Is Dowsing Really Dying?
If you follow us in this blog and in our forums, you know that we've been pointing out that Dowsing as a meaningful activity is dying. Up until now, we appealed to those who loved dowsing to help us keep dowsing alive. It has been instructional to see how many people are in denial about the death of dowsing and how few really care. Today, I woke up with a new perspective. Let it die. Death is just another transformation. Why should we be against that?
It's hard not to regret the passing of something that you have loved for years, but dowsing is no longer what it once was. Everything changes, and dowsing has not grown stronger since I became a dowser. Among the many complex contributing factors in its demise are some historical trends in behavior.
Decades ago, dowsing expanded beyond water dowsing as the New Age sparked interest in invisible energies and empowering methods. Clever folks recognized that dowsing is just asking a question, and water dowsing is just asking, “Where's the water?” They eagerly plunged into taking dowsing into new applications.
The evolution of dowsing organizations to serving all types of dowsers was bumpy, but there was an admirable focus on expanding dowsing as a technique in general, and there was also a uniformity of how it was taught and regarded (even though the teaching was not what we would consider perfect in hindsight). At that time, it was understood that any type of dowsing is a search for answers, no matter what application of dowsing you specialized in. Thus the motto of the American Society of Dowsers is ‘indago felix'.
Training was a challenge, because going from teaching water dowsing (which is basically teaching one technique and one question) to teaching other types of dowsing (which is a morass of complexity) was an unknown path, and the methods used to teach water dowsing were clearly inadequate (in our opinion) to address the subjects of ethics, asking good questions, detachment and other subjects which were not as relevant to water dowsing, but were needed in order to become accurate at other applications.
Everyone muddled along trying to deal with these challenges in their own ways. Some of the more ‘creative' types decided to redefine dowsing and characterize it in nontraditional ways, which led to a multiplicity of new and contradictory ways to promote, teach and think about dowsing. Confusion followed.
Disturbing Trends In Attendance & Participation In Dowsing Events & Organizations
Years passed, and instead of membership and participation in dowsing events and organizations increasing, the opposite has occurred. These trends are disturbing. The ASD SW Conference, the best regional conference of the many we have attended, is no longer. Reliable sources in chapters around the country tell me that attendance is way down at chapter meetings, but even more disturbing, chapters are being taken over by conspiracy theory types and used to promote their agendas. We observed this firsthand in our local chapter. This is probably just an outgrowth of the longstanding tendency to book speakers about any topic of interest to dowsers, since actual dowsers were thin on the ground, and it will probably cause attendance to fall off even more, because at least in the past, the speakers were not outside the accepted realm of New Age thought.
A statistical study of the subjects of presentations at the ASD Annual Convention shows that this year a radical change occurred. About 75% of the talks were non-dowsing talks (depending on how you define that). In past years, dowsing talks were a much higher percentage as a rule. While it is wise to adapt to the demands of your market, we are concerned that this is an admission that dowsing just doesn't draw people to events. This may be supported by the fact that attendance at our dowsing events has been lower in recent years, as well, and we endeavor to have dowsing be an important part of all of our events. We are on the newsletters of a variety of dowsing professionals, some of whom have also shared that attendance is down for them recently.
Should We Try To Stop Dowsing From Dying?
We see a trend that says dowsing is dying. But maybe that's for the best. Maybe if we let it die, it can be reborn in a more vital and useful way in the future. By that I don't mean let's redefine dowsing so people will like it. I mean let's get clear about what dowsing is and how it can be used to help people, but not sell it as magic or religion or psychic activity.
Let's be honest and admit that accurate dowsing requires training and practice. We have withdrawn our support of things that are contributing (in our opinion) to the demise of dowsing, and we will continue to promote dowsing as a natural skill anyone can learn, but which takes time and effort to master.
If you are like us, you are one of the very few who regard dowsing this way. We will do our best to support your dowsing needs as we go through this time of transition. No matter what happens to Dowsing in the long run, you can still master dowsing and use it to improve your life in many ways.
Use your ability to think critically and don't support activities or groups that do not promote dowsing in ways that you feel helps expand its meaningful use and credibility. If we stop propping up things that aren't working, we will be able to rebuild a strong edifice sooner.
Have you seen any signs that dowsing is dying? Do you think it best to focus on rebuilding a stronger foundation for dowsing in the future, or do you think we should strive to save it in its current form? Please post your comments in the section below.