A Conversation for The History of Dowsing


Post 61

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

hello again every one
just to say that I have just been into my article and altered it slightly ie: deleted a few bits
but I would like to point out that most of what is written in my article is actually written history and as much as others might like to see me alter it even I cannot change history


Post 62

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Good to see you're still here and working on this, romi. smiley - smiley

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


Post 63

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

hi Z
thanks i did'nt want to abandon it just been and still am very busy so not had much chance to get on here and do any thing
but also on looking back at the article i cant really see much that i can alter in any drastic way since it is actual written history any way
any hints tip pointers or any thing you can give me plz will be greatly appreciated at this time


Post 64

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

Well, you haven't addressed my concerns about the assertions that it makes, namely many of those I pointed out in http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/F48874?thread=321757&skip=40&show=20#p4595932. For instance, the claim that spellcasting and divination work is *not* 'written history'.


Post 65

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

im not claiming that spell casting works but on the other hand if dowsing did'nt work how do you explain the fact that the army uses it and trains men to use it today
divination, divining is another word for dowsing btw
also if it did'nt work i dont think that the NHS would be using a form of it either.


Post 66


Interesting subject, this! Quite a lot of work has gone into it.

Although I'm not terribly informed on the subject, I believe the Celts normally used wands or Rowan for their water divination. I suppose Holly may have been used as well.

Just minutiae, I've heard of modern 'witchers' that use old radio antennae.

smiley - towel


Post 67


I think hazel was the traditional wood used.
The guy employed by the local bore-hole drilling company uses a watch-spring.
Two bent bits of old coat-hanger wire in two empty 'biro' cases is the equipment I have in my desk drawer.


Post 68

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

I'll have another look when I have a moment, romi.smiley - smiley

Although FM's style is a bit robust (I would never call an entry 'crap'), I'm sure he means well and that his aim is to improve the entry. Just as well that h2g2 embraces all kinds of people and views.

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


Post 69

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

smiley - starfords towel you are right rowan has been used as all types of woods have been used and tried in the past and present.

smiley - starwatermusic yes rowan too although I think that each particular dowser has at some time tried all different forms of dowsing with different materials until they have found the best medium for themselves.
i find it interesting that you have made dowsing rods using wire coat hangers with handles of empty biro cases, most people that make their own use wire coat hangers and handles made of wood.

smiley - star Z thanks I have to be going and getting ready for work soon so cant do no more till i have another day off next week.
I wonder if FM has actually looked at the changes I have made because if he reads it correctly the article in no way clams any thing magical about dowsing it merely states that is how it was looked upon years ago


Post 70

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

Firstly, ZSF, I didn't call the entry 'crap', if you read my comment. I said that if Romi 'wants to act as an apologist for New Age crap', which is not at all the same thing. I don't think that the entry is crap at all.

And yes, I have read the entry: cince the last time I posted to this thread certain phrases have been changed, I notice, to the betterment of the entry. But this one is still in it: 'about his work to any onlookers, which re-emphasised the Magical aspect of dowsing.'

Well, is dowsing magical or not?


Post 71

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

no dowsing is not in any way magical that is merely a stement trying to show how people looked at dowsing years ago.
if you have a problem with the actual word magical i can reword it


Post 72

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

The fact that the word is capitalised implies that dowsing shares some definitive characteristics with other such activities. Rather like Catholic or Orthodox or Scientology. I personally think that it was simply a bit of window dressing by this chap who wanted to conjure up an aura of mystique for the benefit of onlookers.

On the whole, I think that the entry looks much better now. I perosnally don't believe in the efficacy of dowsing, but you've described its practice very well.


Post 73

St Romani Angel Guardian of Crystals. Minister of Coffee now on the decaff!!

thank you FM
to be honest I did'nt realise I had capitalised the word magic i'll take aniother look when I get time as I'm going out to work now.
personally I think the poor chap may have suffered from epilepsy which was another misunderstood thing in those days too but on the other hand you could be right it may have been some thing he merely put on for the onlookers
that is some thing we will never know for sure now.


Post 74


Hi Romi smiley - smiley

I agree (again) with FM - this entry has improved smiley - biggrin

Are you planning to GML it, or leave it as basic text for the sub?

Even if you don't plan to go into GML you could indicate headings (just leave a space above and below headings so they stand out).

Now for the critical stuff, smiley - groan

Is it possible for you to use the web to double check your history? The quick searches I have made cast some doubt on some of the facts you mention.

Are you going to remove the Biblical quote that has been pointed out is not really relevant?

The paragraph after that quote is a little hard to follow. I am fairly sure what you have written is not what you meant. smiley - erm I've guessed what you might mean below - do you agree?

"Scholars made themselves seem foolish by attributing unnecessary complications to the rustic skill of dowsing. Precise details of how to look for gold and other precious metals were composed, demanding elaborate almost ritualistic preparations, including the acquisition of expensive gold and silver divining rods to ensure success. The fact that village dowsers achieved the same results with a twisted bit of twig showed the worthlessness of the scholar's detailed methods."

Your text is generally well-written, but might be made easier to follow if you broke up some of the longer sentences where you concatenate several ideas. eg I'd suggest a full stop after "De Re Metallica by Agricola" and rephrase the rest of the sentence.

In the next paragraph I'd suggest starting with the time frame - eg
In the fifteenth century the British Isles was famed throughout the known world as a centre of excellence for Magical and esoteric arts. German dowsers came to the West Country to learn dowsing. The Germans then travelled down to Cornwall where they successfully located veins of tin allowing new tin mines to be established for the Cornish landowners.
Note I've suggested a few changes to break this paragraph up, and please correct it if I've misinterpreted what you were trying to say. It certainly doesn't seem to make much sense - why should German dowsers be necessary to locate Cornish tin if Britain was such a famed centre of excellence? It is worth noting that it is well-known that tin was mined in Cornwall hundreds of years before the fifteenth century.(http://www.bradford.ac.uk/acad/archsci/field_proj/crift/crift.html )

The German tin-diviners is one of those historical assertions I'd like to see a reference for - books are fine, it doesn't have to be hyperlinks. However doing a search myself found http://www.datadiwan.de/SciMedNet/library/articlesN66+/9804271950.htm which suggests the Germans brought their tin-divining skill to England, rather than learnt them in England.

Another suggested rephrasing is:
"In France, dowsing was very much in vogue in the seventeenth century. This was mostly due to the mineralogists Baron and Baroness De Beausoleil, who together established a thriving mineral company through their successful use of dowsing. Sadly, they backed the wrong side in the St. Mars uprising in 16xx (?) and lost their heads."
I would suggest you double check your facts, as the various accounts available by doing a Google search assert that the two lost all their money locating mines and died in the Bastille (in 1642 and 1645) after being accused of witchcraft. (eg http://www.ambro.hu/borze/egely/leiras2.htm )

I'd suggest a full stop after "La Physique Occulte ou Traite de la Baguette Divinitoire" and rephrase the rest of the sentence (was this published in 1853 the same year as the RC retraction?) Is 'Abb' an abbreviation for Abbe?

In the next sentence what was suppressed - the Abbe's book or the RC Devil theory? It seems contradictory to say Chevreul's book was the 'last word on the subject' AND that 'it paved the way for more studies'.

Regarding the English activities dowsing is compared with I was surprised to find horse-whispering mentioned. I checked and found horse whispering does have a longer history than I was aware of - going back to Xenophon in 430BC (http://www.equs.fsnet.co.uk/articles/article6.htm ) Also "talking to bees" doesn't need an apostrophe.
The argument that because a process was apparently effective its alleged satanic source was unimportant seems pretty feeble. Any theological scholar or preacher would have been able to rebut that easily - I think there must have been other reasons for dowsing's English acceptance - such as not being a Catholic country under the sway of Papal edicts.

I'd suggest changing the history of Mr Child's discovery to:
"Mr Child and his family were amazed to discover that he had the ability to successfully dowse, after he emulated another dowser at work. With the use of something as simple as a watch spring - he too could find water."

In the Mullins bit:
successfull > successful
which he was, as the business grew and was took over by his two sons > which he frequently was, as the business grew and was taken over by his two sons

peoples energy wavelengths > people's energy wavelengths (though I am *extremely* sceptical of this pseudo scientific jargon - it is nonsensical to talk of people having 'energy wavelengths')

This next paragraph I strongly agree with FM starts out very hypocritically -
"The Christian Church at one time generated a lot of superstitious nonsense with their witching laws because they believed that dowsing was a form of witchcraft, thankfully that is now not the case, there have been many studies of dowsing made and now we have a bank of information today on the history of dowsing." This again calls for references, and it would probably be better to speak not of 'history' but 'efficacy'.

Now down to the final sentences - I can't say too often that I won't believe assertions without credible references. *Please* provide some for the British and American army training in dowsing.

Typos: replace 'penomena' and 'phenomena' with 'phenomenon'

EG links that may be good to add as internal references are:
A1038700 A Beginner's Guide to Feng Shui
A893414 Pendulum Dowsing

I hope you find at least some of these suggestions helpful

Pimms smiley - ok


Post 75

Mikey the Humming Mouse - A3938628 Learn More About the Edited Guide!

Pimms, you're amazing.

smiley - biggrin


Post 76


A nicely equivocative statement Mikey smiley - tongueout

On reflection I think I started to ramble - I mean what is the point of suggesting stylistic rephrasings and then following them with doubts as to their accuracy smiley - doh

> first get the content right *then* polish the style ("first pants then trousers"smiley - laugh)


Post 77

Mikey the Humming Mouse - A3938628 Learn More About the Edited Guide!

Unfortunately, the author doesn't seem to have been around hootoo since that lost post. What do people think we should do?

I would certainly hate for it to get lost in the depths of the FM after the considerable amount of work from the author and those here in the thread....

smiley - mouse


Post 78


Well lets leave it here for the time being. You never know, it could turn into this year's 'Gödel?s Theorem applied to Physics' F48874?thread=208128&skip=100&show=20 smiley - winkeye


Post 79


The title needs un-capitalising by the way smiley - smiley

smiley - panda


Post 80


Could it be that we have lost the author when Digibox access was restricted? It seems likely that romani was a digibox user, though a PC crashing is mentioned on her space.

Is it too soon to suggest a move to the Flea Market?

(though it will change when picked for the EG the title being in capitals is a useful pointer, as FM would agree smiley - winkeye)

Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more