Talk to the rods how you talk to a little child


THIS is one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time"
pieces.  Back in April, when it hadn't rained for weeks, the earth was dry and spring crops were shrivelling in the fields, the cry
went out: "Find us a water dowser."

But by the time Ced Jackson and I met up, the heavens had
opened, the May monsoons had arrived and there was the sound
of hammering from a shed up the road as the occupants started
to build an ark.

So, all in all, it would have come as no surprise to see Ced's dowsing rods turn up to the sky instead of down to the ground. There were, after all, enough black clouds about full of water.

Nevertheless, there is some merit in the story. Because last year, Ced formed Malvern Dowsers, to bring people together and promote an interest in this ancient skill. By co-incidence, in a few weeks time, on Saturday, June 23, the group is running a course at the Friends' Meeting House in the town to teach newcomers how to dowse.

So if you want to talk through your forked stick be there.

"Show me the water," you say, and down goes the stick at the appropriate place.

"Show me the electricity cable," you say, and the stick goes to a hidden line down the wall.

In fact, dowsing can be used to pin-point all sorts of things, including minerals such as coal and ore, even oil. However, those capable of oil dowsing tend to keep quiet about it, because there's serious money to be made here.

Water: Ced Jackson says bend your knees and say find me the water'. Picture by Jon Fuller-Rowell. 22051201
Water: Ced Jackson says bend your knees and say find me the water'. Picture by Jon Fuller-Rowell. 22051201

It does work too, because no dowser is going to suggest companies go to the trouble and expense of digging in the ground if they're not sure what's there. There's a credibility factor involved.

But the strange thing is, no one seems to know how it works.

"It's an imperceptible movement of the wrists," Ced explained. "You see, it's the dowser that moves, not the sticks, rods or whatever else it is they're holding.

"The dowser tunes in to whatever is being searched for and their brain sends messages to the wrists, causing them to make minute turns, which the rods then emphasise. No one knows why it happens."

He learned the skill from his father, who was a farm contractor.

"Dad was forever breaking open buried water pipes and driving landowners crazy when he was putting up farm buildings," he said. "One day, someone taught him how to dowse and after that he didn't cut through a single pipe."

One theory is that dowsing arrived in England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who brought over miners from what is now Germany to dig for iron and metal ores in the Lake District and their dowsers came with them.

The original dowsers would have used the traditional forked hazel stick. But now their equipment is more likely to be an L-shaped metal rod, a V-rod (the metal equivalent of the forked stick), a metal wand (a springy piece of wire, otherwise known as a bobber', used for locating electrical wires in walls) or even a pendulum. The kit has progressed over the years.

The good news is, almost anyone can do it.

"I should think about 95 per cent of people can dowse," said Ced. "For starters, you need to adopt a comfortable stance, feet slightly apart, knees bent, well rooted to the ground - sort of John Wayne does Tai Chi. Remember you do the work yourself, the rods are inarticulate. You need to talk to them as you would a small child.

"You need to say, 'Find me the water' or 'Find me the power cable'. By doing that you are subconsciously setting in motion your own skills that will transmit to the rods."

As opposed to dowsing for water, Ced tends to concentrate his dowsing skills on health issues. He is also a member of the professional register of the UK Feng Shui Society, as feng shui is a related skill which is also concerned with the effect of houses and landscapes on their inhabitants.

"We all know that living in a damp house can have a negative effects on the people who live there," he said. "Dowsing and feng shui can help to identify and eliminate other detrimental issues.

"One issue that affects some people more than others is electricity. Some homes are close to power lines, some houses may have old or poor wiring, and some houses are so full of electrical equipment that the inhabitants live in a permanent electronic soup."

When Ced visits a property, he makes checks on the levels of electrical, magnetic and microwave radiation which people living in the house absorb.

"It's always a good idea to minimise the amount of electrical radiation present," he said. "Especially in the bedroom where you spend at least a quarter of your life. If electrical activity can't be totally eliminated, or reduced to a reasonable level, its possible to acquire an under-sheet for the bed which has a carbon-fibre thread, which, when earthed, will divert electrical radiation away from the person in the bed to the ground. It's rather like sleeping on the electrical equivalent of a lightning conductor, only much more comfortable."

It will also help you snooze through the sound of the rain on the roof, which wasn't much in evidence when this feature was first mooted.

Ced Jackson interviewed by the Worcester News

May 2007.

Ced be contacted on 01684 560265 and

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