Glossary of Dowsing terms A-C



This is one of the three types of Geodetic Lines described by Guy Underwood. He stated that it is positive in polarity and subdivides into four parallel triads arranged as two pairs. They are said to reticulate, i.e. the outside lines, at intervals, cross and re-cross the centre line. Where an aquastat runs on the same course as a water line, Underwood calls them ‘Holy Lines’.


A rock layer that contains water which may be released in appreciable amounts. The rock contains water-filled spaces, and when the spaces are connected by fissures the water is able to flow through the rock in underground streams.

Area of Influence

The extent of the zone around an object that is influenced by the energy field of that object. This distance can be much greater than the extremities of the energy field related to the object.

Artesian Well

A well sunk into a confined aquifer that is under positive pressure from overlying geology, such that water in the well will naturally rise to the height of hydrostatic equilibrium. If this is above ground level, the well will flow without the need for pumping.

Named after the former province of Artois in France, where many artesian wells were drilled by Carthusian monks from around 1126.


Another name for energy field but generally looked upon as the energy field around a living body. It is multi-layered and it reflects the well-being of the person on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels.

Where illness is present in the body a hole or weakness in the aura can be dowsed adjacent to the position in the body where an illness exists.
It is considered that weaknesses in the aura will many times occur prior to clinical evidence of an illness; therefore, dowsing of the aura can be used to give early diagnosis of a forthcoming health problem.

According to Richard Gerber, M.D. in his book Vibrational Medicine, he claims that the aura contains four layers beyond the physical body. The first layer is the Etheric, then the Astral or Emotional, then the Mental body and beyond that the Causal.

Sig Lonegren in Spiritual Dowsing refers to seven layers of the human aura. They are the Physical, the Astral or Emotional, the Mental, the Spiritual with three outer layers, the Causal, Monadic and Divine. The Divine covers the entire Cosmos and links us with the Creator.


Properly called the Cameron Aurameter, this combination dowsing tool was developed by Verne Cameron in California in the middle of the last century. It is essentially a spring loaded L-rod, but it has many different uses and can act as a number of different dowsing tools. Sig Lonegren has written a short tutorial on its use.
As its name suggests, it was initially designed to look at human auras. This tool is not as accurate as some at finding a specific point, but is excellent at defining outer perimeters of energy fields, following underground veins of Primary Water or curving and convoluted energetic phenomena.

Beneficial Energy

A type of energy that is dowsed as being of benefit. This requires further definition to determine to what it may be beneficial as certain energies may be beneficial to one species and harmful to others. Energies that are dowsed as beneficial to humans can also be subdivided to determine the part or spectrum of our being that is most affected, i.e. the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Energies dowsed as beneficial or detrimental can usually be verified as such by using kinesiology. Beneficial energy is also dowsed as yang energy.

Benker Grid

The Benker grid is a 10 x 10m (about 30 x 30 ft) earth grid named after Anton Benker, a German dowser from Bavaria. The distance between grid lines is around 10m, the lines themselves having a thickness of around 20-30cm. It is exactly congruent with the Hartmann Grid and may be a higher resonance of same. It is sometimes called the Benker Cubical Grid because it has three-dimensional symmetry. Dimensions and intensities can vary dependent on geographic latitude and the specific location.

See also Earth Grids.

Bishop’s Rule

Bishops Rule

A method of determining the depth of an underground water stream by dowsing, where the distance between the centre line of the stream and a sideband equates to the depth of the underground water source.

Named after the Bishop of Grenoble, who observed its use by the celebrated French dowser Barthelemey Bléton circa 1770. Bléton is best known for his dowsing of the gardens of Versailles at the behest of Marie Antionette.

See also: Creyke’s Method

Black Line

An energy line identified by the use of the colour black as a witness (such as a Mager (or Gardner) Rosette), and associated with the transfer to a site of influences (energies) averse to mental, physical or spiritual well-being in humans. It is straight and can be several feet in width. It can also be dowsed as yin energy.

Black Stream

A term used by water diviners to denote an underground stream that is not considered to be potable and reacts to black on the Mager (or Gardner) Rosette. There are also black streams of energy. It is claimed that such streams give off energies that are bad for the health of anyone living directly in their course. They are generally not straight over a distance but meander in the same way as a river or underground water. It is also claimed that some black energy streams have no association with underground water. Further clarification is required on this point.

Blind Spring

A vertical shaft of ascending water that does not rise to the surface of the earth but disperses through several horizontal fissures which can be at various depths. Dowsers identify blind springs as several underground streams radiating from a central point. Some of these may subdivide into smaller streams.
Blind springs are found under many ancient sites and churches but are also to be found elsewhere throughout the countryside. There is an associated energy field that is unique to a blind spring as well as
the water component. The Blind Spring will have a feeder stream at a greater depth. It is thought that the water is forced to rise up the vertical fissure due to a narrowing of the feeder stream.
Often referred to as a Water Dome in North America.

Body Dowsing

See: Deviceless Dowsing

Bovis Biometer (Bovis Units)

An instrument invented by M. Bovis in France to give measurements on a scale of 1 to 100 in regard to dowsing responses. He first used it to determine the quality of cheese and casks of wine. Now it is mainly used in radiesthesia and other methods of healing. The biometer consists of a wood baseboard with a 100cm rule which can be slid into the base. At the 0 end a small cup is fitted to hold a sample witness, if required. The pendulum is held towards the right end of the base and the rule is slid out or in until a positive response is observed by the dowser. The reading on the rule is taken as the value or rate. There are many variations of the biometer. Blanche Merz pioneered use of a chart incorporating a larger scale of Bovis Units extending into the tens of thousands. However, as with all methods of measurement, readings can be subjective and vary between dowsers.

(An article on Biometer use can be found here.)

Cancer Vertical

A term used by French researcher Pierre Cody in the 1930s to describe a vertically rising radiation which he thought could cause cancer. The radiation can be measured by an electroscope and other more modern instruments as well as by dowsing. More information as to the precise form that this energy takes would be an advantage to dowsers.

Circadian Rhythm

An observable rhythm or energy movement that can be measured over a period of twenty-four hours or one day-length. However, the term is also loosely used to describe any cyclical movement of energy that corresponds with the phases of the sun, moon or planets and may be more than one day-length.

Colour Dowsing

See Mager Rosette and Gardner Rosette.

Concentric Rings or Haloes

These are circular rings of energy which some dowsers find around standing stones, tumuli, etc. There is debate amongst dowsers whether they are real phenomena or thought forms.

Creyke’s Method

An alternative method to the Bishop’s Rule for depthing a water source, developed by Major Ralph Creyke, an early member of the BSD. Here, a stake is driven into the centre of the water vein, which has the effect of making the surface line disappear beyond that point. Instead, a circle manifests whose radius is equal to the depth of the water stream. A variation of this technique allows for two circles, where the distance between the two equates to the distance between the top and bottom of the water layer.

Critical Relationship

Where two or more objects are situated at specific distances apart so that their energy fields interact with each other and they behave as a single unit.

Curry Grid

The Curry grid is an earth grid named after the German doctor Dr Manfred Curry who was the founder of the Bioclimatic Institute in Bavaria. It is thought to be more biologically damaging than the Hartmann, especially the double lines that occur at approximately every 50 metres. The distance of the grid line spacing’s vary according to location and can vary from 2.5 x 3.5 m. In England they are approximately at 2.36 x 2.7 m.

See also: Earth Grids