Dowsing is the practice of locating underground water and other objects, traditionally by walking across the ground holding a forked hazel branch, but in today’s high-tech age more modern materials are often used.
And no, we’re not seriously suggesting it’s any substitute for dialing-before-you-dig, but you’d be surprised how many people seem to take it seriously. So just for fun, we thought we’d look at some examples of modern day dowsing.
The most impressive incarnation we came across was the website learndowsing.com. It says: “Forget everything you thought you knew about dowsing and the misconceptions surrounding this ancient secret. Through modern scientific research and instructional techniques, you can now penetrate the mysteries of dowsing and discover the limitless opportunities for personal growth and acquire the invaluable search and survival ability to find anything you're looking for.”
Run by “Author and world renowned Remote Viewing training instructor, Major Paul Smith,” it offers an instructional two DVD set on “Technical Dowsing” for $US179.99. And, it seems, technical dowsing enables you do divine not just the hidden here-and-now but the yet-to-come. The site has a testimonial from a customer who claims: “After practicing the dowsing techniques and trying it on the lottery, [my friend] actually won on his first try and got over $18,000.00!”
Such unlikely achievements aside, dowsing is alive and well with a very active community in Australia. The Dowsing Society of NSW (www.dowsingaustralia.com) seems to focus on the traditional interpretation of dowsing.
The society is very active with a full calendar of monthly meetings. In June Kevin Parker talked on “Nature Spirits and Dowsing”, explaining how “Nature spirits and elemental beings exist in a dimension that resonates at a frequency outside of the bandwidth of normal human vision and hearing,” and how dowsing provides “An excellent and fun way to detect, confirm, map and communicate with these extraordinary energies.”
Just in case your getting excited about the potential of dowsing, Wikipedia’s very comprehensive entry of dowsingshould douse (excuse the pun) your enthusiasm. It lists numerous experiments aimed at determining theefficacy of dowsing, almost all of which proved negative.
A misplaced belief in the efficacy of dowsing might seem relatively harmless, or at worst a bit expensive. However, the Wikipedia entry contained one example that was decidedly frightening.
“A number of devices resembling ‘high tech’ dowsing rods have been marketed for modern police and military use. … The more notable of this class of device are ADE 651, Sniffex, and the GT200.” Wikipedia said. “None has been shown to be effective.”
And what were the ADE 651, Sniffex, and the GT200? Supposed to detect? Explosives!
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