by American Society of Dowsers

  1. Make your own simple pendulums. Well-Balanced, wooden, glass, plastic or metal beads are fine, as it is a hexagonal nut (nut and bolt nut) or any ball, cylinder or top-shaped object.  Tie, or attach a ten-inch thread or string to it.
  2. To hold your pendulum properly, arch wrist so that the string, clasped between the forefinger and thumb (usually with the right hand) can have a direct drop.
  3. To adjust to the substance being tested, start with a short string, and let it slip gradually through the fingers until the pendulum begins to gyrate.
  4. You can start a slight oscillation if you want, as a beginner, to overcome inertia, then let the natural force take over the pendulum motion.
  5. Try for short periods at a time only.  If you do not feel easy about it, wait until later.
  6. You may support your elbow on a table, if you wish
  7. The body works as a magnet, it has a positive and a negative side.  Avoid neutralization; do not cross hands, or feet from one side to another.
  8. Test for your own personal positive swing. The right knee is always positive and the left knee negative. Separate them about eight inches and suspend the pendulum over them. Usually the gyrations will be clockwise for the right or positive knee, and counter-clockwise for the left or negative knee, but not always.  The pendulum will oscillate over the neutral zone between them.
  9. Use the forefinger of the other hand, usually the left, as a pointer and antennae. Point at the subject of the experiment (without crossing over the natural medial of the body).
  10. Find a neutral place to operate a place where the pendulum will only oscillate.
  11. There is an envelope or force field which surrounds the body.  This “aura” is from 1/2 to several inches thick, and has inverse polarity to that of the body proper.  Drop your pendulum down close to the body and watch the gyrations reverse.
  12. When testing the body, keep the pendulum several inches above the surface of the body to avoid the layer of Electro-magnetic force that surrounds it.
  13. Let the pendulum oscillate over a neutral spot on your right. Then touch the positive end of a magnet with the neutral middle finger of your left hand.  Watch the oscillations change to positive gyrations. Notice the slight time lag prior to the results.
  14. Touch the positive end of a dry cell electric battery and observe the positive gyrations.  Watch the change to negative as you touch the negative end of the batter with your neutral middle finger.
  15. Expose slightly the ends of a piece of insulated electric wire. Test for polarity, negative and neutral
  16. To avoid the possibility of auto suggestion, close your eyes when starting an experiment
  17. To determine sex, hand the pendulum over the head of the person being tested.  Try it over an intimate possession, over handwriting. Do this and other experiments in small groups only.  Everybody emits, radiations too many present, or too much handling of the object, may make for interference.
  18. Try testing foods. The pendulum should gyrate positively over “good-for-you” foods, negatively for the opposite, and oscillate for foods that do not matter.  For a more personal test, insert your left (negative hand between the food and the pendulum (or place the substance upon the palm of the left hand). Be careful to put clean foods in a clean, neutral place.  Test some sprayed celery as is, after peeling off the coarse outer threads;  and then test the peelings.
  19. Remember that there is a possibility of individual variations.  Not everyone’s ‘code’ is the same. Ascertain yours, then stick to it.


American Society of Dowsers (802) 684-3417 | 184 Brainerd St. PO Box 24, Danville, VT 05828  | |

PDF Link ot Download from ADS Site

by Rev. David E. Stanger

Fundamental Dowsing Information – an Interactive Investigation.

Rev. David E. Stanger

Before after or during the dowsing learning process there are some fundamental mental process’ that need to be examined. For some time now I have been thinking or looking into these concepts (which are true of any process or work but particularly true of the dowsing/healing process.)

On the part of the dowser and the client there must be:

  • Need: There must be a need for a certain dowsing/healing process to take place.
  • Intent: There  must be the wish of both the dowser and the client to make the dowsing successful.
  • Desire: There also must be a strong desire on the part of both the dowser and the client to have a successful conclusion to the work.

Beyond these basics we also need:

  • Action to start the process or it will never take place.
  • Integrity on the part of the dowser to be up-front and honest about all his work and dealings with the client so that the client will not be misled or misinformed.
  • The client must also be honest with the dowser with regard to all the facts in the work involved.

We as dowser/healers also need heart, that intangible that finally makes a good dowser.

In giving the presentation I would give a brief description of the words and some of my feeling in regard to choosing these words for discussion and then throw the floor open (with a Talking Stick) to people to give their own ideas or feelings in this regard.


David Stanger is a master healer/dowser with over twenty-five years of experience; almost all of this work has grown at an exponential rate and has come from Spirit who talks to me at a very subtle level and in waking dreams. His primary work is house clearing of negative energies of many kinds, removal of entities and related “things” from individuals and places. Removal of blockages from people from conception to present day this removes all the “psychic and psychological hooks from all the bad memories”.
David was also instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Society of Dowsers. David and his wife Betty were also on the Convention Committee for a number of years.

Rev. David E. Stanger
Phone: 705-327-9541
Email address:

by Bo Nordell

Link to Pdf File


May 19-21, 1988 Svedala, Sweden

Prof. Bo Nordell
Div. of Water Resources Engineering
Dept. of Environmental Engineering
Luleå University of Technology
SE-97187 Lulea, Sweden
Tel: +46-920-491646
Fax: +46-920-491697

by Crystal Hawk

ICrystal Hawk first heard about spoon bending being offered at a Physics Conference held at the University of Toronto more than 30 years ago. I had to leave early to attend a Therapeutic Touch week in Upper State New York and missed this event. So in March, for my birthday, I invited the person who had shown it at the conference to come to my party and lead us through the process. I purchased many strong second-hand spoons and invited 18 friends to join me. There was a lot of laughter and everyone but one person turned their spoon. Laughter apparently helps to make “it” happen with spoon bending.

When “it” happens, the spoon becomes very warm and the person holding it has about one minute to move it into any position they desire.

Beginners often just fold the spoon over. More relaxed and experienced spoon benders turn the handle sometimes as many as four turns. If a spoon is turned four times physicists accept it as “form warming”. I find that interesting.

Spoon bending is not magic. It is something that anyone can do quite easily. It has an aspect similar to dowsing, though focusing and intention don’t do it. One has to set up a simple process, then disconnect from the outcome and let it happen.  This is the imagery to make “it” happen.

Use a strong spoon – they are easier to bend.

Holding the spoon, imagine a ball of hot yellow energy overhead.

See it come down and enter your head.

Bring it down through your head and neck, and down your arm,   through your hand and into the spoon.

Then very loudly say “Bend! bend! bend!” and think about something  else.

Turn the spoon when it becomes warm.

Enjoy and have fun turning spoons – but be careful with car keys when you get good at this, as they are liable to “turn” when you just hold them.

To make my pin I took a small spoon and turned it only once in the middle of the handle.  I took it to a very good jewelry store and had a good pin put on it for $40. You can easily make something like that for yourself.  Whenever I wear it, I find it an excellent conversation piece to introduce the concepts of energy work to people unfamiliar with the topic.

I’ve been told that spoon bending used to be offered at dowsing conferences in the past. Maybe some of you remember those days and could let us know when that was and how it went. I wonder why they stopped offering it. I find it an enjoyable way to teach people that they can trust their own abilities to interact successfully with the invisible fields in the Universe. Spoon bending can be an excellent exercise for dowsers!

Crystal Hawk, MEd, and a Meridian Therapist, is a long-term member of CSD.  Her two websites are & She can be reached at

by By Richard Louv

SAN DIEGO — Trucks from the water department pulled up on my cul-de-sac. Several guys in hard hats jumped out. They began to mark the street with blue spray paint. Some of them studied books of charts. But one workman walked around holding two bent metal rods, one in each fist, pointed directly ahead of him. He watched the rods intently as they swung left or right or crossed.

“Just curious. But what are you doing?” I asked.

He looked a little sheepish and muttered, “Dowsing.”

Like most people, I’m somewhat familiar with dowsing (or divining, or water witching, as it is sometimes called), scientifically unproven method of using metal rods, sticks or branches to find subsurface water.

“Do many of you guys with the water department use dowsing rods?” I asked him.

“Quite a few of us,” he said, and wandered off, watching his rods.

Here’s the really odd thing. The reason the San Diego water department was marking the street was so AT&T wouldn’t break the water mains when its crews arrived a few days later to rip up the road, dig trenches and begin laying fiber-optic cable.

The dowser, using what can best be described as 15th century sorcery, was preparing my neighborhood for the 21st century information highway.

Maybe, as one professor says, we’re seeing pockets of pre-scientific wisdom that have always been present, but at times like this we just notice them more.

Crossed wires

But I think our wires are crossed. At the end of the 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution was overturning everyone’s technological, political and social assumptions, the metaphysical — ectoplasm, spirits, mind-readers — blossomed.

Today, in the Information Revolution, at the very moment when science and technology seem supreme, fundamentalist religion is on the rise; angels are big business; and 38 percent of Americans (according to a Harris poll) believe that finding and picking up a penny is good luck.

Dowsing is getting even more metaphysical and bizarre.

Until very recently, dowsing was used 99 percent of the time to locate underground water for rural families and livestock. All of this has changed radically in the past two or three decades.

The divining faithful don’t even try to claim that dowsing can be proved scientifically. Electromagnetic explanations have given way to ESP and the paranormal — a universal force or a Jungian kind of superconsciousness.

At a convention of the American Society of Dowsers in Vermont, which attracted 900 practitioners, only one seminar, which was poorly attended, dealt with dowsing for water wells. The rest, more than 60 of them with packed audiences, focused on Dowsing for Indian Effigy Mounds, Dowsing and Emotional Well-Being, Communicating with Animals through Dowsing and Deviceless Dowsing: Listening to the Trees.

The farmer in his field may have tapped some ancient wisdom, but what can you say about the woman who, at her local Blockbuster, dowses for good videotapes?

Maybe it’s true we’re seeing some irrational reactions to breathless technological change. On the other hand, many of the believers in science or metaphysics seem to be converging. These days advanced quantum physics and religion seem almost related.

Many people in the information industry feel that fiber optics and the like are as close as we are going to get to God. And I guess that the Internet has religious implications, too. Indeed, far from rejecting the Internet, many mystical types are mastering it.

I logged on the other day and found a Web page called Ancient Futures that linked to pages on astrology, paranormal and psychic phenomena, Feng Shui Chinese Geomancy, Tarot cards, aboriginal mysticism and divining.

I don’t know if this convergence is good or bad. I suppose I would prefer a universe in which these worlds communicate to one in which they collide.

In any case, dowsing our way down the information highway makes poetic sense.

Richard Louv is a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Pub Date: 7/25/96

by Benjamin Radford

Dowsing is an unexplained process in which people use a forked twig or wire to find missing and hidden objects. Dowsing, also known as divining and doodlebugging, is often used to search for water or missing jewelry, but it is also often employed in other applications including ghost hunting, crop circles and fortunetelling.

The dowsing that most people are familiar with is water dowsing, or water witching or rhabdomancy, in which a person holds a Y-shaped branch (or two L-shaped wire rods) and walks around until they feel a pull on the branch, or the wire rods cross, at which point water is allegedly below. Sometimes a pendulum is used held over a map until it swings (or stops swinging) over a spot where the desired object may be found. Dowsing is said to find anything and everything, including missing persons, buried pipes, oil deposits and even archaeological ruins.
They got it wrong

Part of the reason for dowsing’s longevity is its versatility in the New Age and paranormal worlds. According to many books and dowsing experts, the practice has a robust history and its success has been known for centuries. For example in the book “Divining the Future: Prognostication From Astrology to Zoomancy,” Eva Shaw writes, “In 1556, ‘De Re Metallica,’ a book on metallurgy and mining written by George [sic] Agricola, discussed dowsing as an acceptable method of locating rich mineral sources.” This reference to ‘De Re Metallica’ is widely cited among dowsers as proof of its validity, though there are two problems.

The first is that the argument is a transparent example of a logical fallacy called the “appeal to tradition” (“it must work because people have done it for centuries”); just because a practice has endured for hundreds of years does not mean it is valid. For nearly 2,000 years, for example, physicians practiced bloodletting, believing that balancing non-existent bodily humors would restore health to sick patients.
Pendulum dowsing
[Pin It] Sometimes dowsing involves holding a pendulum over a map.
Credit: MoniV | Shutterstock
View full size image

Furthermore, it seems that the dowsing advocates didn’t actually read the book because it says exactly the opposite of what they claim: Instead of endorsing dowsing, Agricola states that those seeking minerals “should not make use of an enchanted twig, because if he is prudent and skilled in the natural signs, he understands that a forked stick is of no use to him.”

If dowsing could be proven to work, what could the mechanism be? How could a twig or two metal wires know what the dowser is looking for (water, money, minerals, a lost item, etc.), much less where it could be found? The proposed mechanisms are as varied as the dowsers themselves. Some sources claim that strong psychic energy is radiated by the object and detected by the dowser; others believe that ghosts, spirits or mysterious Earth energies direct the dowser to their targets.
Dowsing: No better than chance

Skeptic James Randi in his “Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural,” notes that dowsers often cannot agree on even the basics of their profession: “Some instructions tell learners never to try dowsing with rubber footwear, while others insist that it helps immeasurably. Some practitioners say that when divining rods cross, that specifically indicates water; others say that water makes the rods diverge to 180 degrees.”

Though some people swear by dowsing’s effectiveness, dowsers have been subjected to many tests over the years and have performed no better than chance under controlled conditions. It’s not surprising that water can often be found with dowsing rods, since if you dig deep enough you’ll find water just about anywhere. If missing objects (and even missing people) could be reliably and accurately located using dowsing techniques, it would be a great benefit: If you lose your keys or cell phone, you should be able to just pull out your pendulum and find it; if a person goes missing or is abducted, police should be able to locate them with dowsing rods.

Science differs from the New Age and paranormal belief in that it progresses, correcting and building on itself. Technology and medicine are continually advancing and refining. Designs and techniques are improved or abandoned depending on how well they work. By contrast, dowsers have not gotten any more accurate over centuries and millennia of practice.

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of six books including Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. His Web site is

by Diane Marcotte 

Birch Trere Before TreepipeIn 2007, our birch tree was showing severe signs of stress. It appeared our beloved tree was infested with bronze birch borers which start at the top of the tree and eat their way down.  Once a tree is infested, there is little to be done and death of the tree results.

Not willing to accept this, I decided to dowse for a solution. I had seen in an issue of the CSD journal an advertisement for “Tree Pipes”. These small pipes, about 4 or 5 inches long with a diameter of about an inch, were to be buried next to a tree that was in need of healing. Although I don’t usually use a man-made object for “holding my intent” (preferring a rock or even writing out my intent on a slip of paper), I decided to order one.

My intent in regards to our birch was that it be able to reject any further onslaught of the bronze birch borer. I believe that the future is not yet written and that there are many probable futures with each one occurring in different probable universes. It was my desire that the probable future where my tree lives for another few years would be in the universe I inhabit!

I like to use my bobber for this type of work. The movement of the bobber is an indicator of how well my intention is being infused into the tree pipe (by observing the strength of the circular movements) and of how long I need to continue. (The bobber will slow down and stop when the process is complete.)

When it was time to bury the tree pipe, a few questions came to mind. Where do I bury it? How deep do I bury it? What is the most beneficial orientation? More dowsing was in order. Starting at my front door with L-rods in hand I asked for direction to the spot where it would be most beneficial to bury the tree pipe. The rods brought me to a spot about six feet to the right of the tree as seen from the street. Now it was time for my pendulum. Although I don’t remember just how deep I buried it, my standard protocol would be along the lines of “Five inches or more?” If I got a yes then my next question would be “Ten inches or more?” If I got a no, then I would have called off the inches one by one starting at five and progressing towards nine until my pendulum changed its swing from its SEARCHING position to my YES position. Now, one last thing to consider: how do I orient the tree pipe? Using my pendulum again, I would have gone through all the possible positions. Vertical to the ground? Horizontal to the ground? Facing north, northeast, etc? Using a small trowel, I dug the hole and placed the tree pipe as determined by my dowsing. All that remained to be done was to give thanks – confident that my intention was clear and that I could now leave it in the hands of spirit.

Birch Tree 2 Years After Burying Tree PipeOur tree not only lived, but thrived – albeit slightly bedraggled – for another four years to the summer of 2011. In the spring of 2010 an off-shoot near the tree sprang up which survived the following winter. Was this little sapling healthy enough to replace our existing birch? The answer seemed to be yes, so with a heavy heart we hired a young chap to draw up a plan for new plant beds and to cut down our beloved birch tree. He removed the stump carefully so as not to disturb the young sapling. The soil was made ready for new plants and our front garden was revitalized.

I named the new little sapling “Sunshine.” One day shortly afterwards as I was admiring the garden I realized that, in all the digging we had done preparing the soil and installing the new plants, the tree pipe had not been found. Thinking back to that day five years ago I realized just where the tree pipe is buried – directly beneath “Sunshine”!

Does intention work? You bet it does! Can dowsing strengthen the power of intention? Oh yes! It seems I had found not only the spot that would best hold my “intention” but also the best spot for our stressed mature tree to sprout forth anew. Verification of our dowsing can come when we least expect it, bringing a little sunshine into our lives.

Sapling May 2012 No Longer a Sapling 2014

Copyright Diane Marcotte 2014

Diane has been dowsing since 1997 and was a Board member of the Canadian Society of Dowsers from 2001 to 2003. She teaches dowsing to individuals and groups and can be reached at

by Richard Webster

Dowsing is the art of divining for something that is desired. Usually, people dowse for water or minerals that are hidden underground. However, dowsing is much more versatile than this and has a large variety of uses. Just recently, I was in Munich and saw two people using a pendulum to decide which of two places they should visit. They did not have time to visit both, and were asking their pendulum which would be the better place for them to visit on this trip. I know someone who uses a pendulum to determine the sex of unborn chickens. While my children were growing up, they frequently asked me to find lost objects for them, and I would have to produce my pendulum and use it to find the missing items. These are all examples of dowsing.

When people think about dowsing, they usually visualize someone holding a forked stick which reacts when the person is standing over an underground source of water. This is the traditional dowsing tool, and it can easily be made from a V- or Y- shaped piece of branch cut from a peach or willow tree. The dowsing rod is held with the palms upward, holding the two ends of the forks.  The elbows should be held close to the body, keeping the stick in a state of tension. If you are searching for underground water, you need to think casually about your desire for water, and then walk over the ground until the forked stick reacts. Usually, this is a strong downwards pull, which is known as the dowsing response.

Angle rods make a better device to start with, as they are more sensitive than the forked stick.  They consist of two L-shaped pieces of metal wire, approximately twelve inches by six. The dowser holds these loosely in his hands, with the twelve-inch sections pointing forwards. The two rods should be parallel. Again, thinking of what he or she is dowsing for, the dowser walks forwards until the angle rods react, usually by crossing over each other, but sometimes by moving outwards. Some people grip the angle rods too tightly, restricting the movements. If this is a problem, the remedy is to cover the shorter section of the rods with plastic or wooden tubing that allows the rods to move freely inside. The casing from a cheap ball-point pen works well for this.

A small weight attached to a length of thread, cord or chain is probably the most convenient device for dowsing. This is called a pendulum. Ideally the weight should be at least a few ounces, and the thread should be four to six inches long. The cord is held between the thumb and first finger, allowing the weight to move freely. Stop the movement of the weight with your free hand, and then ask the pendulum to indicate a “yes” response. It might take a minute or two for the pendulum to react the first time you try this, but eventually it will move from side to side, backwards and forwards, or in a circular motion, either clockwise or anti-clockwise. This is what makes the pendulum so versatile, as the different movements allow it to give a range of different answers. Once you have the movement that indicates “yes”, you should ask for “no”, followed by “I don’t know” and “I don’t want to answer”.

Now you can ask the pendulum any questions you like that can be answered by one of these responses. You will be impressed with the quality of information you receive. However, there is one important caveat. Do not ask the pendulum any questions in which you are emotionally involved in the outcome. This is because, in these cases, the pendulum will give you the answer you want, rather than the correct answer. If, for example, someone close to you is pregnant and you want to find out if the baby will be a boy or girl, the pendulum will provide the correct answer

Richard Webster |   | June 30, 2006

The Joy of Dowsing

by Richard Webster

Dowsing is the art of finding something that is hidden, usually something concealed underground. Dowsing is most commonly used for water divining, but there appear to be virtually no limits to the number of applications it can be used for. Over the years I have dowsed for water, minerals, arrow shards, oil, lost objects, and even a parking space in the central city. Read More

by Michael Brooks

Last week, I went dowsing. Also known as divining, this is the ancient practice of holding twigs or metal rods that are supposed to move in response to hidden objects. It is often used to look for water, and farmers in California have been known to ask dowsers to find ways to irrigate their land.

Yet despite many anecdotal reports of success, dowsing has never been shown to work in controlled scientific tests. That’s not to say the dowsing rods don’t move. They do.

The scientific explanation for what happens when people dowse is that “ideomotor movementsMovie Camera” – muscle movements caused by subconscious mental activity – make anything held in the hands move. It looks and feels as if the movements are involuntary. The same phenomenon has been shown to lie behind movements of objects on a Ouija board.

Meet the dowser

I knew all this when I went to meet John Baker, who is supervising a dowsing workshop at Sissinghurst castle in Kent, UK, tomorrow. What I didn’t realise is just how hard it is to believe the science.

Baker specialises in dowsing for hidden archaeological structures. By the time I had finished my couple of hours with him, my scepticism about dowsing was getting shaky.

When I arrived, Baker was standing in front of an array of blue flags he had planted in a grassy area in the castle grounds. The flags marked out something his rods had revealed: the outline of a long-forgotten building. Baker held his L-shaped dowsing rods like a pair of six-shooters and walked back and forth across the lines. As he “entered” the building, the rods swung across his body. When he exited, they uncrossed.

At this point, I was neither impressed nor surprised. He could see the line of flags, and he knew what he expected to happen. It would only take a small unconscious movement of his hands to make the rods cross, I thought. What would be impressive and surprising is if the rods crossed when I tried it.

So I had a few goes. Nothing happened. Baker looked untroubled, but I had begun to feel that I was wasting my time.

Just relax

Baker suggested I try to relax, shake out my shoulders, and maybe visualise something to do with buildings, since that was what I was dowsing for. I did – and it worked.

First the rods started to feel “jumpy” in my hands. Though they didn’t cross as I walked forward, they felt as if they might want to. So I tried it again. Eventually, they crossed every time I “entered” the building. They even uncrossed at the other side.

I have to confess, however much I might be able to rationalise what was happening, my newfound ability freaked me out a little.

So what happened? Baker’s explanation is that by relaxing, and suppressing all my rationalisations, I allowed my brain to tune into a kind of “energy” associated with the buried structure. I think there’s a simpler explanation.

Subtle illusion

I was frustrated when nothing happened, and stimulated (and amused) when something did. It seems that a part of me wanted it to work. In other words, the atmosphere was the perfect set-up for the ideomotor effect to kick in and move the rods.

Scientifically minded sceptics often express deep dismay at the credulousness of people who believe in dowsing, extrasensory perception and other “inexplicable” phenomena. They should not be so harsh. The illusions that make them seem plausible are astonishingly subtle and powerful.

It is only human to attribute such observations to something beyond the normal senses. Even if science is your thing, a brief immersion in the world of the “unexplained” can be enough to inject a little doubt.

A final confession: I am still slightly disappointed that the scientific explanation stands up so well. I had a great time with Baker at Sissinghurst, and I’m sure tomorrow’s apprentice dowsers will too.

We take a perverse pleasure in things that confound our senses, which is why conjuring tricks are delightful and science can seem a killjoy. The physicist Richard Feynman once said that science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. What he didn’t say was just how much fun fooling yourself can be.

Michael Brooks is the author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense (Profile/Doubleday)

14:08 29 July 2009 by Michael Brooks