A Mini-Course in Pendulum Dowsing

by Walt Woods

10th Revision

March 2001

RBN 10.4

Copies may be purchased from

The American Society of Dowsers Bookstore

430 Railroad St. Ste. #1

St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819

Phone(802) 748-8565

1-(800) 711-9497

Web Site - http://www.dowsers.org


© Walter Woods. March 2001, RBN 10, may be copied in part or whole for personal use, for friends or clubs. It may not be copied for used in, or as, a for-profit sale item without written permission from the author.

RBN 10.4 First Edition 1990, revisions 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98, 01

Published by: The Print Shoppe, P.O. Box 5692, Oroville, CA 95966 - (916) 533-1111


WHY: Robin was having the same problems that many beginning dowsers have, trouble with accuracy and repeatability. She wisely wrote to the American Society of Dowsers asking for help. The Society sent her the names of ten Dowsers and I was privileged to be one of them. Robin sent a letter to each one and received informative letters from all of us. I had recognized the need for a booklet of this type for some time, but it was this letter that inspired me to start developing it. In an effort to make the booklet as clear as possible and with the suggestions from many dowsers, it is now in its tenth revision.

SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Over a period of ten years, starting in 1980, 1 had developed a "Multipurpose Dowsing Form" and its accompanying booklet. This dowsing system started as one page and eventually grew through twenty-six revisions to eight pages. The revisions were given away at many dowsing meetings. As a result, I received information and suggestions from many dowsers. This stimulated new revisions. Eventually, the Multipurpose Dowsing System became so in-depth that beginning dowsers had trouble understanding it. It was then that I realized the need for a simple, easy to understand, how to learn to dowse booklet. This booklet needed to include instructions for using the pendulum, programing or establishing parameters and conditions for your dowsing, and how to ask the dowsing questions. Even though dowsers successfully use many different devices and many different methods, there appeared to be an underlying basic system at work. This letter to Robin is based on my perception of the principles, knowledge and understanding of many dowsers. Please note that skilled dowsers usually specialize and may add many refinements to their basic systems.

FOR WHOM: This Mini-Course in Pendulum Dowsing was designed as a learning tool for beginners. It could be used for a class or for discussion by experienced dowsers for it contains bits of information that even the most skilled dowsers may appreciate.

HOW TO USE: You can easily familiarize yourself with the whole booklet in twenty to thirty minutes and this is a good way to start. The beginner should return to page 2 and take one step at a time. Each step is explained in simple, easy to understand terms. You will be surprised how quickly you can learn to dowse.

NOTE : A word of warning: See middle of page 6 and all of page 9, particularly #7, before you try some areas. Go slowly, be careful, work with experienced dowsers when it involves other people or their money. In time and with practice, you will. be come an accomplished dowser and be very helpful to yourself and to others.

Letter to Robin Page 1


A Mini-Course in Pendulum Dowsing

I received a thoughtful letter from "Robin" asking some very interesting questions about dowsing. The following is a reconstruction of my reply.

Dear Robin,

First, thank you for your letter of inquiry. You have raised some very interesting questions. I will attempt to answer them as best I can. You stated that your dowsing wasn't working very well, and didn't feel you could trust it. You were curious if one dowsing tool was better than another. You asked if I could give you some ideas on how to improve your dowsing. You, also, said that you had heard that the wording of questions, asked while dowsing is very important. I hope I can be of some help. Please let me suggest some ideas for your consideration.

What is Dowsing?

Dowsing (Water Witching, Divining, Questing, Doodlebuging ... ) is the ancient art of finding water, minerals and other objects that seem to have a natural magnetic, electromagnetic or other perhaps unknown energy. Energies that the body seems to detect with its built-in, laboratory demonstrable sensors that are no more mysterious than seeing, hearing or feeling, and seem to be natural to all of us. As it is with music, many persons can develop a degree of dowsing skill with training, and practice.

A certain visual scene may cause a feeling, in your stomach and probably other unnoticed subconscious reactions. It may be that similar types of subtle unnoticed subconscious reactions, possibly from water or other sources, may give a subconsciously controlled response by means of the numerous types of dowsing devices. Y-Rod

The purpose of dowsing clubs is to share experiences, successes or failures and to gather information about this phenomenon. It's an exciting hobby and draws together people with open and searching minds. This searching has led to the discovery that we are sensitive to and respond to many subtle energies. The dowsing device seems to be simply a connection between our sensing system and our conscious mind. It's a fascinating world we live in.

The Dowsing Tools

A dowsing tool appears to be simply a read-out, interface or communication device. It seems to be controlled through or by your subconscious, or something of that nature, although I'm sure there are many other factors involved. My observation has been that most experienced or professional dowsers use all the basic dowsing tools. These are usually the L Rod, Y Rod, Pendulum and the Bobber (see drawings and page 10). It depends on which one is handy, or quickly made by cutting a clothes hanger or hanging some object on a string. Usually is just the most convenient one for the particular job. Dowsing devices come in all sizes, shapes and materials. It doesn't seem to matter very much to most experienced dowsers what the

2 Letter to Robin - Getting Started

dowsing tool is made of. Although many dowsers have their favorites and some even swear by a particular tool that works well for them, it appears that all the dowsing tools seem to work equally well when used by experienced dowsers. It is what you get used to, and what feels good to you, that should deterrmine your choice.


I would like to suggest that learning to dowse is like learning to play a musical instrument or learning to type. It requires carefully controlled instructions and practice. As with a musical instrument, the rewards can be very pleasant and useful.

Ten Suggested Steps

Also, Robin, if you would like, we can do a simple training session, a step- by-step method into the world of dowsing. Try these Ten Steps to Successful Dowsing." Just follow the instructions systematically, doing one step at a time. Each step is very easy and doesn't take very long.

Time and Place

As a suggestion, for now and the future, try to find a quiet place, a place where you can be alone and where you feel comfortable, a spot that would normally be available to you at the same time each day for a few minutes of practice. This is kind of like making an appointment with your Subconscious or Spirit Guides. The place, might be the kitchen table early in the morning, or sitting up in bed late at night, or any other time of place. This seems to be very helpful if you are just learning to dowse. If you are with other dowsers (experienced dowsers seem to share some of their dowsing energies) or you have developed some skill, it won't be as important to be in your special place at a predetermined time.

Getting Ready

Now read the following six steps all the way through. This is just so you will have an idea of what you will be doing. You don't need to study them, just become familiar with them. Then come back and seriously go through them one step at a time. Ready? All set? Here we go.

Step 1. Relax, become quiet and drift into a prayerful mood (alpha state).

Step 2. Take your pendulum (any pendulum will do) and hold the string or chain between your thumb and first finger. Hold it with about 1/2 to 3 inches string length. The string length will determine how fast it will swing. Next, hold the pendulum over the center of the chart. (You can use the chart on the next page.)

Step 3. Now, manually (by moving your hand and fingers) make the pendulum start swinging towards the "YES" and ask and expect it to keep swinging on its own without your help. Ask it out loud, with about the same normal speaking voice and tone as talking to a person. If it stops, start it over again, ask it to keep going. Watch only the upper or forward half of the pendulum's swing and ignore the other half, from the center towards you. Repeat until the pendulum will keep

Letter to Robin - Getting started 3

swing on its own. You will be deliberately starting the pendulum and then asking it to keep swinging with no additional help from you.

Step 4. Do the same thing for the "NO". Your fingers are still over the center of the circle and you are ignoring one half of the swing.

Step 5. Once it is swinging by itself to the "NO", ask it, while it is still swinging, to work its way clockwise back to "YES" and then continue to the "Ready for Question".

Step 6. Next ask it to work its way counter-clockwise from the "Ready for Question" to "YES" and to the "NO", and then clockwise back to the "YES". Practice Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 several times.

Half Way

Above are the basic pendulum controls you will need at this stage. The others will be automatically programed into your dowsing system in the next steps. If you can do the above steps, you are will on your way to learning to pendulum dowse, and you are now ready to proceed. Please note that this procedure can usually be done all by yourself, by simply using these directions, although it is sometimes very helpful, when getting started, to have an experienced dowser help you.*

If you were not able to accomplish the above in about 15 minutes, try again in about half an hour or the next day. At this state it is possible that you might be experiencing some temporary interference. Don't give up, try again.

Before continuing to steps 7 through 10, you will need some understanding about programing your dowsing system and its purpose. (See the next page for section on programing.)

* Going to a dowsing club meeting is an excellent way to get started and also to have a great time. Contact the American Society of Dowsers, P. 0. Box 24, Danville, Vermont. 05828 or phone (802) 684-3417 for locations of meetings and other information.

4 Letter to Robin - Programing Your Dowsing System

Definition of a Program:

Webster: "A Program is a plan or system under which action may be taken towards a goal".

Establishing "agreed upon" conditions with your Dowsing System is a form of programing.

Programing -A Key Step-

The purpose of programing is to achieve maximum accuracy. This is done by establishing, with your

Dowsing System some mutually acceptable, pre-established, agreements and understandings about words, phrases, conditions and what is meant by different pendulum or dowsing tool movements.

If you have succeeded in ,getting your pendulum to move to "YES" and "NO" and back and forth between them, and have practiced a little bit, you are ready to proceed with Programing Your Dowsing System. But First, read through this and the next page for the overall idea.

Program Installation is very easy, there are just three simple steps.

(A) Obtain Permission: With your pendulum swinging to the "Ready for Question" (you may use the Dowsing Form on the next page), ask the Dowsing System the following questions: (It is best to read the question out loud.) "May 1, Can 1, Should 1, ESTABLISH, CHANGE or ADD Dowsing Conditions and Agreements or Programs which will be continually in effect until changed by me"

>. If the pendulum swings to "YES", go to step (B).

>. If the pendulum goes to "NO", then try again at a later time.

(B) To input or Establish a Program: With the pendulum still swinging to "YES"' read any developed PROGRAM, CHANGE or ADDITION, and finish by saying:

> "End of prearranged conditions and agreements, thank you,"or just simply say: ).

> "End of program, thank you." (Example programs on pages 5, 12, 13 and 18)

(C) Final Check: Ask the Dowsing System: "Are the Conditions or Changes acceptable as presented, being clear and non-contradictory, and open to change by my request?"

>. If "YES", you are finished.

> If "NO", use your pendulum to ask questions and try to determine why.

Please NOTE: Once you input programs into the Dowsing System you DO NOT have to repeat the programing each time you dowse. They are automatically and continually in effect until changed by you. Now let's continue with the remainder of the 10 Steps.

To Program Your Dowsing System:

Step 7. If (A) above is "YES", then with your pendulum swinging to "YES", read out loud the following suggested Primary Program. (Top or next page, starting and stopping at " marks) In the future you may wish to make changes in this and other programs.

Letter to Robin - Primary Program 5

6 Letter to Robin - Trusting your Dowsing

About Your Programing

Once you have programed your Dowsing System, you will have instructions and agreements that are as thorough, detailed, and as carefully thought out, as experienced dowser's. The nice part is that you don't have to remember all the details in the programs. The subconscious does it for you. All you have to do is know that the programed information is in the subconscious and it will be automatically in effect when you dowse. It's similar to using your mind to move your finger. The subconscious has a program to move the finger. All you have to do is desire, with your mind, for your finger to move and itdoes. The subconscious, based on your desire, activated the appropriate program for the finger to move. With your dowsing device, you asked the dowsing system if it would install programs relating to your dowsing, and it has. You don't have to know how the finger or dowsing programs work just use them.

You are now ready for the last but extremely important Steps 9 and 10.

Step 9. Preferably in your favorite spot, your favorite appointment time, and with your pendulum working well, you will need to ask some practice questions. Questions that you have no emotional attachment to. An example would be: What is my vitamin C level? You don't emotionally care if it's a little high or low. It is not like a question about your lost kitten which you may be very anxious and upset about. Try asking for "Level of Effects" on how it seems to affect your system. Use the N,M,S, and VS in the chart on page 5 or 19. If, for example, to your vitamin C question, it indicates a minus 3 (-M or mildly negative section), then you might ask what the effect would be if you took 500 mg. of vitamin C? It would probably go to +3 or +4 (+M or mildly, positive section). There are many areas that you might play with. Pick areas that you are not emotionally concerned with, or for which you have foreknowledge of the answer. The Dowsing System will automatically answer your question using, your previously installed programs. (See page 18 for over- 100 possible questions.) (Caution: Please see #7 page 9 and also the top and bottom of page 18)

When Can You Trust Your Dowsing

Every day, as suggested in Step 9 above, play with a few questions for 5 to 10 minutes and then end your session with a final check. To do this, ask your pendulum to work its way clockwise to the lower side of the circle. Here you will find a number scale that will go from 0 to I 00. Ask the pendulum what percent influence your personal feelings or free will, had on the answers? (Watch only the indicating part of the pendulum swing. You are now using the lower half of the circle, the pendulum is now indicating toward the bottom. See directions p.20) Even though you asked the subconscious, in your Primary Program (page 5), not to allow you to interfere, there is a deeper stronger program that prevents the subconscious from interfering with your free will. If you are strong-minded, or over-anxious, you can override your dowsing programing. Don't be surprised if your pendulum indicates that you are influencing your answers as much as 20% to 30%. This is OK, because each day when you do the above practice, deliberately tE"n not to influence the answers, the percent will become less and less. After a while the percent will go to 0 and you will experience a break over where it becomes hard to influence the answers. At this point you may trust your dowsing to a much greater extent.

Step 10. When you feel more secure and trusting of your Dowsing System, ask the pendulum if you should re-enter the primary program (page 5). If the answer is "YES," do it. If "NO." then you are properly programed and may enter other programs, invent new ones or make changes. You are now free to advance as you wish, the sky is the limit.

Please NOTE: It is very important that each time you change the basic dowsing subject, you should ask the Dowsing System "May 1, Can 1, Should I?" (i.e. May I, Can 1, Should I dowse [indicate subject]?) (See page 5 for definition of the words). If the answer is "YES," proceed, if "NO," trust its judgment. Guidance is what you are wisely seeking. It is permissible to ask why. (See page 9 #4)

Letter to Robin - The Dowsing Question 7


Have fun and practice a few minutes each day (page 18 has many interesting areas). It's like playing a musical instrument. If you carefully follow the instructions and practice a little bit each day, your skill and accuracy can become very good. And don't become discouraged if you're not right all the time. Even the best dowsers sometimes have interference or a bad day.

Different Instruments

It is good to develop your skills using your favorite dowsing tool. Do this in an area that is of special interest to you. You will then find it much easier to use the other dowsing tools. Most people with good dowsing skills have their favorites, but can usually use the Pendulum, Y Rod, L Rod/ and Bobber or some variation. (See page 10 for a description of these dowsing tools.)

The Question

Robin, you are quite right to be concerned about the wording of the- question. Let me give you some examples and suggestions. In The American, Society of Dowsers (ASD) Quarterly there was an example of an experienced dowser/instructor who asked his L Rod to point to north. Instead of pointing north, it pointed to the audience. This was strange because it had always worked before. He tried again with the same results. While he was discussing some possible cause with the audience, a hand went up and a man said, "My name is North". The dowsing was I 00% correct to the question asked. I suspect the dowser then changed the question, asking for the rod to point to earth's magnetic north, and then got a correct answer. This demonstrated a very important point about being precise in your question. Another example might be: Does my car need gas? The answer would be "YES", even if the gas tank is full. The answer is yes on two accounts. You have a gasoline car which can only run on what we call gas and it uses air which is also a gas. So of course it needs gas. The Dowsing System seems to take every word in a question by its literal meaning. If your question has a word or words that have assumed or conflicting meanings, and you and your Dowsing System have not agreed on their meaning, your answer may be random.

Rule #I: You need to be very specific about what you want to know. This includes what, where, when and sometimes instructional information relating to the question.

Rule #2: Use only words, phrases and conditions that you and the Dowsing System both agree upon their meaning, and for which there is an agreed-on method of dowsing response.

Rule #3: Make the question a definite request for information that exists somewhere. Normally, don't ask for an opinion. If your question does involve an opinion of the past, present or the future, it must be compared to an agreed-upon reference or conditions. (The program on page 18 is an example of informational instructions, an agreed-upon reference, and other related conditions)

Let me give you an example. I'll ask you a question: Are you strong? Your answer would be based on what you think I meant by the word "strong", strong physically, mentally, emotionally, perfume, etc. Now let's apply rules 1, 2, and 3 (what, when and a reference to something). Are you strong enough, right now, to pick up this one-gallon carton of milk? Now, could you give me a correct answer to that question? One more example and then I'll give you some reassuring comments and some helpful ideas. If I ask, "How many feet from point (A) to point (B) on the floor by the front row of the audience?" The answer might be twelve because there are six persons sitting in that space, each with two feet.

8 Letter to Robin - Formulating The Dowsing Question

Developing a Question

At this point, you might say, how can I know if I have a good question? Please let me share some ideas for you to consider.

(1) Formulating the Question: (Q.) When you wish to explore a new area where you have not successfully established questions, try the following. Ask several different Q's looking for agreement or conflicting answers. Conflicts clue you that undiscovered information is influencing your answer. Examples of some misleading Q's: (Look at their literal meaning) Q. Is there water in the [designate the area]? The answer is YES. (There is water every where, in the designated area etc.) Q. Is there a water source, less than 300 feet deep, that could supply 5 GPM (gallons-per-minute)? The answer is Yes. (especially in ahard rain storm). The next Q. may give you a clue that something is wrong. Q. Could this water source, allow a well to supply 5 GPM of potable water to the surface, year around? If the answer is NO, you then know something was wrong with the first Q's. By asking multiple Q's, you can often find problems, and learn what you will need to develop good comprehensive Q's.

(2) Pre-programing: With your programing you have covered a great many of the possible misunderstandings that may occur between you and your dowsing system. This is one of the important reasons you established programs or agreements with your Dowsing System. A good example is in the program, on the bottom of paue 5, which defines the meaning of the "May 1, Can 1, Should I."

(3) Very Important Questions: Another way that seems to work well, is when you have a very important question get together with another experienced dowser. If you each ask the question in your own way and have the same answer, this is reassuring. But if you get different answers you should both examine your questions, and then proceed from there. Most experienced dowsers agree that the question is a key factor in accurate dowsing.

The Question Test

Robin, the answer to your concern about using proper questions is simple and straight forward. Always use questions that have worked well before, and test the new ones. Test them, as suggested in "Formulating the Question" above, by asking the question several different ways to see if you repeatedly get an appropriate answer each time. This makes you carefully think about what the words actually mean and if you have left out anything in the question or program. We use many assumptions or idiomatic non-literal expressions in our communicating like: "he will get a kick out of this, hang your head, he has a chip on his shoulder, time will tell, hand out, etc. If, when you are dowsing, you find an incorrect response, careful examination of the question is more than warranted. I often ask a question two different ways.

For Best Results

Robin, do not try too hard, do not be too serious. Let it flow naturally. Relax and use your intuition. Let the information flow through you. You should always dowse with a loving heart and for the best good for yourself and others.

And Finally

Take only what you wish from what I have offered and gently try to get hints from every dowser you meet or work with. There is a world of information out there and you will find it a wonderful, exciting, rewarding adventure

Happy Dowsing


TEN SUGGESTED DO's and DON'Ts WHEN DOWSING . . . . . . . . . . 9

1. Sensing: When sensing for information, do not attach yourself to it. For example, if you are watching a movie, you are free to react to it in many ways. Two examples night be: You could view it from a "feeling" standpoint and tune in with deep, strong emotions and really live the part, or you could see it as a scientist, objectively looking for information and taking notes. Both could get the same basic story, How you approach the seeking of information is your choice. This is especially important when working with unhealthy or noxious energies. The advantage of using a dowsing device is that you do not need to try to physically sense or become part of the energies.

2. To Protect Yourself. To avoid absorbing undesirable energies, simply program or direct your mind to have a detached sensing attitude. When seeking dowsing information, talk to your pendulum as if it were a person. This will direct the energies to the pendulum and not to you. This keeps your mind on the action of the pendulum and not on the energies.

3. The Question: The subconscious mind (or whatever it is) seems to be very literal in its interpretation of your questions and apparently makes no assumptions. For example if you ask: "Does my car need gas?' The answer is YES (your car uses air which is a gas) You assumed it knows you were talking about the amount of gasoline in the gas tank, but that was not what your asked. I suspect that many apparent wrong answers really were correct to the literal interpretation of the question. Make the question a definite request for information existing somewhere, and not for an opinion of the past, present or future. If you do to be compared to an agreed upon reference. (As compared to ... ) An example of an incomplete question: "Do you have enough money?" The answer will be random cause I did not specify what it is for or when. If instead I asked: "Do you have enough money, in your pocket right now, for a $1 ice cream cone?" You could then give a very definite and accurate answer. Carefully plan your questions.

4. Life's Lessons and Restricted Areas: not to interfere with anyone's 'Lessons in Life" or possibly their "Karma" or other unknown areas, that are best left alone. Always ask your Dowsing System May I, Can I, If the answer is NO, then tactful voidance is advisable.

5. Privacy: If we are tuning into the subconscious, then we have access to a lot of information. Never (except under very special circumstances) dowse a person without their personal request. It's like looking at their personal diary without their permission. Some persons know how to shield themselves, but most do not. Always respect personal privacy.

6. Apparent Universal Law: Be aware that there seems to be a universal law of cause and effect, or what you plant, you will reap, or Karma, or what you send out will somehow return to you, etc. (1) Always dowse for the best good of others. (2) Never try to use this gift for evil or selfish gain. (3) It's OK to dowse for your or others needs. (4) Always remember it's a gift to cherish and give.

7. Diagnosing: Do Not diagnose or give medical advice of any kind!! Always advise anyone to seek appropriate medical advice if they think they have a problem. Caution - See* bottom of this page.

8. Sharing with Others: Gradually and discreetly share with those who want to know. But be unknown to those it might frighten or offend.

9. Open Mind: Always keep your mind open to new ideas and look for ways to improve. Be a life-long student, it will being much excitement and joy to you and your friends. If I may, please let me interject just a touch of philosophy: Don't let your personal feelings interfere with your looking and listening. Just remember that one of the main reasons you believe and feel the way you do is because of the time (epoch, period, era) of your birth, and its geographic and ethnic location. This is further influenced by your particular experiences, educational and religious background. Don't let your beliefs block examining new ideas. Also, remember that a person's judgment is no better than their information.

10. Keep it Simple: Try to keep all aspects of your dowsing as simple as you can. Be sure to practice and enjoy your dowsing.

Under the U. S. Federal Pure Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1976, it is a violation of the law to attempt, in any way, to diagnose or treat any ailment of illness unless you are a medical doctor or other licensed health-care professional working under the most stringent State, AMA, and FDA approved conditions. Use good judgment, be cautious.

10 Dowsing Tools


There are many very successful dowsing systems and methods, with or without tools. But as a general rule, most dowsers usually use some type of dowsing, tool. We will cover the four most popular types, which are the Pendulum, L Rods, Y Rod, and Bobber. You will also find unlimited variations in the shapes, sizes, materials and how they are used. This variety does not seem to affect their work ability, other than speed, agility or convenience. Many dowsers have a whole pile of dowsing tools that they have collected or made. These tools generally fit into one or some combination of the above. Your choices should be determined by what tools feel and work good for you.

The following is a synopsis of the four basic instruments commonly used for dowsing.


L RODS (Angle Rod, Swing Rod, Pointing Rod - - -

Dowsing Tools 11

Y ROD (Forked Stick, Talking Stick --- )

BOBBER (Wand, Spring Rod, Divining Rod --- )

12 Some Suggested Programs

Some Suggested Programs

(Or mutually accepted, pre-established agreements and conditions, between you and your dowsing system)

The following working programs were especially designed to fit a dowsing subject and are for you to use as a starting point. Use them to build from. Feel free to add, subtract or change in any way you like. Talk to experienced dowsers for ideas. (See pages 4 and 5 about installing and changing programs.) NOTE: Please remember when vou are dowsing to always ask the "May 1. Can 1, Should I" question any time the basic subject changes. (Please see bottom of page 6 for purpose)


"Water Program is to become part of and work with all my dowsing pro(,rams or agreements, and to be continually in effect until I choose to make changes. The water is to be less than [300] feet deep, be able to supply to the surface, from a well, a minimum of [3] gallons per minute, currently year around, of [primary] potable water which would be palatable to [me]. This is to be with respect to drilling conditions and legal aspects. End of program

Some sample questions: (After you ask the May I, Can I, Should I question.)

Q.1 Is there water available within [designate the area of interest]'? (Note: All factors in the water program are in effect, this is a "YES"or"NO" answer)

Q.2 Where is the best place to drill a well(s) [designate the area of interest]?


"Substance program is to become part of and work with all my dowsing programs or agreements, and to be continually in effect until I choose to make changes. The term "substance" is to mean any material, including food, drink, medications, etc. which I deliberately put in or on my body. This is with respect to any and all aspects of [my] total being. The dowsing results are to be in Effects. End of program." (Effects - Normal, Mild, Strong, etc. -, see dowsing charts p.5, 19 and 20. Also top P 18)

Some sample questions (lf it is not appropriate to dowse in a particular situation, you might hold the pendulum under the table or train your finger to act as a pendulum.

Q-1 What [will be or is] the overall effect(s) of this [substance] on [my] total being? (Or similar wording. You may specify all or part of this substance.)

Q-2 What [will be or is] the worst effect of this [substance] affecting any aspect of [my] total being?

TIP If it reads on the negative side, you might try the suggested experiment under "Possible Corrections" on page 17. This is to see if, or how quickly and how much change there may be. lf you dowsed the energy fields for the substance food etc.) before and after your experimental adjustment, you may find that the dowsing indicates very interesting changes. Have fun.

Flowing water in a vein or old stream bed which seem to affect energy patterns (easily dowse)

Fracture or change in materials stressed by gravity pull from the Sun and Moon

NOTE: The Moon's gravity pulls the Earth's crust upward about two feet as it goes overhead each day. This creates a very long wave, like a ocean wave many miles long and wide and around two feet high at its center. The Sun has a gravity wave that is about twelve inches high at its center. The interplay of these two tremendous amounts of energy which varies over 28 days and yearly, seems to stress the Earth's crust in many ways. The results of this stretching and twisting can be detected by dowsing, and they have demonstrable good and bad effects on plants, insects and animals. Dowsing and experimentation have indicated that they may also affect humans.

Noxious Energies: There are many sources and types of noxious and beneficial energies or influences. In addition to the water and fracture types shown in the drawing above, there may be influences from magnetic, electromagnetic and electric fields, either man-made or from the Earth. Also, there are cosmic energies and many known, unknown or partly understood types, such as Earth grids and ley line crossings, psychic or spiritual influences, etc. It seems that these influences may sometimes affect the body in good or bad ways. It also appears that anything that can affect the body or the subconscious can be easily dowsed.

Some Suggested Programs 13

"Noxious Energies Program is to become part of and work with all my dowsing programs or agreements, and to be continually in effect until I choose to make changes. The term "Noxious Energies" unless other wise requested, is to mean: Any form of energy, condition, zone or situation that is or could adversely affect any aspect of [my] total being in a harmful, disrupting or interfering way, by exceeding [my] healing or defensive mechanisms. This is not to include, unless otherwise requested, smoking, alcohol, drugs, medication, food of drink that I have deliberately and knowingly put into or on [my] body. It is to include, but is not limited to the effects from magnetic or electromagnetic energies from zero to all frequencies; alpha, beta and gamma energies; the influences from fractures or faults and underground water; all man-made, earth or cosmic energies; gases, mind, psychic and spiritual influences.

The pendulum (or dowsing tool) response:

(1) To the "Are There" questions based on the previous [28] days. If the environmental conditions have not or could not accumulate to an interfering or damaging level for [me], the pendulum should go to "NO" (indicating that [my] systems are able to heal, handle or repair faster than any damaging effects. This may be a good repair systems exercise to avoid disuse atrophy. Also noxious energies are sometimes only good energies of which we had a overdose.) If there are noxious energies that could accumulate to an interfering or damaging level, the pendulum should go to "YES."

(2) To the "Effects" question, the pendulum should go to the worst negative level in Effects on any aspect of [my] total being, covering any time during the last [28] days.

(3) To the "Safe Time" question which is to mean: For the worst time of day during the last [28 days and for the maximum number of hours within that day where [my] body could handle this condition without harmful effects. The pendulum should go to a positive number from near 0 though 24. End of program."

Some suggested questions: (After May I, Can I, Should I)

Q-1 Are there noxious energies effecting [me] within [indicate an area or spot]'? ("YES" or "NO")

Q-2 What is the Effect on [me] of the noxious energies within [designate, mark or indicate and area]?

Q-3 What is [my] Safe Time in hours, in the noxious energies, within [mark or indicate and area or spot]?

NOTE: You may temporarily substitute other names, times or conditions inside the by Simply expressing your wishes to the Dowsing System while dowsing. The change will automatically change back to the original program after you finish dowsing in this area. This change back is built into the Primary Program.

Map Dowsing involves using a marking device of' some kind and a dowsing, tool to locate water or other objects on a map (,see p. 15, for possible partial explanation)

"Map Dowsing Program is to become part of and work with all my programs or agreements, and to be in effect until I choose to make changes. When using a map or drawing, some type of dowsing device, and with or without an additional pointer or straight edge, the dowsing system is to indicate when the pointer, straight edge or dowsing device is indicating the present map represented location of the object, subject or target specified by the dowser. End of Program."

Methods for Map Dowsing

There are several common methods used for map dowsing. I will suggest two which seem to be the basics for many systems.

TIP: If you use a pendulum and chart (the one on page 3 would work fine) ask the pendulum to swing a little ways to the left of "YES" and to move closer to "YES" as you move your straight edge (or pencil ) closer to the target (water vein, noxious zone or object, etc.) "YES" is on target, and swinging to the right of "YES" is past the target.

(2) Ask a pendulum to swing towards a target, then follow this direction until it spins. Or ask a L Rod to point towards a target and lock on as you move. You can use any of the above or invent your own. With practice all, including your own, will work fine. Have fun.

14 How Does Dowsing Work


That is the $64 question, but if you research in enough areas, there are some very interesting clues.

The Mind

Let's start with the possible involvement of the mind, which apparently needs to be busy, it's designed that way. You can, with a lot of practice, learn to quiet the mind, but for dowsing it is best to keep it busy because you need to talk and listen. The mind also needs to feel it understands what is going on. We can satisfy these two needs, being busy and understanding, in several ways. First, if we use a dowsing instrument, the mind is busy watching the too] work. There is motion, intrigue, expectation and anticipation, all of which the mind enjoys. Next, if the mind has a plausible explanation of what is going on, it doesn't become frustrated and pass this and doubt on to you. So what we need is at least a partial, rational explanation of how dowsing works.

Sensory Systems

Information about our sensory systems is found scattered throughout many scientific and metaphysical books and articles. Some references are listed on page 15. Back in 1983 in a scientific article, a neurophysiologist at the V.A. Med. Center, Loma Linda, CA., indicated that they were observing effects from electric fields only one millionth as strong as those formerly considered threshold levels in humans.' This was news to most scientists, but not to some dowsers. They know if you passed electricity through the ground, dowsers could easily pick up the resulting electromagnetic energies. This experiment has been done in the past at many dowsing conventions.'

It has been discovered that we have three sensors, that can pick up this electromagnetic information'. One near or in the pituitary and one on each adrenal gland. Having three points, the subconscious can determine both distance and direction of an electromagnetic source. This is probably done in a similar way that the subconscious uses the two eyes to determine distance, except it has the advantage of having three points of reference instead of only two.

Water and Electricity

A simple science fair experiment can show that moving water can cause electricity to flow

Water drops moving down the wire will rake off enough electrons to flash a small neon bulb which requires over 68 volts. This is like you sliding across a plastic seat and experiencing an electric spark when you touch someone.

Moving water underground seems to cause or to be associated with electric flow. Any time electricity flows in any kind of conductor, it creates an electromagnetic field. This electromagnetic field could then be picked up by our internal sensors. And like the eye that can differentiate between forms, shades and colors, the magnetic sensors, at least according to dowsing, seem to differentiate between patterns of electromagnetic energy fields from different sources. Therefore, the subconscious can easily have information about the location of moving underground water.

Moving Information from Subconscious to the Conscious Mind.

The problem is getting this information from the subconscious to the conscious mind. This is where the dowsing devices come in. And here is one way it may work. You may have heard of muscle testing, a procedure in which the subconscious can be programed to cause the involuntary muscles to be strong for a true statement and weak for a false statement. It is used by many chiropractors, psychologists, complementary medical workers, etc. If you have not had this experience, find someone who knows how to do it and you will be amazed how well it works. You can program the subconscious to respond to any number of request, including dowsing, Electronic muscle testing instruments attached to dowsers have shown what appears to be subconscious controlled involuntary muscle movements which seem to affect the dowsing instrument. I There are probably many other factors involved, but this makes sense and is a comfortable starting place for the mind.

How Does Dowsing Work 15

Stop!! This makes sense for on-site dowsing, or being close to the water, but what about Map Dowsing that most modem dowsers do'? At this point your mind will say: "There is no logical way possible you can explain this." In map dowsing, a dowser can very often accurately and verifiable locate water and other things (with distance not being a factor), using only a dowsing device and a map or drawing. (see page 13)

Well, it turns out that map dowsing has just as simple an explanation as on-site dowsing. Map dowsing seems to be related to what is sometimes called the "Backster Effect." 2.5 Backster is a lie detector specialist and what he did was to attach a galvanic skin response device to the top leaf of a p I ant. This device measures the electrical resistance of the skin. He then watered the plant, fully expecting to measure how long it would take for the water to reach the leaf and change its resistance. Instead the lie detector immediately indicated, what would be a happy effect in humans. This puzzled him so he decided to traumatize the plant by burning, a leaf'. The plant showed a fear response on the lie detector as soon as he had this thought. Backster's experiments have been duplicated 2.5 thousands of times by many persons using many variations and have been well publicized on TV and in many books.

Experiments have shown that some type of energy that we might call "superconscious" for lack f a better word seems to have been flowing between Backster's mind and the plant. It turns out that this superconscious" seems to flow between and within 11 persons, animals, plants and most everything, including our Subconscious, which somehow taps into is information. Have you ever felt ill at ease or apprehensive for no apparent reason? Does a mother somehow know if something is happening,, to her held?

Now, if your subconscious has access to this superconscious" and you have access to the subconscious with your dowsing device, you can tap into a lot of information. The apparent reason your conscious mind does not have this type of access to the subconscious is the danger of a continuously flowing, overload. Just think what billions of bits of continuous inflowing information from your subconscious would do to your concentration. The dowsing instrument allows you to tap the subconscious selectively and obtain useful information. I know that there is much more to dowsing than this, but it is a good start.

Have fun exploring new ideas.


Bird, The Divining Hand Whitford Press, 1993 This newly revised book is an excellent text about dowsing and its history. It is not a "how to-dowse" book. It is now available from the ASD book store.

Tompkins and Bird, Secret Life of Plants Avon, 1974 Very informative book covering, many aspects of the Backster Effect and much more. Available from the ASD book store.

Electronic Pollution," Popular Science, Dec. 1983

More Experiments in Efectroculture" Popular Electronics, June 1971

Simple device that can be easily and simply made, with directions for its use. (Low level electronic assembly skills required) There is also an overall discussion of the Backster Effect.

'Stone, The Secret Life of Your Cell WhitfordPress, 1989

Explores the research of Cleve Backster.

For location of dowsing club meetings and other information contact:


P. O. Box 24

Danville, Vermont 05828

(802) 6843417

A.S.D. Book Store

99 Railroad St.

St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

(802) 7488565

1(800) 7119497

16 Overview and Instructions for Interesting Areas




to EXPLORE on Yourself

(See page 18)

If our dowsing system is tapping into our subconscious, higher self, superconscious, etc., then it may be possible that we have access to information about ourselves that is not available through what might be referred to as normal means. The section "Over 100 Interesting Areas to Explore on Yourself" has many examples of this type of information. It is also divided into the following three separate areas for case of use.


Conditions Program

The first area to look at is the programing of your Dowsing System. This informs the Dowsing System of what you are interested in, what parameters to use and how to answer your questions. You should already have installed the Primary Program (page 5) for this Conditions Program to build on. The two programs give the Dowsing System very thorough and mutually agreed-on conditions for exploring these interesting areas. You can always add, delete or change any part of any program to satisfy your needs by following the three simple steps found on pace 4. If you do make changes, it is a good idea to write them down so you will knoThe first area to look at is the programing of your Dowsing System. This informs the Dowsing System of what you are interested in, what parameters to use and how to answer your questions. You should already have installed the Primary Program (page 5) for this Conditions Program to build on. The two programs give the Dowsing System very thorough and mutually agreed-on conditions for exploring these interesting areas. You can always add, delete or change any part of any program to satisfy your needs by following the three simple steps found on pace 4. If you do make changes, it is a good idea to write them down so you will know what is in your programed dowsing instructions.

Step-by-Step Installation Instructions

Conditions Program

A. Read the First Installation Step (A) on page 4. If the answer is "YES," you can then proceed to the Second installation Step (B) by reading from the beginning of "Conditions Program" page 18 just below the questions) to the bottom of the page where it says "End of Program."

B. Next, go back to Installation Step (A) on page 4, and get permission to add the two questions Q- I and Q-2 (top of page 18). Then read the questions. Followed by the statement: "Or other similar wording like: [Overall Average Condition] for Q- 1, or [Most Harmful Condition] or [Worst Condition] for Q-2. This substitute wording, is to automatically represent the entire question. End of Program." This will act as a "Questions Program" or mutual agreement for the questions used in: "Over 100 Interesting Areas to Explore on Yourself."

C. The last step is to go back to page 4 and read the Third Program Installation Step (C). If the answer is "YES", you will be finished programing page 18.

NOTE: You now have programs or mutual agreements and conditions to work from. Once they are in your subconscious or Dowsing System you do not have to repeat the instructions. By using this method, they will automatically be in effect each time you dowse, almost like a post-hypnotic suggestion.


The Questions

Once you have a mutual agreement with your Dowsing System, on the parameters you wish to work with, you can take a closer look at the question. The two questions are intended to be progressive in nature.

The first question "Q- I" is for a general overall impression of your total being, an averaging of everything. And in accordance with the entire Conditions Program, [you] would be compared to a person of average health, [your] age and peer group. This average person would show on the dowsing circle (page 19) as balanced with a straight up-and-down swinging of the pendulum. Hopefully your reading will be more positive by comparison.

The second question "Q-2" is designed to zero in on specific areas, as related to all aspects of your total being


Interesting Areas To ExploreThe main body of page 18 covers the suggested situations or conditions that may in some way influence our personal systems. It is divided roughly into four subdivisions. This is so you (will guidance from our dowsing s stem) can go to the area of most influence. The subdivisions are as follows:

  1. 1. Energies or substances
  2. 2. Mind or spiritual influences
  3. 3. Chemical or biological areas
  4. 4. Covers what may have been missed in other areas, or is in an area where you or I may not have an adequate knowled-e or language.

Step-by-Step Dowsing Instructions

Interesting Areas to Explore

A. With your pendulum swinging to "Ready for Question," ask the "May 1, Can 1, Should 1, dowse the Over 100 Interesting Areas on [myself]'?"

Negative Response 17

B. With your pendulum swinging, to "Ready for Question" Ask Q-1 by either reading the entire question, or just saying "What is [my] overall condition'?" or "Overall condition" or similar wording. (When you installed Conditions Program, on page 16, I you built in this wording flexibility) The pendulum is programed to move from "Ready for Question" to a positive or negative position, reading in effects on the upper half of the dowsing circle. (p. 19) This will be comparing [you] to the average person in average health and of [your] age and peer group. Hopefully your dowsing will indicate a better or more positive reading than the vertical pendulum swing, to "Bal." for the average person.

C. Now return the pendulum to "Ready for Question" Ask Q-2 either in its entirety or "What is [my] worst condition" or "Worst condition" or similar words.

1. The pendulum is programed to move to the effects of the worst condition involving any aspect of [your] total being

2. If the pendulum goes to the positive side, there is probably no further action necessary.

3. If the pendulum goes to the negative, or less than average side, you will then have many options, some of which are below and on the ri-ht hand side of this page.


a. Q-1 "Overall condition?" Example answer = +6

b. Q-2 " My worst condition?" Example answer =-4

c. "What section should I go to'?" Answer is #I

d. Start down this section, one line at a time, asking for the effects, until you find the negative condition. Example: Meridians? Answer = +7

When you have a negative answer, go to step e. e. "What is my next worst condition'?" If the answer is (+) you are finished looking for the negative areas. If the answer is (-) then go back to step c, and determine which section to look in for the next negative area. Repeat e. and c. until you find all the negative areas.

What to Do If

You Find a Negative Response

Remember, this whole thesis is only ideas and suggestions for you to look at and evaluate. Take only what is useful to you. Many other systems work just as well.

Possible Corrections

This procedure can be very interesting to experiment with. Ask the Dowsing System if it can and will do anything about this situation. If the answer is "YES", then ask for the pendulum to be returned to swinging on the negative reading to please make appropriate corrections, and to indicate its progress with the pendulum. Watch the pendulum's swinging, It may move from the negative position to the balanced or possibly to the positive side. Use the swinging pendulum as a meter to indicate what is happening. Do not ask questions or interrupt while it is working. Changes may sometimes be very quick and for differing amounts. Never underestimate the power of the subconscious, mind or other forces involved. (Remember, this is onlyexperimental and only on yourself It is not meant to substitute for appropriate medical advice; see p. 9, # 7.)


If you are having a negative response for the Aura, (like example on left), try the above corrections experiment to see what your dowsing reads after you finish. If Noxious Energies are indicated, first try adding the following to the Noxious Energies Program (p. 13). "Corrections are by affecting the noxious energies in such a way that they will no longer have a negative effect on [me, my plants or animals]. This is to be for the entire [indicate the area you wish cleared] and for [the life of the building, or as long as I am involved, or any other appropriate request], and not to cause additional harm or interference to other persons, plants, animals or mother Earth. This entire statement may be activated by words like: Please correct [indicate where, for whom, how long] End of Program." Then after corrections, recheck with your pendulum or in the field to see what has happened. Dowsing has indicated excellent results with this system with rare returns. Many other systems work just as well, use what works best for you.

Unusual Encounters. Some day your dowsing may indicate the presence of an undesirable negative influences, by entities or other forces, that we may or may not understand. These conditions may be local or from a distance. May be interfering or trying to take control. (The word "entity " or forces" has a very broad meaning)

Possible Solution: Ask the Dowsing System if it will ask the "medics?" in the entity's world to please come and pick it or them up, give appropriate medical care, or take other appropriate action. Watch pendulum for progress. You now have an idea of what to do.


DIRECTIONS :With your pendulum reading in Effects (Normal, Mild, Strong, ...), use the two questions on any or all areas below. (If not already programed, see pages 4 and 16 about instructions.)

Two suggested questions after you ask: May 1, Can 1, Should I dowse "Interesting areas" on [myself].

Q-1. What is the level in Effects for [my] Overall Average Condition?

Q-2. What is the level in Effects for [my] Most Harmful Conditions anywhere within [my] total being?

"Conditions Program is to become part of and work with all my dowsing programs, and to be continually in effect until I choose to make changes. The response is to be for the Level of Effects or Yes or No on conditions, circumstances, situations, influences, and all other areas, as compared to the average person, in average health, of [my] age and peer group. These Effects may be singular or in combinations, continuous or intermittent, for levels or amounts from subtle through very strong. They may be anywhere within [my] total being covering the time period [starting with my now and including the previous 24 hours]. The response is to consider other influences or conditions, which may not be listed, for each area."

1 .___ a __MERIDIANS: Acupuncture points and related energy fields.

2.____ a__ MIND: Energies, Force, Function, Controllability, Stress, Stability, Communications.

3. ____a__ IONS and ELECTROLYTES: Internal, External.

4. ____a __OTHERS: Areas known or unknown to me and not covered on this page.

Other names or times may be substituted inside the [ ] by simple request. End of Program."

CAUTION: See page 9, #7.

NOTE: For possible changes using the Dowsing System, try asking the system what it can or will do.

VERY IMPORTANT- This information is Intuitive or Dowsing impressions NOT scientific data. Walt Woods



PURPOSE : By combining many forms into one easy-to-use form, it becomes possible for you to ask a Wide variety of different types of questions using only one form or dowsing chart.

Numbers can be used for Amounts, Distance, %, etc.

DIRECTIONS: Hold your pendulum over the center of the circle and start it swinging toward the "Ready for Question" The swing from the center of the circle to the "Ready for Question" is the indicating or pointing portion of the pendulum swing. (Ignore the part of the swing from the center of the circle moving away from the "Ready for Question.) After you ask your question, focus your attention or awareness on the Numbers, Letters or Words most appropriate for your question. In answering your question, the pendulum's swinging motion will move from the "Ready for Question" to the area where you focused your attention. This may be either on the top or the bottom of the circle. (Note that your subconscious or Dowsing System knows where your attention is focused. It also works very well to give verbal or mental instructions to your Dowsing System.)

The little circles on the bottom half or the large circle allow the Dowsing System to talk to you by giving instructions or alerting you when appropriate. An example is the " Red Flag" which means: take heed, be careful, caution, recheck, tread lightly, danger, etc.

Remember to ask the "May I, Can I, Should I" each time the basic subject changes (see p. 5).

By Walt Woods


1. Glance through the entire booklet just to get a feeling for what it includes.

2. Next; train your subconscious to move the pendulum in the same way you original trained the subconscious to write your name. Do this by deliberately making your fingers swing the pendulum to the "Yes" until it can do this motion by itself. While telling your subconscious this represents a "Yes" answer. This can become just as automatically subconsciously controlled as making the letters in your name. See p.2 and 3.

3. Once your subconscious is trained (programed) to move the pendulum to "Yes", "No" and "Ready for Question" it is time to instruct (program) your subconscious on how, what and when to respond. The subconscious does not know what you want until you tell it. In the same sense that originally your subconscious did not know how you wanted it to write your name until you programed it. One way to inform your subconscious what you want is to install the "Primary Program" and the "May 1, Can I, Should I Program" found on p.5. Use the three step instructions found on p.4. It helps if you read the programs out loud with your pendulum swinging to "Yes" and positioned a little ways to the side, but still where you can see it.

4. Directions for using the circle chart on p.l9 may be found on the lower half of p.20. You will find this multipurpose circle chart very easy to use once you study the instructions.

5. Now you are ready to use your dowsing for information. To do this you should pick an area of interest and install its program. Many people seem to be attracted to p. 18 so we will start there. To install this program start by reading at the beginning of "Conditions Program" and continue to the bottom of the page where it says "End of Program" Your Dowsing System must have agreed to accept the program by going to "Yes" and staying on yes while you read in the program.

Note: Your Dowsing System will be using a reference or comparison person of your age and peer group. This comparison person will be indicated by the pendulum swinging vertically to the "Bar" (balanced). When you ask about yourself you would like the pendulum to indicate a +10 on the beneficial side. This would indicate that you are much better than the average reference person.

6. To use p.18 and 19 you start by having your pendulum start swinging to the "Ready for question". Next ask the first question near the top of p. 18. "Q-1 " then Q-2. If your pendulum swings to the negative side you might want to take notice. This would suggest that you have an area which is not as good as the reference person.

7. If you do get a negative reading you might wish to look at p.17. On the upper right corner is a reference to "What to Do if You Find a Negative Response". This area will give you some suggestions on how to ask your subconscious to possibly adjust these negative energies

8. If you wish to know what the negative reading is referring to, simply go down the areas on p.18 asking for the level of each one. To do it quicker you might ask the system to indicate which section number, 1 through 4 to look at, this will narrow your search.

9. To learn more about when you can trust your dowsing, go to the middle of p.6.

10. Other programs throughout "Letter to Robin" are fun to work with and are approached in the same way. They all work well with the multipurpose circle chart on p.l9.

Have fun Dowsing. Please note the comments and caution at the bottom of p.18. Thanks, Walt