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April 4, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Four: D is for Dowsing


I took a couple of folklore classes in college, which were wonderfully fascinating. In one of those classes we covered dowsing, which is such an interesting subject. My professor pointed out that the building where our class was held was named after a man who made his life's fortune dowsing for water, which unsettled some people in my class.

And then the professor lead us outside into one of the main squares on campus, produced dowsing rods and proceeded to direct each of us in the basic techniques of dowsing. Needless to say we received a lot of strange looks. 

Dowsing can be done a few different ways. We used two metal rods that were bent on the ends to make handles. Some people prefer a wooden stick that's forked, with certain types of wood supposedly working better than others. There are modern "technological" dowsing rods, but science frowns upon their use since it questions their effectiveness. Some dowsers use no instruments at all, preferring to just walk around until they sense the presence of what they are looking for underground.

People dowse for all kinds of things hidden under the Earth's surface: water, precious metals, dead bodies, Ley lines and even buried treasure. Dowsing is really a form of divination since people are using it to see what cannot be seen.

Learn more about modern dowsing by visiting here

Have any of you ever tried dowsing before?

11 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Very interesting! I hadn't heard of dowsing for things other than water before.

I clicked over to your post about THE WALKING DEAD. Love that show! Don't get me started on the finale and the episode before that... :)

Happy A-Z!

Steven said...

Madeline, most people only know of water dowsing, so don't feel bad. As for the Walking Dead finale, don't get me started either. I actually was thinking of doing a post about it -- what a mess!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've always wanted to know the science behind it and what makes it work.

Nancy Thompson said...

Does that really work?

Steven said...

Diane, everything I have read indicates science thinks dowsing is bunk, just like anything psychic.

Nancy, many people claim dowsing works. Some people have made their fortune by it. But it's definitely controversial.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So it really works? See it movies sometimes and wonder.

Steven said...

Alex, there are plenty of people who claim it works, but the method has never been empirically proven. It is actually a form of psychometry, when psychics feel the "vibrations" from specific objects. The dowsing rod or rods are supposed to help with feeling those vibrations from water, ore or whatever else is being sought.

Julia King said...

I went to a religious site back east and we used dowsing rods to locate where old dwellings were located under the ground. The foundations would activate the dowsing rods. It was a neat experience, one I had completely forgotten about. Thanks for reminding me, Steven!

Steven said...

Julia, thanks for sharing your experience. I didn't find anything on my college's campus, so I'm a bit jealous.

Lexie C. said...

We used to do this as kids with wooden sticks- especially those that naturally forked. I don't think we ever found water but it was great fun to pretend that we were great diviners! :)

Steven said...

Lexie, sounds like a fun game!