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Adventures In Energy

Intuition: Gateway To  Your Inner Wisdom

Five Effective Dowsing Methods to Confirm Your Inner Knowing

Dowsing is a simple and effective way to hold a conversation with our inner wisdom. Basically, the inner self knows the answers to most of the questions we agonize over. Inside, we know what vitamins and nutrients we need, what opportunities are begging for us to say yes!, and what choices will be fulfilling. Accessing the powerhouse of inner knowing, however, can be tricky. Using the different modes of intuition takes practice. It can be helpful as we develop our skills to validate our perceptions through dowsing.


Dowsing uses the reflexive responses of the body to identify answers when we’re presented with questions and ideas. This response is called an ideomotor effect. It consists of small, usually unnoticed movements and muscle tensions that reflect changes in our internal states of flow and resistance. These changes are a reflection of our subconscious reaction to a question, by-passing the resistance of our conscious mind. Dowsing harnesses the ideomotor effect to understand the messages from our inner self.



Practice the techniques below, then decide which works best for you. When you’re receiving intuitive information, test your results with your dowsing. For example, to determine if you need a particular vitamin on a particular day, hold the bottle and ask your body if you need it that day. Pay attention to the information coming from your intuitive mode. (Take the Intuitive Index Assessment if you don’t know your type.) Then test the answer you receive using a dowsing technique. At first, your answers may be confusing or contradictory. The trouble shooting guide at the end of this guide will help sort that out.


Included here are instructions for three direct dowsing methods and two indirect methods. Direct techniques pay attention to the resistance and flow within the body via increases and decreases in muscle tension. Indirect methods use tools such as dowsing rods and pendulums to out-picture these inner states of resistance and flow.


The best results always happen when you’re relaxed, so the first step is to initiate a relaxation response. When your mind is relaxed and your muscles loose, it’s easier to by-pass the skepticism of the conscious mind. Initially, you may have to use a relaxation technique before dowsing, but within a short period of time you will only need to take three deep breathes as you center, ground, focus, and then you will be ready to ask questions.


Direct Methods

The finger-lift: This method uses the non-deliberate rising of a finger in response to a yes/no question.


1. Create a relaxed state by taking three deep cleansing breaths while centering, grounding and focusing. Inhale relaxation and exhale tension.


2. The first step is to find which of your fingers represents one of the three following answers: YES, NO and I DON’T KNOW/MAYBE/NOT AT THIS TIME.


3. To find out which is which, rest your non-dominant hand on your thigh. Intend that your thumb, index and middle fingers respond to your questions.


4. Ask your body to show you which finger is YES. You will know which is responding by feeling a twitch, muscle tightness, slight movement, lift, or even just a sense of noticing one finger. Whatever reaction you feel, that finger is now your YES signal.


5. Ask your body to show you NO, and register which finger responds. Then ask your body to show you I DON’T KNOW/MAYBE/NOT AT THIS TIME. Register which finger responds.


6. Each finger will indicate the same answer you received above from this point on. If your thumb is yes; it will always be yes every time you use this method.


7. Ask a few general questions to get the hang of this technique. Your questions must be yes/no, accurate, specific, and clear to receive a straightforward answer.


Body Circling Method: Body circling is similar to finger lifting. You allow the circling of your body clockwise or counterclockwise to indicate yes or no, You can use this technique standing or sitting. Instead of body circles, you can also use forward or backward leaning. For most people this method is easier than the finger lift.


1. Relax. Intend that your inner mind answers your questions by circling your torso clockwise, counterclockwise, or side to side. If you are using the leaning method, your cues will be leaning forward, leaning backward, or leaning to either side. This allows you to have a fourth answer, such as NEED MORE INFORMATION, or YES, BUT NOT NOW. 


2. Ask your body-mind to show you which is YES, NO, or MAYBE/I DON’T KNOW/NOT AT TIME, and your fourth response if you’re using the leaning option. For example, for me, forward is YES, backward is NO left lean is MAYBE, right lean is YES WITH ADJUSTMENT. Then I test to find what needs adjustment.


Once you have determined the directions for your responses, they will always be the same.


Muscle Testing: The nerve impulse that enervates your muscles is stronger with a YES response and weaker with a NO response.  While muscle testing provides an even clearer answer than the finger-lift or body circling, the disadvantage is that there is no signal for MAYBE, I DON’T KNOW, or NOT AT THIS TIME.


1. Relax with three clearing breaths as above.


2. Using your non-dominant hand, touch the tip of your ring finger to the tip of your thumb, making an “O” shape.


3. Make a hook with the index finger of your other hand and insert it through the “O”. 


4. While asking a question, you will pull your hooked finger through the meeting place of your finger and thumb while trying not to hold them together.


5. Ask for a true YES response and try to pull the “O” open. It should take a fair amount of strength to break the connection.


6. Ask for a true NO response and repeat. It should be much easier to break the connection.


7. Ask YES and NO questions that are clear, accurate and specific, always asking for a true response. Gauge the answer by how weak or strong the connection is.


Indirect Methods

Pendulums: A pendulum is any object that is dangled on a string. The theory is that subtle, unconscious, muscular movements make the pendulum swing in different patterns. To start, the pendulum will circle in one direction for yes, the other direction for now, Or it might swing horizontally for one and vertically for the other. When you are comfortable using a pendulum, you can use charts that the pendulum traces to reveal explicit answers to specific questions. Percentages and dosing amounts may also be identified.


You can buy a pendulum or make one with a 12-inch chain or piece of string and a weighted object such as a key, a ring or a metal washer.


1. Relax with three deep breaths while grounding, centering, and focusing.  


2. Determine what the pendulum signals are for you. Start by holding the end of the chain with the pendulum hanging straight down. Ask for a YES response. The pendulum might circle clockwise or counterclockwise, or it might move in a straight line either forward and back or side to side. Whatever the movement, it signifies YES.


3. Steady your hand and still the pendulum, then ask for a NO response. Soon the pendulum will begin to swing in the opposite circle or different straight line.


4. Still the pendulum and ask for MAYBE/I DON”T KNOW/ NOT AT THIS TIME. Not moving at all may be the signal for this answer.


5. Once you have your designated responses, practice asking questions.


6. When you’re asking questions, the faster and bigger the swing of your pendulum, the more emphatic your inner mind feels about the answer.


7. The swing of the pendulum can also be used to indicate answers on a pre-drawn chart. A good chart book is Dale Olsen’s Pendulum Charts (Crystalline Pub, September 2003).


Dowsing Rods:

Y-shaped yew sticks were the first modern day dowsing tools. Originally used to locate water for wells, dowsing has also been used to locate gold and oil. Eventually rods replaced the Y-shaped yew stick since they are easier to use and carry.


Dowsing rods are metal shafts bent at a 90 degree angle. They are used in pairs, one held in each hand. I can’t express enough how effective dowsing rods are. My husband found a pair of lost binoculars in a huge wheat field and, well before GPS, used rods to find his way to an unknown address.


To make dowsing rods, take a wire hanger, then using wire cutters, cut the c-shaped hanging part free of both sides. Cut the remaining long side in half. You now have two bent rods. Straighten the bend on each rod just enough to make the bend a 90 degree angle.


1.  Hold your hands about shoulder width apart with your elbows bent and your hands out in front of you. Bend your fingers to make a ring between your fingers and thumb. Hold the rods so they sit loosely inside the ring and balance them so they point straight ahead and stay parallel to the ground. If they dip down or point upward, they won’t be balanced in your hand. It takes some practice to keep your hands loose enough so the rods can turn, but with enough grip that they don’t roll around without stability.


2. To locate a specific area, find a lost object, or locate something underground such as water, ley-lines (energy pathways in the earth) or buried objects, first ask the rods to point in the direction you should walk. Turn in the direction the rods rotated to until they are once again pointing straight ahead. Carefully and slowly walk forward. The rods will turn inward and cross one another when you are over the area you are seeking. If the rods turn in the same direction, left or right, while you are walking, you need to alter your course and turn in the direction they are pointing until they point straight ahead again. You can use this technique inside or outside for such things as determining the best location to build something, where to plant a garden, or to locate a power spot.


3. To answer YES and NO questions about specific problems, hold the rods as above and ask which direction is YES and which is NO. You can also use a single rod over a dowsing chart to find more specific answers.



Dowsing Exercises

Exercise One

You will need: an object to hide, a pair of dowsing rods, a friend or two.


  1. Leave the room and have your friend hide the chosen object.

  2. Enter the room and take a few steps inside.

  3. Hold the image of the object in your mind’s eye.

  4. Ask the rods which side of the room the object is hidden on.

  5. The rods will turn on one direction. Face that direction.

  6. Hold the image of the chosen object in  your mind’s eye, and ask the rods which half of the half of the room you face holds the object.

  7.  Turn in the direction the rods indicate.

  8. You now face a quarter of the room.

  9. Holding the image of the object in your mind, ask the rods to point to the location of the object.


Exercise Two

You will need: a small cup of water, four large bowls, dowsing rods or a pendulum, a friend


  1. Leave the room.

  2. Have your friend place the cup of water on the floor, then place one of the bowls upside down over the cup of water. Place the other three bowls upside down haphazardly around the room.

  3. Enter the room and use dowsing rods, pendulum or muscle testing over each bowl until you’ve identified the bowl that hides the water.

Trouble Shooting

Here are the most common dowsing problems:

  • Can’t get a response.

  • Answers are inconsistent.

  • The rods take you in circles.

  • You don’t trust your answer.


The most common reasons:

  • You are too tense and the ideomotor reflex can’t create a muscle response through your muscle tension.

  • You don’t have a clear intention and your mind is jumping from one thought to another.

  • You’re over thinking and thus inhibiting your reflexive response.

  • You’re not asking clear, accurate and specific questions.

  • You feel silly.

  • You don’t believe in yourself or this woo-woo stuff.



  • Take all the time you need to ground, center and focus.

  • Offer your breath to every tension in your body and allow your body to relax.

  • Keep your mind open and calm.

  • Consider this play. Acknowledge critical thoughts, embrace them, and then let them go.

  • Continue anyway, just for fun, even if it’s absurd and you feel silly. In other words, lighten up; don’t take yourself too seriously.

  • Hold a clear image in your mind of what you want to find or the question you’re asking, and follow the pull. Say what you want out loud if it helps you focus.

  • Be clear about your question. If other questions or possibilities are popping in and out of your mind, the technique won’t be able to fix on the answer because you can’t fix on the question.

  • Check your answer against how it makes you feel. Listen to your feeling-senses and inner values (see technique Guide for Felt-perceptions). If something feels wrong, something is wrong, even if you don’t know specifically what.

  • Take a break. Resume your search refreshed.

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