How to use dowsing tools

Three Pendulum Problems

Problems, Problems, Problems!

Three problems with pendulums.

The first problem with pendulums is that most beginner dowsers want them to move. By themselves.

The problem is, they won’t.

You have to get use to the idea that you, the dowser, makes the pendulum move.

It’s the nature of dowsing; the physics, if you like.

The other problems with pendulums

The other two problems come together, quite often. First, the chain or string or whatever is usually too long. Second, the beginner dowser quite often starts off by holding the pendulum quite still, hanging straight down.

Nope and nope.

The longer the chain, the slower the response. And the less the pendulum moves before you ask your question, the longer it will take to show you any response.

Get the pendulum to move to begin with and then let it change direction according to the answer. Don't just sit there looking at it. If nothing else, your arm will tire and you'll get strange looks from people.

So, in order to get a response which doesn’t tire you out and which is obvious (and quick!), is to have the pendulum on a short chain and have it moving before you ask your question.

How short and moving in what direction is up to you to decide. But, as a rule of thumb (or should that be ‘rule of pendulum’?), any chain longer than three inches is too long and any movement which is less than an inch in diameter (whichever the movement is), is too little.

The rest is up to you to discover.

After all, dowsing is for those who want to question and explore, isn’t it? :-)

What's the biggest problem you've had with pendulums? Is it mentioned here or is it something else entirely? Let us know and maybe we can help you. Post the details in the comments section below

Dowsing Instruments

So Much Choice!

There is a wide variety of dowsing instruments. Beginners can often be confused with the options available to them. But, really, it all boils down to one thing, as this video demonstrates…

Dowsing Instruments

There are all sorts of dowsing instruments you can buy or make. They cost from really very little (as in make them yourself) to very expensive (as in precious and semi-precious stones). In fact, you can use pretty much anything as a dowsing tool.

Dowsing tools come in all shapes and sizes. From a wedding ring on a chain, to keys on a string, a nut on a piece of dental floss or even a garden gnome on a rope! You can even use a postcard and hold it so that it flexes one way or another to show answers. Rods, branches, bent metal, or no tools at all, just your body.

The variety is endless!

Dowsing equipment, no matter what sort, works in the same way. It responds to very small muscle movements usually in your hands and arms.

This movement is known as the ideomotor effect and is, in part, the reason why some people complain that dowsing is fake. Their argument is that, since the dowser is moving the dowsing instrument, it is all fake. What they don’t look into is why the movement takes place to begin with.

No matter what the dowsing instrument is, whether it is a pendulum, a bobber or an l-rod, it responds to small movements.

The more finely balanced the tool is, the easier and quicker it will respond to that ideomotor effect. To begin with, new dowsers tend to find it a little more difficult to get the tool moving quickly and easily than older, more experienced dowsers.

Dowsing is a skill. That means that the more you practice, the easier it gets. And the more you get used to using a dowsing instrument, the easier it will be for you to dowse. So, make or buy your own dowsing equipment and get practicing!

Why not find out more about how you can become a dowser and about the various dowsing instruments?

What is your favorite dowsing instrument? Has the choice changed over time? Why? Let us know in the comments section below

The Problem With Using A Pendulum

The Popular Tool

In recent decades, using a pendulum for dowsing has surpassed water dowsing with a Y-rod or forked branch as the hottest trend in dowsing. But there is a problem. As popular as pendulum dowsing is, people aren't really dowsing that much.

I believe one reason is the tool itself. A pendulum is a cool tool. Pendulums come in all kinds of lovely materials and designs. You can get really attached to using a pendulum.

The problem with your attachment to your pendulum is you become convinced you can't dowse without it. You may even have special pendulums for certain dowsing tasks.

Unless you carry your pendulum with you (and the right one at that), you won't feel prepared to dowse all the time. But even if you start carrying your pendulum with you everywhere, you have a much bigger challenge to overcome.

Using a pendulum can hold you back

Pendulum dowsing isn't sweeping the country in part because of the pendulum itself. If you are a dowser, you probably have friends and family who do not believe in dowsing. Some may even be strongly opposed to it. Others maybe just mock you every time they see you using a pendulum. Maybe your spouse won't consider any suggestions you make if they come from pendulum dowsing.

Every time you start using a pendulum in front of anyone, either in public or in private with doubting family, you are put under stress. You may be mocked or rejected for your belief in dowsing. So, because you don't like conflict, and because you can't really explain your belief in dowsing or persuade others to accept it, you find it easier not to get your pendulum out. So you dowse less often than you would like.

There is a solution! Quit using a pendulum. It's just a tool. Dowsing without a tool is just as effective and has the benefit of not being visible in many cases. There are more ways to dowse devicelessly than you can imagine. And it's easy. Just try them and find one that works for you.

You can use your eyelids to blink dowse or rub your finger and thumb together to get answers. When you dowse using a deviceless method, your dowsing becomes invisible. You can get immediate answers to questions without pulling out a tool that causes people to sigh or roll their eyes. Find out what method of deviceless dowsing works best for you.

What are your thoughts about the ideas raised in this article? Is using a pendulum for dowsing holding you back? Share your thoughts in the comments section below

Pendulum movements

It's An Old Question

One of the questions we keep getting asked has to do with the dowser's pendulum movements.

Typically, the question is something along the lines of, ‘I asked a question but the pendulum moved in a different way. What does that mean?' This supposes that when you use your pendulum, it tends to move one way for a ‘Yes' and another way for a ‘No'. And then, suddenly, there's a new movement!

Of course, the first question you are going to ask is, ‘What does it mean?' But the SECOND you thing you should do is not a complaint aimed at the universe in general, but a question, a dowsing question, aimed at your dowsing skill in particular.

Pendulum movements: Possible reasons

It should be something along the lines of , ‘Does this new movement mean X?', where ‘X' could be any one of the following:

  • Wrong question
  • Poor question
  • Don't know
  • No answer at this time
  • You don't have the ability to deal with this information now
  • You need to rest, not dowse
  • You're not in a dowsing state
  • Interference
  • Other


I'll give brief explanations of the ones I've listed above to help you understand the variety of possible ways in which you could be getting useful information.

Wrong question might mean that, for what you are dowsing about, the question actually doesn't make much sense, even though it is a well-constructed one.

Poor question probably means that the question is inadequate for what you are trying to discover.

Don't know means exactly that.

No answer now means the answer is simply not accessible now, but it might be available later on. You can dowse that as well!

You don't have the ability…. means that your present level of understanding of the topic being dowsed about is insufficient for you to be able to understand the answer.

You need to rest, not dowse, is your own body's way of telling you that you've done enough right now and it's time to step back and re-group before doing anything else.

You're not in a dowsing state means just that.

Interference could be from a variety of things. From geopathic stress affecting you, to other, more complex issues, perhaps involving other people or other forms of consciousness. This would probably be just the starting point for more dowsing to uncover the issue and deal with it. If you get ‘Other', then that's also the start of a whole chain of dowsing to find out what is going on. But at least, you'll be on the road to finding out why your pendulum has made a new and strange movement.

Has this happened to you, suddenly the pendulum movements changed? What did you do? Why not help others and share your experiences in the comments section below?

Dowsing Problems

How Was It For You?

It's so frustrating, but it happens to more people than you would think. It isn't just you. For some reason, dowsing doesn't work, there's a problem. A dowsing problem. Many new dowsers report dowsing problems when they start out.

Take me, for example. The first time I took a class and tried to use L-rods, the one in my left hand worked fine, but the one in my right hand wouldn't move. No matter what.

My best friend Fern and I learned to dowse with a pendulum in the same class. My pendulum was swinging happily in a circle, but she couldn't get hers off dead center. Dowsing problems? You bet!

It's not “Dowsing Problems”, but something else

Usually there will be one person in each class we teach who has problems getting the dowsing tool to work. They get really disappointed and frustrated. I often wonder what would happen if they were in another class, with another teacher, or learning from a friend who didn't know what we know.

One of the most common causes of this symptom is if you lived another life as a dowser or healer and you were punished severely or killed for it. That creates a trauma in your subconscious mind, and it won't let you dowse. It fears for your life.

The good news is that it's relatively easy to clear this type of past life trauma. Usually all it takes is a statement of intention, such as, “Please clear all energies, beliefs and mechanisms that are preventing me from getting a good dowsing response in this life.” If you like, you can ask your angels, guides or whomever for help with this statement. Try it yourself any time you run into this issue. Dowsing problems are usually easy to resolve.

The inability to dowse is seen in a small percent of people, and, as I said, it can be resolved. So if you have problems getting your dowsing tool to move, do not despair.

You see, what the phrase ‘dowsing problems', really means is that, at that moment, for that person in that situation, the tool isn't doing what it should be doing. The tool is not dowsing. That's the real problem. You can still get answers. You just have to know why those answers are being blocked.

That's all dowsing problems mean.

What happened when you ran into dowsing problems? Let us know what happened and what you di in the comments section below

Learn Pendulum Dowsing Here

The Popular Tool

If you don't know much about dowsing, or you've never dowsed before, or you've never taken a class, the chances are you will start out to learn pendulum dowsing. It's the most popular tool of all and comes in so many shapes and sizes and with different weights and with gems and semi-precious stones that it's hard to know where to start. Plus, of course, there are those which are made out of plain metal or just wood.

So, if you want to learn pendulum dowsing, where do you begin? What's the best pendulum to use? How do you hold it? Will it work?

These are all normal questions which beginners have when they start to learn pendulum dowsing. And they are all good ones, and they all have pretty much the same answer (except for that last question!). The answer to the other questions is, ‘Whatever works for you'. And for that last question, about whether it will work for you, that will be answered as soon as the pendulum moves.

Learn pendulum dowsing: The basics

Probably the most important thing to learn is that you don't have a great long string to the pendulum. Keep it short (about a couple of inches). Way too many dowsers start out with a great long length of string or chain dangling from their finger and then spend ages waiting for anything to happen. So the second thing is, pinch the string or chain between the finger and thumb, don't hang it over the index finger.

And finally, the third thing is to keep the pendulum moving! Don't have it dangling and still, make it move so that it can change quickly to a yes or a no.

All of these points are demonstrated clearly in this video about pendulum dowsing.

One of the simplest pendulums you can make (and one of the nicest in terms of response) is a three-quarter inch nut on the end of some dental floss. Sounds strange? Try it and you'll see for yourself. It's a great way (and very cheap) to learn pendulum dowsing.

Did you learn pendulum dowsing first of all? What were your first experiences like? Did it work for you from the very start? Share your story in the comments section below

How to Use a Pendulum

The pendulum is the most popular tool of dowsers. Spiritual dowsers and healers love to use a crystal on a chain or a handmade dowsing pendulum in their work. Even though it's easy to use, there are things you should know about how to use this dowsing tool.

Beginners often will hold the pendulum wrong, inhibiting its ability to move freely. Sometimes they leave the chain too long, making it painfully slow to get the answer. It's easy to learn how to hold a pendulum for best dowsing results.

You can use a pendant on a chain or a metal nut on a bit of dental floss as an impromptu pendulum. Anything that has weight and is on the end of a length of flexible material will work. (Long ago, Nigel tells me he and some friends used a garden gnome on a length of rope to dowse. I think alcohol may have been involved…:)

Watch this video as Nigel demonstrates the most effective way to hold and use this popular dowsing tool. Then give it a try yourself and leave your comments in the section below.

How to Use a Pendulum

Have you been holding your pendulum right? Does it move too slow or too fast? This video will show you how you affect the motion of the pendulum by how you hold it.

It's so important to be comfortable with your dowsing tool and to know that you are handling it the best way.

Give it a try!

Introduction to L rods

L rods: Are They Right For You?

There are really only a small number of types of dowsing tools. The pendulum is out in front in terms of popularity. L rods are not that far behind. Although they are not as popular as pendulums, they do have certain advantages. For example, it's hard to use a pendulum outdoors on a windy day, or while you are walking across a field. It shakes about too much and is difficult to read. That's not true with l rods.

One thing about l rods, which you have probably noticed as well, is that they are, invariably (with a few small exceptions), sold in pairs. And, whenever people are taught how to use them, they are taught to use them with one in each hand.

However, you don't have to use two l rods at once. In fact, for most purposes, one l rod is perfectly fine to use. It will show yes and no, and point out direction and all the other things which l rods do. There's no need for both, except in some few circumstances. For example, let's say that you were tracking an underground stream and at one point it branched into two streams. With just one l rod you'd find it hard to discover that, but two l rods would show the divergence.

You can make your own l rods quite easily from an old wire coat hanger. Lots of them are made of copper and some of brass. Nigel's, which he likes a lot, are steel. Very sturdy and he doesn't need to be careful about damaging them when using them!

This video introduction to l rods will help you learn the basics of this dowsing tool.

What are your l rods made of? Do you always use two of them together or one at a time? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments section below

Dowsing Pendulum

The Dowsing Pendulum

One question which people tend to ask at first is, ‘What is a dowsing pendulum?' It's a good question. And the answer appears below, as well as in the video itself.

But first we should tell you something that's equally important. In truth, there is not really one type of dowsing pendulum. Any sort of pendulum which you can comfortably hold could be considered a dowsing pendulum. The assumption is that there is a type of pendulum which is best suited for dowsing. You may well discover many places selling pendulums and advertising them as being the best for a particular area of dowsing or for a particular type of dowsing.

You may even speak with dowsers who will tell you something similar, that a dowsing pendulum has to be of a certain kind.

Pendulums for dowsing come in all sorts of shapes and sizes (as well as prices!!).  The reason for that is that the pendulum is the most commonly used dowsing tool.

It stands to reason that there is going to be a whole slew of dowsing pendulums for sale, because there's such a demand.

I'll let you into a secret. Ready? Here goes. One of the best pendulums I've used is a three-quarter inch nut on dental floss. How about that for cheap and easy?

And the reason I can say that about a dowsing pendulum is because the answer to the question at the top of this page is as follows.

The best pendulum for dowsing is the one you like the most.

So, repeat after me; ‘What is a dowsing pendulum?' Answer: ‘Which ever one you like because that is the one which responds best to you.' You're not going to like a dowsing pendulum if it feels clunky and slow. Once you've learned about the various pendulums, you can begin to use yours to effect!

Watch this short video where Nigel gives an introduction to dowsing pendulums and the various types of them. It will help you get off on the right foot with this great tool.

What is your favorite dowsing pendulum? A really, really cheap one or one made of precious stones? Why not share your preference with others in the comments section below?

Y rods and Bobbers

Y Rods and Bobbers

Y rods and bobbers are two dowsing tools that have been around a long time, but they are not used as much by dowsers these days. Perhaps that is because these tools were originally associated with more practical applications, such as water dowsing (or water-witching as it is still sometimes referred to).

The emphasis in dowsing, especially over the last quarter century, has been towards more personal growth types of dowsing. These lend themselves more to the use of the pendulum. I suppose you could call that area of dowsing as more interested in the ‘spiritual' aspects of life.

The other popular tool is the l rod. That is certainly taught more often in conjunction with the pendulum to newcomers. And that is because it is much, much easier to teach how to hold and use l rods than y rods. Y rods are the modern version of the old forked branch, the one is more closely associated with ‘old-timers' or water-dowsers. Y rods are the most tricky of all the tools to hold. They have to be held just right, so that they are ready to move easily and quickly. As you'll see in the video, it's really all in the wrists and hand position.

I can still recall when I first started with a y rod. I nearly took out my front teeth! The video shows you how to avoid that particular problem!

The other tool shown here is the bobber. The bobber is an interesting variation on the pendulum. Think of it as a pendulum which sticks out in front of you, instead of dangling from your hand.

Even if you never choose to use these tools a lot, it's fun to play with them. Who knows? You might even find one of them becomes a favorite.

Do you prefer either y rods or a bobber when you dowse? Tell us why in the comments section below