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…