Dowsing the Devas

by Alanna Moore

Deva is an ancient Persian term meaning ‘shining one’ and it has come to be used as a catch-all term for the spirits of place, the intelligence aspect of nature. Revered throughout the ages around the world these ‘elemental beings’ are often described by clairvoyants as spheres of shining light of varying hues. A couple of years ago I discovered that I could dowse for the presence of the devas.

Although my deva dowsing has been a fairly unusual activity, I am one “who walks on the ones that go before me”. TC Lethbridge has provided inspiration to me and I use his rates method for my pendulum work, as a tuning-in ritual to find the different energetic layers in the landscape.

My partner, Billy Arnold, is able to tune his inner eye to clairvoyantly see the devas, which is a source of much fascination to him. Billy spent time with Aboriginal people in central Australia in order to help with his understandings of the Great Spirit beings he is able to perceive in the land. So the devas became a perceivable reality to me through him.

In developing my understandings I read many books on dowsing with fervour in the early 1980’s, then chose to put them away and wait for my own experiences and insights to happen in their own way and time.

Lethbridge’s Legacy

I was pleased to recently re-read some Lethbridge and find that he, like myself, spoke of dowsing the fields of energy that correspond with the legendary devas, as well as ghosts and ghoulish apparitions.

“It can be shown” Lethbridge wrote “both by dowsing and with scientific instruments, that fields of static electricity exist in just the same kinds of places as those in which we have experienced our ghosts and ghouls. They have been studied by scientists. They consist of what is known as ionised particles…and these static fields are to be found in connection with such things as waterfalls, springs and streams, or woods and trees, deserts and moorlands and mountains. This is extremely important to anyone who is interested in mythology. For these are just the places which were peopled with nymphs and spirits by peoples of the ancient world and by simple modern ones.”

To qualify the bland term ‘field of force’, Lethbridge decided to call the water spirit energies he found -‘naiad-fields’, ‘dryad-fields’ he found around trees, ‘nereid-fields’ were in the ocean, ‘oread-fields’ in stones, mountains and deserts, and ‘psyche-field’ was his term for dowsable human fields.
These various fields had the capacity, he found, to draw images and thoughtforms from out of our minds and to project them so they might be perceived of as real, but static, images of ghostly character.

Water is particularly associated with this, and one only has to think of the static apparitions of the Virgin/Mother Mary, who is often associated with holy wells and springs. (The energy fields of some water samples from holy wells that have been checked by myself and students all dowsed to fill up entire rooms.)

In a similar vein one might compare the Polynesian concept of ‘mana’, which is the spiritual power base of people that can also be conveyed by water and rocks, the typical elements found at sacred sites the world over.
Emotions flow easily between our psyche-fields and the devic fields, and strong emotional experiences of people can be fixed into the field memory of a place, to be triggered and re-lived by people acting upon its power later, Lethbridge found.

I don’t know of anyone else who has investigated these phenomena in the manner of Lethbridge and myself. I chose to call what I am finding the ‘devic fields’ and I believe these to be probably the same phenomena as Lethbridge’s various psyche-fields and Rupert Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields.

Communicating with the devas

It seems that the nature spirits/devic fields are composed of much the same type of energetic fabric that we are. In Theosophical terminology, they are of an energetic frequency on the mental and astral planes, and this can explain why thoughts and feelings can be transferred between them and us, as Lethbridge noted. In other words they are conscious fields of energy, or energy fields which carry consciousness and feeling.

Our ability to perceive of and communicate with the devas is merely determined by whether we have a serious intention to do so. For instance a student called Esther told me that although she was occasionally clairvoyant, she had never bothered to look out for nature spirits. When she got home after a deva dowsing workshop with me, she asked to be able to see the deva of Mount Wellington, which overlooks the city of Hobart, Tasmania. At this thought she was instantly able to see it. She then asked to see overlighting garden deva – and she could…!

Our communications with the devic kingdom are best kept simple and more on a feeling level. If we are to warn a tree about some imminent pruning work, for instance, we might put ourselves into a meditative state then bring up an image of the intended actions into our mind’s eye. After that we could send a wave of sympathy and say that we’re very sorry that it has to be done. And send it some love before and after the act. I’m sure that the tree will be forgiving…

With practice, attunement to the devic fields/presences becomes easier and easier. Nowadays they seem to jump out of the landscape at me whenever I do energetic landscape assessments. But it may take a big paradigm shift for clients to accept them as real.

What do they look like?

As for the visual perceptions that people have of the devas – there certainly is a great variety of images described, which may cause confusion. Lethbridge said that these energies could extract and use images and thoughtforms from our minds in order to clothe themselves in a recognisable form (as Carl Jung suggested of UFO behaviour, and in common with modern crop circle behaviour). Different people, different imagery.

In Europe devas might look like little people in medieval outfits. In Australasia and Asia they may take the traditional forms of rainbow serpents, wanjinas or lizards, while the Chinese might see dragons. The simple spherical balls of light of varying colours that many people I’ve spoken to see seem to be their typically undifferentiated, or ‘naked’ form. My Billy might describe them as a sphere with a big eye, or organ of perception, that looks at him looking at it (usually with some surprise on it’s part!).

Deva surveys

I think the main point of all this is that we need to re-recognise the existence of these beings and their need for enough undisturbed territory to inhabit, if we are to live harmoniously. If we tame every bit of wilderness, their extinction would be our, and the Earth’s, own impoverishment. We can all do our bit in our own backyards, by designating a ‘temenos’ (a sacred, wild precinct in Greek tradition), where we do not meddle with nature.

Nowadays when I do a house and property dowse and tune in my pendulum to look for any significant energies, important landscape devas might come up. I find them as an energy field which can move around its territory, change size at will and tends to be focussed on particular high energy spots, where it ‘feeds’ from the energy. (These are the best places for a temenos area.)

Fairies dance because this is the way they work with energy. Marko Pogacnik speaks of nature temples too, where there are concentrations of devas, their influence extending out to the wider region.

When deva dowsing I use a paramagnetic stone pendulum (either basalt or pink granite) oscillating in ‘neutral gear’ in the one hand and ‘scan’ with my right hand pointing across the land that I survey. My energy sweeps out before me, across the area where my mind has limited its scope of query. Thus I can scan over vast areas quickly, noting any sensations in my scanning hand or where the pendulum rotates, which may denote the target subject. It is as if my own psyche-field has extended out via my fingers to ‘touch’ the fields I seek. Lethbridge just used his index finger, but I think it’s a good idea to sensitise the whole hand with this practice.

When I find one I can then ask by dowsing if it is predominantly of either the earth, fire, water or air element, and whether it has a predominantly yin or yang energy. In other words, certain qualities are found in the different ‘species’ of nature spirits and they can be personified as either male or female. And, like us, they are often found in pairs. (Just as Hamish Miller found that the ‘Michael (dragon) line’ was matched by the ‘Mary line’ in England. Australian Aboriginals have long spoken of the legendary activities of paired rainbow serpents.)

Return of the fairies?

In Irish tradition ancient human habitation sites are the homes of the fairy folk. Fortunately this ‘superstition’ of the Irish has meant that a great many sites have been preserved fairly intact over thousands of years.

(Let’s hope that there will be an end to the ‘improving’ of ancient mounds that have been dug up by archeologists, with inner reinforcements of concrete and metal, as I saw in Carrowmore’s megalithic stone circle centre in Ireland in August 2003. As Lethbridge would put it, these modern additions would act as energy interruptors and help to destroy the energetic fabric of the place/structure.)

In Yorkshire my friend John Billingsley, long-time editor of Northern Earth (the world’s longest running geomancy magazine) tells me that, according to his enquiries, the fairies, like the otters, are returning to the old ex-industrial areas. Old timers in the area have told him that the much disputed Cottingsley fairy photos may have been faked, but yes! – the site was a fairy haunt nevertheless.

And it seems to me that the fairies want to be found again – that the time is ripe, the knowledge is unfolding rapidly and it is all the better for planetary survival and harmony. There is enough awareness out in the world about their significance for this matter to be talked up and for devic sites to enjoy better protection, hopefully, as a consequence.

In Australia, where we still have a few indigenous custodians of the land who recognise the existence of its spirit beings, I think deva dowsing provides a much-needed bridge of understanding between our ancient and modern cultures, and helps, perhaps, to bolster the survival of the Dreamtime/other reality continuum.

© Alanna Moore, December 2003

The Essential Lethbridge‘, edited by Tom Graves and Janet Hoult, 1980, Routledge & Kegan Paul, UK.

This article is an extract from Alanna’s new book ‘Divining Earth Spirit‘, an updated, revised edition of the 1980s original, which has been out of print for some time.