What Is Dowsing & Other Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a dowsing question that you need an answer to? Please email them to the webmaster at [email protected] They will be sent to a panel of dowsers for review and reply. Please note: Due to differing belief systems of individual dowsers, it may not be possible to combine individual panel members’ responses into one answer. Thus, each response from a panel member will be shown separately below the question.

Susan Collins – CSD Convention 2014

The earliest recorded dowser was Emperor Yu of the Hsia Dynasty in China about 4,000 years ago. Dowsing in China at that time was known as Geomancy or today’s Feng Shui.  Throughout the centuries and in many cultures people have been using dowsing to find answers to their questions. Dowsing has been known in both of the Americas among Native Peoples, as well as in Ancient Egypt and in Europe (Roman Empire).

In our more recent history, dowsing really came to light when in Germany in the 1920’s people noticed that certain houses had higher incidences of cases of cancer than others. Dowsers were able to detect significant numbers of underground water streams crossing under the houses with the cancer cases.

The process of dowsing can be explained and considered from two points of view: Scientific & Spiritual. To find a common ground for both standpoints we can say then, that while dowsing we are tuning in to subtle vibrations both inside and around us.

From a scientific point of view, dowsing is a process by which electrical impulses are sent to the dowser’s brain. In response, a compatible wavelength is created and another electrical impulse is sent back. These kind of impulses create a micro-constriction of muscles, which pushes energy down along the arm and underarm to finally reach the string and the pendulum, creating its movement. Since “positive” or “negative” states of our energetic system are represented by different level of energy, we also observe two different movements of pendulum.

From a spiritual point of view, dowsing takes place when your mind connects and vibrates in harmony with your soul (as an extension of Higher Source). Information needed is given to dowsers from higher dimensions, penetrates their physical existence and manifests itself as a movement of the pendulum.

Question: I’m a new dowser and I have been trying tricks such as locating a coin under three glasses, and separating kings from queens from a pack of playing cards. My problem is that I am invariably getting the incorrect answer from the pendulum most of the time. This is very frustrating. Why do you think this is happening and what can be done to help?

Check what questions you are asking. For example – If your question was “Is there something under this glass?” you will always get a yes answer as there is always something under the glass – the table for one thing.
— Gary Skillen

I can understand your frustration all too well! It is a common problem. It seems that when you are just “practicing”, the universe (or whatever name you give to the place from where you get your answers) doesn’t take you too seriously. And thus doesn’t give you the correct answers. Also no dowser, no matter how experienced, can dowse for winning lottery numbers. I suggest you read Letter to Robin by Walt Woods. There is a free download at www.lettertorobin.org and especially study the section on programming and “when to trust your dowsing” and “asking the right question”.

When practicing with playing cards or coins under a glass, I would limit the practice to no more than 10 minutes at a time, once a day. Check beforehand, by dowsing, to see if now is the best time to practise. Don’t practise unless you get a YES. Check afterwards what percent you influenced the answers (use a chart numbered 1 to 100). There is a blank chart you can print out here. Keep a record of the date, the number of tries, the number or percent of correct answers, and the percentage that you influenced the answers. Do this for 7 times (no more than once a day). Hopefully you’ll start to see that you are getting more correct answers. If not, continue for another 7 days. What you want is to get better results than pure chance – don’t expect to be 100% correct or even 80%. If after 14 days your results haven’t noticeably improved then take a break for a week or so and then try again. However, some experienced dowsers never have success with this type of practice. Please don’t get discouraged, it might be better to practise by having someone hide something in your home and you use your dowsing to find it. Be very careful how you word your questions so there is no ambiguity.
— Diane Marcotte

Before I dowse, I always “zone in”: my protocol is to connect with the intelligence of nature, with the Divine, with my spirit team, I ask to be guided in my dowsing for the best and highest good as appropriate. If you don’t zone in to the Divine first, it’s like picking up the telephone and taking advice from any random person who answers. You want to establish a relationship of trust with your guides. Then your answers get more accurate. One should always use the “May I … Can I …. Should I ..” before beginning any session, and when the focus of a session is changing. Perhaps if the “card reading” isn’t going well, you could try dowsing your foods to see if they’re all supporting your health, or if you have a friend of family member with a health issue, dowse for them. You could try looking for detrimental or beneficial energies in your home.

Dowsing works when there is a real need, for example if a well is dry or for a missing object or to resolve a health issue. A real application would probably bring better results than a pretend one. Dowsing in service for someone else brings the best results. I also have a rule, that if I ask for advice, I follow it. For e.g. if the answer comes back “Coffee doesn’t support your health”, then I don’t drink the coffee. The more you trust and respect the advice you get, the better the advice becomes. If you pay no attention to the advice, the universe won’t bother giving it. Personally, I’m never guided to do those card practices since they have no point. And if they’re not working, it might be better to try something else completely – doing the same thing for 14 days will just be boring and become frustrating if there’s no results.
— Susan Collins

When I first began to dowse, I tried practising on selecting red or black cards from a playing card deck, with a frustration similar to your own. I don’t play cards very often, so maybe that influenced my lack of success. One of the things that I practised on at the beginning, and still do frequently, is to dowse what clothes to wear. In the course of time, any decisions here are something less than earthshaking. Sometimes I would focus on a combination, and then ask for a pendulum opinion. Often it would agree. When it didn’t, I would then explore my cupboard and chest of drawers, curious to see what “higher wisdom” suggested. Usually, I wear what is advised, again out of curiosity. Often, someone will comment about what I’m wearing. Perhaps it was for them that I wore the colour purple instead of blue! Dowsing for clothing is fun for me.

Another thing I have tried dowsing for is cooking food. I make homemade soup frequently. I check with my pendulum to see how much salt to put in, what herbs to add for flavour, which vegetables to use, how much soup base to add. I will ask if the soup has simmered sufficiently. The good part about this is that you can check with a spoon to see what you get. Occasionally, I have personally preferred to add more salt, or soya sauce, or garlic, and I have done so without guilt! I look at the pendulum in these situations as a “valued second opinion,” but I feel free to make my own decisions on small matters if I happen to disagree with the answer.

Another enjoyable area for dowsing practice for me has been using some of the many sets of cards that are available these days. Some sets are traditional tarot, while others are angel messages, fairy messages, quotes from Conversations with God, etc.. You could use one of the many calendars with a nice quote of the day, even an outdated one. Set an intention for a message that will be helpful for you today. On a calendar of quotes, you could then dowse which month, which week, which day, and then read the message. Enjoy digesting it, and be thankful. See if you get the same messages frequently. Are they helpful? After a while, I began to feel that I was receiving welcome support that somehow seemed to be “custom-selected.”

For me, learning to dowse was learning NOT to try to “guess right” (and I really like to be right!). Dowsing is a receiving process, not a figuring-out process. As we practise dowsing, we learn to relax the thinking processes we use to make decisions. We learn to become receptive to intuitive insights. One side of our brain handles thinking functions, while the other side handles intuitive reception, feelings, etc. Our society has tended to downplay intuitive knowledge, so most of us have rather undeveloped “listening to intuition” skills. Please be patient with yourself as you begin to practise. Your intention to develop your skill will be honoured. Dowsing is meant to be fun. It’s meant to take the worry out of life, leaving us free to enjoy ourselves and others. It’s meant to help us use our full brain power to tackle the challenges of life.
— Joan de New

Question: What is the difference between dowsing, therapeutic touch and reiki when used to heal?

My pendulum’s answer to the difference between reiki, therapeutic touch and dowsing when used to heal is “nothing.” In all three, the intention to channel healing is present. This is the prime thing. My husband, for example, has never taken any reiki training. Yet this past week, when he put his hands on my right knee which was complaining, I felt lots of heat flowing through. I dowse to see if people need the energy of reiki, therapeutic touch, etc. If they do, I ask that they get what they need. My pendulum swings while the delivery is in progress. I love watching my prayers go by! I get a bit of a sense of whether a lot or a little is needed.
— Joan De New

Chi, ki, prana, mana, etc are all names for the same energy. I believe that reiki, therapeutic touch, and other healing modalities such as pranic healing, touch for health, etc are simply systems, used first to identify an energy imbalance, then to channel chi from the “universe” to the client. Each system differs only in its methodolity, the energy being transferred is identical in all cases. Dowsing, when used as a tool for healing, is another means of imparting healing energy to another. Rather than using one system alone (although it could be effective), many healing practitioners incorporate a variety of modalities into their healing technique. You may be attracted to certain aspects of a number of different healing modalities. By taking from each system only what resonates with you, you will develop your own technique which will be the most effective one for you personally.
— Diane Marcotte

Question: I’ve heard about cleansing pendulums. How and when do I cleanse a pendulum? Does the pendulum material make a difference?

Many people worry a great deal about cleansing pendulums. It has never been a particular concern of mine. Perhaps it is because of how different people view their pendulums. I view mine as an amplifier of the kinesthetic (movement or muscle) message my body receives to the question I have asked. The movement is very tiny. The pendulum swings in response to the movement because of gravity. I figure I’m working for God. My pendulum and use of it are dedicated to God. Cleansing is no issue for me.
— Joan De New

Pendulums, used as a tool to obtain a response to a question asked, do not need to be cleansed. The confusion probably arises because some healing practitioners use a pendulum to identify where a client may have an energy deficiency/surplus; to determine the placement and spin of their chakras; to send healing energy; or perhaps to remove excess energy in their auric fields. There is a common belief that crystal pendulums may attract and hold energy from the healing session. The best way to determine if this is true, is to dowse! Just ask, by dowsing with a second pendulum, if any unwanted energy is attached to the pendulum. If there is, then you can ask that it be released “to the universe” and transmuted to neutral or beneficial energy. You can use your second pendulum or a bobber to do this. If you haven’t yet set a program for releasing unwanted energy, you might consider having your pendulum or bobber swing in a counter-clockwise motion until all the unwanted energy is removed. Conversely, have the pendulum or bobber swing in a clockwise motion to bring in healing, beneficial energy. Depending on your normal swings for Yes/No, you may decide on the opposite rotations (i.e., clockwise swing to remove energy) or use any swing that you wish.
— Diane Marcotte

Question: have noted on your webpage that there is a large variety of beliefs. I would prefer to find out some facts, and learn more about dowsing from the rational viewpoint, rather than dealing with the other stuff people drag into it. Is this possible?

I wish I could give you a rational explanation for dowsing. But to date, there is no explanation, scientific or otherwise, as to how dowsing works. There are just theories. A theory identifies the factors that may cause or affect the problem or situation. Science consists of the things we know about the world …knowledge that is subject to change based on later and better information. In science, theories should explain, generate testable hypotheses, and be logical. The present theories for explaining dowsing do none of the above. Trying to scientifically test a subjective art like dowsing is nigh on impossible. If dowsing worked because of magnetism between the object being searched for and the dowser’s tool (rod, pendulum, etc.), then science should have been able to find the connection. They haven’t.

Dowsers in the early twentieth century often believed that they needed a switch from a hazel (or willow tree) to find water. They thought the water and hazel switch had an affinity for each other, or a radiation of some sort was coming up through the ground and affecting the switch so that it turned downward in the dowser’s hand. They were certain they did not move the stick! Scientists have found no evidence of any rays, electromagnetic or otherwise, coming up from the underground water. We do know that running water gives off ions, that ions moving in one direction are an electric current, and that an electric current produces a magnetic field. But there is no evidence a dowser is reacting to this (very weak) magnetic field. There are those who believe the metal rods react to this magnetic field which then causes a change in the dowser’s own electric field, ultimately causing his/her hand to move the rod. However, dowsers can find water using wooden dowels or even without using a tool of any kind (deviceless dowsing)! And how would one explain map dowsing?

At this point, I subscribe to the school of thought that dowsers, through intent, can access the needed information using their intuition. But I cannot define exactly what I mean by “intuition”, nor do I know what the process is or how it works. I just know I can dowse. The whys and hows I must leave for another time. Once science can come to terms with, and understand, such things as consciousness, energy fields, etc. then experiments can be devised to test the various hypotheses. I would suggest you continue your search, accepting only the beliefs, explanations, etc. that resonate with you. Discard the rest.
— Diane Marcotte

Queston: When a water Vein is broken due to an earth fault or shift, does it re-route itself and re-connect to its original path; does it make a whole new path; or does it stagnate and go no-where? I have observed in at least one case that the vein appeared to find the original path on the down-side of the fault.

Anything is possible in nature – and direct observation combined with dowsing is a good way to figure out what’s going on in a specific instance. The amount of shift in the water vein and resulting changes in water volume would depend on the degree of the shift and the underlying structure of the ground. In a highly fractured rock, for example, a small shift could result in a huge change and the water vein could find a completly new path. If the vein became blocked, it could “back up” and cause flooding upstream until it found another outlet. Any shift could leave a large or small pocket of isolated water that would become stagnant over time. You mention you have observed the water vein finding its old path, so this too is clearly possible.
— Susan Collins

Question: I have seen pendulums made from many different things – crystal, semi-precious stones, beads, holy medals, etc.  I have heard about an Isis pendulum from Egypt.  Can you explain what is special about this Isis pendulum?

You are right:  there are many types of pendulums on the market – some are made of wood or metal, some even of plastic. Some are decorated, some not, some on chains, some on string. Such a variety! So, what to choose?  What are meaningful aspects of a pendulum? To address all of above questions, we would have to write a book. Let’s start with the very first, most important aspects of pendulums: shapes and material.

A) Shape

PendulumFirst, we need to talk about shapes, since, as you will soon see, material may be secondary to shape. Let’s start with statement that pendulums may have basic or more advanced shapes. Basic shapes are not able to emit a lot of energy, hence we use them for very basic work, such as: “Should I go there?”, “Is is good for me?” etc. I call them “life questions.” These pendulums have shapes such as: ball, teardrop, cone, acorn, etc. They are easy to use, aerodynamically correct, but just cannot do much more than answer your question. You may identify a problem with them, but you wouldn’t be able to address it.

Then we have highly advanced shapes (Isis is one of them), based on the principles of Sacred Geometry. Those, in turn, are able not only identify a problem, but also deal with it. Those pendulums emit a lot more energy (compared to basic ones) and may also be used in therapy, since part of the energy released by the shape can be directed to the body to address ill health.

The majority of therapeutic pendulums is based on shapes brought to France from Egypt in the 1930s. Isis is one of the three main shapes from that time. Found in the pyramid of Giza Plateau, and researched by a physicist in Paris, Isis is the most sought after and popular therapeutic pendulum today.

Isis PendulumWe should mention here also another advantage of using therapeutic pendulums: those shapes are self-clearing, which means there is no maintenance at all. You just enjoy using them. The other aspect worth mentioning is that therapeutic pendulums can be very successfully used to find answers to “life questions.” Their vibratory qualities make them very sensitive to the energy of the questions and effective in finding matching (compatible) energy of the answers.

B) Material

Now that we have outlined the topic of shapes, we may address the other aspect of pendulums: material.  Basic pendulums, due to the simplicity of their shapes, will always be influenced by material. If it is natural material such as wood or crystal, you must consider the influence of material on quality of the work of your pendulum. Quite often, especially in case of gemstones, they may overrule the shape and “run the show”.  For example, if we have a basic pendulum made of amethyst, it will be practically impossible to energize the person with it, since amethyst is about calming down emotions or energy. This pendulum may be useful if one works with aggressive behavior, nervous breakdowns, etc., since that is the essence of amethyst. The intelligence of gemstones may then, on an ongoing basis, play a deciding role in your dowsing.

More advanced shapes are so strong that they are never influenced by the material from which they are made. They simply override everything else. On the other hand, those shapes are so detailed that it is impossible to make them of gemstones, which are too fragile to cut to shape properly. That’s why therapeutic pendulums are made of brass or wood exclusively.

– Alicja Aratyn 

For as long as I have practiced and taught dowsing I have met people asking that question. You are not alone: we are all on a permanent quest for perfection. Asking proper questions is the key to receiving proper answers. I often struggle with this as well, and I think every responsible dowser will always search for even better ways to phrase their questions.

My point of view is simple: before we ask any question on any subject, we need to ask ourselves the primary question: “What do I want to know?” Many people think that since they focus on their whole problem, the pendulum will know what they have in mind. Unfortunately, as great as the pendulum is in GIVING the answer, it is not a tool for SELECTING questions.

First of all, what do you want to know? Chop your problem into the smallest parts possible. Make sure that you do not play games but go directly to the point. When you get a reply to the first part, proceed to the next and the next. When you get the answers to all parts of your problem, put them together and see if that will constitute a consistent stream of information. If not, ask questions to clarify and fill the gaps: i.e. ask “if it is raining now” instead of asking “if the weather is good.” “Good” is a subjective perception, while the fact that it is raining or not is not a subject of discussion or interpretation).

Second: let go of expectations of any desired outcome. Whatever comes, accept it. Nobody said you must follow the advice, or like it. You just asked a question. In reality, when you have a problem you probably call a few friends and family members to get their advice. When you have gathered evidence, you make your own decision. No one expects you to follow their advice. The same applies to questions. Often people are afraid of the answer, so they ask silly questions to avoid pinpointing the core of their problem. This is wrong in life as well as in dowsing. It never pays off.

Third: relax. Since you do not have to follow the advice of your pendulum, you shouldn’t fear the answer. That should ease up your conscious mind and allow proper energy flow through your arm.

I left to the end what is THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of any given conversation with your pendulum. It is: WORKING FROM YOUR WAVELENGTH. If you do not know on which frequency you operate, how can you hear the answer? You and your pendulum need to operate on the same wavelength. Only then will YOU hear YOUR answer to YOUR question.  Let me explain how to find your wavelength. (This part is taken from my website.)

  • With your dominant hand, hold the pendulum by its string between your thumb & index finger. Starting at the bottom of the string (closest to the pendulum) state your request or intention: “Show me my wavelength,” then walk your fingers up the string, releasing it slowly until you will get consistent movement.
  • Mark it with a bead.
  • Next, repeat in your mind: “Show me the YES direction” until you see a steady, regular pattern of movement. This shows you the direction of your YES response. Repeat this again asking to find your NO direction.

My last advice to you is: Always clear the pendulum before and after each session by tapping it gently against a hard surface (table, book, etc). Unless you work with more advanced shapes, based on Sacred Geometry and called Therapeutic Pendulums, you need to shake off the energy gathered inside the pendulum.

– Alicja Aratyn