Toronto's Newest Phenomenon:Dowsing

                                                                            by Marilyn Gang

What is this next new Phenomenon that is creating itself in Toronto? It's the Toronto Dowsers!  Dowsers? What's a Dowser? Is it like a dozer and do you sleep all the time? Yes, we really do get questions and comments like this one.

The first meeting of the Toronto Dowsers, on September 11th, 2000, attracted 45 people. We are now averaging 100 people at our monthly meetings and the energy is fabulous. Why is there now such interest and enthusiasm for a heretofore obscure art? Why is this gathering such momentum around the world? What is going on?

When most people finally begin to understand what a Dowser does, the most common impression people have is that of an old fashioned looking person holding a 'Y'-shaped rod (called a 'Y'-Rod) by its 2 ends, walking the land, looking for water. When the best water vein for the well (according to the questions which were asked) is found, there is a downward tug on the end of the Dowsing rod. This is commonly called "water witching." Yes, this is a Dowser and finding potable water is one of the many uses for Dowsing.

Understanding that all information is available to us, Dowsers ask questions and receive answers. The answers to be sought ought to be meaningful to the Dowser or to the person the Dowser is asking the question for. Examples of questions a Dowser might ask are: Is this supplement beneficial for me now? Is this the best brand for me? Show me the dosage. Show me the best vein of water for my well on my property where I will get at least 15 gallons of potable water per minute. Are there negative energies in the area where I sleep?

What we do when we Dowse is we ask a question and receive a response. What is then received is a quasi electrical signal which is amplified and interpreted through the use of a Dowsing tool. This is a neuromuscular conditioning and response. A conceptual similarity to this may be the galvanic skin response obtained during a lie detector test where a question is asked and the answer is either "true" or "false". Many feel that when we Dowse we are explicitly tapping in to our intuition and getting answers we seek, rather than allowing an impression of some random topic to percolate up from the depths of our unconscious. Divining and Radiesthesia are two other terms which relate to Dowsing.

The most well known Dowsing tool used today is the pendulum and this is what most people start with. Other tools are 'L'-Rods, 'Y'-Rods, bobbers, and aurameters. Rods are used for sensing, such as scanning energetic or physical bodies and field work. You can make a pendulum from a button on a string or a bobber out of a wire coat hanger or purchase a tool from a store or online or a Dowsing society. Or you and your friends can make them. Some people even use their favorite crystal worn as a pendant. The pendulum hangs, about 3"-6" at the end of a string, you ask a question that has a yes / no answer and it moves to respond to the question that was asked.

When we learn to Dowse one of the things that we learn is how to program the tool to respond to our answers with one movement that indicates "yes" and another movement that indicates "no". Some Dowsers program their pendulums to swing up and down to mean "yes" and side to side to mean "no". By using this method this we can find the answer to virtually any question we have, as long as we have permission to ask it.

Where is this "signal" coming from and what is it? There are many thoughts on this. Many feel that this is our intuition, that everything --- all matter --- is energy and electricity and that thoughts are electrical impulses. Many say they are asking their Higher Self or the Universe for the answers.

Dowsing has been utilized for thousands of years in every culture. Many believe that Moses' Rod was a Divining (another name for Dowsing) Rod. In China, Dowsing was quite well known. They mostly used rods. The Chinese practice of using Dowsing rods to help promote beneficial energies and alter or avoid negative energies in external and internal environments above the surface became Feng Shui.

Responsible ethics is integral to good Dowsing. One of the first things you learn in a Dowsing class is about ethics which may include Asking Permission. It may not be appropriate for us to have the answers to all questions. Dowsing does also not work if your questions are motivated by greed. The proper intent and the motivation behind the question is crucial to receiving accurate answers and continued success. For example, if you are interested in dating a person and if you try to ask if that person is dating someone else, you will probably not get the answer to that question because it is not your business. If you ask an improper question your pendulum may not move or it may move in strange ways and if you continue this sort of thing your dowsing may degrade.

At last year's annual convention of the ASD (American Society of Dowsers) in Danville, Vermont,  , several of the presenters remarked that this was the "purest" group they had ever spoken to. The reason is that Dowsing will not work if you are not well intentioned. Dowsers just get in to the habit of doing their Dowsing with good intent and this carries over in to the other areas of their lives and through Dowsing they become better people.

Scientific studies done on Dowsers such as those performed by Dr. Edith Jurka, MD,(1) show higher than average levels of health as successful Dowsing is done in a state of mind similar to meditators. They spend more time than average at the Alpha Level of mind and their brain waves are more balanced than the average person.

Another aspect in learning Dowsing is How To Ask The Right Question. The Dowsing response is always correct. But the question we ask might not be accurate for what we wish to know. When Shelley attended a convention in another town she decided to go out for breakfast. She got in the car and asked the pendulum "which is the best place for me for breakfast?" Following the directions given to her by the pendulum, she found herself in front of a private home! The food there was probably great but she had not asked the correct question.

How do you become good at Dowsing? By doing it. The skill of Dowsing is a felt sense where your muscles become attuned to this and your body just knows what to do, such as learning to dance or to ski or to drive a car. Learning to Dowse is easy. Proficiency requires putting in the time, practicing, an acceptance of the understanding, confidence and trust.

Critics of Dowsing claim it is not accurate. The Dowsing System is accurate. You need to ask the right question, have the right intent, focus and concentration. To receive an accurate response you can not force or influence the pendulum. This is part of the learning and the practice. At a recent meeting when we were told that good Dowsers have an accuracy rate of about 86% one of the members of the audience remarked "That's better than my doctor. And I don't have to give blood or wait a week."

Dowsing is a foundation for many other modalities such as radionics. From radionics we move on to broadcasting and many Dowsers, at least in the Toronto area, learn to broadcast colors as a way of fine tuning vibrational healings. Richmond Hill resident and Dowsing teacher Margaret Ball teaches classes on color broadcasting. In addition to Feng Shui, one of the other areas of earth energy that is a relation of Dowsing is the creation and use of labyrinths. Homeopaths and nutritionists use Dowsing and this intuitive approach often gives them answers they would not obtain with a more linear method as it comes up with remedies about problems a practitioner may not even know to address. Kinesiologists who muscle test may use Dowsing with a debilitated client. Virtually every well driller is a Dowser.

Some Dowsers use charts. One of the charts, say the one on the Kidney & Bladder as an example, lists 21 things you can do to help this area such as: eat legumes, mushrooms, asparagus, dandelion root extract helpful, herbs: uva ursi, corn silk, buchu. You would Dowse for the most beneficial item for you at this time. Eva Angyal, R.N.C., of Toronto, is the author of "Vital Knowledge" which is a well designed reference manual on using such Dowsing charts for your health.

One of the many areas of interest within Dowsing is Map Dowsing and lost objects or even people may be found this way. The ASD has many stories of people who were lost and then found through map Dowsing. Dowsing also one of the tools you can use to find out the best place for you to live.

The only limits are those of your own imagination.

Experienced Dowsers can clear houses, help find and dispel or divert negative energies including Geopathic Stress. Dr. Joseph Mercola(2) tells us "While geopathic stress does not directly cause cancer, it weakens the body and makes it much more likely to acquire cancer. Studies have shown that over 85% of patients who die from cancer had regular exposure to geopathic stress." Negative energies and geopathic stress are implicated in many other physical, mental and emotional aggravating conditions for humans, plants and animals.

Children take to Dowsing quite naturally. It helps strengthen their intuition and their confidence in their abilities.

Why are so many people coming to this group? Ria Pudjo, a Dowser and a dentist in Toronto, said "My 3 dental assistants saw the meeting notice and asked me what this was about. When I told them they were excited and want to come, too. They said this appears to be a way for people to find out for themselves how to help their own health because doctors don't always have all the answers." Jack Clayton, a retired engineer from Orangeville who has blood sugar irregularities, uses Dowsing to help with his health and blood sugar. Over a dozen other people simply have said "It's time."

20 or even 10 years ago our group would not have achieved such explosive growth and momentum. Dowsing fits right in with Aquarian Age energies as the symbol for Aquarius is the Water Bearer, who is pouring water out of the urn. She is pouring out water --- the Unconscious --- to the recipients -- Humanity. Aquarius is an Air Sign and this kind of communication goes through the air. This could also be a sign of the foresight of Nature with possibilities of water shortages looming as more people shall be able to find previously undiscovered sources of good water.

The ancient art of Dowsing has been misunderstood and condemned throughout history, mainly because it could not be explained how, by Dowsing, one could find out in great detail about people and places. The history of Dowsing in our western culture shows how the church took over Dowsing, saying only the priests could use Dowsing. Christopher Bird's book "The Divining Hand" (which is available in the Toronto and many other public libraries) gives an excellent history of Dowsing through the ages. The Church first took divining away from the lay people, making it a "law" that only priests could do it, then decided that it was to be "outlawed" by the church!

Dowsing has been difficult to explain scientifically, not because it is not scientific because it is highly scientific, but because it is our "science" which is backward and not well advanced as it has not yet developed the tools by which it can observe and measure what is going on --- with Dowsing as with other energy modalities. Now Dowsing is accepted and practiced by more and more people including medical practitioners --- because it works, and its results are verified, largely because linear and time consuming studies come to the same conclusions. This is a powerful art that ought to be approached and appreciated with respect and with knowledge.

The Toronto Dowsers had its first meeting September 2000.  We hold regular meetings September-June that are currently attracting over 100 people.  We like to have outdoor activities in the summer.  We have had programs on Dowsing for Health, How to Ask the Right Question, the Power of the Pendulum, Earth Energies, Geopathic Stress, Hand Dowsing, etc. We set up practice groups and we have also set up "Dowsing Buddies" where small groups who live in the same area or have similar interests get together to practice their Dowsing, make friends and have fun. It's the practice that creates the felt sense and the skill.  This kind of energy is caught, not taught.

Dowsing today is evolving in to its next phase which is to use the pendulum as an active, rather than as a passive tool so in addition to detecting energy we can purposefully change energy and energetic patterns. We are exploring this in these very exciting times.

For more information about the Toronto Dowsers and its activities go to: or contact Marilyn Gang, BA, MA, R.N.C., Toronto Dowsers Leader, at (416) 322-0363  9:33-9:33.

1.    Wheatley, Dennis, "Principles of Dowsing", Thorsons, 2000

2.  August 13, 2000 newsletter

copyright © 2002,2003 by Marilyn Gang