April 8th: Rare Solar Eclipse Spellcasting. Reserve Your Spot

See April's Specials in Our Shop

Free Spellcasting Consultations: Contact Us

By Witchipedia, Questions About Divination

What is Dowsing and it The Origins

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Dowsing is a type of divination specifically for the location of objects, most notably water or treasure of some sort, but any item can be the subject of dowsing.

Dowsing may be done with a “dowsing rod” or “divining rod” (Latin Virgula Divina, German Wünschelrute). The rod is usually a Y-shaped forked branch, the forks making a sort of handle and the branch they join to serving to point the way toward the hidden object. When the rod is pointing in the right direction or moves over the area where the desired object is, it will twitch.

Different types of trees may provide a suitable branch for dowsing. hazel, witch hazel, willow, and peach are popular. Some modern dowsers use metal rods or bent coat hangers.

Other objects may be used as well. Pendulums are occasionally used for dowsing. A stalk of goldenrod may be used to find objects by observing the way the flower head nods.

Origins of dowsing

While it’s not clear when the practice originated, it seems to have first appeared in Germany in the early 1500s and was most employed to help miners decide where to dig. It is discussed in the 1556 De Re Metallica, written by Georgius Agricola, “the father of mineralogy” and a woodcut image of a man with a dowsing rod can be found in Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia printed in 1550.

In 1518, Martin Luther condemned dowsing as a sin. Other clerics continued to condemn the practice for the next century or so, but France saw fit to use dowsing to track down heretics in the 17th century.

Other words and phrases that refer to this process include: doodlebugging, divining and water witching, willow witching

More Information Online

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

Leave a Comment

What Is Missing In Your Life Today That You Deeply Desire?

Is it finding new love or making the existing one healthier than ever? Is it maybe some positivity that would make your life flourish as you've never thought it could? Or is it something unique that your life is missing?

Spellcasting is an art that must NOT be taken carelessly. If you are trying to solve a problem you're facing, you should consider hiring a professional witch that cast spells safely for everyone involved. This way, you know it's being done by someone experienced and knowledgeable, and I'm also always here to answer questions about your casting and provide follow-up at no additional charge.

I've been casting spells for more than a decade and have worked privately with clients from all over the world.

You can expect private sessions, customized spells that I'll create just for you, and free consultations before and after spell casting. You can also read hundreds of different testimonials that you can find at each spell.

Below you'll find spells you can order and what it is this month's special spell casting!