What is it used for?
It’s used to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites, and many other objects and materials, as well as so-called currents of earth radiation (Ley lines), without the use of scientific apparatus.
Dowsing is also known as divining, doodlebugging (particularly in the United States, in searching for petroleum) or (when searching specifically for water) water finding, water witching or water dowsing.
There is no accepted scientific rationale behind dowsing, and there is no scientific evidence that it is effective.
What do you use?
A Y- or L-shaped twig or rod, called a dowsing rod, divining rod or witching rod is sometimes used during dowsing, although some dowsers use other equipment or no equipment at all. Traditionally, the most common dowsing rod is a forked (Y-shaped) branch from a tree or bush. Some dowsers prefer branches from particular trees, and some prefer the branches to be freshly cut. Hazel twigs in Europe and witch-hazel in the United States are traditionally commonly chosen, as are branches from willow or peach trees. Many dowsers today use a pair of simple L-shaped metal rods.
The two ends on the forked side are held, one in each hand, with the third (the stem of the Y) pointing straight ahead. Often the branches are grasped palms down. The dowser then walks slowly over the places where he suspects the target (for example, minerals or water) may be, and the dowsing rod supposedly dips, inclines or twitches when a discovery is made. This method is sometimes known as Willow Witching.
When using metal rods, one rod is held in each hand, with the short arm of the L held upright, and the long arm pointing forward. When something is found, the rods cross over one another making an X over the found object. If the object is long and straight, such as a water pipe, the rods will point in opposite directions, showing its orientation. The rods are sometimes fashioned from wire coat hangers, and glass or plastic rods have also been accepted.
What is responsible for the movement of the rod?
A 1948 study tested 58 dowsers’ ability to detect water. None of them were more reliable than chance. . A 1979 review examined many controlled studies of dowsing for water, and found that none of them showed better than chance results.
For more information visit http://www.skepdic.com/dowsing.html