Glossary of Dowsing Terms N-R


A term used to indicate energy of a specific type, i.e. opposite to positive. This use of the word negative does not necessarily indicate any similarity in earth energies to the behaviour of electricity or magnetism. Whilst that is so it may be that some energies that are dowsed have electrical and/or magnetic components. Lunar energy is thought to be negative as is yin energy. Some negative energy is detrimental to various forms of life.


a) A node is found at the intersection of two or more energy lines, particularly serpent lines/ dragon currents, giving a highly charged point of energy, often associated with a power centre. Usually the lines will narrow to a point at the node.

b) Seven nodes are to be found on most ancient standing stones. Five are above ground level and two are on the section of the stone below ground level. They are likened to the seven major chakras of the human body. Nodes can be found at many places other than standing stones.

Noxious Energy

A type of energy that may be harmful to humans or some other species of life or vegetation. This is generally found in association with underground water and at the crossing points of some types of energy line. It is considered that noxious energy will cause geopathic stress in humans and most animals and affect the growth of trees etc. Other forms of life, ants, cats etc. appear to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of noxious energy.


Vertical sinuous waves that are emitted from standing stones, energy streams from quarries and radial lines from radar stations, etc. At source they may be unhealthy or healthy, as far as humans are concerned. They have been likened to invisible magnetic curtains, and the waves can be very close together, sometimes too close to be measured. All of the waves or overgrounds can easily be identified as they run in regimented, parallel streams, unlike subterranean fissures, for instance, which wander around in a haphazard fashion (first observed by D Cowan).

Parallels (or Sidebands)

A term used by Guy Underwood to describe parallel lines that run on either side of the centre of a geodetic line. He also called these secondary lines.


A unit of charge of a stone or other object as defined by Havelock J Fidler. It is the ratio between the standard swing for a particular rate and the observed swing. The method of computing this ratio is complex and is therefore dubious as to its usefulness.


A picture, diagram or shape found in the energy field by dowsing. Pictograms  are formed by a single convoluted line of subtle energy (first investigated by H Miller), but seem to also have an  informational aspect relating to the consciousness of the dowser (reported by N Twinn). They are more irregular than manifestations, and can be found in a wider variety of locations. Some more complicated forms that can be observed are similar to those found in rock art and landscape figures throughout the world and these have also been termed ‘archetypal images’ by W. A. Gawn.

See also: Manifestation


The appearance of a positive electric charge on one side of certain non-conductive crystals and negative charge on the opposite side when the crystals are subjected to mechanical pressure (Example: In a dark room, quartz crystals will be seen to glow when rubbed together). The interaction of underground water flows with the local geology is thought to generate a piezoelectric effect that may produce geopathic stress.

Planetary Grid

A regular pattern of crossing energy lines detectable on the Earth’s surface, similar to earth grids, but relating to other planets. Planetary Grid lines are much farther apart than those of earth grids. Grids of all the planets as far as Saturn have been detected (first observed by W A Gawn)


Polarisation is the preferred direction of light, radio and earth energy waves. All have oscillating and overlapping electric and magnetic fields which travel in planes perpendicular to each other. There can be horizontal, vertical, circular and elliptical polarisation.


Polarity is used to indicate opposites such as positive and negative, male and female. The relationship between polarity and the dowsing response is not universal, but can be identified by a different action such as a rod turning up or down or a pendulum rotating clockwise or anticlockwise.


A term used to indicate energy of a specific type, i.e. opposite to negative. This use of the word positive does not necessarily indicate any similarity in earth energies to the behaviour of electricity or magnetism. Whilst that is so it may be that some energies that are dowsed have electrical and/or magnetic components. Solar energy is thought to be positive as is yang energy. Some positive energy can be beneficial to various forms of life.


Used to describe water of good drinking quality. This can be assessed by dowsing on a scale of 1-100. Some water dowsers use a Mager Rosette to assess quality.

Power Centre

A place where there is an intensity of beneficial energy and a meeting point of yang and yin earth energies. Power centres are associated with blind springs that have at least one energy ley crossing them and are found at most ancient sacred sites, frequently accompanied by radials and/or a geospiral. However, they can also be found elsewhere. Power centres are generally considered to be places suitable for spiritual enlightenment and healing. Dowsers using a sleeved L-rod have noted that when directly over a power centre the rod will rotate through 360 degrees.


It is the life force, ch’i or spirit that permeates all matter. The healing energy released through yoga and other means is known as prana. This term is sometimes used by geomancers and feng-shui practitioners.


The method of controlling Prana in the body is called Pranayama. It is a system of yogic breathing techniques and must be supervised by a teacher. When properly trained the Prana can be directed to specific internal organs.

Primary Water

Primary (or Juvenile) water is formed inside the earth, as opposed to surface water that is formed in the atmosphere as rain, snow, etc. The primary water theory says that steam formed under great pressure, deep in the earth, is forced upwards, condensing as it gets closer to the surface. This occurs in deep faults and fractures; where these are, vertical Blind Springs or Domes are formed. At places where primary water is found the energy will be predominately yin or negative in nature.

Psionics or Psionic Medicine

A term used to describe a method of diagnosis and treatment, coined by Dr. George Laurence. In its practice, diagnosis is performed by swinging a pendulum over printed charts. The appropriate treatment is discovered by means of witnesses (a hair or sample of some kind from the patient) and is administered by using homeopathic remedies to cleanse the body of toxic imbalances and also miasma (putrid matter). It is similar in many ways to the practice of Radionics or Radiesthesia.


A series of energy lines radiating out from a source point. These lines terminate some distance from the source point, the larger the source the greater length of the lines. They usually terminate in a spiral and are not of equal length or equal distance apart. They can be of different polarities, i.e. negative, positive or neutral.


Derived from the French word ‘radiesthésie’ coined by the Abbé Bouly. The term is used interchangeably with dowsing. It derives from roots meaning ‘radiation’ and ‘perception’. Radiästhesie is the corresponding German word. In English radiesthesia is most commonly used for medical applications.


(a) Originally a method of divining introduced by Albert Abrams for the treatment of disease and developed further by Ruth Drown and George de la Warr. It employs a system of numerical codes or rates which in diagnosis are read from, and for treatment are sent using, a series of engraved dials mounted on a ‘Black Box’. The original box contained incomplete electrical circuits connected to the metal backing of a rubber ‘stick pad’ whose suddenly increased friction to a stroking finger was used to detect the dowsing response.
(b) Now extended to cover the medical uses of a dowsing pendulum in association with interpretative charts to indicate the diagnosis and treatment of a patient’s condition, as in medical radiesthesia.


A number that is characteristic of some constituent of the sought object, and which enables a dowser to distinguish it from intervening and surrounding objects containing different materials.
By concentrating on the corresponding rate a dowser looking for water avoids being confused by metal objects, and one seeking a lost gold ring is not distracted by an iron pipe. By some the rate is associated with the rate or periodicity of the linking vibration. A dowser’s ability to distinguish his target’s rate among others present has been explained by analogy with the physical phenomenon of resonance, which is used in tuning a radio receiver. It can be looked upon as the energy signature. There are no generally agreed rates for different substances; each dowser has to discover or can chose his or her own table of rates.

See also: Long Pendulum, Bovis Biometer


An imprint of energy that is said to remain long after an object has been removed. Also refers to obfuscating energy patterns left behind by previous dowsers, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Reversal Point

A location on the Earth’s surface where an object is placed on it will cause a reversal of the earthing of detrimental energy and allow it to invade our living environment. This can occur naturally due to the topography of the Earth or through casual or intentional actions by humans.