Dowsing, also known as divining or doodlebugging, can be viewed by many as an easy superstition whereby adherents they are able to be able to find water, precious metals, oil and other unseen substances deep within the our planet. They do this by tapping into some unknown force that impels a forked branch they are holding to become drawn in a downward direction over these hidden items, thereby exposing its location and minimizing amount of digging that provides take place.
The practitioners of dowsing are, of course, its strongest adherents. Many believe, for example, that they can find potable water, see how deep it is, and how fast it flows. Walking over an area suspected to contain an underground stream, the diviner's rod, often a two pronged branch of a willow or hazel tree, is brought down sometimes with astounding force over an underground stream and whose direction of flow could be mapped by the variations in this force for the dowser moves towards or away from its flow.
Besides tree branches, divining L shaped rods can and is used. These will align themselves with the flow of water in a pipe, or cross over each other if it is deemed an object of some look. Coat hangers, and rods made of plastic and glass moreover been used with some success. Some diviners use pendulums from which is suspended a crystal or a piece of metal. The direction the pendulum moves establishes the location.
Others ask the pendulum a question, and the direction the pendulum moves determines whether the the factor in the question is a yes or no. First questions determine whether the left right or up down motions mean yes or no, after which other questions can be asked with the pendulum giving the answers. A pad or cloth with the words 'yes' or 'no' on it, as well as other words drawn quickly circle simplify the reading of the pendulum's answers.
The paranormal claims and unalloyed certitude of dowsers has been questioned and tested on many events. Some believe that the ideomotor effect is the true reason behind the otherwise inexplicable movements of dowsing rods. Will be an involuntary movement caused by a thought process or perhaps an idea rather than a sensory stimulation, in how the subconscious knowledge or thought of the dowser is the principle source of influence.
It appears that under scientific conditions, the success of dowsers to find hidden pipes with flowing water is no better than chance. The James Randi Educational Foundation, an organization dedicating to uncovering charlatans and protecting individuals from pseudoscientific claims, offers many dollar prize to 'anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal ability under fair conditions that prevent fraud or error.' This prize explicitly includes dowsers, it's yet to be advertised.
Notwithstanding, dowsers continue to ply their trade, and have extended it to medical diagnosis and treatment, finding dead bodies and missing persons, and buried objects of all sorts. Dowsers of a more spiritual bent feel it brings them closer to God, and some have compared its emanations to those of the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah. To its most devoted practitioners, is still a powerful and sustaining vehicle that is nurturing and self-sustaining, and most likely to be debunked by skeptics of any sort.