Weeks had gone by with no trace of the man, and by now it was obvious that something terrible had happened to him. Since the police were unable to find him, the family called on someone they hoped would be able to help--Catholic priest, Abbe Mermet. They didn’t call on Father Mermet for spiritual help, and he wasn’t an amateur sleuth. Father Mermet was a dowser, and he was known to have helped locate several missing persons by using nothing more than a pendulum and a map.
Father Mermet asked the family for a photo of the man, and he obtained a map of Valence. Holding his pendulum over the photo and the map, he was able to deduce what had happened. Mermet told the family that the man had fallen into the river Rhone and drowned. In the time since his death, the river had carried the man’s body nearly 80 miles to village of Aramon. He said that the body was was lodged between two rocks, and he told them the exact location of where they would find it. The family went to the location Father Mermet had indicated and they found the man’s body lodged between two rocks in the river, exactly where he said it would be.
In another case, Mermet was called upon to help locate a missing twenty-six year old who had disappeared from his home. Using a pendulum, an article of the man’s clothing, and a map, Father Mermet deduced that the man had suffered a nervous breakdown and was still alive somewhere in Toulouse, France. Twelve days later, Mermet received a letter from the man’s mother saying that her son had been located. He had indeed suffered a nervous breakdown, and was found staying with friends in Toulouse. The man was brought home safely and received treatment for his mental illness.
Look up the word ‘dowsing’ in the dictionary and you'll find it defined as “a technique for searching for underground water, minerals, or anything invisible, by observing the motion of a pointer--traditionally a forked stick, now often paired bent wires--or the changes in direction of a pendulum, supposedly in response to unseen influences.” But as we’ve seen, dowsing is much more than just looking for water or precious metals.
Google the word ‘dowsing’ and you’ll get approximately 4,020,000 results. Take a look at the video results from the same search and you’ll find 141,000 videos on the subject. People dowse for water, minerals, gold, uranium, underground power lines and pipes, lost graves, and buried treasure. Pendulums are used to dowse maps to locate missing people and objects.
The military has also used dowsing. During the Vietnam War, soldiers dowsed to locate hidden land mines. During the second World War the Germans used dowsers to follow the movement of British ships.
People use dowsing for healing, to improve psychological health, and to test water and food for contaminates. And the list of uses for dowsing goes on and on.
Whether you call it water-witching, divining, or even doodlebugging, one thing is for certain--dowsing is serious business. There are dowsing societies all over the world. The Appalachian Chapter of the American Society for Dowsers lists sixty-two international dowsing associations. There are organizations in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, the United States, the UK, Venezuela, Russia, Japan, and Korea--to name a few.
There’s a saying, “5,000,000 Elvis fans can’t be wrong”. The same goes for dowsing. Let’s face it, people don’t waste time on things that don’t work. There are such a huge number of dowsers across the globe who devote time and money to the practice that there must really be something to this thing called dowsing. But how does dowsing work? Dowser Fay Semple (Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube) explains it this way:
“Dowsing is an alignment of body, mind, and soul. Our conscious mind is asking a carefully framed question; but the information we’re trying to gather from information fields that permeate everything and that sit behind physical reality, is something that our subconscious and subliminal mind is much easier able to access. But the subconscious and subliminal mind do not speak in language; they speak in archetype, image, feelings, dreams, and sensations. So, dowsing is a method of getting those two very different types of your mind to speak together. You ask a question, but your subliminal mind can’t answer in English. So what you’re doing through the body is asking for a graphical representation -- a Yes or No movement of the answer to the question.” She goes on to say, “When we think and put a question out there, a responding field comes back with information. Dowsing is a way of tapping into those fields.”
[By the way, I've had a sneak peak at Fay Semple's fantastic new website, so keep an eye on her social media for the official launch. I'll post the link in the 'Resources' section of this article once the site is up and running.]
Dowsing as we think of it today seems to have originated in 15th century Germany when it was used to locate underground sources of metal. When German miners traveled to England to work in the country’s coal mines, the practice quickly spread throughout Europe. Dowsing was accepted by just about everyone until the church got involved. In 1659, the Jesuits declared dowsing to be a satanic practice. Not to worry. Dowsing lived on long after it was banned by the church.
In the 18th and 19th centuries water dowsers, also known as water-witches, were well-respected and important members of the community. They were relied on to find fresh sources of water on property, and no one would consider digging a well without consulting a dowser first. Why? You can’t just dig a well anywhere and hit water. Without a dowser, a homeowner might spend time and money digging hole after hole until they hit water. Dowers are often able to locate water the very first time.
One man told a story from modern times that illustrates this perfectly. He said, “I remember as a small child in Shutesbury, Massachusetts watching this old man wandering the field next to our little house with a stick in his hand. My dad explained he was a dowser, there to find water. The well drilling company had struck three “dry holes” and so they’d called in a dowser. He found the place to drill in ten minutes.” 1
As I mentioned earlier, dowsing isn’t just for finding sources of water. Many people use dowsing to help find lost objects. The American Society of Dowsers shares a number of such stories on their website.
One story tells of a woman who asked dowser Louis Matacia for help in finding her lost wallet. Through dowsing, Mr. Matacia narrowed down the location of the wallet to a restaurant the woman had eaten at the previous night. He said that the wallet had fallen down into the booth the woman had been sitting at. She returned to the restaurant and after struggling to move the booth found the wallet deep in the corner where Matacia said it was.
In another story, a man contacted dowser Marge Hefty to help locate a valuable object he had lost. Ms. Hefty dowsed the location while talking to the man over the phone. She first narrowed the location of the object down to his house, then to his bedroom, and finally two feet off the floor under a very large pile of books. The man searched the spot and found the item exactly where Ms. Hefty said it would be.
George and Tonie Weller helped Elizabeth Robins locate the deed to two pieces of property that her mother had left to her after she died. Although the woman had searched both properties for the legal document, it was nowhere to be found. After 10 minutes of dowsing, Tonie’s dowsing rods lead her to the upstairs closet of one of the houses. There she found the deed in a shoebox full of old Christmas cards.
Tools of the Trade
Although this newsletter deals primarily with pendulum dowsing, let’s take a look at the four most popular devices use by dowsers: Y-Rods, L-Rods, a ‘Bobber’, and a pendulum. Each device has its own ‘personality’, so to speak, and each has advantages and disadvantages.
Y-rods are the traditional type of dowsing rod that is often depicted in movies. It's a forked stick shaped like the letter Y and it's anywhere from 12 to 24 inches long. In the ‘old days’ Y-Rods were made out of wood, but people now favor plastic or metal rods because they are easier to hold. Y-rods are primarily used to indicate a YES response to a question. For example, if you were dowsing for water the Y-Rod would point down to show where the water is.
L-rods are a very popular dowsing device. They are simply two L-shaped rods, and you hold one in each hand with the long end facing away from you. Some people make these out of bent wire coat hangers. Or, you can buy them pre-made. Mine are made out of copper and have handles that allow the rods to move freely. To use them, you think of the thing you are trying to locate and begin walking with the rods pointed slightly downward. When the rods both point in the same direction, it is an indication to walk that way. When the rods spread in opposite directions, it indicates a NO response. When you reach the desired target, the two rods will cross in front of you.
Bobbers are long flexible rods, branches or wires that sometimes have a coiled spring near the end that you hold. They may also have a weight on the far end. As you can imagine, the spring and the sheer length of the rod makes it bob up and down or from side to side when you walk--thus the name ‘bobbers’. The direction of the bobbing indicates either a YES or a NO answer.
The pendulum is my personal favorite type of dowsing device, and it is favored by many dowsers. It’s portable, easy to use, and I find that I get instant and accurate responses to my questions. A pendulum is basically any weighted object that hangs on the end of a string or a metal chain. The length of the string is typically four or five inches long. The pendulum indicates Yes or No depending upon the way it swings. One downside of using a pendulum is that it can be difficult to control when walking. But a big plus is the ability to use it when dowsing maps and pendulum charts. Map dowsing involves using a pendulum over a map. As you can imagine, there are any number of things that you can dowse on a map such as the location of missing objects, precious minerals, missing persons, just about anything.
My Experiences With Dowsing
The pendulum is a valuable tool when trying to get to the bottom of who--or what--is responsible for a haunting. I recently used a pendulum at an investigation in New Millford, Connecticut. It helped determine that there were two spirits present. One was a girl in her early 20s, and the other was a non-human entity that came in as an attachment to an object the homeowner had purchased. Using this information I was able to do a clearing that the homeowner said was successful.
I also used a pendulum in a case in Stamford, Connecticut where I was able to learn the name of the spirit that was haunting a house. The spirit was a soldier. After doing some research I discovered that there was a soldier with that name who had passed away in the 1940s.
In preparing for this article, I did an experiment that turned out to be a lot of fun. I put six coffee cups face-down on my dining room table and asked my daughter to place a coin under one of the cups. Each time she hid the coin under a cup, she also moved the cups around the table.
When using a pendulum, you have to know what YES looks like, and what NO looks like. For me, the pendulum swings in a horizontal line to indicate YES, and in a counterclockwise circle to indicate NO.
The first time my daughter hid the coin, the pendulum indicated a definite NO as I suspended it over five of the cups, but it swung wildly in a horizontal line over the sixth cup. I turned the cup over, and there was the coin!
I repeated the experiment a second time with the same result; the pendulum swung in wide circles over five of the cups which indicated NO, and it showed a strong YES over the one cup where my daughter had hidden the coin.
On the third trial I was incorrect the first time; but I was able to locate the coin on the first try after re-dowsing the remaining five cups
On the fourth trial I was correct, and I located the coin on the first try.
On the fifth trial I was incorrect, and I was unable to find the coin by re-dowsing the remaining cups.
Obviously, I would have to repeat this experiment hundreds of times to declare that my dowsing experiment was statistically impressive. But I was satisfied with the results. Remember, I didn’t use two cups which would give me a 50/50 chance of success each time--I used six cups. During the experiment, the YES and NO movements of the pendulum were well defined and when the pendulum indicated that the coin was under a particular cup, I had an internal feeling of certainty that I was correct before uncovering the coin.
I did another experiment where I asked my daughter to hide a coin in the front yard. Using a pendulum, I was able to pinpoint the exact location of the coin. It was funny because I was standing right on the coin and my pendulum was swinging back-and-forth so hard that it was practically jumping out of my hand--but I couldn’t find the coin! It turns out that I was standing right on it. Even though I was barefoot, I couldn’t feel that I was actually stepping on the coin because my daughter had buried it slightly. It was as if the pendulum was saying, “It’s right under your foot you fool!”
Try It Yourself!
Since most people don’t own a pendulum, you’ll want to start by making one yourself. Find a round, spherical or cylindrical shaped object that has some weight to it. I recently made a pendulum out of a Chinese coin. It was perfect because of its shape, and because it already had a hole in it.
Next, suspend the object from a string, thread, or a chain that is around four or five inches long. You can also start with a longer string that you can hold at different lengths until you find the right length for you.
The next step is to find out what a YES response looks like, and what a NO response looks like. Hold the pendulum in front of you and make sure that it is still. Say out loud, “Show me what YES looks like” and watch the pendulum carefully. It will either swing from side-to-side, back-and-forth, in a clockwise circle, or in a counter-clockwise circle. Next, say out loud, “Show me what NO looks like” and note the direction the pendulum moves. Many people see the pendulum start moving right away, others wait a long time and see just a little movement. That’s OK. Just keep at it. It sometimes helps to stare at the weight of the pendulum and imagine it moving.
It’s important to keep in mind that when you ask a question, you are using the pendulum as a tool to get an answer from the universe or from your subconscious mind--The pendulum is not an intelligent being. The answers are coming through you, and the pendulum is the visual representation of those answers.
It’s possible that the answer is unknown, or that it’s not a good time for you to receive the answer. So you’ll also need to ask what “I don’t know” looks like, and what “I don’t want to answer” looks like.
Now that you know what the answers look like, practice by asking questions you know the answer to such as “Am I a male?”; “Do I drive a red car?”; “Am I the oldest child in my family?” etc. You can ask the question out loud, or you can ask them silently--it makes no difference.
Many dowsers feel that it's important to ask permission before dowsing. Asking permission comes in the form of three questions: ‘Can I?’, ‘May I?’ and ‘Should I?’.
By asking ‘Can I?’, a dowser is essentially asking if they have the ability to do a certain type of dowsing. Suppose you are looking for a lost object in your home. If you ask ‘Can I do this type of dowsing?’ and the answer is NO, it’s best not to proceed. You don’t have enough experience to do this type of dowsing. This is valuable information because it’s telling you to practice before taking on dowsing for missing objects.
‘May I?’ is asking permission of God--the universe, collective consciousness or whatever you want to call it--to do the type of dowsing you are about to do. If you get a YES answer, great! If you get a NO answer, it might mean that you are seeking information that you shouldn’t have right now because you are not ready for it yet.
‘Should I?’ is a question that you ask to find out if it’s a good idea to get involved in a particular dowsing job. Some dowsers are taken advantage of, so asking ‘Should I?’ is a way to protect yourself before taking on a dowsing job for someone else. Or, if you are dowsing for yourself, it may mean that the thing you are seeking might do you or someone else harm in some way down-the-road. If you get a NO answer, don’t question it; just stop the dowsing session and move on to something else.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!
Now for the fun part. Use your creativity in devising experiments to hone your skills. I first recommend that you try the 6 cup coin experiment I talked about earlier. There are also experiments you can do with playing cards. First, remove the ‘royal cards’ and the Aces. Keeping the cards face down choose one at random and place it on a table. Suspend your pendulum over the card and ask, “Is this a red card?” or “Is this a black card?”. See how many you get correct out of ten tries.
Next, try another card experiment with numbers. Choose a card at random, hold your pendulum over the card and ask, “Is this card between 2 and 8?” If you get a YES response, try narrowing it down. “Is this card between 2 and 5?” Keep asking questions until you get a YES answer for a single number, then turn over the card and check your accuracy.
Here’s a great exercise. Find five or six small objects and put them in a row in front of you. Now, write the names of each object on a slip of paper and put the slips into individual envelopes. Mix the envelopes thoroughly, then select one. Hold the envelope in one hand and suspend your pendulum over each object at a time asking “Is this the object that is written on the paper in the envelope?” When the pendulum indicates a positive response, open the envelope to check your accuracy. This experiment can be taken a step further by placing each envelope with a positive response in front of the object the pendulum indicated. Don’t open the envelopes until you’ve tested all of the objects, then open and check for accuracy.
Experimenting with a pendulum alone is fun, but with a partner it’s even better. It’s important to choose someone who is not skeptical or disinterested. The following partner experiments come from Richard Webster’s excellent book Pendulum Magic For Beginners: Tap Into Your Inner Wisdom. If you are at all interested in dowsing, definitely pick up a copy.
Happy or Sad -- Have your partner close their eyes and think of either a happy or sad scene while you hold your pendulum over their upturned palm. Ask “Is (your partner) thinking of a happy scene?” If it indicates YES, you know it’s a happy scene. If it indicates NO, it’s a sad scene.
Which Object Is It? -- Select several objects and place them in a line several inches apart. Turn your back and have your partner pick one up for a few seconds, then replace it. Now, suspend your pendulum over each object and ask, “Is this the object that my partner just picked up and held?”
I Spy -- Have your partner choose any object that they can see in the room that you are both in. They don’t have to hold the object, they just have to look at it. Obviously, don’t watch them as they’re looking around. Now hold your pendulum in front of you and start asking it about each object in the room. You can also narrow down the search by asking questions such as “Is the object on the side of the room with the fireplace?” “Is the object within 5 feet of me?” etc.
Hide and Seek -- Have your partner hide an object somewhere in the house or apartment you are in. Write the names of all of the rooms in the house on different cards, then test each card to see if the pendulum reacts positively to one of them.
Uses for Pendulum Dowsing
The uses for pendulum dowsing are practically endless. You can use a pendulum to test the quality of food and water; to check which vitamins or supplements to take for various health conditions; to help locate lost objects, people, or pets; or to check for imbalances in your body’s energy centers known as ‘chakras’. Pendulums can be used to determine the health of a person at a distance, or even to heal at a distance. They can also be used to explore past lives, and to communicate with spirits.
There are books that have pendulum charts that can be used to ask questions on just about every topic you can imagine. There are also pendulum alphabet charts that you can use in a way that's similar to an Ouija board. The disclaimer here is that I always warn people against using Ouija boards, but I don’t consider dowsing alphabet charts to be in the same category. Answers given while dowsing come from the universe or from your subconscious. Rogue spirits are not controlling the pendulum, so there is no danger of spirit infestation or possession when using a pendulum.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the various uses of pendulums for dowsing, and that you'll try pendulum dowsing for yourself. If you do, I know you'll be amazed at the results. There are tons of books, websites, organizations, Meet-up groups, and videos where you can learn more about dowsing. Start by checking out some of the resources at the end of this article. Happy dowsing!
I've had a sneak peak at Fay Semple's amazing new website, so keep an eye on social media for the official launch.
https://borderlandsciences.org/journal/vol/28/n03/Crabb_Mermet_Radiesthesia_Catholic_Gold.html (Article about Father Mermet)
https://theghostinmymachine.com/2019/02/11/how-does-it-work-dowsing-water-witching-and-the-power-of-expectation-divination-ideomotor-effect/ (Article about the history of dowsing and practical application)
https://canadiandowsers.org/military-government-and-big-business-use-dowsing/ (Short article on government and military usage of dowsing)
https://dowsers.org/ (The American Society of Dowsers website)
https://charliesheldon2.com/2016/12/13/dowsing-stories-that-are-true/ (Dowsing stories)
https://dowsers.org/confirmed-dowsing-stories/ (Dowsing stories)
http://dowsers.org//wp-content/uploads/2016/05/4_3_2_1_Handout.pdf (A concise dowsers handbook from the American Society of Dowsers)
https://dowsers.org/dowsing-to-get-rid-of-bad-habits/ (Advice for using to break bad habits)
https://www.surpliceofspirit.com/pendulums-answers/ (A general article on pendulums and how to use them)
https://www.annasayce.com/trouble-pendulum-dowsing/ (Advice for those having trouble getting started with dowsing)
http://www.archercousins.com/dowser.htm (An article by a man who used dowsing to locate lost gravesites)
http://www.featherhawk.com/articles/pendulum_dowsing_the_basics.htm (A well written and practical article about how to dowse)
http://wncdowsers.org/about-us/who-we-are/ (Appalachian Dowsers website) (History of dowsing from 8000 BC until the present)
https://ancientstandard.com/2007/06/19/a-brief-history-of-dowsing-8000-bc-%E2%80%93-today/ (History of dowsing from 8000 BC until the present)
http://www.wrf.org/men-women-medicine/dowsing-radiesthesia-health.php (Dowsing for health and healing)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaJGBc5mCuU (Asking good dowsing questions) (Great video about asking the right questions while dowsing)