Dowsing, or divining, is a traditional method used to discover water, underground pipes and cables, lost objects and missing people and earth energies and/or to suggest healing therapies etc. There are a number of different devices that have been designed over the years that accentuate the body’s natural involuntary movement when the “target” is found. These devices vary from the familiar “Y” rod, made from a thin flexible branch of a tree, “L” shaped rods usually made from thin metal rods, to more complex devices. Some dowsers become so proficient that these aids are often not required; the dowser is able to detect the unbalancing effect that causes the device to move, even though for most of us the device seems to move on its own accord.
As dowsing is a natural ability – anyone prepared to give it a try can do it – and dowsers are very much down-to-earth people from all walks of life. What we have in common is the recognition that dowsing has been used for centuries for many purposes and, even today, can be profitable in the most unlikely technical based industries and occupations.
Dowsers located many of the mines in Devon and Cornwall in the sixteenth century. Dowsing remains an accepted “tool of the trade” in many professions throughout the world. For example, surveyors and builders need and use dowsing to locate underground pipes and cables etc., where maps are unreliable or non-existent, before digging foundations and the like.
Until privatization of the water industry in the UK, dowsing rods were normal equipment in Water Board vans, especially as there were few reliable maps of our water and drainage systems.