Have you ever been to a baby shower and seen someone take off their wedding ring, tie it to a string and hold it over the expectant mother's belly? What they are doing is trying to predict the sex of the new child before it's birth. This is a common folk tradition which has been around for centuries, it is also a form of Dowsing, or Divining.
Dowsers were first used to locate wells, natural springs, precious metals and gems, even unmarked grave sites. "Water witching" was a familiar phrase when it came to farmers who were trying to find new springs and sites for wells for their farms. It has also been used as a form of divination.
Three methods and tools for dowsing
The most common method today is using a pendulum. A pendulum is often thought of as being made from a cut or polished gemstone on a chain. The gemstone is large at the top and tapers to a point, and the chain is best if silver, sterling silver or gold. One takes the end of the chain and holds it gently between their fingers and allows the swaying of the pendulum in response to specific questions to "show the way" . Most commonly the pendulum will swing right to left (east to west) for yes and up and down (north to south) for no answers. Some say that the pendulum will spin, clockwise for yes and counter clockwise for no. I have learned over my many years that using a pendulum is as unique to each person as is their choice of what the pendulum is made of.
Some prefer gemstone, while others will use bronze, copper or brass. There are hollow pendulums made with tiny compartments for placing items in as a way to draw in the energies for what they are seeking - IE; water for water, a piece of clothing from a missing child or precious metals to find more deposits. A simple way to make a pendulum is to tie a ring to a string, or any weighted object as long as it is level and the weight is equally distributed so as not to interfere with the natural sway.
Pendulum downing is one of the easiest methods to learn and to work with. It is wonderful when assisting someone in a reading in order to get a feel for the situation around them. You can also use your pendulum to "feel" the energy of a person, situation or place.Though it may be more time inclusive in order to sift your way though the yes and no answers, it will in fact show a path along which one can follow to learn answers to their questions.
Dowsing rods are most often made of brass, though many have gotten excellent results by making them from old wire coat hangers as well. There are 2 rods which are "L" shaped. You hold the small ends one in each hand with the long part parallel to the ground. You can calibrate your rods by simply laying out a set of different objects and asking them to point out the object you choose. For some the rods may both move together towards the desired object, for others the rods may actually cross over the object. Many Paranormal investigators use dowsing rods to track the energies of ghosts.
When using your rods, it is very important to not be too closely crowded by other people and to remain relaxed but focused. Clear your mind and allow yourself to become a conduit for the answers to follow.
Find a forked ("Y"-shaped) branch from a tree or bush. Hold the two ends on the forked side, one in each hand. You may want to experiment with holding it with your palms facing up or down; one may be more effective than the other. Hazel or willow branches were commonly used because they were light and porous, and were believed to better absorb vapors rising from buried metals or water, thus weighing down the un-forked end and pointing towards the source.
This form of dowsing is most often used to find hidden objects, most commonly water, hence the name. But some have used it for finding oil, mineral deposits and even unmarked grave sites. The key is to hold the branch firmly but not too much. When your branch starts to bend down, you are near your desired target. There are some people who can simply take a map of the area or a survey of the land and hold their branch rod over it, while others will say they must actually be on the land in order to work. Again, what works best for you is what you should use. Experiment a bit and see what feels right.
Contributed by The Crystal Crone