Evangelical Dowsing


Written by Nigel Percy


Seeking Converts Doesn't Work!

I think most dowsers would like to see more non-dowsers accept and appreciate the skill of dowsing. Where that interest goes wrong, however, is when it changes from an interest to become evangelical dowsing.

I had always shrunk from blasting out my love of dowsing to non-dowsers but never really understood why. And then I came across an interesting article in The Guardian about evangelical Christians.

It's about how evangelical Christians say that they speak to many non-Christians regularly but very few of those spoken to actually become Christian. As the article points out, “The most reliable way to become an evangelical Christian, the survey found, is to be born into a family of them. Only 7% of the evangelicals surveyed had been converted in the past 11 years.”

The most usual reaction of non-believers when approached is embarrassment. And that's because, when speaking to your own group, it is not what is considered normal?for that group.

Evangelical dowsing: “Do you have a moment?to speak about pendulums?”

But, and here's the important point, if you speak to some other group, not your own, then it becomes easier to broach the subject. You're not constrained by the unwritten rules of your own group or class. However, once you do that, you have identified yourself as an outsider to the group you are speaking to and, as a result, not many will want to join you and have themselves identified as an outsider by their own group.

Although the article was about evangelical christianity, the arguments and conclusions apply just as well to dowsing and dowsers.

As dowsers, we are in a group apart. We have identified ourselves as separate and different. We, therefore, find it difficult to speak about dowsing,?convert people to dowsing, if we are only addressing our own group. And that group could be our neighbors, the reading circle we're in, the fellow entrepreneurs who meet regularly,?or any other group you can think of. To try to do so results in embarrassment and withdrawal.

But, if we step outside that group and go somewhere else where we are not known as a group member; a mystic fair, perhaps, then we are the outsiders to those who visit and we can talk to them about dowsing and very, very few of them will ever take to dowsing as a result, because they see us the weird ones.

Where to from here?

If the results of evangelical dowsing are pathetic, then what can be done to ‘spread the gospel'?

Evangelical dowsing might make us feel superior, make us feel like we are doing ‘the right thing' by enlightening the unenlightened, but the reality is that it does very little good indeed.

Probably the simplest answer would be not to even try. Not directly, that is. Anything of worth and value to ourselves is only appreciated by others because of its obvious worth and value to us. And?that can be transmitted most easily by, in this case, using dowsing as a simple, efficient and effective adjunct in our lives. The utility of dowsing is what makes it attractive, not the urging of others to adopt it because ‘they should'. And utility is not something which is demonstrated in five minutes. It is something which is obvious over time.

‘How did you do that?', ‘What made you choose that option?', How come you look so healthy?'. These are questions which can arise from normal interactions. But, they are openings to speak about dowsing and how it is used to enhance life in various ways.

Evangelical dowsing might make us feel superior, make us feel like we are doing ‘the right thing' by enlightening the unenlightened, but the reality is, that it does very little good indeed.

Just take a look at dowsing chapters, dowsing conventions and you will see the ‘flash, bang, whizz' approach to dowsing; UFO's, Aliens, Conspiracy Theories, all of which are somehow made to link to dowsing (usually not very clearly), people will turn away from it in droves. Or, if they are attracted, they are attracted for all the wrong reasons.

So, you won't see me preaching dowsing on street corners. I'm no evangelical. Dowsing, to me is a wonderful skill. And the more I practice that, the more it becomes a part of my life and the easier it is to persuade non-dowsers to take a look.

What are your thoughts on this? Does the idea of evangelical dowsing appeal to you or not? Let us know your reasons why in the comments section below.


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  1. Gordon Lee

    Excellent, sound advice! “You can lead a horse to water, but ……”

    • Nigel Percy

      Thanks! I also like the other version of that quote I came across many years ago: “You can lead a horse to water, but if you can make him float, you’ve got something!” And that’s pretty much what it would take to persuade non-dowsers to invest time and effort after just a few moments of preaching at them.

      • FERN

        Good one Nigel! You really put things into perspective. Thanks so much, Fern

        • Nigel Percy

          Thanks, Fern!

    • Marty H.

      Nigel — Great insight! Thanks for putting this together.

      Here’s another spin on the horse tail… You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him / her drink (but you can salt the oats).

      In the same way, if we can create a spark of interest (the salt) through what others see in our lives, then a FEW interested folks will possibly come forward with an honest curiosity or interest in learning about what we’re doing and why. Just sayin’…

      • Nigel Percy

        Absolutely! It’s by far the best way to go, in my opinion.

  2. Liz Kaspar

    Um. I would have thought that “the way to get ppl interested in dowsing” (I myself am no dowser: alack I have not the skill: and no book or home course I invested in years and years ago managed to awake it in me! I was interested early on 1) Because I read a mystery story with a girl dowser heroine in my childhood in the Seventies! :-) (In the story she used a hazel twig passed down from a relative and found hidden treasure. The thing about the story was that her talent was hereditary.) 2) Because my dad was a pretty skeptical guy throughout his life: however, he said that dowsing was one of the few “weird things” that definitely worked: because he had met and observed a man who was very professional at it (finding water) during his youth in Czechoslovakia.

    Well I can’t dowse (and the only group I was ever able to try it out with confused me from the start because they started off dowsing – not for ghosts! – but for ley lines: &I thought frustrated “but how can anyone, esp. A beginner, verify the result?”)

    So I can’t dowse – but I’m interested in lots of paranormal things. Have been seriously since – 1993? I had a look around just now on the net to see if there are any “dowsing apps” ? There are only a few and people say they re fake!)

    But with “promoting your interest” – well I would think that would be simple, even/especially for the amateur aficionado. Offer to give a (free) talk to venues where they want interesting people talking about interesting subjects, hobbies, etc. The local Women’s Institute (do they have those in the US? I’m UK-based, but I bet they have them in Australia and Canada.)

    The Rotary Club! Things like that. I suppose you might have to limit it to secular groups as you might get objections from religious ones. And I daresay the local Skeptoids group or that guy who keeps annoying me on BBC Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage won’t be interested in giving you a polite open-minded hearing!

    But apart from that – I should think dowsing (except to the religious extremist) is as respectable as gardening or flower arranging: and rather more interesting to a group wanting free lectures and the odd “unusual” one.

    And then of course there are other outlets: such as giving a talk on local radio, which will reach a lot of people: of course you can promote the venue and times of your local group. And in England there are local (I believe commercial) radio stations that have not only whole programmes but dedicated “slots” which cover all aspects of the paranormal.

    Which of course brings up the theme of “preaching to the – partially – converted”! There are things like Mind Body Spirit festivals. Surely people here have been to one? Covering paranormal, alternative health, New Age stuff.. All that heading should include dowsing somewhere in there. If you “preach” there you’ll be preaching to a “warm” audience. And those things don’t attract mainly hippies – the local ones attract a wide range of ordinary people. I saw a couple of mt former schoolteachers at the ones in Perranporth, Cornwall.

    (Though I’ve never personally met a dowser at one of those! Met aura readers and reiki practitioners – and David Icke – and everybody else! I did meet a father-and-son (I believe) pair of commercial dowsers at an agricultural festival in Cornwall where I live a good few years ago though. They specialized in finding water *and* analysing how potable it was. They had a lot of coloured cards which helped them make their diagnosis.

    They must have been bona fide as they were in the Cornwall phone book and Yellow Pages for over ten years – the only water diviners advertising. They stopped sometime after 2000 though. Don’t know if they moved or just went onto the Internet!!

    But that’s how people promote “odd talents”, I think. By giving talks and being contactable.

    As for “converting” people – well does this site believe dowsing is a belief system?

    But if people are reluctant to get involved because of skepticism, then you need a bunch of success stories to promote. Anything from the guy who works professionally as a water diviner and has found sites for commercial companies, farmers etc to dig wells – or finding mineral/oil deposits via map dowsing (as Uri Geller is reputed to have done) to the amateur person who taught herself because she wanted to find a friend’s lost pet – and did!

    That’s all you’d need to drum up some interest.

    Just keep it simple; and keep plugging and plodding along, I would say.

    And it *would* help to have some success stories: of the type above: and the type that goes “I never tried this before but I joined my local dowsing group in order to learn to find lost objects; and I found an X, a Y and a Z” for myself/family/friends:.

    And don’t confuse people with ley lines and ghosts! Say they’re very specialized forms of dowsing and only talk about them to ghost groups.

    And do talks about the history of dowsing; as used by miners and so on. What was that Renaissance German chap who wrote a manual? And you might interest people by asking “IS dowsing really a hereditary talent – or a 7th son type of thing – or can *anyone* learn to do it to some degree?”
    Then catch a friendly skeptoid and see if you can teach him/her! I’d be interested in a television/YouTube programme like that!)

    • Nigel Percy

      Thanks for the detailed comment. We certainly have been to various conferences and spoken to many different groups but it takes a lot of time for little reward, and we have lives to live beyond converting people. We have a Youtube channel and we have many books for sale on various outlets. Plus we have this website and another one (thesixthsensesolution.com) where we offer many other ideas, articles and courses about dowsing. I’m also writing a series of books where intuition and dowsing are central to the plot. We are certainly contactable! I think you could say we plugging away and plodding along. I still stick by the main point I made; that it is the utility of dowsing which attracts people not the messianic zeal with which they are approached. It is one thing to get a person to dowse, but it is another thing to get them to keep dowsing. And that, to my mind, is more important than temporary interest.


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