Review of ‘Learn to Dowse’ (Video), by Peter Naylor

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 10th March 2003, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

with Peter Naylor
Published by Watnay (NB NOT 'Watney'] Publishing
ISBN unknown (2003)

There is a saying that we're all looking for something. If it happens to be an underground water course, pipes or cables - or just a fascinating new hobby - 'Learn to Dowse' may be the video for you. Just to make it clear, many people are more familiar with the term 'divining', generally in connection with a search for water, though here in the Peak the skill was known to lead miners searching for veins of lead ore.

Peter Naylor is a professional dowser and also a highly qualified engineer with a keen interest in metal mining. He has taught over a thousand people to dowse and his dowsing services have been used over many years by miners, farmers and building contractors. In 1980, long before the days of video, Peter wrote a teach-yourself manual 'Discovering Dowsing and Divining' (Shire Publications) and this classic handbook has been reprinted every few years up to the present.

He affirms that all people have the ability to dowse, not just a few with some mysterious gift. All a novice needs is an attitude of 'light hearted seriousness' and some dowsing rods. And he dispels the myth that dowsing works only with hazel twigs. Personally I can vouch for rods made from two strips of whalebone from a pair of old-fashioned corsets (don't ask!)

The video starts a beginner off from scratch, with instructions on how to cut a suitable branch straight from the tree or to make a dowsing rod from a metal coat hanger. What cheaper hobby is there than that? A separate advice sheet includes a revealing question and answer section, e.g. Have learned bodies researched dowsing? Peter goes on to reveal how US Marines have reduced their casualty rates from land mines by means of dowsing, and how during the Second World War RAF personnel found water in the Sahara Desert by using dowsing twigs. He also gives a chart to suit the needs of those using a pendulum for dowsing, another method featured on the video.

Review by Julie Bunting

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