The state of dowsing...

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Nigel
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The state of dowsing...

Post by Nigel »

First off, let me say that it's nice to be on a forum which isn't run by me or Maggie. Hats off to Grahame for doing this. I know the work involved.
I am pretty sure that everyone here (especially those who post) are convinced that dowsing is a useful tool in their lives. When I started, there was no internet, few books and odd meetings taking place far away from me. I was on my own.
The first forum I was on some time later was lively and full of discussions about various aspects of dowsing and dowsing-related subjects. It seemed the future of dowsing was bright.
However, now there is a plethora of sites about dowsing, many books written and much easier access all round, it seems that there is less interest.
I say this because here dowsing groups are fast disappearing, even in places like Sedona, a very new-agey place indeed. The fora available are less active now with more lurkers and fewer posters. We had a Facebook group with over 2,000 members, only a very few of which ever posted anything and of those a small proportion showed awareness of the value of the skill while the rest lurked or tried to post adverts for sunglasses and luggage.
I don't know what the state of dowsing groups in the UK is like or whether membership of the BSD is rising or falling (in the US, the ASD is falling apart and is losing members).
What I am interested in is why dowsing has not captured the attention, interest and activity of more people when information is more easily available? Is that easy access the reason? Is it that people have now become lookers-on and lurkers rather than participants? Is there too much information about which is causing confusion?
For myself, I know very well that dowsing plays a vital role in my life, acting as something I reach for to use to help guide decisions and actions when necessary. It enriches my life. And, because of that, I would, of course, be overjoyed to have others discover it for themselves and gain benefit from its use.
And yet.... Dowsing seems to be in decline.
Have any members here noticed anything about the state of dowsing or have any views as to the overall health of it? Better yet, has anyone any ideas how (or, indeed, if) dowsing could be revitalized? (Not that I am expecting actions to follow. I'm more interested in discussion as I suspect that it is a societal problem, and not easily remedied in a moment or two.)
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by mike »

Its the youth of today that will carry the flag forward in the future, so reach out to them in the hope the dowsers of tomorrow will follow or tread new paths and discover yet more wonderful things we may have missed dowsing.Its a learning path for people of any age,nothing written in stone and something to probe and learn as you go, and like everything the interest ebbs and flows with folk the world over.My library has so many more books on dowsing and ufos than in the years when I first joined,Im sure space and its wonders will push forward to interest people in growing numbers,all it takes is an open mind to explore these things.
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by Nigel »

Well we are trying with our website which gets around 10,000 visitors a month. But not much happens (just as this forum is a great resource but there are all sorts of lurkers who do nothing). I suppose I'm more hopeful that things will change even though there's nothing to indicate that it is about to.
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by Grahame »

Nigel wrote: Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:34 pm
I don't know what the state of dowsing groups in the UK is like or whether membership of the BSD is rising or falling (in the US, the ASD is falling apart and is losing members).
When I took over the reins of BSD President in 2008, one of the key issues I tried to address was to increase the Society's online presence as much as possible. At the time, I seemed to be the only person in the Society with enough technical savvy to do this. So I started this forum, created YouTube and Facebook pages for them, and started recording a regular podcast. I I believed then, and still believe now, that this sort of outreach is vital in spreading the word about dowsing and getting more folks to join a dowsing society; and from various folks' feedback, I know that it was successful in this regard, although just how successful is harder to quantify. But - and this is a big but - it takes a LOT of time and effort to keep doing this sort of social outreach stuff, and it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to get paid for doing it, so you are largely dependent on the goodwill of a lot of volunteers.

Membership of the BSD has certainly fallen in recent years - I think it's about half what it was when I stood down in 2014, but this has been due to more mundane issues like cutting back services due to lack of available funds, which leads to an inevitable downward spiral.

I don't think ASD is doing too badly at the moment (?); and certainly their regular phone-in teleconferences are a great way to engage with a widely-spaced membership. They do have the advantage of owning their own offices of course, which is a huge help.
Nigel wrote: Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:34 pmWhat I am interested in is why dowsing has not captured the attention, interest and activity of more people when information is more easily available? Is that easy access the reason? Is it that people have now become lookers-on and lurkers rather than participants? Is there too much information about which is causing confusion?
I think that dowsing still captures the interest of many people, if the number of dowsing-related Facepalm groups is anything to go by. The problem for the big societies has always been how to capitalise on this publicity and justify why people need national societies like ASD, BSD, CSD etc. when there is so much information now freely available online. People are now less inclined to attend conventions and meetings when they can sit at home and watch a recording on YouTube. Why should they pay a subscription to join a society when they can find what they want online? It's hard to convince people about the benefits of joining a national society and why they need to support these entities.

This question has been the crux of many a council discussion during my time at the helm of the BSD, and I'm sure it's the same elsewhere. What does a national society offer a lone dowser that they can't get by searching online or attending a meeting of their local dowsing group? If every member of a local group was also a member of their national society, then of course we wouldn't be in this situation. But it's rare in the UK to have more than a handful or two of members in local groups who are also BSD members. I know that proportion used to be better in the States, but even that has fallen away now.

Of course we need national societies to keep track of legislation that may affect dowsing, to communicate internationally with other dowsing groups and share research and ideas, to deal with press enquiries, to self-regulate their membership ensuring that they are acting legally and ethically, to provide a register of dowsers for the general public, to provide an education programme, and of course to run events and conventions where dowsers from afar can get together and share their experience with others, and a million other things. The challenge is how to implement all this in an atmosphere of fiscal austerity?

Answers on a postcard, as they say...!
Grahame
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by Maggie »

It appears to me that interest in dowsing is about what it was when I became interested in the 1990s. Considering the proliferation of websites, books and events in the past 20 years, that is discouraging. In the FB forum I managed, the same couple of newbie questions kept being asked, and then there was no followup. As if it didn't matter what the answer was, the person wasn't taking it any further anyway. It's as if people don't advance beyond the 'curious' stage. I used to think that was because there were too few resources. I no longer feel that is the case.

Maybe no matter what we do, only a small percent of people will follow through on dowsing. I have thought that the confusion about what dowsing is and how to use it was part of the problem, but maybe it's just that the 80/20 rule applies, or the 90/10 rule, and no matter what you do, very few will invest in mastering dowsing. It's not like you can do it without an investment of time and effort, and in these days of instant gratification, that's a hard sell.

I have to admit that like others, I pick and choose what to invest my time in, and that taking the time to think and read often seems to take quite a bit of effort. We've had to scale back what we offer due to the diminishing participation. Maybe that will change in the future. :D
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by Nigel »

I think that the national societies are being outflanked by the wealth of information available. Whilst true that
we need national societies to keep track of legislation that may affect dowsing, to communicate internationally with other dowsing groups and share research and ideas, to deal with press enquiries, to self-regulate their membership ensuring that they are acting legally and ethically, to provide a register of dowsers for the general public, to provide an education programme, and of course to run events and conventions where dowsers from afar can get together and share their experience with others, and a million other things.
such things probably do not feel as if they have any relevance to someone browsing around and picking up odds and ends from all over. As for the ethics of dowsing, that is another whole area of discussion with regard to newbies particularly.
Perhaps the label 'New Age' is now being seen like the 'hippy' label once was; something outdated/outmoded and not really relevant, just as long they keep themselves to themselves.
Also, the growth of technology and the ever-increasing ability to link up / connect with others is partly responsible. There are greater possibilities of interaction but the depth of engagement seems to lessen the more possibilities there are. In other words, there is more and more about less and less.
But, this too will change into something else, I have no doubt.
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by mike »

Having a forum like this is one way to keep spreading the word about dowsing,Many people discuss the experience of dowsing this or that site and this helps new dowsers to look for the same sort of things if and when they visit the same place.If your not in a local club its hard sometimes to know whats a dowsing reaction and whats not,so having a forum like this does help.And dowsing is not just a Summer thing to get out when its nice and hot, you can dowse from the Google Earth any part of the planet you wish, it takes time but its very possible to do this.So forget the ice and snow and cold winds outside, find an ancient site abroad and explore, the forces remain at these places and many more sites just waiting for someone to visit, fine tune your dowsing and enjoy good people...Post your experience here and Im sure someone will take a look and compare results with you, learn to dowse on line if you will and perfect your skill further, its open to all.
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Re: The state of dowsing...

Post by Nigel »

Agreed, but that applies to on-site dowsers, and not everyone is interested in doing that. For example, there's a whole lot of people interested in health dowsing in various forms, from selecting vitamins to identifying problems in their lives. That's not so easy to accommodate using your example.
Working with tangible dowsing (on-site) is far easier to swap notes on, but the on-tangible and (usually) very personal forms of dowsing are less susceptible to such swapping and comparison, yet that is where many newbies want to get involved in.
We have found that India seems to be a place of growing interest in dowsing, at least from the people who contact us n our website, so perhaps that is the next area where we could see a spurt of interest.
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