Chapter 3: How Does Dowsing Work?

Written by Maggie Percy

It's About Getting Information

We are often asked, “How does dowsing work?” In dowsing, you ask a question for which you have no answer, and the answer is given to you. After you see your first dowsing demonstration, the first question that comes to mind is, “How does dowsing work?” It seems like magic.

The truth is no one knows everything about how dowsing works. There are plenty of theories, but none is accepted as definitive. Let's look at both facts and theories about how dowsing works.

Dowsing is a search, a questioning. When you dowse, you aren't asking an outside authority for an answer. In a sense, you can consider dowsing googling for an answer through your intuitive senses.

Google seems pretty magical if you think about it. Years ago, when we were growing up, if you had a question, and you didn't have an encyclopedia at home, you went to the library to research. And sometimes your question was so esoteric that your local library wasn't much help, so you needed to order a book on interlibrary loan. Back in the days when we did genealogical work in the 1980s, to get answers you had to write letters or sometimes travel to foreign countries to discover facts that you can now get in minutes online.

Dowsing actually makes much more sense in this age of instant information. Why wouldn't it be possible to access information intuitively just as quickly as you now can rationally?

Some people believe that all information is in a sort of library called the Akashic Records. Others talk about The Field as holding all information. However you look at it, most dowsers believe that the answers are all there somewhere. Dowsing allows you to get into a receptive intuitive state and access those answers, just like going on Google to get answers rationally.

It Requires An Altered State

Something that will help you understand dowsing better is that in order to get answers to your dowsing question, you need to be in a ‘dowsing state'. A dowsing state is a sort of altered brain state that allows the answers to come through to you. If you aren't in a dowsing state, you won't get reliable answers. Your pendulum or other tool may move. You may get what appears to be an answer. But you won't be dowsing.

The dowsing state is like getting on Google. You can't google something unless you get online. You can't dowse unless you get into a dowsing state. Studies have shown that dowsers have a unique combination of brain waves during the dowsing state. These patterns are unlike any other activity that has been mapped. It isn't quite like meditation. It isn't like the resting or sleeping state. It isn't the same pattern healers have when they are healing. It is unique.

The fact that brain waves differ during dowsing, and that they differ in the same way from dowser to dowser, indicates that dowsers are indeed somehow altering their brain function to access the answers to their questions. This activity largely taps into the intuitive senses, but it also involves the physical body, which indicates the answer either through a tool or body motion.

We've written a book about this vital aspect of dowsing, called The Dowsing State. Click here for a description and links.

We Believe They Come From Within

Where do the answers come from? No one can say for sure. There are interesting theories, but it is impossible to prove any of them. Until science advances far enough to really measure quantum reality, it is unlikely we will be able to do more than speculate.

If you believe that the answers to any question exist somewhere, then it's merely necessary to find a way to access them. It doesn't really matter if they are tied up in The Field, or waiting in the Akashic Records or part of the holographic universe. What really matters is this: can you get accurate answers? And the answer to that is, yes, as long as you are a masterful dowser.

Your Body Makes The Tool Move

What makes the tool move when you get your answer? This is another excellent question that hasn't been completely answered. A lot of people talk about the ‘ideomotor effect', which has been used to explain everything from automatic writing to Ouija boards. In essence, your body reacts to the answer to the question. If you have ‘programmed' your body to give a certain response for “yes” and a different one for “no”, then you can see what the answer is. If you haven't taught your body how you want to see the answer, then you must take the time to interpret your own body's motions, sometimes by asking a question for which you already know the answer.

It Doesn't Matter How Dowsing Works; It Matters That It Works

The important thing to remember is not ‘how does dowsing work' but THAT dowsing works. Whether you understand how it works or not, the next question people often ask when first learning to dowse is, “How do I know I'm not making the answers up?” This is actually a very good question, and almost every new dowser asks it. Trust is an important part of learning to dowse accurately.

Some people probably are just making up the answers when they dowse. If you aren't dowsing properly, you aren't in a dowsing state, and any answer you get is no better than a guess. People are not being trained to dowse well, and they think if their pendulum moves, they are dowsing. Many have never even heard of the dowsing state. Anyone in this category shouldn't trust their answers, because they aren't really dowsing.

Those who have gotten proper training and have practiced will still feel uncertain at first about their answers. It seems so strange to be getting answers when your rational mind doesn't provide them. The key here is to confirm your answers as often as possible. Dowse about things you can confirm; not coin tosses and card suits and things that don't really matter; dowse about daily things you need to know that you can't know rationally. Things like if it's going to rain the day of your picnic, or if you have enough gas to get to your favorite gas station, or if your brother would like that DVD for his birthday. There are so many things you guess at each day for which dowsing can provide answers. You then confirm the answers, and your trust will grow as you see how often you are accurate.

It takes time and practice to hone your skill to the point where you are accurate 90% or more of the time. But if you invest in becoming a skilled dowser, you will get there. You'll realize, as we do, that it really doesn't matter how dowsing works, as long as it works.

We enjoy supporting people in their journey of discovery with dowsing. Our Discovering Dowsing course will help you master dowsing and learn to use it to improve your life. See details here.


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