What Are Divining Rods (Types & Uses)

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Divining rods are implements used to find underground water or metal sources.  Also known as "dowsing" or “water witching”, it is believed that water and metal ores can be located by holding the rods in the hands and slowly walking over the land to locate underground springs, water veins, and metal ore deposits.

There are different beliefs about how old this practice is with some believing it is even referenced in the Bible in Hosea 4:12.  Although it is true that a “diviner’s rod” is mentioned, it is not necessarily relating to water or metal, or indeed the actual art of divining.

Some also believe that dowsers have supernatural powers, or that it is a method of witchcraft.  Then there is the belief that it is one of the many things that all humans were able to naturally do as a species before we became more and more controlled and thereby distracted from our natural abilities.

divining rods

If you want to start dowsing in your spare time or as a hobby. You might like to read our complete beginners guide here.

Types of Rods

Whatever the origins, water divining is a fascinating subject and can make a great hobby.  Originally it was conducted using a forked stick but these days you can purchase a pair of ‘L’-shaped divining rods to get your water dowsing hobby underway.

The divining rods you can buy generally have 2 x ‘L’-shaped pieces of thick, strong wire with an outer sleeve for the handles.  When you hold the handles, the wire is able to rotate around inside them, enabling them to move freely as they search.

You could even have a go at making your own from a tree branch as was done in the old days using willow.  As long as you hold it fairly lightly to feel for the vibrations which are believed to come from the energy emitted by the presence of the water or metal you are seeking.

Who Uses Diving Rods These Days?

Interestingly, water companies in the UK use them even today but mostly to detect leaks in pipes.  They use the rods to locate where to close roads off to start digging up the area of the leak. 

Farmers in rural areas in many countries use them to find water sources for their crops or animals.  Other people use them as a hobby to try and find lost treasure such as ancient coins or items of jewelry.  Much in the same way as you would use a metal detector but without the modern technology, making it more fun.

The general idea is that when you reach a spot where there is water or metal underground, the rods will swing inwards and cross each other.  Of course, you will need to have steady hands to make sure you don’t bring about this movement yourself.

What is the Science Behind Divining Rods?

This isn’t as straightforward a question as one would think.  The reason being that science is a man-made subject encompassing a myriad of theories around many, many topics.  One may conduct experiments that work by using certain methods and it is then written in ‘science’ that this is how it works.

But let’s entertain the thought that just maybe, being able to feel the energy and instinctively sense where these natural elements are to be found in the earth, is something that we could all once do. 

If this is so, ‘science’ would not be able to come up with an answer for it, simply because it is something outside of the realms of a manmade set of theories.

l shaped divining rods

The problem, therefore, is that being the humans we have been converted into in this modern day, if there isn’t solid ‘science’ behind something, we dismiss it as mumbo-jumbo. 

But bearing in mind the fact that we apparently only use a very small percentage of our brain’s capability, maybe there is something to be believed about a natural ability long forgotten.

But OK, let’s do the science bit just to satisfy our indoctrinated mindsets!  There are some theories about gravitational pull being affected when water is close by, which in turn makes the rods react.

There is also a theory that it is actually the “dowser” holding the rods that is making them move, albeit unwittingly.  This is thought to be because the length of the rods and the energy it takes to keep them still can be interrupted by the slightest, imperceptible movement, causing the rods to swing inwards or outwards.

But having said all that, it still remains that divining rods can be great fun to use and if you have an open mind, confidence in your ability, and a belief in what you are doing, you will be very likely to strike it lucky, and that would really quieten the skeptics!

So grab yourself some rods, give it a go and enjoy getting in touch with your natural primitive human abilities.