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Learn about dowsing

An introduction to dowsing, and how you can find out more...


To dowse is to search, with the aid of simple hand held tools or instruments, for that which is otherwise hidden from view or knowledge. It can be applied to searches for a great number of artefacts and entities.

Dowsing is most commonly known by most people in association with searching for underground water; not surprising considering the absolute need for water by man and his animals and cultivated plants which sustain him.

What is less readily known is that dowsing can be also used for searching for other underground features such as archaeological remains, cavities and tunnels, oil, veins of mineral ore, underground building services, missing items and occasionally missing persons.

Can Anyone Dowse?

Basically, we think the answer is yes, insofar as the ability appears to be a natural human faculty. After all, animals have the instinct to seek water often from many miles distant.

It is a skill which can be taught and the Society regularly holds lectures, courses and workshops to this end. However, a few people do appear to have some difficulty, whilst at the other end of the spectrum lie those who have a particular gift.

Young children often demonstrate a natural flair for dowsing but most of us can develop the art by practise and perseverance.

Tools and Equipment

The instruments and tools dowsers use are simple. For the most part they are simply an extension of the human response giving clearer signals than can sometimes be detected without them.

V Rod: Traditionally made from a forked twig, this instrument can be made up from any springy material such as wood, cane, plastic or metal.

Angle Rods: These are L shaped rods, usually used in pairs. The sorter arm of the L is held in the closed palm with the long section parallel to the ground and to each other. Typically, when the target is reached the rods will cross indicating the spot.

Wand: This is a single long rod held in the hand and will react with circular or oscillating movements.

Pendulum: A bob on a twine reacts with a number of different movements and is often used in conjunction with charts or over a map for distant dowsing.

There are a large variety of such tools and they come in all shapes and sizes but they are almost all variations of the above.#

Visit our shop where you can find all of this dowsing equipment.


The BSD has pioneered a national dowsing training programme, designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the art and practice of dowsing in all areas of contemporary dowsing activity from absolute beginner to advanced practitioner level.

With over 80 years of accumulated knowledge about all forms of dowsing, the Society has an immense pool of expertise and experience to draw upon, which is constantly evolving and expanding to encompass current research and opinion.

BSD courses are led by our acclaimed and inspirational Tutors, most of whom are members of our Professional Register. This means you are taught by dowsers with practical, current experience in their highly specialist fields of health, water divining, earth energies & environmental healing.

View the range of dowsing courses currently available...