Dowsing Rods and Pendulums

Dowsing Rods and Pendulums

Last night, my friends and I performed a little experiment. The first one was with the pendulum.

Anyone can perform this simple experiment:

  1. Stand up straight and close your eyes
  2. Ask yourself a question with a No answer – for example: “Is my name Bert?”
  3. Observe which way your body moves
  4. Ask yourself a question with a Yes answer – for example: “Am I male?”
  5. Observe which way your body moves, it should be a different direction.
  6. Congratulations! You are now a human pendulum.


Your unconscious mind controls your body by moving tiny muscles to maintain balance and position. When you talk to your unconscious mind it cannot talk through words, instead it uses gestures such as emotion and muscle movement. The technical term for this is ideomotor muscle movements.

When you hold a pendulum, you ask for the pendulum to move and your unconscious triggers tiny muscle movements in your arm and hand that makes the pendulum move.

What has this to do with dowsing rods?

Since your body makes these tiny movements it can move an object such as a pendulum, it can also move the rods around. A dowsing rod is simply a rod that passes through a metal or plastic tube to prevent the user from tampering with the free movement of the rod.

If you deliberately turn the hand clockwise or anticlockwise, you can see the dowsing rod move in or out.  The movement shows up as being deliberate because the way the rods move. When left to your ideomotor muscle response, the movement is subtle.

If you have lost something in your house, you can use dowsing rods to find that object. Your unconscious mind knows exactly where you dropped the item and therefore can direct you back to it.

So how are water, oil and precious metals found if it is our unconscious mind controlling the movement?

The idea that we have only 5 senses was attributed to Aristotle. Perhaps it would be better to say we have 5 conscious senses. Our unconscious mind experiences more than just 5 senses. See Your “other” senses post for more details of other senses we have.

After writing this article, I discovered this article on UK Sceptics website entitled the “Ideomotor effect” and that this has been known about for over 150 years. Its not that well known, possibly because scientists are not known for using layman’s terms.

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