a dowser uses a range of simple devices to emphasise small involuntary movements in the hand so they may be readily seen. The most simple and versatile device for this purpose is the pendulum - a small weight tied to a piece of string and allowed to 'swing' suspended between the thumb and first finger of the dominant hand. Any tiny shifts in the hand itself will naturally be reflected as obvious movements in the weight on the end of the line. This 'amplification' of small movements so that we may see them, is the only purpose of any divining tool as far as dowsing itself is concerned. It is very important to understand this, for it means that the material from which the different tools are made is irrelevant as far as the dowsing principle itself is concerned. And while it is doubtless true that many dowsers have personal preferences for one material or another, from a fundamental point of view, one can dowse with something as simple as a nut on a piece of twine ( as one of the most successful dowsers I know does.)
The next vital question is 'what causes the small dowsing movements in the hand?'
and the short simple answer to this is, 'the intuition!'. Pendulum dowsing is an excellent way of speaking directly with our intuition. And the skill itself is so practical and powerful simply because our intuition is such an immensely powerful faculty. To have any chance of understanding dowsing then, we must take a closer look at our intuitive faculty.
The first thing to be said of intuition, is that it resides within our subconscious mind. This is the part of the mind which constantly monitors and processes the myriad of different stimuli and impressions reaching us every moment of our lives. Our conscious mind, by contrast, can only concentrate/handle one thing at any one time. So, as you are reading this article avidly(!) and processing it with your conscious mind, you will be blissfully unaware of your breathing, heartbeat, an argument in the next room or the rentman on the stairs. Your subconscious mind takes care of all these matters automatically and seated comfortably within it is your highly developed intuitive faculty. Now, let's suppose for a moment that this intuition wants to tell you the rent man is coming, it has one major obstacle - it cannot usually talk to you in plain language. It cannot say 'switch off the light and play dead you fool, the rent man is outside'. Language, you see, resides in a different part, the rational side, of the brain. So the intuition can use only such tools as it has to hand .... feelings, pictures, imagination, and body language, to convey what it knows to you. The difficulty in this, as we all know, is that we may not connect a 'sudden feeling of foreboding' to the approaching rentman until he knocks on the door.
The intuition processes vast amounts of valuable information and insight which it dearly yearns to share, but, in our modern culture, it sadly has few means of doing so. In order to speak with the intuition, we must share with it a common language so that the information it presents to us can be clearly transmitted and understood.
One such language might takes the form of agreed symbol sets, and this was a highly important function of mythological stories in ancient times. These myths provided whole societies with a common set of clearly understood symbols which gave them excellent access to their creative and intuitive faculties. Yet another form that such a language can take, is one which uses our automatic body responses. Since the subconscious mind controls body functions and mannerisms, the intuition can converse directly with us by altering muscle responses. This form of dialogue is the basis for many various techniques and is also the basis of dowsing communications.
If we approach pendulum dowsing as a 'conversation with the intuition' then our first step is to set up and agree a mutually understood language for this dialogue. Getting this part right is the key to obtaining reliable information from dowsing. We must bear in mind that we are dealing with the subconscious mind which has little critical faculty and so, everything we ask and say to it will be taken literally. For instance, in the UK one time, a hypnotised subject obeyed her hypnotist's instruction to go 'straight back to her seat in the audiance' to the letter, and promptly walked off the front of the stage (not thinking to go by the side stairs ) with tragic consequences. This is how literally the subconscious takes suggestions and this is why it is so important to 'get our language right'. The attention, time and patience we give to this one factor, will have a crucial impact on our working results.
The considered effort we put into planning the language and defining the terms we use will, itself helps instill precision in our minds even before we put the results into practise. And the more we attend to such preparations, the more we and our intuition come to learn about and understand eachother. Our first step to opening communications lies in finding our pendulum YES and NO and DON'T KNOW responses.
If you already use the pendulum stay with your own method. Never change from what already works for you - 'if it aint broke, don't fix it!'. Readers new to dowsing may like to follow the startup method given here. Some teachers advise you train the pendulum to give specific responses, I am from the school prefer if you ask the pendulum for it's own natural movements in each case instead.
And so to work!
Allow your pendulum (any small weight attached to a line) to hang down with three to four inches of line length, pinched between the thumb and first finger of your dominant hand. Begin by consciously swinging it toward and away from you, then letting your hand remain still so the tool continues to swing on it's own. This is called the NEUTRAL or 'ready' position. If the motion slows simply swing it consciously again before relaxing your hand once more to leave it on it's own. Now, ask a question in your mind to which you know the answer is a definite YES and direct the pendulum mentally to show you your YES response. If you observe all this passively and relaxed for a time, eventually the pendulum will change it's motion 'on it's own' usually forming a circle ( either clockwise or anti - clockwise ) or swinging to and fro in a different direction to the NEUTRAL. This new motion is your YES response and once you have agreed it with your pendulum, it will always remains the same.
Next, stop the pendulum and CLEAR it by grasping the line near the suspension point, with the thumb and first finger of your 'free hand' and by pulling them lightly down along the line, 'stroking the line' from top to bottom. You repeat this a few times while emptying your mind of previous questions and thoughts. When all is clear, you may move on to repeat the same questioning procedure again, getting your NO and finally your DON'T KNOW responses in the same fashion. Remember to CLEAR your pendulum and your mind, after each new question you ask. If for some reason you find that this exercise is not working out for you at your first attempt, leave the pendulum aside and start again in a few hours time. Should your pendulum continually refuse to provide a 'natural' response for any of the three 'answers' then, in this case, you may train it to move any way you choose to indicate that particular 'answer'. This is done by moving the pendulum in the desired motion while mentally affirming that this is the response you require. This may then be tested by asking a question and verifying the pendulum now autonmatically adopts the 'learned' response you showed it.
Your next task is to take your time
write out your definition for each term you intend to use in your divining work. For instance, if you intend checking for allergies using your pendulum, it is vital to agree exactly what you mean by 'an allergy' to a substance. Do you want the pendulum to show up any substance which has ever or will ever 'disagree' with the person. Are transient 'sensitivities' which might last for only a short time, to be included in the term also - or will you use a separate term ( such as the'sensitivity' word itself ) to cover these. Give these things a lot of thought, spell them out, refine them well so you get them precise and right, for this will serve as the foundation for your future dowsing work. Many times when the dowsing faculty seems to be unreliable the remedy lies in redefining our terms and questions correctly.
The final part of the process is to relax quietly
ask your pendulum if it is ready at this time to have you input the terms and conditions you've settled upon, and provided you get a YES response, read the terms aloud as your pendulum continues in your YES response. When the list is finished, say so, indicating also that these conditions are to remain in force without change unless and until you modify them by going throught the above procedure again. Your pendulum will then return ot the NEUTRAL response pattern.
When your YES and NO and DON'T KNOW responses have been agreed and your TERMS and CONDITIONS have been securely input, you may move on to train and exercise your new skill over the next ten days. Each day sit in a quiet place, take out your pendulum, breath deeply and relax your body and mind. Ask your pendulum ten questions, the answers of which are known to you, allowing the instrument to reply to you using the 'agreed' responses in each case. Exercise for no longer than ten minutes on each day. In dowsing we always get our best results when our minds are relaxed and fresh. Continuous practice, especially for beginners, beyond ten minutes leads rapidly to fatigue and a marked deterioration in success rates.
At the end of this ten day program, you can proceed to ask the pendulum any questions you wish. Providing always that you relax in the correct frame of mind, that your questions are precise complying with your agreed terms and conditions - that your intuition has access at some level to the information requested - and also that receiving such information will be in accordance with your own personal ethical and moral code, then you will be given the answer. Getting a DON'T KNOW response indicates that the question as asked, poses a problem in some of the areas above. Even when this occurs, one can usually ask and determine the precise area and reason for the lack of response without much difficulty. We must work with the pendulum regarding it as our friend. We must respect it's decision sometimes not to make the dowsing faculty available or to refuse answers to specific questions. One must appreciate that 'pushing for answers' instead of letting things happen at their own pace destroys any chance of cultivating a reliable practice.
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