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Dowsing as a Form of Divination

What is Dowsing

In the definition of David Green (The British College of Dowsing); “dowsing is the process by which one uses an implement (any implement) to act as a physical indicator of communication via unconscious muscle movements from subtle energies acting through the unconscious mind of the dowser.”

The instrument used for dowsing or divining, is therefore only important to the dowser. It could be as simple as any weight on a string; or (as is my father’s preference), “the perfect Y limb from a young maple.” Some people feel that two L-rods work best for them. Myself; I choose to use a pendulum of moss agate on a silver chain. Whatever you use; it should be meaningful to you and should be cleansed, consecrated and imbued with your power before you begin to use it.

All crystals and precious gems possess healing properties. But over time they can get worn down, and their healing powers become as murky as the crystals appear to be. For this reason, periodically you need to purify and recharge them. (I list this here because most persons that use a pendulum, choose a crystal of some type.) The following ritual (written by Jamie Wood & Tara Seefeldt) should be used after the first purification bath and done again at regular intervals for your pendulum as well as other crystals.

The night of the Full Moon is the best time to charge crystals with renewed strength. To do this, rinse your crystals with seawater or saltwater. Set all the crystals and gems on a special cloth in the moonlight. Say: “Now I invoke thee, o Mother of mine. To renew with strength, these crystals of thine. Help me to reflect your pure Divine light, Choosing a life that is healing and bright.”

One type of dowsing is trying to locate objects that are lost or hidden. Common things that are dowsed for are underground minerals: water, oil or gold deposits. Dowsing is also be used to find lost things such as aiding the police when looking for hidden crime scenes, buried victims and/or lost children.

Dowsing with rods or a stick works on a yes/no answer premise; just like dowsing with a pendulum does. When using the stick or rods, YES is indicated by a downward motion of the Y-branch or a crossing or opening of the rods, NO is indicated by no movement. The relative nearness or intensity of the desired object is shown by how quickly or forcefully the dowsing branch or rods moves.

When dowsing with a pendulum you use the same YES/NO type questions. (IE; Is there Water here? Is the water ten foot down? Is the water twenty foot down?) You will notice however; that with the pendulum, the YES/NO questions are specific. This is one point to make certain you remember. If you ask a vague question…You will get a vague answer.

One thing to always remember, no matter what type of dowsing you choose (if any) to become proficient with; you should not be doing so just to increase your personal wealth. If you try to dowse for the lotto numbers, to look for gold for yourself or for any other self-serving work, the “Laws of Three” will once again apply.

A reputable dowser should have a means of support and use dowsing as their art. This; once again, goes back to the belief that you should not be using the gifts from your Gods to make yourself more important in the eye of others. So with that general introduction of dowsing, I will get into some more in-depth discussion of the art.

The one thing you should always remember: dowsing is a tool for understanding and knowing; a way to bring answers to the surface of our consciousness. In that, it is no different to humanity than the discoveries of science. If those discoveries are used for empowerment of humanity, both science and dowsing are beneficial for humanity. So then, our challenge is the motives behind the use of what we learn and know. Are you looking for these answers for the good of humankind or only to advance yourself worth? Your work with the pendulum should only be for the greater good. ‘An it harm none.

Dowsing with a Pendulum

As with any other type of divination; you need to be in a meditative state before you begin. I would also open a circle beforehand to make certain you have your head in that sacred place. It is the ritual involved in opening the circle that brings your subconscious mind into the right mind-set. Once you begin to open the circle, your brain says, “Okay, this is serious business; I need to concentrate on what I’m doing.”

Once your circle is open, return to the center (by your alter and the candle-light) and take a few cleansing breaths. Meditate for a few moments and let the cleansing breaths clear your thoughts. You want to be in a neutral state of mind so as not to influence the answers you receive from the pendulum.

Your will CAN and WILL cause a confusion in the answers. If you begin a reading wanting a specific outcome; then you have already made a decision, so there is no need to look for answers. The reason that you are using the pendulum is to find the answer within the deepest reaches of your unconscious mind. If you are influencing the answers, then you don’t need to search deeper for them.

You also need to be aware of the possibility that you will influence the movement of the pendulum. Rest your elbow on a flat, solid surface such as a table. Allow the pendulum to swing freely between your thumb and forefinger. Make certain that you are far enough away from hindrances such as chair arms or walls that may direct or stop the swing.

For the most part, the pendulum isn’t capable of answering complex questions. It is designed in such a way that it can answer virtually any Yes/No question though. It can also; in relatively the same way the “RODS and Y-LIMBS” work, be used to locate lost items if necessary.

Understanding Your Answers

After getting your Divination Journal prepared, opening your circle, lighting any appropriate candles and achieving a semi-meditative state you will start your pendulum moving in a circular motion. The direction that you begin its movement will depend on the nature of the question you are asking at this time. Follow the guide below to decide how you are going to start your divinations.

  • Clockwise (also known as Deosil or Sunwise)
  • Masculine Subjects or Situations
    Fire Elemental Subjects
    Air Elemental Subjects
  • Counter-clockwise (also known as Widdershins or Anti-Sunwise)
  • Feminine Subjects or Situations
    Earth Elemental Subjects
    Water Elemental Subjects

Once moving in the correct motion for your subject matter; state your question in YES/NO format to the pendulum. Concentrate on your question and sit quietly while you wait for the pendulum to stop moving in a circle and begin to turn slowly toward your answer. The usual meanings of the movements are as follows.

Back and Forth
Toward body and away from body
Definite YES answer
Side to Side
From left to right/right to left
Definite NO answer

There are a few other answers that you can get with your pendulum as well. If it moves in an ever shrinking circle until stopping it is telling you that the YES/NO answer is an equal balance (MAYBE). In this case, reword your question more clearly and try again. If you get the same response it is probably not the time to ask that question.

Not the correct time to ask a question can also mean a few different things. It may not be your business (you are asking about someone other than yourself and it is considered a dark magick practice.) Most likely the reason is that the time is wrong for you to ask. In that case, you may need more information to make that decision. For this reason you can wait a few weeks and then pose the same question again.

The other movement would be diagonal movement experienced if there is more than one correct answer to your question. Again; if you feel this may be the case, reword the question in a more direct (singular) manner and see if you get a more clear answer. You can also use the diagonal movement when you are looking for something. It will work in leading you whether you dowse over a map or you dowse for your keys from room to room around the house.

Energy Flow (Aura)

Pendulums can also be used to detect energy flows as well. When using your pendulum to detect auras, you would hold it still and move it from location to location. Pause long enough at each point to notice any movement which can range from a very slight “twitch” to a full swing on the end of your chain/string.

The direction of the movement will alert you to the polarity of the energy flow and the strength of the movement will show you how strong the energy flow is.

Deosil — Clockwise
Waxing Energy Flow
Masculine Energy
Widdershins — Counter-Clockwise
Wanning Energy Flow
Feminine Energy
Side – Side
Negative Energy Flow
Back – Forth
Positive Energy Flow

Using Your Pendulum For Overcoming Anger

All of us have; at some time in our lives, experienced bad situations that we can’t seem to overcome. You can use your pendulum to help bring these unresolved issues to the surface of our consciousness so that you can let go of them. It is usually painful for us to look at these issues; but once we bring them to light, we can work on forgiveness (whether for ourselves or for someone else.)

The first thing we need to do is to ask the right questions to find those hidden issues. As you begin to get positive answers, keep asking more questions until you find why it is a problem for you. Just remember; part of forgetting is forgiving and many times that means admitting our own shortcomings so we can forgive ourselves more then the need to forgive someone else. You will never grow in this lifetime if you always look for some outside force to blame for your problems. You have choices and you make them on your own of your freewill.

Using the Message Board

If you choose to do so, you can also use a message board with your pendulum. The message board is similar to the Ouija board on a smaller scale. It is designed to work with your pendulum so that you can receive messages from the Otherworld.

I don’t often use the message board myself but I do have a copy of it for use when I can’t seem to make the words come. It is a way to delve into the recesses of your subconscious mind without knowing which questions you should ask. I thought it only right that I list it as another method of using the pendulum, as well as add a picture of the board in case you would like to make one for yourself.

Of particular interest to you should be the special characters on the board. The meaning of each of these is on the outskirts of the main board. The semi-circle at the bottom of the board will be the start point for the bottom of your pendulum.


Until next time…Blessed Be…Sheila


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