Find that Water!

Dowsing cover

The Beginner’s Handbook of Dowsing

Submitter: Not one but TWO schools in our district weeded this title in December 2014.

Beyond the fact that it is 40 years old, we both wondered: “What the heck? Was there a dowsing club in our small town? Was there a fire sale on dowsing books in the mid seventies, and both the middle and high school librarians decided they just had to round out their fluvial sections with a dowsing book?”

And most entertaining (to me), was that the middle school librarian weeded this title in December and sent me a picture in disbelieve that it was on her shelves. I laughed to myself thinking, “My god, does she never weed? How is this book on the shelves?” And I found the very same book on MY shelves (high school library) only two weeks later. She’s been at that school 3 months. I’ve been at my school 13 years. MY BAD.

ps. Sorry we don’t have any scanned pages to include. We both tossed this book so fast that we have no evidence…

Holly: Mary and I used to work at a public library where a dowsing club met regularly, and this book probably would have done well there, even though it’s 41 years old. It is an odd choice for a middle or high school library, for sure. Every time I weed I find something I shake my head at and wonder how I possibly missed it last time, when it hasn’t weeded in forever. Good catch!

Mary: Fear not! I found a copy in a local library and scanned few interior pages. I still don’t get the whole dowsing thing, but I do like a browse in the 100s for my dose of weirdness.

Dowsing inside cover

Dowsing - the rod

Dowsing - the depth and flow

map dowsing


  1. My county library system has this book, as well as seven other non-fiction titles on the subject. Interestingly, they are all from the 70s except one, published in 2000.
    A dowsing club?

    1. It was probably a popular topic. There was a big witchcraft revival in the 70’s – I have a lot of books from that decade that talk about dowsing. I guess it went along with the back-to-the-land Earth Mother thing they had going.

  2. Today is my birthday, so this book was made the same year I was born. Amazing coincidence! 🙂

  3. “At one time a German sausage joined the list of dowsing materials.” Dowsing for sauerkraut or spicy mustard, perhaps?

  4. Well of course my local public library has a copy. Two in fact. They have every books from this site!

  5. Cool thing is to feel the divining rod disagree with your hands and start pointing downward! It really does!

  6. There’s still people who use dowsing to find water and claim that it works. But I’m sure there’s more up to date books.

  7. While we were waiting for the public service guy to show up and check our yard with his wire detector, my husband and I got 2 wire coat hangers and shaped them into an L shape–about 6″ on the short side and somewhere around 18″ for the long side. Holding them loosely and with the tip slightly down and straight in front of us, we “doused” the yard for water pipes, wires, and even found a couple of rocks (confirmed when we started the Big Dig). When the PS guy got there he pretty much confirmed where we figured the wires were buried.

  8. I don’t see why you have to week this book, unless its information is not correct? Dowsing has been around for a long time, so why wouldn’t this book be useful now?

    My great-grandfather dabbled in dowsing — I remember him demonstrating it to me.

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