The decline in interest in dowsing since the turn of the century can be blamed on many factors, but a major contributor is that most people think of dowsing as a psychic ability, not as a skill.
It's a common misconception. Dowsing is often listed as a psychic gift, but what you might want to ask yourself is this: what are psychic abilities, anyway? And why are they portrayed the way they are, as freakish, frightening or fake?
We live in a culture that worships science and rational thought. And that's OK, but the flip side is our culture demeans things which don't fall into the category of rational thought. Humans are made up of both rational and intuitive faculties. Both are equally valuable and work to complement one another. You cannot live well if you renounce either rational thought or intuition.
It is natural for a culture to emphasize one approach over the other, but you as an intelligent human need to be aware that you are far more than a machine that thinks. You are a complex creature made up of trillions of cells and many, many living organisms that contribute to your physical, emotional and mental health.
You have many ways of gathering information about the outside world. Rational means have their strengths and intuitive means have theirs. You wouldn't cut off one arm simply because the other is stronger or dominant, so why give up half of the natural abilities you have as a human?
It Isn't Either/Or
Our culture undermines intuition in insidious ways. It pokes fun at those who believe in things they can't see or measure. Without admitting that all the important things in life–love, loyalty and compassion–fall into that category, detractors label psychics as charlatans and weak-minded. Having any level of ‘psychic' gift makes you a questionable person.
Granted, those who admit to having such abilities or even use them professionally are the extreme end of the spectrum of expression, but they are still just people, humans using their natural intuitive abilities. Like amazing athletes or academic geniuses, they're still human and should not be criticized or judged. In fact, as exceptional at what they do, they should be lionized.
Bottom line is this: we all have intuition, and we all have the ability to know things without using rational thought. Some are better at it than others, and dowsers who spend time honing their skill are always far more intuitive than the ‘average' human. They aren't choosing one thing over another. They just want to be more fully human.
Dowsing Is A Skill
Like throwing a ball or drawing, dowsing is a skill. Almost no one is good at art, sports or music without training. The same is true of dowsing. Everyone can draw, play ball or play a piano, but training always improves that ability. Some students progress quickly, while others go slowly, but that is true of every skill.
If you are not trained in proper dowsing technique, you probably will never be highly accurate at any practical application. You might achieve success, but your chances are far better if you train with a good coach and practice technique.
Dowsing isn't for everyone. Just like piano playing isn't for everyone. Some people lack interest. Others lack time or focus. And others don't have the natural inclinations that make dowsing easier to master.
You shouldn't judge yourself if dowsing isn't for you. And you shouldn't feel special if dowsing comes easily to you. We all have different talents and abilities. Everyone can learn to use their intuition, and for some people, the skill of dowsing becomes a gateway to amazing success in using intuition. But for others, there is another entry point.
You are born with intuitive senses, and you can learn to use them to your advantage. If you are fond of thinking analytically, tend to be logical or have an inclination towards science and engineering and also are intuitive, dowsing may be a great skill for you to master. If you are intuitive but not very verbal and struggle with being logical, then perhaps another intuitive method is a better vehicle for you.
We all have the power of intuition. We just need to learn the best and most effective way to tap into it.