When I was about six years old, my old next door neighbour decided I was ready to learn the ancient secret art of dowsing. He was a prolific dowser for our local council, had been for years, finding water for Yorkshire Dales farmers and homeless northern water sprites. So, over time, I learned to hold the sacred metal coat hanger wires too, a little loosely, one in each hand, attuning my mind to the silent song of the water. I practiced walking methodically around the garden, occasionally crossing wires with pride. Eventually, I could easily and expertly pinpoint the many water pipes beneath our lawn time and time again, even though there weren’t any. Dowsing’s great. It doesn’t like to disappoint anyone, ever.
As it turned out, I hadn’t been tracking water at all. I’d been tracing the energy signatures of multiple ley lines, the life-energy that binds, intersects, bisects and slices through Mother Earth.
Except unfortunately, as it turned out, our lawn was flatly disguising a mess of rubbly landfill which had poisoned and disrupted the energy flow to such an extent that the magical conduits had shifted into pixie land many years before, never to return.
I had actually discovered, quite by chance, a way to physically measure the mystical outpourings of my hope and wishful thinking.
It was set to revolutionise New Age thinking forever, heralding in a new age of New Age reality bias.
That was until the Institute for New Age Non-acceptable Evidence in Glastonbury heard of my findings. Through email correspondence I was informed that because I could repeat my discovery of measurable wishful thinking over and over again with accuracy, it was the opinion of the Institute that the evidence should be completely disregarded and my name struck off the register of Dowsers, Diviners and Soothsayers. If, at a later date, it was pendulum-dowsed that the subject of wishful thinking required further inspection and examination, the Lord High Dowser himself would conduct the trials and not some unbelieving boat-rocker. I was ‘…making a mockery of tried and believed pseudo-science.’ And this wasn’t all.
They concluded with a caveat on the final page, writing curtly that I should ‘…desist from the production of any further anti-dowsing propaganda’ as this could lead to ‘repercussions.’
In a chilling addition to the story, I received an anonymous phone call a few days after receiving the email. I was informed in no uncertain terms that they had a map and a pendulum and as Energy was their witness, they would not hesitate in hunting me down if I ever went near a hazel tree or even picked up a coat hanger to hang up a shirt…
That was that. I dowsed no more.