More on Dowsing & how to dowse

The following post is from a very good friend of mine. His name is Roy Oxley. You will by the end of it know how to dowse.

Roy is the man who taught me to dowse, I have known him now for some twenty years. He is the author of a book titled ‘Challenge‘ and like me has written many technical articles over the years.

Roy’s Dowsing Blog

Dowsing a Journey in my Life

My journey with dowsing started many years ago with my maternal Grandfather, a plumber and glazier in his working life. He always had an open mind. I remember him telling me about one of his work colleagues who used to dowse for water.

As a boy of twelve, I was very keen to learn about the mystical powers. However I had no one to teach me how to do it. When I started work, I realised that I had a sensitivity of feeling to the magnetic flux around electric cables.

Before I drilled into a wall, I would pass the palm of my hand over where I was to drill. I could tell with a reasonable degree of accuracy if there was a cable buried in the plaster or not. 

A closer look

I soon found out that I could also detect pipes as well.  As a logical man and I tried to work out why I could sense them.

After several months of thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that we use electricity in our bodies. Electricity always wants a route back to Earth.

I was convinced that that was the case. I satisfied myself that when the body generates an excess of electrical energy we often get an electric shock. This happens when we touch metal and/or someone else with a lower potential and we call it static electricity.

This state of mind lasted until 1989. My sensing of cables and pipes had become a bit of a party trick. 

Learning the art

My youngest daughter became interested in what was then called New Age Studies. This covered many areas psychometry, card reading, crystal healing and many other branches. Through her contacts, I went on a Dowsing course, which was run by Charles H Holdearne.

Charles was a Consulting Engineer. He carried out work for companies such as Shell, BP and many of the big international mineral companies.

His job was to find oil, minerals and water for these companies. Charles was very good at it. He was busy all his life and as a bonus he traveled the world.

His main tool to find the goods was dowsing. This weekend school was my wake up call. I quickly grasped his teachings, and once I understood the rules, I became very good at it.

Potted History

The earliest recorded use of dowsing is in the Old Testament in The Book of Exodus. It says that as the tribes of Israel were walking through the desert, they had no water. Moses smote the rock with his staff and water poured from the rock.  

In the 5th Century BC the father of history, Herodotus the Greek, reported the use of wooden Y Forks for the finding of water around Scythia, North of the Black Sea. 

There are also many ancient Chinese writings referring to the same.  A Silver coin struck in 936AD clearly shows a man with a forked stick in action above mine workings.

In the 16th Century, Martin Luther proclaimed that dowsing was the devil’s work. That was the start of religious oppression of Dowsers.

Thankfully, the early miners and water finders carried on the practice hidden from view because they knew it worked. At about the same time a German mineralogist Georgius Aricola published “De Re Metallica” a treatise. This work included precise details of dowsing techniques used in mining.

The Witch Queen

The Germans impressed Elizabeth 1st, and she invited them over to help our miners improve their skill in finding the metals that the country needed.

The Cornish Miners soon became very adept at it. By 1660 Charles 2nd recognised the art of dowsing. He quickly tied it to the financial success of the industry. He demanded to know everything about “Baguette Divinitoire” a splendid name for the dowsing rod.

In 1693 Pierre de Lorrain, Abbe’ de Vallemont published his “Occult Physics” which gave precise details of various methods of dowsing.


It was promptly put on the Inquisition prohibited list of books by the Catholic Church. By doing so he became probably the first best selling author by having his book banned.

The oppression by the church and the modern day scientists have done everything possible to pour scorn and mockery onto dowsers. However, the art still persists and has probably more practitioners now than ever before and in the UK The British Society of Dowsers formed in 1933 is showing healthy growth and they can be contacted at :-

Wyche Innovation Centre
Walwyn Road
Upper Colwall
MalvernWR13 6PL (UK)

Overview of dowsing

The art of dowsing is mainly the art of understanding yourself and learning to ask the correct questions.

It is this honesty to yourself that will either allow you to dowse or not.  So where do we start? It doesn’t matter which tool you use to dowse. You have to know how you are wired up inside to be able to interpret the results. This is where many adults have a problem.

When you are first starting out, you have to ask aloud what is my answer “YES.” If you are using rods, for example, the rods will either move outwards or inwards and cross over.

If you use a pendulum, then the pendulum will either go in a circular motion or swing back and forth. So whichever way they move becomes your signal for correct. You then ask what is my answer “NO” that will then give you the signal for nothing is found.  Learning this simple rule is the key to it all.

When I dowse for something, by using simple rules, you do not get confusing answers. The more that you focus on what you want to search for, the better the results get.

Leaky well

I use my rods regularly, and when I was working, I always carried a brass plumb bob in my pocket. An old colleague of mine retired to Scotland. My wife and I went up to visit him.

He had a few problems with his new house. His water supply was from a natural clear spring, and he thought that he had a leak in an underground pipe from his garage to his house.

Proving the theory

The procedure was simple. I stood on the point where the pipe left the garage, held out my rods and asked, “which way does the waterpipe go?”

Both of my rods deflected to my right by about 45˚. My friend didn’t believe it as he thought that the pipe should go straight across the drive to the house.

I walked in the line of my rods and repeated the request about every five paces. Very quickly we found the run of the pipe to the back of the house.

We had marked out the run with a chalk line, and I fine-tuned our search by crossing over the line. Each time I crossed the line my rods crossed. (which is usually my answer, yes). Aagain we marked on the floor where my rods had crossed.

Very quickly we had an accurate path of the pipe. I then stood in the middle of our chalked out pipe and asked the question, “Is there a water leak on this pipe?” “Yes” and my rods crossed, so yes there was a leak.

I then straightened my rods and asked, “Which way is the leak, Right?” and the rods crossed. I turned to my right and walked towards the house holding my rods out in front of me. Next I asked the rods to cross when I was over the leak.

I’d only walked a few paces and the rods crossed, that is where we dug down in the drive. We found a joint loose on the pipe, we tightened it up and repaired the leak.

My friend, who was a disbeliever, but was now a firm believer. I also traced out his drains for him, and he had a cracked drain also.

Treasure hunt

Another colleague of mine had a factory unit, and he manufactured rifles mainly air weapons. Because he manufactured them for our special services he had to hold the highest firearms certificate. It had to be kept on his premises at all time.

One day we were having our usual banter. As a non-believer he bet me that I couldn’t find where the certificate was hidden.

I got my rods out of the van. By using the same yes and no procedure as before I found his certificate in two minutes. Another disbeliever down and it cost him a few pints.

A class act

When I was taking my Teaching Certificate, I had to give a presentation and involve the class. I decided to do a course in dowsing.

I took along a set of rods for each of my classmates. Sanding in front of them all I gave a demonstration from finding the answer Yes, to asking the rods which way North. We also asked the rods to point to the various students in the class which they did with unerring accuracy.

The fun started when I gave them each a set of rods and asked them to find their answer YES. Two of the ladies were so shocked when the rods moved on their own that they threw them up in the air. They then refused to touch them again. Many of the class felt that they had found a new calling and asked if they could keep their rods.

My little friend

The best fun was when I taught dowsing to children as they have no inhibitions and will try anything.

My youngest daughter and I used to attend craft fairs in our area. We used to sell crystals and such but at the shows I used to demonstrate dowsing.

I used to sell dowsing rods which I had made. One particular show was in the summer at Wortley Hall near Barnsley and it was a glorious day.

All the regular stallholders used to enjoy me teaching the children. One day a man,his wife and their two children came to our stall.

The eldest child was about 12 and she wanted to pick a crystal out of our box of mixed crystals. I told her to hold her hand over the crystals and one would choose her, and it did. She was so surprised. Crystals always pick you.

Her brother was not impressed, and he was a bit of a pain, which was reflected in the parent’s faces.

The boy was about 7yrs old, so I thought I would teach him to dowse with some rods.

After about 5 minutes he was hooked, and he was also very good. His Father bought him the rods to try and shut him up, and they left our stall.


About an hour later the boy came running upto the stall shouting, “Mr. …. Mr, I have found the water pipe to the fountain. I followed it all the way back to the house.” His Father in jest said to me “he didn’t find any money though.” So I told the boy how to look for money. His Father laughed. 

An hour later in came the boy, “Mr,… Mr, I have found £5 in coins in the Park. Late afternoon who should come running in with his Mom and Dad? He reeled of all the things that he had found.

The other stall holders were in hysterics with laughter as they had followed the event all day. His Father bought a crystal necklace for his wife. “I am buying this for two reasons. Firstly, that it is very nice and my wife likes it. Secondly, because I have had so much fun with that quid I spent on him, that I feel that I owe you a bit more custom to pay for it.”

In conclusion

If you try to dowse and you do not get a reaction, do not worry, just try a different tool.

I can use steel rods and the ones that work best for me a 0.8mm welding rod bent at 90˚

If you are making them, make sure that they are equal in length. I prefer to have a sleeve over them to stop the rods from sticking in my hands,

My daughter can use copper rods, but I can’t make them work. My wife gets no dowsing reaction with anything.

A needle in a piece of cotton can be very effective and you can get some great crystal pendulums. Do not forget to let the crystal pick you.

You will be drawn to it, because you will get great results.  No matter what you use keep to the simple rules, follow the YES/NO procedure. Leave no ambiguity in what you ask, and it will tell you.

How to dowse

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