally Cunis for sharing the email below from Lucy Pringle who has given her kind permission to share this with Devon Dowsers’ members.

Blue Sky Days[7513]

2020 Crop Circle Tours

Dear Sally,

This is going to be a very short letter just to bring you up to date with what has been happening.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be up in the air once more; the feeling of the gentle air on my face and glory of looking all around at our most beautiful countryside; little hidden villages; hamlets; iron age hill forts, white horses etched into the side of hills; church spires, farms and more mundanely swimming pools! Instead of concrete, acres of the most glorious kaleidoscope of fields as the crops are starting to ripen in all different hues of gold. A truly exhilarating and breathtakingly wonderful experience that no matter how many times I have flown, it still gives me that feeling of joy and wonder every single time; my heart seems to sing a special song of thankfulness just for being alive.

When flying around the circle, a whole lot of things come into play; first and foremost checking that your cameras are fully charged and that you have installed the card. When that is done, your lenses are clean and the settings are correct, you will be ready. Firstly you need to judge the size of the circle and fly around to find the exact angle when suddenly the circle below starts to shimmer like a pearl. Taking different overhead pictures, some directly overhead, some angled, some distance with the surrounding countryside as a backdrop, some close, some zoomed in, just to mention a few.

I wondered if I might be out of practise but luckily all was well. However I am never really satisfied and think the pictures taken by other photographers are often better than mine – good in a way, as it makes me try harder all the time.

I am going to send you a selection of my efforts this year to date. Some circles were quite old when I photographed them.

to continue reading and to view the photos please click here

Lesley Whittaker’s Bird Spirit Medicine Homework following Karen Stead-Dexter’s talk to Devon Dowsers, July 2020

In a fascinating talk, Karen had explained Bird Spirit Medicine and sent notes about how to seek it. I tried to find a time, but it wasn’t happening. One morning my regular family of 3 crows brought their latest addition (noisy, flappy) to meet me and I wondered whether they were bringing my Medicine, but dowsing said no, they were just introducing us to each other. I was delighted to meet the baby, and congratulated the family.

The weather was damp and very windy, with a leaden sky. I walked to the village shop feeling rather low, then wondered about continuing down a nearby lane, a regular walk for me. I was reluctant because the day before, the hedges had been hacked to bits by a tractor with a flail mower. I was very despondent about the waste of fruit, seed and nuts, and the torn branches.

As I approached the end of the lane, the thought grew stronger that I needed to go down it. I set off into the gale. The telephone wires were singing, and the trees were lashing heavy branches in full wet leaf. It was July but it felt like December. Head down into the wind, I passed the end of the wounded hedges, and reached untouched ones. Suddenly, my eye was caught by a movement on my right and a skylark rose into the sky, beginning to sing. The clouds were heavy but glaring, yet I could track the bird’s flight all the way, tossed in the gale. How could anything so small struggle against the weather and write a symphony at the same time? I was immediately cheered, and encouraged. I couldn’t stop smiling, and I called out, “Thank you!” though my voice was snatched away by the wind. Immediately, from the field on my left, another skylark rose, equally battling the gale but undaunted, singing as it went. Stereo skylarks! I had never imagined such a thing. This was my Bird Spirit Medicine, I was in no doubt.

I continued to watch both of them, which is in itself unusual, sending them love as they flew. “How can I honour you?” I shouted into the wind. I was full of joy, and yet also aware of a sense of deep melancholy. Finally, they returned to their fields, silent. My emotions were brimming as I turned for home. I just had the message, “Write about us”.

This time of Covid 19 Lockdown, with heavy anxiety felt by so many; the disappointments; the overwhelming new ideas which I needed to work on; all crowded in as I walked back, but this time, with the wind behind me.

I knew that I had to accept my emotions, feel them, and communicate them to others in the book I was writing at the time.

So, when the second Zoom session with Karen arrived, I told of my experience. In the days following, I had heard Vaughn-Williams’ The Lark Ascending broadcast twice, quite randomly. Poems to Skylarks were appearing everywhere. People were talking about them. And I was writing about them.

I felt very privileged to have received their gift.

Karen listened to all our accounts of our Bird Spirit Medicine Homework, and gave us insights into the meaning of the encounters. I had tried to find out what my encounter with the Skylarks could mean, and saw that they were associated with joy, and spirituality. Karen’s comments seemed much deeper. This was Heart Medicine, going deep into the emotions and shaking them up; soar into the winds and lift off; keep the joy. The significance of the two birds was to achieve a balance in life. I understood that in my sadness about the battered hedges, there was also joy to be found that the skylarks were still there, their crops not yet cut, their nests safe.

I have walked the lane many times since, but all the birds are silent now, even the sentinel blackbird who sits on the telegraph pole. It’s the time of moult, of shaking off the old feathers to emerge in new ones.

I pass the place where two skylarks sang for me, and I smile.

Credit : The photo of the skylark

Plant and Tree Communication Zoom Sessions with Dr Karen Stead – Dexter

Session 1 (7.00pm – 8.00pm Thursday 13th August 2020)



Dr Karen Stead – Dexter will be casting her magic and sharing her shamanic skills with Devon Dowsers’ members across two Zoom Sessions focusing on Plant/Tree Consciousness and Communication. Members will learn how to avail themselves of Plant Spirit Medicine.

These Zoom sessions are guaranteed to result in as many extraordinary tales as the Bird Spirit Medicine experience.

  • She will introduce the idea of plant/tree communication and how plants/trees are communicating all the time but we just don’t listen;
  • introduce the concept of ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ used by homeopaths, essence makers and plant spirit medicine practitioners – how a plant will look like an organ of the body, therefore providing medicine relating to that organ….she will give examples;
  • explain how she connects into Plant Spirit Medicine when she makes essences….she will give an example of the Californian Redwood;
  • introduce the steps needed to really meet a plant spirit…….asking permission, touch, sight, smell, felt sense, what can we do to help the plant in return;
  • how plants make us feel – give examples of how roses smell to get noticed, thereby gifting their medicine once we stick our noses into their blooms; and,
  • then open to the floor – Participants will need to have ready examples of how a particular plant or tree has had an impact on them.  Karen will then go through the plants in relation to what we have mentioned above, giving deeper meaning.

‘Homework’ to be set by Karen for those at Session 1

 Session 2 (7.00pm -8.00pm Thursday 3rd September 2020)

In Session 2, Karen will invite members to share their Homework communication experiences with plants and trees and provide feedback.

Gwynn Paulett August 2020.

Alan Murray’s Bird Spirit Medicine

Having been out with Karen Stead-Dexter and her magical birds for a one to one experience, I was very keen to undertake the homework she set on bird medicine.

Just a couple of days after her first Zoom talk, and before I had had the chance to actually read the homework, I had my ’medicine’  bird encounter. This encounter was NOT dowsed for as suggested by Karen BUT did seem to throw up several related references as she had suggested would happen.

I was up very early (for me), about 6am, to make coffee and on my way to the kitchen I blearily glanced through the front door to see a sparrow hawk sitting on a fence only about 5 metres away. As we looked at each other he/she proceeded to tuck one leg up in his chest feathers and perched there. This exchange lasted for about 5 minutes before he launched himself backwards and away.

Jo has lived here for twenty years and never seen one. She did see what we assume is the same one the next day (near our new wildlife pond) but then he disappeared and neither of us has seen him again since.

Two hours later the same morning, whilst listening to Radio Three, we heard an ad for ‘Private Passions’ whose guest that week was Helen MacDonald. Her bestselling book is called ‘H is for Hawk’ and is about her personal experience of training a goshawk called Mabel, as a way of coping with the grief of her father’s sudden death.

The next day whilst listening to ‘Sounds of the Seventies’ there were at least two references to Hawkwind.

Some days later I listened to Helen MacDonald’s story on ‘Private Passions’ on BBC Sounds when she talked about ‘Mabel’ and a pet parrot.

Almost a week after the encounter I thought I would see what the village store had to offer in the way of bottled beers. Looking down the list I came upon ‘Seahawk’, Old Buzzard and Avocet, so purchased a bottle of each!

So how did Karen interpret this encounter and its links? She said that the sparrow hawk cuts right though stuff and goes right to the point. As he was standing on one leg, and therefore fairly relaxed’, indicates grounding. Not sure how all this directly affects me though. Maybe I am not understanding this clearly enough? Is this the message I am missing?

Helen is a writer, poet, historian, illustrator and naturalist. She’s worked as a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, as a professional falconer, and in raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She is an affiliate of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.


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Dowsing is a means of searching, not using our normal senses, and can be done on site as well as remotely (e.g. map and information dowsing). It is an ethical activity used for the greater good. Devon Dowsers welcomes those who have a fascination for this ancient art, and who wish to share their experiences with other open-minded members.

We always welcome new members, so please see our current programme  and come to a meeting to check us out. To learn more,  get in touch through our contact form. We’d love to hear from you.






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The Covid19 pandemic


The new dates for DFEST are 12th/13th June 2021. Please put these dates into next year’s calendar. We have booked the Victory Hall, South Zeal for our venue on these dates, and the programme and meal arrangements will remain the same, all things being equal.

If there continue to be social restrictions in 2021, apart from another ‘lockdown’, we are committed to creating a way to share our common Dowsing interests whilst staying safe.


Staying safe. Putting love and protection out there for NHS staff, shop staff and all other key workers.

Being realistic and optimistic. By dowsing we can help ourselves and others. We need to optimise the performance of our immune system, remove stressors.

Use the new SELF-HELP tab above to access Dowsing Self-Help Ideas: Health, Gardening, Healing Circles, Exercise etc

'With positive thoughts our spirits can rise like the sun each morning'


'Tides ebb and flow and this time will pass'

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May you be safe,

May you be healthy,

May you be happy,

May you live with ease.

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