"Unconventional" SCIENCES and NEW DISCOVERIES > DOWSING (or Radiesthesia )
Dowsing charts and courses for Beginners
Dowsing charts and courses for Beginners
• Mini-Course in Pendulum Dowsing - Letter to Robin (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish) (PDF) :
- website : HERE
- download in English : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
- download in French : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
- download in German : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
- download in Italian : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
- download in Spanish : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
• Basic Dowsing Lesson (PDF, 5 pages, 288kb) : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
• Free dowsing charts (PDF, 21 pages, 9.4mb): HERE (right click, Save Link As...) or HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
• The Dowser’s Workbook - Tom Graves (PDF, 128 pages, 965kb) : HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
• Elements of Pendulum Dowsing - Tom Graves (PDF, 128 pages, 640kb) : HERE or HERE (right click, Save Link As...)
What is Dowsing ?
Specifically, dowsing could be explained in terms of sensory cues, expectancy effects and probability.
Skeptics and some supporters believe that dowsing apparatus has no power of its own but merely amplifies slight movements of the hands caused by a phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect : people's subconscious minds may influence their bodies without their consciously deciding to take action. This would make the dowsing rods a conduit for the diviner's subconscious knowledge or perception.
Suggested explanations :
Early attempts at a scientific explanation of dowsing were based on the notion that the divining rod was physically affected by emanations from substances of interest.
The following explanation is from William Pryce's 1778 Mineralogia Cornubiensis :
The corpuscles... that rise from the Minerals, entering the rod, determine it to bow down, in order to render it parallel to the vertical lines which the effluvia describe in their rise. In effect the Mineral particles seem to be emitted from the earth; now the Virgula [rod], being of a light porous wood, gives an easy passage to these particles, which are also very fine and subtle; the effluvia then driven forwards by those that follow them, and pressed at the same time by the atmosphere incumbent on them, are forced to enter the little interstices between the fibres of the wood, and by that effort they oblige it to incline, or dip down perpendicularly, to become parallel with the little columns which those vapours form in their rise.
Author's page : https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17532-why-dowsing-makes-perfect-sense/
Why dowsing makes perfect sense
By Michael Brooks
No water here, but is there any science?
Last week, I went dowsing. Also known as divining, this is the ancient practice of holding twigs or metal rods that are supposed to move in response to hidden objects. It is often used to look for water, and farmers in California have been known to ask dowsers to find ways to irrigate their land.
Yet despite many anecdotal reports of success, dowsing has never been shown to work in controlled scientific tests. That’s not to say the dowsing rods don’t move. They do.
The scientific explanation for what happens when people dowse is that “ideomotor movements” – muscle movements caused by subconscious mental activity – make anything held in the hands move. It looks and feels as if the movements are involuntary. The same phenomenon has been shown to lie behind movements of objects on a Ouija board.
Meet the dowser
I knew all this when I went to meet John Baker, who is supervising a dowsing workshop at Sissinghurst castle in Kent, UK, tomorrow. What I didn’t realise is just how hard it is to believe the science.
Baker specialises in dowsing for hidden archaeological structures. By the time I had finished my couple of hours with him, my scepticism about dowsing was getting shaky.
When I arrived, Baker was standing in front of an array of blue flags he had planted in a grassy area in the castle grounds. The flags marked out something his rods had revealed: the outline of a long-forgotten building. Baker held his L-shaped dowsing rods like a pair of six-shooters and walked back and forth across the lines. As he “entered” the building, the rods swung across his body. When he exited, they uncrossed.
At this point, I was neither impressed nor surprised. He could see the line of flags, and he knew what he expected to happen. It would only take a small unconscious movement of his hands to make the rods cross, I thought. What would be impressive and surprising is if the rods crossed when I tried it.
So I had a few goes. Nothing happened. Baker looked untroubled, but I had begun to feel that I was wasting my time.
Baker suggested I try to relax, shake out my shoulders, and maybe visualise something to do with buildings, since that was what I was dowsing for. I did – and it worked.
First the rods started to feel “jumpy” in my hands. Though they didn’t cross as I walked forward, they felt as if they might want to. So I tried it again. Eventually, they crossed every time I “entered” the building. They even uncrossed at the other side.
I have to confess, however much I might be able to rationalise what was happening, my newfound ability freaked me out a little.
So what happened? Baker’s explanation is that by relaxing, and suppressing all my rationalisations, I allowed my brain to tune into a kind of “energy” associated with the buried structure. I think there’s a simpler explanation.
I was frustrated when nothing happened, and stimulated (and amused) when something did. It seems that a part of me wanted it to work. In other words, the atmosphere was the perfect set-up for the ideomotor effect to kick in and move the rods.
Scientifically minded sceptics often express deep dismay at the credulousness of people who believe in dowsing, extrasensory perception and other “inexplicable” phenomena. They should not be so harsh. The illusions that make them seem plausible are astonishingly subtle and powerful.
It is only human to attribute such observations to something beyond the normal senses. Even if science is your thing, a brief immersion in the world of the “unexplained” can be enough to inject a little doubt.
A final confession: I am still slightly disappointed that the scientific explanation stands up so well. I had a great time with Baker at Sissinghurst, and I’m sure tomorrow’s apprentice dowsers will too.
We take a perverse pleasure in things that confound our senses, which is why conjuring tricks are delightful and science can seem a killjoy. The physicist Richard Feynman once said that science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. What he didn’t say was just how much fun fooling yourself can be.
Michael Brooks is the author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense (Profile/Doubleday)
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