A Model Approach to Earth Energies

by Ced Jackson

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving,
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power…(M. Python : 1983)

Mental Maps

In this article I want to explore the internal models that people bring to Earth Energies.

We all have a mental framework, or model, even if we don’t know what it is, or can’t explain it to other people.

Sometimes visual models help. For example :
I am a dowser………

I am interested in earth energies……….

I am a member of the EEG …

…and the EEG is of course where dowsing and Earth Energies overlap!

How did I get here ?

People’s internal models can change over time.

Some people start to dowse by looking for water, or underground pipes, or some thing. When they stand over the target they get a reaction, and it is reasonable for them to think that they are picking up ‘radiation’.

We can call this the Radiation Model, which is fine, until you come on to map dowsing.

This relies more on an Information Model, i.e. all information is out there (somewhere) known to someone, or something. The task here is to tune in.

Many people use both these models. Sometimes one is more useful, sometimes the other. In effect we place ourselves on a continuum somewhere between the two models.

Dowsing for Earth Energies, is a form of Dowsing…

…but there are many people (and disciplines) concerned with earth energies, who are not concerned with dowsing. These include some scientists, pagans, geographers, etc.


We often lump together the
DOWSING of sites, and the INTERVENTIONS we might subsequently make.

For example, if you are undertaking a house survey or clearance, you might first DOWSE for geopathic stress, and then use a completely different INTERVENTION to eliminate or transform that stress.

Dowsing and Not-Dowsing

It could be argued therefore, that, the act of the elimination of Geopathic Stress does not have much to do with dowsing. It is a separate activity (though some dowsers such as Joey Korn also use dowsing to signify that a reduction or elimination of geopathic stress has taken place).

The investigation and the elimination of geopathic stress are often linked in people’s minds under the ‘dowsing’ banner, because the ‘dowsing’ activity comes first.

Enter the
Intervene-ator …

Some people,
having dowsed,

But how do people intervene ?

I am not thinking here of the content of the different procedures ~ earth acupuncture, use of crystals, etc ~ but how (on earth) do people think these things work?

Sticking a copper rod ~ or a curly bit of wire ~ into the ground and expecting it to ‘let the badness out’ does seem slightly strange, perhaps because it mixes up two ways of thinking about things.

The first mode of thought is almost a ‘physics’ model. Objects radiate energy; powerful forces move within the earth’s crust; the earth is affected by the movement of the sun and the stars; the time of day and season affects the strength of lines; eclipses and
equinoxes also exert influence.

The second mode is a biological-metaphysical-energetic model. Good and bad vibes are created and become embedded (remember the pre-abolition BBC drama ‘The Stone Tape‘, available on video from the NFT) : Feng Shui’s predecessor energy.

People die, and some who die stick around. Spirits and non-entities are not confined to pubs.

This can be represented as a vertical as opposed to a horizontal way of thinking, i.e. :

Both models have their place, but with the ‘energetics’ model things can sometimes become tricky. If we are interested in earth energies we naturally get very interested in earth based activity, the movement of the sun and the stars, and the natural world. This can easily shade off into an interest in nature spirits, or the idea of the spirit of place. The belief that people survive death and that some remain around also fits with this approach. This may be a belief, true, and/or a very valuable working hypothesis for a practitioner, but as we move away from technical dowsing skills, and into belief systems, we naturally encounter other beliefs that people hold.

Dowsing and religious beliefs : A Close Encounter

In my experience some dowsers are happier at the ‘physics’ end of the spectrum (rather as if Earth Energies are like light, heat or air and can be measured and related to other physical phenomena), whilst others relate more happily to the notion of ‘spirit’ / ‘spiritual’ / or ‘upstairs’. Let us call this an ‘energetics’ model.

In our talks there are often references, e.g. to chakras or other ideas linked to non-western systems such as Buddhism. We tend to hear less Christian terminology, for example there are few references to the ‘soul’. However, some dowsers use specifically Christian forms of protection, such as ‘Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, Christ above me, Christ below me, Christ all around me’.

Technical dowsing skills ~ including those concerning earth energies ~ are to me the ‘horizontal’ approach to the subject. Issues of nature spirits, entities, etc, relate to a more ‘vertical’ approach.

Such questions can become highlighted when considering topics such as …

Sacred Space

There are many approaches to this subject ranging…

  • From the ‘mathematical’ to the ‘spiritual’.
  • Are we talking about what happens to us as a result of being in a particular space (passive), or about a spiritual quest (active) ?
  • To what extent is sacred space anything at all to do with earth energies ~ as in ‘this point in space is different from that point in space’ ~ as opposed to mental, spiritual, or intellectual activity which makes the space (perhaps any space) sacred?
  • As a result to what extent (if any) has sacred space anything to do with ‘dowsing’ ?
Intervention Revisited

After we have dowsed and found a problem we wish to resolve, or found a benefit we wish to enhance, we intervene.

When intervening we may use physical props such as copper rods (which might relate to a maths/physics model) though the dowser’s mental engagement might be more along the ‘vertical’ axis than the ‘horizontal’. For example :


  • We find detrimental energy. This might be due to, say, a physical issue such as underground water.
  • We intervene using physical equipment
  • The problem is resolved……….


  • We find detrimental (something) due to a trapped spirit
  • We intervene using prayer
  • The problem is resolved

What’s going on? In this situation there are four theoretical possibilities:

Spirits : Make mine a large one!

Amongst dowsing and Feng Shui practitioners I often find a common assumption that besides our normal everyday environment, we effectively inhabit a veritable zoological garden of entities, spirits, dryads, and meniads, not forgetting orcs, elves and genius loci.

The internalisation of this model involves a movement from a ‘physical/physics‘ model to an ‘information’ model, and also something far more significant. We are moving towards a model of the universe which is ‘animated’, in the sense that an awful lot of things within it ~ if not everything ~ is alive. This is a major shift.

What follows is : That if everything is alive, does ‘aliveness’ have any explanatory usefulness. For if everything is alive, or pink, or from Slough, does this knowledge help us in any way (for if everything is pink, there’s not much that can be said about ‘pinkness’).

What would be useful is some kind of terminology which described, accurately, things as they are, but also helped us in our work. One such word is ‘The Sacred‘, or ‘Sacred Space‘, but as mentioned above, this brings with it its own set of issues : Is there space which is not sacred ? What exactly does sacred mean in this context ? Which belief (or religious) system are we tumbling into ? Is the sacredness in Sacred Space a pre-existing function of place, or is a result of human activity and designation ?

In fact I increasingly find problems with the use of the word ‘spirituality’ in discussions of this nature, for sometimes it is used ‘as opposed’ to the mundane (or technical) world; sometimes to refer to a personal numinous experience; and sometimes to hide sloppy thinking. I am indebted to Jim Lyons for squaring this circle by putting forward ‘consciousness’ as a term which we can use both intelligently and usefully.

For example :

  • The Gaia hypothesis puts forward the earth as ~ in a particular way ~ ‘conscious’ .
  • Everything has a presence. Even a cardboard box is detectable, & thus has an ’aura’.
  • We can have degrees of consciousness, and kinds of consciousness : sleep, waking, drunkenness, trance, tiredness, sartori, jackanory, (etc, etc continued page 86).
  • Animals are conscious. Are they conscious that they are conscious ?
  • People are conscious. Sometimes they even act as though other people are.

Poles apart

In this article I have presented a number of ways of thinking about the dowsing world, and also a number of polarities :

  • A Radiation model as opposed to an Information model
  • A ‘Physics’ model as opposed to an ‘Energetics’ model
  • A ‘Dowsing-to-Detect’ model versus an ‘Intervention-To-Change’ model.

Two souls, alas, dwell within my breast…(Goethe)

And yet there is space for a novel approach. Harry, the main figure in Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf, sees himself as polarised . A man, yet also a wolf from the Steppes. This polarity nearly destroys him. One day he is given a book entitled ‘Treatise on the Steppenwolf’, in which he learns that he “…consists of a hundred or a thousand selves, not of two. His life oscillates, as everyone’s does, not merely between two poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousands and thousands…”.

If this is true for a man, how can we confine earth energies to detrimental and beneficial ?

© 2004 Ced Jackson & BSD EEG