A development of the art of dowsing (water witching) which
extends the specific use of indicators such as rod and pendulum
form water finding, to various additional uses such as the tracing
of missing persons, treasure hunting, and/or the diagnosis
and treatment of disease. The term radiesthésie was coined in
1930 by the Abbé Bouly, in France, where the use of a pendulum
has largely replaced the divining rod. L’Association des
Amis de la Radiesthésie was founded in 1930 and the British
Society of Dowsers in 1933. International Congresses of Radiesthesia
are held regularly in Europe. The terms ‘‘dowsing’’
and ‘‘radiesthesia’’ have become virtually synonymous, and in
France ‘‘radiesthésie’’ is used to include all forms of dowsing.
The dowser or radiesthetist is an individual who is sensitive
(and often unconsciously so) to hidden objects or other information
and uses a simple indicator, primarily a dowsing rod
or pendulum, to amplify this sensitivity. It is still not entirely
clear if, or just what kind of, radiation might be involved, and
many investigators believe the individual to be rather like a psychic
medium, and certainly some of the special applications of
radiesthesia seem nearer to ESP than conventional physics.
The pendulum is usually a small ball attached to a thread on
the end of a short stick. It is best to use a nonspun thread or
thin nylon since the twist in a thread may communicate extraneous
movement to the pendulum bob. The stick is held just
above its connection with the thread and the pendulum bob
tends to gyrate or oscillate. The length of the thread can be adjusted
by winding it round the stick, so that the pendulum
movement is clearly visible. There are characteristic pendulum
movements relating to various substances, indicated by the
number of gyrations and whether their movement is clockwise
or counterclockwise. Like the dowsing rod, the pendulum also
seems to be drawn toward hidden objects.
Radiant School of Seekers and Servers Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
The pendulum is often used to diagnose disease conditions
in the body or indicate remedies. The pendulum is first adjusted
over a healthy part of the body. When moved to an unhealthy
area its movement changes.
Another use of the pendulum is simply to answer questions
put to it, rather in the manner of a ouija board; ‘‘Yes’’ is usually
indicated by a clockwise gyration and ‘‘No’’ by counterclockwise
movement. An even more psychic use of the pendulum is
known as ‘‘teleradiesthesia’’ or ‘‘superpendulism.’’ Instead of
using a pendulum over an actual area in which underground
water or minerals are sought, the operator holds the pendulum
over a map of the district. Some claim that a subtle link exists
between a locality and its symbolic representation on a map.
Some teleradiesthetists have also used a map to trace the movements
of a missing person.
Some operators use a hollow pendulum that accommodates
a sample of the material sought. Others hold something connected
with the object of their inquiries in one hand while using
the pendulum in the other. Since the indications of a pendulum
are subtle and may also be deflected by conscious or unconscious
muscular movements, some preliminary study is recommended
before practice. There is considerable literature on
the subject and various reports of its use.
In the United States, the American Society of Dowsers,
which encourages the practice of various forms of dowsing and
gives guidance and information on the subject, may be contacted
at P.O. Box 24, Brainerd St., Danville, VT 05828. In Great
Britain, the British Society of Dowsers is concerned with all aspects
of dowsing and radiesthesia and publishes a journal. It is
located at Sycamore Cottage, Tamley Lane, Hastingleigh, Ashford,
Kent, TN25 5HW, England.
Beasse, Pierre. A New and Rational Treatise of Dowsing according
to the methods of Physical Radiesthesia. France, 1941.
Cameron, Verne. Map Dowsing. El Carismo, 1971.
Cooper, Irving S., and Willi Kowa. The Pendulum: Operational
Practice and Theory. Haywards Heath, UK: Academic Publications,
De France, Henry. The Elements of Dowsing. London, 1971.
Franklin, T. Bedford. Radiations. London, 1949.
Hitching, Francis. Pendulum: The Psi Connection. London:
Fontana, 1977.
Nielsen, Greg, and Joseph Polansky. Pendulum Power: A Mystery
You Can See, A Power you Can Feel. New York: Destiny Books,
1977; Wellingborough, UK: Excalibur, 1981.
Wethered, V. D. A Radiesthetic Approach to Health and Homeopathy,
or Health and the Pendulum. London, 1950.