Here is an example of perhaps my favourite style of article in the Journal of the British Society of Dowsers. A simple account of dowsing practices, devoid of much interpretation. “Some dowsing experiences” by Helen Wedderburn-Maxwell:
The lady, who does not appear to be a dowser herself, describes the abilities of a local dowser, before giving an account of several “experiments” made by her husband, after he had discovered he had an innate dowsing talent.
We see as in the last blog post, that the dowser uses a sample of the object sought, using the motto “Like to like”, and we learn how effective this method appeared to be at differentiating between similar objects. In fact, even a sample was unnecessary, the dowsing instrument only had to be “initialised” for the search, by being placed in the vicinity of where the object (in this case a fox) had been. (She even mentions the use of dowsing in central Germany, to track down criminals, but that this was not always as straight forward as it might seem). This all possibly suggests that there is a mental aspect to the initialisation. More evidence for this comes from the manner in which the diviner sought the depth of underground water. As we have seen in other posts, the depthing method is personal to the dowser, rather than apparently being a property of the water; the Bishop’s rule did not work for this man.
We are told that her husband appeared to have a natural dowsing ability and set about experimenting with his newly discovered ability. He seemed particularly sensitive to water and the accounts suggest that this was neither self-delusion, nor (in one case at least) possible ESP transfer from spectators, who might have knowledge of the presence of water. An observation of particular interest, is when her friends formed a human chain beginning at one end of the dowsing rod, held by her husband, and ending at the other end, held by a non-dowser. If there was any beak in the chain, the rod would not move over water. I think that this is the only account of such a phenomenon in the BSD journals. However, we might speculate that it was caused unconsciously by her husband’s intention, or maybe even by her own. We have seen that a person new to dowser may have their ability apparently “initiated” by a dowser, when both hold either ends of same dowsing rod, or even if the dowser uses their dowsing rod to touch the novice. The intention to assist the latter is often reported to be effective. And just to add to the mind over matter conjecture, she ends with a description of a man with obvious dowsing ability, who tried to prevent his dowsing rod from turning, only to have it break in his hands. This is another story recounted often in the BSD journals. Is it due to psychokinesis?