Chapter 9: Tell Me About Water Dowsing!

Written by Maggie Percy

An Ancient Dowsing Application

Water dowsing is the oldest and most venerated use of dowsing. Sometimes called ‘water-witching' or ‘water divining', water dowsing is the search for a source of underground water. All dowsing is basically a search, the asking of questions and getting answers you can't get rationally. In the case of water dowsing, the basic question is, “Where's the water?”.

Although there are probably geographic locations where you can dig almost anywhere and hit potable water, there are many more locations where this is not possible. It is time-consuming and expensive to sink a well. Many ancient civilizations occupied desert areas: Egypt and the Middle East come to mind. Even in modern times, it isn't always easy to find water. City dwellers forget that water doesn't come from taps. It comes from the ground. If you can't find it, you can't tap into it. If you think about it, finding water is even more important than finding food in terms of human survival.

Water dowsing is at least hundreds of years old, probably much more. Finding water is vital to humans as individuals and in groups, so having someone capable of finding a good source of water is highly beneficial. Of course, the benefits will be much more obvious in locations where water is scarce.

How Does Water Witching Work?

How do water dowsers find water? It's just one of the many applications of dowsing. Water dowsers must ask a good dowsing question that is very clear, well-defined and includes all aspects of their goals. Thus, a good water dowsing question is usually long and detailed.

There are many ways to ask a good dowsing question, but here is an example from a professional water dowser we know who lives in Arizona:

“Please show me the electromagnetic energy from only a legal, drillable, pumpable, potable, palatable, free-flowing underground source of primary replenishing water at a depth of less than x feet which will deliver y gallons a minute or more at the surface in my time now with a real pump installed and with electric power wired, and which will not go dry in drought years.” (with gratitude to Ed Stillman, water dowser)

The dowser must get into a good dowsing state and ask this question while working over a map (dowsing can be done long distance using a map or sketch) or while walking the property in search of the best location to drill. Accurate dowsing depends on not only being in a dowsing state, but also being detached about the answers. If you are too attached to getting a certain answer, it will mess up your dowsing. We have discussed the key aspects of successful dowsing in earlier chapters. Dowsing success depends on much more than the motion of the dowsing tool.

On rare occasions, there have been people who were able to find sources of underground water just by reading their body's reaction when they stood on the earth's surface above the aquifer, but most professionals use a Y-rod or forked branch as a dowsing tool. We have talked about rods in a previous chapter. The rod is merely an indicator that helps you see the “yes” response easier. Often, the tool will point downward when the dowser reaches the spot that is over the aquifer that meets his or her specs.

How accurate is water dowsing? No dowser is 100% accurate, because it involves the human being, and humans are not perfect. But experienced, expert water dowsers are usually more than 90% accurate. If you got over 90% on every test in school, that was considered exceptional, so we think that's a good average.

Where's The Proof Of Water Dowsing?

A question that comes to mind is, “Has anyone proven water dowsing works?” If those dowsers are more than 90% accurate, why can't someone do a scientific study to prove it? This is a very good question. In fact, a scientific study of water dowsing was undertaken long ago by a Physics professor named William Barrett. He was skeptical of the claims of water dowsing, but unlike more recent scientists, he realized that to prove or disprove it required going into the field and testing it in place, not in artificial laboratory settings. His detailed work concluded that water dowsing does indeed work, but as is often the case, it didn't get a lot of attention.

In 2014, we published a new edition of the complete study under the title The Credibility Of Dowsing by Professor William Barrett, Nigel Percy, editor. The book is over 400 pages long and gives you as much detail as you could ever hope for in terms of scientific evidence that water dowsing works. You can get a copy on Amazon.

Recent so-called scientific studies of dowsing done in artificial settings are deficient in terms of controlled conditions, measuring results, using appropriate subjects and definitions of terms. None of the modern tests of water dowsing that we have seen have good experimental design. Therefore, they are not to be trusted. It would be impossible to recreate conditions in the lab to properly test water dowsing, and as long as anyone is attempting to do that, it is unlikely any meaningful data will be collected.

Water dowsing is still a vital skill for humanity, especially in third world countries and areas that are not heavily populated or have a dry climate. It would be a real shame if water dowsing disappeared, but it's unlikely to, simply because it is so vital to humanity.

There are many applications for dowsing in addition to finding water. Each one is a specialty. Within each specialty, the dowser must learn about pitfalls, terminology and best practices. Just as you wouldn't want a kidney specialist doing your heart transplant, you wouldn't want a water dowser doing health dowsing for you. It's a whole different subject and requires lots of practice to master.

Water dowsing has the benefit of usually being a search for one thing using one group of specs. The water dowser learns how to dowse using one question. The question gets refined over time, or the dowser might be lucky enough to apprentice with a master who shares tips. It is a highly narrow, specialized field of dowsing, and because of that, it can be easier to master than other applications of dowsing.

Other types of dowsing, like health dowsing, require a broader knowledge, lots more questions and greater experience in order to master the subject than narrow specialties like water dowsing or some types of mineral dowsing.

Dowsing is about more than finding water. Get our Discovering Dowsing Course, learn proper dowsing technique and get an introduction to dowsing for health, map dowsing, dowsing for space clearing, dowsing for personal growth and MUCH MORE! Details here.

You Can Learn Water Dowsing

If you are interested in water dowsing, the best thing you can do is apprentice yourself to a truly expert water dowser who is willing to share his or her knowledge with you. Dowsing for water is way more than mastering a Y-rod or even asking a good question. You won't learn all you need to know in one or even many classes. The best place to learn is in the field with experts.

If water dowsing doesn't grab you, there are lots of other ways you can use dowsing personally or professionally to make life better. Dowsing is a natural human skill; you can be trained in it, and with practice, you can master it. Choose a specialty that speaks to you. Maybe you are interested in health or personal growth. Perhaps you love archaeology. Or maybe you enjoy creating sacred, harmonious space. Dowsing can be helpful for all of these and much more. But each area has its own terminology, tricks and techniques. Find a good mentor; take good courses; practice a lot. You will then become masterful.

Our dowsing specialties are health dowsing, environmental energy dowsing and dowsing for personal growth. We have spent many years teaching dowsing, and our Discovering Dowsing course contains Basic and Advanced Dowsing, plus loads of trainings on dowsing applications. Check it out here.

When an intelligent person asks a really good question, the answer often provokes more questions. Those questions also have answers. And they will pose more questions in your mind. This is the nature of any exciting journey, and dowsing can be a journey. A journey that completely changes your life for the better.

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