dowsing variously valued


Practices known to give individuals power beyond that held by the governing elite are often feared and prosecuted (Witt, 2006). This fear and its effects is played out in the history of the dowser. For instance, dowsing was freely practiced "without much negative comment or repercussions until the Middle Ages," yet soon afterward, "it came under attack by the Christian Church." At that time, a Papal bull issued by Pope John XXII in 1326 C.E outlawed its use, claiming "that the pendulum-wielding diviner got the answers directly from the Devil." Much later, dowsing came back into some favour.... (Conway, 2001, pp. 11-12)


Today, dowsing is a marginalized practice, most commonly visible in the form of 'water witching.' Dowsing practitioners can also be found among those who work in complementary and alternative medicine, the healing arts, herbology, through organizations such as the Toronto and British dowsing societies, by those who work with the energies of plants and animals in agriculture (e.g. Hepburn, personal communication, May, 2006), and among various individuals who generally do not speak of their use, but have found its value in their daily lives.


Is it safe to speak of using a dowser in one's academic work?




"Martine de Bertereau, a Frenchman who lived during the mid-1600's, was a highly successful dowser for coal mines. In fact, he found one hundred fifty such mines before he was condemned by the Church and imprisoned for life."


(Conway, 2001, p. 12, emphasis mine ).



In 1326 C.E. a Papal bull issued by Pope John XXII outlawed the use of dowsers


(Conway, 2001, pp. 11-12).

general ostracization and risk of public ridicule is often the fate of those who use the pendulum (Graves, 1989) marines in the Vietnam war "were taught to use pendulums to locate land mines and underground tunnels" (Eason, 2005, p. 2).
"Unconventional methods used to find man's body," read the headline in the Regina Leader Post (Jan. 28, 2007). The article described how a man with a dowser was one of three people who used "unconventional methods" to successfully locate a lost man's body.

The use of a dowser for doctoral research in education, in 2009, was...finish the story....