The Evolution of Dowsing

Written by Maggie Percy

Where Is It Going?

Dowsing has been around for at least hundreds of years. In all cases, dowsing is depicted as a process using some kind of tool for finding water and minerals. While some may argue that dowsing for water is bunk, it has been scientifically proven to be the real deal.

What's really interesting is that dowsing didn't change much at all for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Then sometime in the mid-twentieth century, a new wrinkle was added to dowsing. People started using dowsing to find not only water and underground minerals and pipes, but lost objects and information about all kinds of subjects. Suddenly they realized that dowsing has always been about asking questions and getting answers via a non-rational method. So why not ask about other stuff besides where to find water?

These new dowsers, “New Age” dowsers, tended to use a different tool from water dowsers. Since they were sitting while dowsing, they didn't need cumbersome L-rods, or Y-rods that can slap you in the face. A simple weight on the end of a string gave a nice yes or no response. These pendulums had many historical uses not associated with dowsing. Perhaps the most common was during hypnosis sessions. But that fact was soon to be lost…

Naturally, these new dowsing enthusiasts wanted to differentiate what they were doing from boring water dowsing. So they called it ‘spiritual dowsing'. They dowsed all kinds of cool things, like the types of energies at sacred spots, causes of health issues and even realized that they could communicate with animals and advanced beings using yes/no questions, which really pushed the envelope.

Still, at that time, everyone realized dowsing was just about asking questions and getting answers you cannot get rationally. But people are human. And what happened next was perhaps predictable. Dowsing had always been categorized as a psychic power. This didn't give it credibility. Quite the opposite. But it had one big effect. Suddenly it seemed possible for anyone to be psychic, because anyone could swing a pendulum. This was not true of other psychic powers, which seemed unattainable to the average person. And that opened the floodgates.

Dowsing is just a natural human skill. Anyone can learn it. Like all skills, it takes training and practice to become good. Like all skills, some people are better than others at it. But since it was labeled psychic, and since almost anyone can get a yes/no answer with a pendulum in 5 minutes of ‘training', lots of people were attracted to the idea of dowsing.

The problem with evolution of dowsing…

Unfortunately, those who promoted dowsing were so eager to expand the interest in it that they downplayed the practical and the real. They made dowsing out to be a pendulum and a yes/no answer, just to keep it simple. Dowsing came to be associated with the tool, as if anyone holding a pendulum was dowsing. Maybe many of them didn't realize the inaccuracy or disservice they were doing to dowsing in the long run. They saw it as magical, and they sold the sizzle, not the steak, a typical mlm tactic. Harry Potter fans loved the idea of a pendulum as a magic wand. Now a normal person could be Harry Potter. Some gurus took the next step and began to tell people that was the case. Just swing your pendulum and you can change the world to whatever you wish. Suddenly, dowsing was not dowsing at all anymore…

Of course, people will always be attracted to silver bullets and magic wands. We all want easy solutions to our problems, even though we know at heart that they don't exist. We all have an innate laziness and desire to do things the easy way. This isn't bad, but we need a dose of realism, or we get snookered. This attitude of selling dowsing as a magic wand has lowered the credibility of dowsing and steered people away from using it properly and meaningfully, which is really a sad thing. It has caused them to believe they need no training or practice to become good dowsers. It has steered them away from honing their skill and using it practically to change their lives.

We'd like to see dowsing be understood as originally intended. Dowsing is asking questions and getting answers. It isn't intention. It isn't a healing method. It isn't a transformational method. This whole swing a pendulum thing is out of control. Just today I saw in a dowsing forum that a new member underwent a past life regression with someone who had a pendulum and thus called the process dowsing. She was wondering how dowsing does past life regressions. Sheesh! You can do anything with a pendulum, but unless you are asking questions and getting answers, it is NOT dowsing. The pendulum is NOT dowsing. In fact, we don't use tools for dowsing much at all anymore. We don't teach dowsing with tools until we've taught it without them. It's too easy to confuse the tool with dowsing, as history has proven.

It may be a long road to restore the integrity of dowsing and get people to regard it as it really is. Even in the 90s, when I was learning dowsing, many of the courses I attended had elements of confusion in them, saying that the use of intention while holding a pendulum is dowsing. It took me years to unravel the many things dowsing is called and understand the real truth. It may be a losing battle to try and share this with others, because what we say asks people to study and practice and be impeccable with their word. And that isn't sexy. We're selling the steak, not the sizzle. But we believe there are lots of people out there who want to do dowsing the right way, and we look forward to supporting them in discovering just how powerful real dowsing can be. And in the end, it does open doors to transforming your life in ways you never imagined. So it is actually quite magical. You just have to work a bit to discover the magic.

Do you agree with this assessment of the evolution of dowsing? How do you see it developing (or not) in the near future? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.

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  1. Hans

    I agree with your explanation of dowsing and your comment on applied intention, also called prophesying in the Old Testament .we all are born with these abilities that are waiting to be developed to the degree of our interest in them.

    • Maggie Percy

      Thanks for your insights. I agree that dowsing is one of many natural intuitive abilities we all have. I would not call it prophecy, as that is strictly related to predicting future events. I also would not call it a psychic ability. That causes too much confusion. Rather, I like to think of our intuition as a natural asset, another way of sensing. We can use it or not. We can develop it or not. Dowsing is most accurate when used for practical, everyday matters. You can theoretically dowse about the future, but there are many pitfalls, and thus the accuracy is limited.

      I also like to encourage people to develop their dowsing skill through training and practice. But don’t develop it with the goal of becoming ‘psychic’. Choose to master dowsing because it will improve your life.


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