Yes, in case you were wondering, my Daddy was a dowser (divener, water witch). It was not his occupation but his hobby. He dowsed for water for over thirty years.
When my father was a boy he used to listen to his father and other adults carry on conversations about dowsing and was curious. He decided to try his hand at it and dabbled with it for many years.
He did this as a free service to a rural community. It cost a lot of money to have a well dug. If the driller did not hit water, the land owner was still charged and charged each time until water was hit, and thus the well was drilled.
I have seen him use two rods, coat hangers, and forked branches. All of which brought him equal results…a vein of water. However, his tool of choice was a forked wild cherry branch.
When one walks over the stream of underground water, the two rods cross over or the forked rod bends downward. It is a force that is unexplainable.
My father doesn’t know how it works, but just knows that it does. At least it does for him.
I’ve tired it a few times. It worked for me as well. I was intrigued as well as frightened by it. It was not a tradition I cultivated because it left me feeling unsettled. I don’t like to mess with things that are not easily explained by science, math, etc…
While attempting to dowse, I experienced no responses, slight tugs, and full spun branch pulls. I even tried by sheer strength to hold the branch tight to prevent it from pulling down. It was to no avail as it tore the flesh from my hands as it jerked toward the ground. It is a force for which I have no personal explanation or understanding. I only know that my father can do this. And so can I – or at least, I used to be able to do it. I have not tried it in many years.
I have been told that many dowsers can actually estimate the depth a driller must go to reach water. My father never did that. He learned through practice that the stronger pulls proved to be areas where the water was closer to the surface.
Many people are interested in the process and respect the concept of dowsing. Of course, many also ridicule it because it can’t be explained and therefore claim it to be evil.
I see it as my father having provided a free service to many people. He did not use it for malevolent or criminal means nor did he profit from it.
When my father reached about seventy years of age, he found a new comfort in religion. This religion shuns the practice of dowsing as it is considered arcane. My father has not dowsed since, but he is at peace with his life. His present and his past. I don’t think one could ask for more than that.
This is a poem I wrote in my own effort to understand/explain this process.
The Water Witch’s Daughter
The Man flows
With the pull of gravity
His daughter gravitates
From the pull of the flow
Vein of life
Piercing like a dart
Through the palm of her hand
Vein of life
Pounding his soul
As he walks the land
He divines for streams
Beneath grass, stone, trees, hardened clay
She divines for dreams
Lost in the night and carried into day
Earth – flesh
Rock – bone
Water – blood
Where did she begin?
Where was she to end?
The river runs through her family blood
The river runs through her
The river runs