The Decline Of Dowsing

A Downward Trend

As dowsers we like to think that what we do is both important and of interest to others, especially to non-dowsers. We interact with fellow dowsers via social media or face to face at conferences and the like, so we tend to think that pretty much everyone likes dowsing and that there is a deal of interest in it. Powered by such thoughts, we write books, give presentations, teach, sell tools and do all the things that other people do who want to promote their interest or hobby.

But we are laboring under a misapprehension. Elsewhere, we've remarked on what we perceived as a decline in interest in dowsing. But that was based on our own observations. That was fine, as far as it went, but to be more accurate, we really need more data.

Enter Google Trends.

This is a tool which allows you to observe the relative interest in a topic over time. When I plugged in ‘dowsing', at first, it didn't look too bad. But that was because it only reported a 12 month period. When I changed it to show the trend from 2004, a twelve year analysis, the picture suddenly took a darker tone. The result is shown below:

It should be pointed out that the “Interest Over Time” simply means the interest relative to the highest point in time. So, in the above graph, dowsing interest was at its peak in 2004, and is now hovering around the 25 mark, meaning it has one quarter of the interest it used to have.

The USA is the biggest internet user, so it would make sense to see if there was a difference in the way dowsing is regarded in this country.

If we look at the USA over the same time period we see a similar graph:

Our perceptions weren't wrong. There is a decline in dowsing.

The first question to be asked is why? And the second is what can be done about it?

The answer to the first question is, I believe, down to the public perception of dowsing. Because there seems to be no consistent means of presenting or talking about dowsing, it has become whatever anyone wants it to mean. Dowsing is finding water? Yes. It's finding lost people or pets? Absolutely. It's healing? Yes, why not? It's changing your environment? Yes, let's add that one in as well. What about talking to angels and the like? Come on in!

In other words, it has become everything and nothing. If it is something to do with a pendulum or an L-rod, then it's obviously dowsing. If it means so many things to so many people, then is it really any wonder that people don't really know what it is any more? And, if they don't know what it is, how can they become interested in it?

The second question is harder to answer. It's more than having dowsing taught in a way which is consistent (which would be impossible to do anyway), it's about how dowsing is talked about, how it is practiced, what it is used for. If I said that Tarot is anything to do with a deck of cards, then poker could be considered a form of Tarot. Sounds stupid? Maybe, but that's pretty much where we are with dowsing.

The data shows that there is a decline of about 75% in terms of interest in dowsing from 2004. That's a large number.

If we, as dowsers, truly believe that what we do is of both interest and value to others, then it's more important than ever to present dowsing in a way which makes sense to non-dowsers. And that means we have to tighten up the definition and practice of dowsing.

Some people, some who call themselves dowsers, will undoubtedly protest and say that what they do is dowsing. But I am certain that the figures above show that it is long past the time to allow others to define dowsing any way they want. It is time now to stick to the simple definition of this wonderful skill and hammer it home time and time again: Dowsing is a means of getting answers to question which your rational, logical brain cannot answer. It is nothing more than that, a process of question and answer. Let's keep it to that, shall we?

Dowsing – An Introduction


This is something which can cause a lot of arguments. People want explanations about how dowsing works, they want a theory about it so they feel they can understand it. Of course, there are those who will always think and believe that dowsing is a fraudulent activity, carried out by scoundrels on unsuspecting members of the public.

I am not interested in trying to persuade those people about dowsing. You will either choose to believe that it is real and genuine or not.

For those who do so choose to believe that there is something of interest, something worth exploring in dowsing, many of them will want to have a believable explanation as to why it works.

It has to be said that there are plenty of theories behind dowsing, theories about how dowsing works. However, you should also be aware that no one single theory has been found to satisfactorily explain what goes on when dowsing takes place.

Dowsing has been around for many thousands of years. It’s earliest recorded use was for locating minerals. Only later was it used extensively for locating water, which is now the most widely known application of this skill.

In all that time, there have been many, many theories put forward to explain how dowsing works. Electricity or magnetism, or some aspect of quantum physics or a connection with something more spiritual, have all been offered as theories. Is any one of them correct or are all of them wrong?

Nobody knows for certain. Those who have been interested in examining dowsing have usually put forward a theory which, they feel, would explain just that one aspect of dowsing. The trouble is that there are so many different applications of dowsing that what would be acceptable as a theory in one application won’t work for another. For example, dowsing for water by actually being on site requires an explanation. But that explanation would, in all likelihood, not fit dowsing for water by being miles and miles away from the location and using a pendulum over a map of the area. Nor would it satisfactorily explain something like health dowsing.

Perhaps it will end up with there being one major theory behind dowsing and several subsets of that theory to explain the different applications.

If there is to be a workable theory, then it might be that it involves a clearer understanding of what we all know and accept in our everyday lives. I’m referring to intuition. We have all experienced it and know what it is and that, more often than not, it works. But none of us really know how it works.

That is similar to the situation dowsers find themselves in. They know that it works well for the majority of the time. They know it works in various areas of life, but none of them really knows how it works. But the point is, it does.

What is your theory about how dowsing works? Do you think we even need one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below

How Dowsing Works

(Transcript is below, if you'd prefer to read)

How dowsing works

This is one of the most common questions about this simple skill. Unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest to answer.

And the reason for that is that nobody really knows the answer. Many people have ideas, guesses and suppositions, but nobody really knows for sure.

So, if you’re looking for the one and only really true answer to the question of how dowsing works, then I can’t tell you.

I can’t tell you how any sort of dowsing works. Whether you use a pendulum to dowse with or no tool at all, the answer is the same: I don’t know how it works. I do know how the pendulum moves but that doesn’t explain why it moves.

But, don’t be disheartened. Just because there is no simple and clear explanation doesn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to suggest ideas!

So, let’s have a look at one idea in particular.

If we recall that dowsing is a simple and natural skill which provides answers to questions your brain can’t provide, then, in order to answer the question about how dowsing works, we really have to talk about where those answers might come from.

Now think about intuition. We all have intuition. It seems to be something which is basic to being human. And we all have intuitive hits. I guarantee you have had the experience of knowing something without understanding how you knew it. It could have been a feeling, a voice, a flash of a vision about something. Whatever it was, it did not seem as though your mind was involved in it at all.

And that is just the same as in dowsing. The only difference is that, when you have an intuitive hit, it could be about anything and at any time. It could have been the answer to something that had been bothering you all day long, or about suddenly realizing what you need to do about a certain situation. We accept that as normal and natural. But, in dowsing, because we ask a specific question and have the right mindset to allow the answer to appear, it seems, somehow, more magical or less understandable. In other words, in dowsing we expect the answer. When we have an intuitive hit the answer is unexpected.

But, really, is there any difference in where the answers come from?

It’s doubtful.

Rather than waste time on working out how dowsing works, it might be more useful to accept that it really does work. And, more than that, it really does work for everyone. It’s a simple, natural and above all, useful skill which every one of us can use in our daily lives.

I don’t know how a cellphone works, but that doesn’t stop me from using one. And that should be the same attitude we should all have about dowsing.

Happy dowsing!

Do YOU have a favorite theory about how dowsing works? Why not share it in the comments section below?

What is a dowser?

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and don't miss a video.

A Simple Question

The question, ‘What is a dowser?' will often be asked by someone who is either a total newbie (and that's OK, we all were once), or someone who only heard of dowsing in the previous 5 minutes.

It is a question with two possible answers, either of which can be correct.

What Is A Dowser? Two Answers

One of the simplest tools you can make to dowse with is a small nut on a piece of string or dental floss of what-have-you. It has led to the description of dowsing as being about ‘a nut on the end of a piece of string.'

That description is, of course, deliberately double-edged. The nut on one end of the string is the tool. and that could also be called a dowser, because it is the thing which shows the dowsing response.

On the other hand, of course, the other meaning of the ‘nut' is the person holding the string. And that person can also be called a dowser, because that, presumably, is what they are doing.

So the answer to the question ‘What is a dowser?' can be found at either end of the tool. :-)

But don't think you have to be a ‘nut' to dowse. Far from it! In fact, I think it takes a good deal of sanity to start dowsing…

You can watch this video about what is a dowser to see the answers to the question.

What Is Dowsing?

A transcript of the video is below, if you'd prefer to read instead.

A Frequently Asked Question

What is dowsing?

This apparently simple question can lead to a surprisingly wide number of answers. For example, you’ll hear people saying that it is something you do to find underground water. Others will speak of it as something you can use to find lost objects, people or pets. Or, you might hear people talk about it as something which is like intuition or something similar.

The variety of possible answers can make dowsing appear to be a very confusing thing indeed.

However, dowsing is really only one thing, no matter how people say they might use it. And that one thing is this:

Dowsing is a simple, natural intuitive skill which can be used to provide answers to questions which your logical and rational mind cannot answer.

That’s what it is!

So, for example, someone who is using dowsing to find underground water is asking a question about where to dig a well. Their rational mind cannot answer that question, but dowsing can. The same thing with finding lost objects, people or pets. In other words, dowsing is what you turn to in order to help you when you can’t find the answer by thinking, or simply researching a problem.

It might help if you understand dowsing as ‘focused intuition’. Normal intuition comes out of nowhere and it comes at odd times, and usually is not about what we are currently thinking about. But dowsing is a way of getting our intuition to respond to provide the information we want at the time we want it.

So you can see, dowsing really isn’t a psychic ability. After all, we all have intuition, which means we all the ability to dowse.

Dowsing is something everyone can do. And you don’t need any special tools to dowse with, either. Remember the earlier definition? Dowsing is a natural, intuitive skill.

Of course, there are tips and tricks about dowsing, like with any skill. The most important thing to remember about dowsing is that it only gives yes or no answers. So you have to ask a good question to get a good answer. Once you have that idea firmly in place, you are making progress!

So, next time you have a problem or a choice to make, and you can’t think your way to a solution or decision, or it all seems way too complicated or detailed, then you should consider using dowsing to help you.

How have you answered the question, ‘What is Dowsing?' Do you have a short way of explaining it to non-dowsers? Let us know in the comments section below

The Evolution of Dowsing

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.

Credibility cover
For in depth information on a scientific investigation of water dowsing, see “The Credibility of Dowsing” by Professor William Barrett, edited by Nigel Percy.

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


I Think I Know What It Is…

Dowsing is something which many people have heard of but not everyone knows really what it is…

This short video will help introduce dowsing to you.


What is dowsing?

The first thing to realize is that dowsing is really simple to do. Extremely simple, in fact. And it’s something everyone can do, naturally. You don’t need special tools, but you can use them if you want.

You don’t need to believe in anything weird, although you might end up believing in some strange things, but that’s up to you.

But, although it’s a really simple thing, and really easy to do, it’s not so simple to describe it. It makes so much more sense to actually do the dowsing than talk about it, because, all of a sudden, you just ‘get it’!

But let me give it a try.

Dowsing is….

Dowsing is like focusing your intuition. You will have had a moment when you suddenly knew something, but didn’t know how you knew it. Things like knowing who’s calling you before you answer the phone. Or, knowing which way to go in a strange place. Things like that.

Well, dowsing takes that ability we all have and makes it far more useful. Instead of waiting to get an intuitive ‘hit’, dowsing allows you to ask precise questions about, well, about anything at all. And then you get the answer.

That’s what makes it simple. You ask a question and you get an answer. That’s easy. But doing it is a little more involved. Not much, but it’s still a really simple thing to do. And it’s something that anyone can do. Anyone at all.

It’s part of what it means to be human! So why not join the growing dowsing tribe around the world and check out how to dowse and a whole lot more.

When did you start dowsing? What got you going and what did you think of it at first? We'd love to know, so why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

A Definition of Dowsing

What It Is…

The video below provides a brief and useful definition of dowsing. Surprisingly, there is a huge amount of confusion and misunderstanding about what is, actually, a very simple thing indeed. Watch it for yourself and decide whether it makes sense to you…


If you read a dictionary definition of dowsing it is usually something along the lines of ‘to search for underground water or minerals by observing the movement of a tool such as a rod or pendulum’.

Which is a bald and practically useless definition because it leaves so much out.

Another approach, much more helpful, is to say that dowsing is a method of searching, where the question is carefully and logically assembled and then the non-rational part of the mind accesses the answer. Dowsing, then, can be used to search for anything at all. Your imagination is the only limitation.

A better definition of dowsing

However, if you ask dowsers themselves how they would talk about dowsing, how they would define it, you will discover that they speak of how dowsing has helped them to transform their lives, or helped them to discover some aspect of themselves they never knew existed, or that dowsing has helped them become far more spiritual than before.

Hardly what you would think of as a definition of dowsing.

Yet the truth is that dowsing is so much more than a simple two line explanation in a dictionary. It is a natural human skill. There is nothing strange about it.

If you have ever had a moment when your intuition clicked in, that’s something very similar to dowsing. In fact, one way of defining dowsing would be to call it focused intuition.

Why not found out more about this very natural skill of yours?

What would be your definition of dowsing? The same as this, or something different?

Resolve to Dowse

I Think I Might…

Making New Year's resolutions is popular. I'd like to suggest a resolution for you. And you don't have to wait for January 1st to start doing it. Resolve to dowse.

You have inner knowledge, but instead you look outside yourself for answers. Dowsing is the easiest way to get in touch with your inner knowing, your intuition or your Inner Guru. Yet most dowsers dowse very little.

It's not necessarily their fault, either. It's usually die to the fact that they haven't really been taught very well about how they can use dowsing in their lives. Sadly, most haven't even begun to recognize the very practical ways they can apply this skill easily in what they do every day. Without that insight, that knowledge, they are naturally limited in what they will use it for.

Resolve to dowse today – don't wait for the New Year!

Start a new year by doing whatever it takes to trust your dowsing. Take a course; read a book; participate in online discussion groups. Expand your knowledge and polish your techniques. Then pick up your pendulum or other favorite dowsing tool and start dowsing about things that will make your life calmer, happier and more successful.

Dowsing has totally transformed our lives, and we're pretty sure it can work for you, too. But only if you dowse. Now there's really no excuse to extend your abilities. This site alone has more information on it than I ever was able to encounter when  I started out dowsing!

We know it's a journey, and it can be bumpy. We're here to help. We resolve to help you become the best dowser you can be so your life can be happier, healthier and more fulfilling.

If you've come to a decision, that you've resolved to dowse, what prompted you to start? Share your thoughts in the comments section below

The Myth About Psychic Powers

I'm Normal! What About You?

People sometimes tell me that they don't think they can dowse well because they don't have psychic powers. (Dowsing is often listed as a psychic ability.)

Their assumptions about the nature of ‘psychic powers' is limited to the connotations they find in the media. Therefore, they draw the following conclusions about dowsing (and other psychic powers):

  • Not many people can dowse or dowse well
  • Dowsing is a freaky activity for weird people
  • Dowsing is probably a hoax
  • Dowsers are delusional
  • Dowsing must be proven scientifically

People avoid activities that are seen as freakish, weird or unacceptable, especially if they are going to be challenged to prove their beliefs. So although dowsing attracts a lot of people, most of them don't pursue it in depth or use it seriously.

While I'm not saying this is the result of an ongoing, organized conspiracy, it's definitely the result of conscious efforts to mold public opinion. For hundreds of years, authorities have been working hard to erase the impression that humans have self-empowering intuitive abilities.

Whether the Church is burning witches or condemning dowsing, or the scientific establishment is hollering about ‘scientific proof', we are surrounded by constant attempts to marginalize and scoff at intuitive sensing abilities.

Who benefits? Those who want to do your thinking for you.

Perhaps the best strategy for marginalizing natural intuitive sensing abilities is to label them as ‘psychic', then smear anyone who embraces psychic abilities. Scoff, demand proof, debunk them. Pretty soon, people accept that psychic abilities aren't even real, or if they exist, they are rare and freaky. So they opt to go with the crowd.

Stop wanting psychic powers – and dowse!

Being a part of the crowd is comforting in many ways. It also offers a degree of anonymity that appears to provide a measure of safety. I'm sure herd animals feel the same way. They feel powerless without the crowd. But is that really how we are meant to experience life?

My opinion, based on years of experience and my training in Biology, is that humans have natural sensing capabilities that have not been described by science. I believe the right brain and intuition are here to help our rational mind make balanced, successful choices.

Our culture has labeled those abilities as ‘psychic'. We have buried them so deep that most people never find them. But if unleashed, those natural abilities can help you create a happy, healthy, successful life.

What threatens those in authority is those same empowering abilities will also give you a chance to think for yourself and question those in power. And they really don't want that to happen. People who think for themselves and feel empowered are impossible to control.

Everyone has the ability to use ‘psychic powers'. They are simply natural human abilities. Let's de-mystify intuitive sensing abilities. Become empowered.

Is this how you see dowsing? Or do you see it as on the spectrum of psychic powers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below