Chapter 5: Can You Show Me How To Dowse?

Written by Maggie Percy

It's A Skill!

Dowsing is a skill, so it is important to get proper training in technique. Then, you need to practice in order to master dowsing. It is also helpful to have coaching from an expert, if you can get that, because that will speed your mastery and help you avoid common pitfalls.

It is beyond the scope of this guide to give you in-depth dowsing training (for our comprehensive Discovering Dowsing course, visit this page), but we will cover the basics to give you a good start and so that you know what to look for in a good dowsing course. Learning to dowse accurately involves mastering several points:

  • Asking a good question
  • Getting into a dowsing state
  • Getting an answer with or without a tool
  • Confirming your answers/making adjustments

Another important aspect of dowsing, which is rarely covered in courses, is the question of ethics. Since dowsing gives you the power to know the answer to any question, you need guidelines in the exercise of that power. As the movie said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Too many people regard dowsing as carte blanche for doing whatever they like, and that can create negative karma.

Ask The Right Question

Most of your basic dowsing courses will at least refer to the fact that your dowsing question needs to be good if you want an accurate answer. But surprisingly few people know how to ask a good dowsing question.

A good dowsing question is usually long and detailed, because it needs to include (as appropriate) how, what, where, when, who and why. To give you an example, consider the difference between these two questions: “Am I allergic to wheat?” vs. “Am I allergic to wheat at this time?”

You're thinking that of course you meant “at this time” even if you did not say it. Unfortunately, your dowsing ‘system' or whatever part of you is doing the dowsing does not always take words and phrases the way you assume. Often, it is quite literal. You could easily get two different answers to those questions, especially if you have not always been allergic to wheat.

Another very common problem with dowsing questions in addition to them being incomplete and having too many assumptions is the frequent use of poor wording. It seems that even ‘teachers' use words like “good”, “highest good” and “beneficial” instead of clearly defining what they mean. Vague words give you poor answers. Words like “good” are subjective. You want your dowsing question to be clear, well-defined and understandable to anyone as meaning exactly what you intend.

One of the best ways to improve your dowsing is to confirm your answers, and when they are wrong, go back and look at your question (hopefully you wrote it down) and see how the answer you got could be correct for that question. That little exercise has improved our dowsing immensely. We do that every time we are ‘wrong' in our dowsing. It has taught us to be very clear about words and phrases in our questions.

Our best-selling book, Ask The Right Question: The Essential Sourcebook Of Good Dowsing Questions, is a must-have resource for dowsers. It contains excellent questions on a variety of common topics and explains how to interpret answers as well as training you to ask your own good dowsing questions. Check it out here.

We'd love to help you hone your dowsing skill. Our Discovering Dowsing Course will teach you everything you need to know.

Dowsing Is An Altered State

It is absolutely vital to be in a dowsing state when dowsing. You are not dowsing if you are not in a dowsing state, even if your pendulum is moving. It is unfortunate that many people have been misled to think that dowsing is merely the asking of a question and having the pendulum move. We have met people who think they have learned dowsing who never heard of the dowsing state. We won't leave you in the dark about this important subject.

It is rather hard to describe the dowsing state in words. It is like meditation in that you must clear your mind of all other subjects other than your dowsing question. You want peace and calm to reign. If you practice meditation, you will find it relatively easy to get to that point when dowsing. While you are in a detached, calm state, you then focus all of your attention on your dowsing question. It is the combination of laser focus on the question and total detachment and calm that creates the dowsing state.

At first, you will find it takes time to get into a dowsing state, and being in a quiet place will help. With practice, you will find it quicker and easier to slip into a dowsing state, even when there are distractions, but don't try that at first. Give yourself every advantage so you can learn exactly how you feel when you are in a dowsing state.

It is in the brief time between asking the question and receiving the answer that you are dowsing. That moment is the essence of the dowsing process.

Our book, The Dowsing State: Secret Key To Accurate Dowsing, dives into this topic in depth, plus gives you methods for learning to get into the dowsing state. See details here.

To Use A Tool Or Not?

When that pendulum moves to indicate your answer, it's truly exciting. Tool use is the easiest part of dowsing to teach, and that might explain why most courses include it. Many courses include little else, which does not prepare you to be an accurate dowser.

Whatever tool you are using, you will be looking for a “yes” or a “no” answer. At least when you first start dowsing, most of your answers are yes/no. More advanced dowsing techniques allow you to get more detailed answers, and we talk about them in a later chapter.

It doesn't really matter what motion your pendulum or rod or any other tool makes for “yes” or “no”, as long as the two answers are distinctly different and consistent. Some people use clockwise and counterclockwise circles for yes/no with a pendulum. Others use a linear back and forth/side to side set of motions much like a head nodding “yes” and “no”.

When you are using L-rods, it is most common that the rod swinging inward is “yes” and outward is “no”. You can use either one rod or two, depending on your preference.

You can dowse without tools, as we explain in a later chapter, and the motions of your body will indicate your yes/no responses. As with all tool movement, as long as “yes” and “no” are distinctly different and consistent, that's all that matters.

You can ‘program' your tool movement by taking a tool and swinging it in the motion you want to represent “yes”, and say, “This is my ‘yes' motion”. Do the same with “no”. It may take a lot of focus and several tries to imprint yourself with this program.

Then you can test questions you know the answer to and see what motions you get. Your birthplace is a good one. Ask, “Was I born in ___________(name your birthplace) in this lifetime?” You should get your ‘yes' response. Then insert a false location into the question and ask again. You should get your ‘no' response.

Many dowsers notice that their yes/no responses alter with time. That's fine as long as you know what your “yes” and “no” responses are.

Dowsing Pitfalls

Too many people quit once they get the answer to their dowsing question. If you want to become a masterful dowser, you will benefit greatly from confirming your answers. We learn so much from our dowsing mistakes about how to form a good question and how to be sure we are detached and in a good dowsing state.

We recommend that when dowsing, you spend about 80% of the time dowsing for things you can confirm. That does not mean you should test yourself with coin tosses. Dowsing involves an element of need, and you should dowse about things that matter, but 80% of the time they should be things you can confirm at some point. This is called tangible target dowsing.

Remember that dowsing is meant for things you cannot answer rationally or find on Google. There are many opportunities throughout the day for dowsing things that will reduce stress and give you a chance to confirm your accuracy, whether it's about the weather or how long to cook a steak or when your dinner guests will arrive. If you get the right answer, congratulate yourself. If you get the wrong answer, go back and figure out why so that you can improve.

An important factor in dowsing that is not part of the actual dowsing process is the concept of permission. Many traditional dowsing courses will speak of getting permission to dowse. In the U.S., some courses teach you to get permission by asking, “May I? Can I? Should I?” before dowsing. In reality, we believe that using dowsing to establish permission is not reasonable, since you know that dowsing is not always accurate. So we do not use those questions.

We prefer to make sure we only dowse for and about people who have requested it from us. We don't want to create bad dowsing karma by putting our noses into other people's business, regardless of our intentions. It doesn't matter what your intentions are if you overstep boundaries and free will. Don't dowse about people or even places or situations unless you have been asked to by that person or someone whom you can argue is legally able to speak for that person.

This chapter has only scratched the surface of proper dowsing technique, but it gives you a clear picture of what is involved if you want to dowse accurately. It might seem like there's a lot to dowsing if you are new to it, but if you practice, it will get quicker and easier. We promise. And it's so much fun when you get correct answers for questions you are clueless about. Dowsing is so empowering! Check out our Discovering Dowsing course if you want to learn how to master the skill of dowsing.


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