Choosing A Dowsing Instrument

Choosing a dowsing instrument used to be an easy task. Our forefathers used whatever was near at hand — a forked tree branch, a pole, staff, or a weight suspended from a string or chain, served perfectly well.

Today’s dowsers however, are faced with a multitude of choices made from various woods, metals, and stones, with varying weights, styles and shapes, with some even sporting battery power or advertised to find targets up to a mile or more. How times have changed!

To lessen this confusion, the best answer for you to remember is that dowsing is a mental skill relying on mental abilities rather than the physical device. In this regard, the dowsing tool can be compared to the needle on a meter. While it’s the meter that does the work, it’s the needle that does the indicating. It wouldn’t matter if the needle were made of wood, crystal, or solid gold. It’s still the meter doing the work. You might ask, “If my mind does all the work, then why do I need a dowsing device at all?” The answer is twofold.

First, how can you get physical readout unless it occurs in the physical plane? Second, the simple act of pinching a pendulum chain keeps you rooted in the physical reality rather than drifting off into space. The dowsing device is your connection between the spiritual and physical realms.

It’s suggested that you either buy or make one or more inexpensive tools, one for each class of dowsing instrumentation: L-rods, Y-rods, pendulums, and bobbers.

A paperclip, nut, washer, or other weight hanging from a string or thread will work as a simple pendulum.

Coat hangers used by themselves or cut into the L shape will work fine as L-rods. If you want handles to reduce friction you can use the tubes from a ball point pen.

A flexible dowel, door spring, or fishing rod held by the thin end will work as a bobber.

A piece of flexible plastic rod or tubing with a rubber band to hold it together at one end, or a piece of tall, round, grass can be bent in half and formed into a Y-rod if a wooden forked branch isn’t readily available.

These are rudimentary devices to be sure, but they will suffice to serve in a pinch as a dowsing tool. The purpose of learning to use more than one class of instrumentation is to develop your versatility as a dowser. Confining yourself to one device or one class of instrument is too limiting for most dowsers, and besides, any craftsman always carries more than one tool in their toolbox.

Keep in mind that each device has its strong points. The Y-rod for example, is the only device that will point precisely at a ground location. For drilling a well site, placing steel stakes in geopathic zones, or for finding lost jewelry or coins, the Y-rod works best.

L-rods are best used for quickly indicating the direction to a target, showing the direction of flow of a vein or energy pattern, or indicating a target directly underfoot.

The bobber is probably the easiest tool to obtain. It’s normally used as a horizontal pendulum and can be used to indicate directions or depths.

Pendulums are undoubtedly the most portable and diverse tools, but can also be the most complex in terms of reading exactly what they’re telling you. Pendulum codes can be very intricate even in the hands of a veteran dowser. If the pendulum shows a circle, an ellipse, or a swing, the size and speed of same, or the length of hesitation between continuous movements, are all part of the coding process, with each subtlety holding a clue to the final answer.

When choosing or making a dowsing tool the main thing is to be comfortable with its use. Does it respond quickly and easily? Can you use them in more than one situation? If you lose one, can you use another device as easily and comfortably?

Yes, it’s the mind that does the work, but being versatile in the knowledge and handling of different tools rounds out your capabilities, so in this way you’re always prepared and never lacking for a dowsing device.

>> Read the next column in the series “Locating Practice Dowsing Targets“.

Learn more about the 2014 American Society of Dowsers Convention, June 4-9 in Lyndonville, VT.

The Beginner Dowser Series: Learn to Dowse

Read Greg Storozuk’s installment series for the beginning dowser. For best dowsing success, read the columns in order, starting with number 1.

  1. Start at the Ground and Work Your Way Up
  2. The Dowsing State of Mind
  3. Preparing and Practicing the Dowsing Mindset
  4. Asking the Proper Questions
  5. Choosing a Dowsing Instrument
  6. Locating Practice Targets

The late Greg Storozuk, an ASD past president, was a professional dowser who concentrated his dowsing in the areas of water, geopathic zones, oil, minerals, clearings, and map dowsing. He authored A Dowsers Series. See “Tributes” at

Find holistic Dowsing practitioners in the Spirit of Change online directory.