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Adventures in Dowsing

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The spectrum of dowsing belief

I’m sitting in Luton airport where I have a few hours to kill before my flight back to Glasgow, following a very successful BSD Tutor Orientation weekend. Eleven potential tutors were present, including one chap who had come all the way from Kathmandu and had been waiting over two years to attend the course – such is the kudos that the BSD Training courses have these days.

During a discussion around the topic of Universal dowsing truths vs. personal beliefs, I came up with the concept of a ‘Spectrum of Dowsing Belief’. At one end of the spectrum, we have the tangible target dowsers – those who dowse for archaeology, water, or other practical features – who adopt a rational, materialistic paradigm to explain dowsing; e.g. it must be due to some sort of electromagnetic disturbance over the target that we are picking up with our rods, and any other opinion is simply New Age fluffiness and is bringing dowsing into disrepute. There has to be a rational scientific explanation, even if we don’t understand it just yet.

At the other end of the spectrum, where you will find the intangible target dowsers – those who dowse for earth energies, auras and such like – you can find some individuals who will attribute the dowsing ability to a ‘gift from God’ or some other higher source, spirit guide, guardian angel or whatever; and who say that dowsing needs to acknowledge this spiritual aspect more in order to survive.

This dichotomy has been quite prevalent in BSD membership for some time; there are those who are adamant that we have lost sight of the roots of the Society and we should get our focus back into the traditional aspects of dowsing; and those who want us to publicly embrace the more esoteric, spiritual and even magical aspects of dowsing. Such is the church that the BSD inhabits, and as you can see it’s rather broad!

In reality, most dowsers (and indeed most BSD members) fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. I’m definitely somewhere towards the esoteric end of the spectrum myself, but I don’t have any problem with accepting that in all probability we see only a small part of the overall picture, and that there is undoubtedly a larger truth behind the whole. It’s a quantum Universe out there, and reality can be something of a non-Newtonian fluid these days.

The point for the Tutors is that they cannot afford to pitch their teachings towards either end of the spectrum, no matter what their personal paradigm may be – their students in all likelihood will have a different perspective and spiritual belief system, and they have to be encouraged to assimilate the dowsing experience into that in their own fashion. We need to remain objective and acknowledge that there are many paths to the ocean of Truth. The important thing is that dowsing will help them to find their own path.


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

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Training dowsers to teach dowsing

I’m in the midst of frantic last-minute preparation for the BSD’s forthcoming Tutor Orientation Weekend, which is being held this weekend in Chesham. This will be the first time I have attended one of these weekends as President of the Society, and also as one of the training team.

We are quite passionate about the subject at BSD Towers, as the standard of dowsing tuition can vary wildly across the country depending on who you learn from.This is why we introduced our Educational Programme and our Core Curriculum courses in each of the special interest areas of dowsing. We are never going to progress dowsing or get it taken seriously by academics without trying to raise the standard of education – this is true of any skill.

Because dowsing is so personally subjective, individual dowsers’ perceptions of the mechanics of dowsing are inevitably coloured by their own belief systems. Thus, you will still find abundant superstitions like ‘you can’t dowse in Wellington boots’,  ‘copper rods are better than brass ones’, ‘you have to check your pendulum reactions every time you dowse’, ‘ rose quartz crystal pendulums work better for divination’, and so on. Whilst all these may be true for the practitioner in question, that is only because they have mentally accepted that restriction into their own belief structure; it isn’t going to be the same for everyone else and those concepts should not be promulgated as Universal Truth. Truth is a very relative term in today’s quantum Universe.

Other dowsers may believe that the dowsing ability, and the information that they get through dowsing, comes from a higher source; this may be a spirit guide, guardian angel, their Higher Self, or even whatever their personal concept of divinity happens to be. Whilst this might be the case, these are only subjective concepts, they are not an objective, verifiable reality and as such they become an article of faith, which pretty soon becomes dogma. Again, we can’t put these ideas forward as an explanation of how dowsing works – there are many other possible hypotheses that are equally as valid. The only safe answer of course is that we simply don’t know how it works, only that it does work. To teach anything else is only placing limitations on the student’s  capabilities as a dowser. Each individual has to adapt the dowsing training according to their own background, beliefs and experience. An open mind is the most important dowsing tool you can have in your personal toolbox, and this is also probably the most important point we have to get across to our potential tutors this weekend.

Another problem we face is that many dowsers who have been teaching students for many years question the need to attend a course such as this. Apart from the reasons cited above, there is inestimable value in learning how to structure and run a course properly. For that, we engage professional tutor trainer (meta-tutor? Tutors’ tutor?) Kip Warr, who is absolutely inspirational and has seemingly boundless enthusiasm for his job. From writing your initial outline of the course structure right through to the minutiae of how to stage manage each session, Kip is a veritable mine of information on all things you need to know in order to be a successful tutor. And he makes it all seem like such good fun into the bargain. I’m looking forward to spending time with him again.

I’m also working on a PowerPoint presentation for a dowsing workshop that I’m running for the National Federation of Spiritual Healers in Scotland in a couple of months, which I may show at the tutor weekend as an example. I’ve become a total geek about using a good PowerPoint in my own courses as it really can make the difference between a good session and an outstanding one if used properly. However, there is a fine line between ‘just right’ and ‘too much’ when it comes to PowerPoint, and Kip is very clear about where that line is! It also requires a fair amount of computer skill to put a good presentation together, and not everyone has the same level of ability in that department.

For the BSD tutors, we feel that it is important that they try and include some sort of visual aid like PowerPoint into their courses, as it lends a certain air of professionalism and can make the whole thing seem more ‘corporate’. Ideally, every tutor would use the same templates for their presentations, and these could have some sort of continuity and BSD branding on them. But in the real world, not everyone has access to the same levels of technology and PowerPoint packages are not easily ported between different operating systems (or indeed, different incarnations of Office, as I discovered last year when trying to run an Office 2007 presentation on 2003 software). We can only encourage by example, and there is a certain amount of pressure on me to be the person setting the bar height on this matter, so I’d best be getting on with it…


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Dangers of Compact Fluorescent Lamps

The February newsletter from the Institute of Bau-Biologie arrived in the Inbox this morning and it contains a rather damning article about the hidden dangers of CFL’s. In my profession of lighting designer I’ve been aware of this for quite some time and there has been much discussion in the industry as to whether they are actually more efficient in real terms than conventional sources (in general the answer is a resounding NO – they cost more to produce, they perversely put more strain on power generation, they are highly polluting if not disposed of properly etc.).

This article by Diana Schultz focuses mainly on the health hazards relating to breakage of the lamps and the subsequent release of vaporised mercury into the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency in the States has released some guidelines for lamp disposal and cleaning up mercury spills from broken lamps that are pretty extreme and involve evacuating the house for a period of time and cutting out pieces of carpet if they are contaminated!
http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/faqs.htm

Manufacture of these units is also very hazardous and the risks of mercury poisoning are high. Most of them are made in China, and there are reports of workers dying from the toxic effects of mercury exposure.

Needless to say, these lamps should be carefully recycled by an appropriate facility; but how many councils in the UK are equipped to deal with this? How many consumers are prepared to make the effort to return their used CFLs to a recycling centre? Most people will simply dispose of them with the rest of their rubbish, which means that our waste dumps are going to be leaking mercury into the local water tables. There isn’t a lot of Mercury in a CFL – about 5mg or so – but in a municipal waste tip that will soon add up.

The other issue surrounding CFL’s is the actual light quality from them. Many people are sensitive to the high-frequency flickering that the lamps produce and experience headaches and eyestrain. Incandescent bulbs don’t have this flickering problem as the filament (which is essentially a burning piece of metal) damps down the cycling of the mains electricity. Fluorescents on the other hand, have to incorporate some electronic circuitry that actually makes them flicker many hundreds of  times faster than the 50 Hertz (in the UK) of our mains electricity so that we don’t notice it. That’s the theory at least – yet many people do still notice it, and are affected by it.

Fluorescents also emit a narrower spectrum of light compared to an incandescent, which is why some people find it harder to read under fluorescent lighting. CFLs are improving as manufacturers experiment with different coatings and enclosures, but this is always going to be a problem.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology is coming on leaps and bounds and every year brighter and more efficient LED sources appear; but we still have a few years to go before they will be replacing the main light sources in our homes.

ecodwell_feb2010_emma.pdf (application/pdf Object). (page 3)


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

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