Glossary of Dowsing Terms D-F


A means of determining the depth of underground water through dowsing, usually either by counting using a pendulum, or by measuring the distance of sidebands. See Bishop’s Rule and Creyke’s Method for two examples of the latter technique.

See also Information Dowsing.

Detrimental Energy

A type of energy that is dowsed as harmful. This requires further definition to determine to what it may be harmful as certain energies may be harmful to one species of life and beneficial to others. Energies that are dowsed as detrimental 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 detrimental can usually be verified as such by using kinesiology.

Deviceless Dowsing

Also called Body Dowsing. The ability to dowse without the use of tools by utilising various body reactions. Common methods include rubbing thumb and forefinger together where the ‘stick’ is the ‘yes’ reaction; making ‘chain loops’ using thumbs and forefingers of both hands pulling against each other, using the lower arms as L-rods, blinking, leaning backwards or forwards, etc.


A level of existence which can be experienced through the physical, mental, emotional and the spiritual. An energy can manifest in more than one dimension at a time. The energy in each dimension can have a unique set of characteristics such as wavelength, polarity, strength, form, etc.


A term generally used to refer to the spirits of deceased humans who, for whatever reason, remain earthbound and may require spirit release.

Distant Dowsing/ Remote Dowsing

Remotely dowsing the site or person under investigation; this can be done with the use of a map, photograph or as a purely mental process through visualisation.


(a) It is sometimes taken as equivalent to dowsing but the two terms are not completely synonymous. There are many systems of divination that have no connection to dowsing.
(b) The art and practice of discovering unknown things, usually by means of a pendulum, rods etc. or acquiring information by means which do not involve the use of the five senses, is also called divination.

Dome, Water Dome

A term commonly used in North America to describe a Blind Spring, referring to the spherical energy generated by such.

See also : Energy Dome

Downshoot (Energy)

This is where energy descends vertically into the Earth. It is usually in the form of a spiral or vortex but can also manifest as a pillar and occurs at some crossing points of underground water veins and grid crossing points. The spiral can rotate in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction.

Downshaft or Downer (Water)

This is where water from a horizontal subterranean water course descends vertically down a fissure before flowing onwards, horizontally, usually as a single vein. This is the opposite to a Blind Spring where the water rises. There is a unique energy field associated with a down shaft of water which can be identified through dowsing.


The art of discovering the presence of energies, substances, objects or missing persons or things not apparent to the senses, usually by using rods, pendulums, etc. Dowsing can also be carried out without the use of tools. This is called deviceless dowsing.
Dowsing is generally divided into three categories: physical or site dowsing, map or distance dowsing and information dowsing. The word ‘dowsing’ derives from medieval German (da sein) which means ‘it is there’; its first recorded use was by John Lock in 1692. It is sometimes taken as equivalent to divining, but the two terms are not completely synonymous.
In the USA dowsing for water is commonly known as ‘water witching’ but most dowsers are now trying to get away from using this term.

Dragon Line/ Current

Alternative term describing one of a polarised pair of highly energetic intertwined earth energy currents, usually accompanying a long-distance ley such as the Michael Line.

See: Serpent Line.

Earth Energies

Different from the term ‘Earth Energy’ in that it generically refers to all energies that can be dowsed on the surface of the earth. The source of these energies may be outside the earth or in specific parts of the earth; thus the term apples to solar, lunar, planetary and other cosmic influences affecting the earth as well as those arising from terrestrial features. Like the term ‘Ley Line’, it is a poorly-chosen definition that has now passed into common usage so it seems that we are stuck with it.

Earth Energy

A naturally-occurring field of subtle energy relating to or emanating from the Earth as a whole.

Earth Grids

A regular pattern of crossing energy lines which surround the earth. Some of these energies alone or in combination with other energies, it is thought, may cause illness. Several different grids have been dowsed, each with their own characteristics. The best known are the Hartmann, Benker (N/S, E/W) and Curry (diagonal) grids. R Schneider discovered two others called the 3rd and 4th (diagonal) grids. The distance between lines in a specific grid form appears to vary according to latitude and may form a rectangle rather than a square. Each grid form has a different orientation.
The term may also be applied to global geometric grids such as the UVG Earthstar grid researched by Bethe Hagens and William Becker.

Earth Spirit/ Spirit of Place/ Genius Loci

A Manifestation found in a particular place, often a natural setting, such as a grove of trees or a stone circle. It is considered to be the guardian or controlling spirit of that location and it is recommended that proper respect be given to it when visiting the area and permission gained before entering the site.

Energy (or Prana) Characteristics

A means of differentiating between dowsable energies in an attempt to identify them more accurately. The following characteristics listed are some of the divisions that can be made:
Wavelength, frequency, colour, strength (a scale of 1-10 or other appropriate scales may be used ), Dimension, time frame, origin, source, polarity, type, negative, positive, yin, yang, beneficial, detrimental, etc. Whenever the word ‘energy’ is used in connection with dowsing it generally refers to ‘subtle energy’ rather than a physical energy or force in the scientific sense of the word.

Energy Dome

A discernible area of energy in the shape of a sphere, half of which is above the surface of the ground and is to be found above some conjunctions of underground water such as a Blind Spring. Quite often a circle of energy as dowsed on the surface of the ground, when dowsed on its vertical plane, will be found to form a dome.

Energy Field

An area of energy around an object which is specific to that object and being transmitted by it. This energy can be detected by dowsing or at certain frequencies by instruments. Another term for energy field is ‘aura‘ although this is generally associated with the human energy field.

Energy Grids

A series of crossing parallel lines that can be found as a component of the energy field of all objects. The ends of these lines are joined together so that energy can flow from one section of the grid to the other. Each grid type has different spacing and number of lines and the orientation of the lines are different. Each line is part positive and part negative in nature. The diagram shows one typical grid type in two-dimensional form. However, energy grids display themselves three-dimensionally and are therefore cubic in form (First observed by W. A. Gawn).

See also: Earth Grids

Energy Ley

Lines of dowsable energy which generally run straight, are 2-3m (6-9ft) wide at their central core (but can be much wider), and often have further bands or edges to either side. Influenced both in width and strength by lunar and solar cycles. They are often found at what are called sacred sites, but may also be encountered independently. They usually start or terminate at a Power Centre.

Whilst energy leys are considered to be natural energy phenomena it is also thought that they can be created by the formation of structures and in some cases have been observed to appear after a structure is built and are drawn to the site as the result of human activity of a spiritual nature.

Researcher R Duff theorises that some energy leys are formed by ultra-low frequency sonic resonances created by the rotation of the Earth’s iron core, and has classified several distinct types of lines. However, as not every dowser finds the same results this viewpoint is not universally accepted.

See also: Ley, Ley Line

Energy Line

The direction energy takes when moving. It may be straight or curved, in several dimensions and be composed of one or more different types of energies, i.e. negative, positive or neutral. Energy lines can be found at standing stones and ancient sites but are a general feature in all energy fields.

Energy Source

The object creating the energy field within which the particular energy is found. This could be a tree, a mountain, a river, a stone or any other feature on the earth, or the earth as a whole. If the energy is of cosmic origin, then the source would be external to the earth. There is a line of opinion that it is the energy field that manifests the physical object and not the other way around (Walter Russell).

Energy Spring or Shaft

A place where a shaft of energy is dowsed as rising vertically from the surface of the earth. This may have no association with underground water and is not to be confused with a Blind Spring.
Generally, this energy rises in the form of a vortex where the two-dimensional plan view is in the form of a spiral; but it sometimes manifests as a helical cylinder of constant diameter, where the plan view appears as a circle.


The existence of an energy form generally believed to be the residual energy of a trapped spirit awaiting release to the spiritual realm. They can be attracted to certain humans and cause distress and ill health.

See also: Discarnate


Literally means ‘wind and water’ and is a form of geomancy developed by the Chinese that balances earth energies with human energies. It is said to place people between heaven and earth. It is used to determine the siting of dwellings and graves and regulates the flow of chi.

Flow Direction

The direction of movement of energy along a dowsable energy line.

Force of Attraction

An attractive force similar to, but different from, gravity that is within all matter and radiates from a hub in the form of lines. (First observed by W. A. Gawn)


A term of classification favoured by some dowsers, often attributed to sound frequencies or a reading on the Bovis scale.