Dowsing Rods are normally used for divination to attempt to locate buried metal, gemstones, treasure, grave sites and groundwater. To use the rods, hold them straight out In front of you and concentrate on what you are attempting to locate. The theory is the dowsing rods will point to the location of what you seek. There is nothing special about the rods, it is thought your higher consciousness will reach out into the world and help you locate what you seek. Paranormal investigators also use them for spirit communication, usually to answer YES and No questions. You need to be in a haunted location for this to work.

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Your Gateway To Divination

Dowsing rods... once useful tools to locate groundwater, now powerful divination equipment to help you find hidden mysteries and answers from the afterlife.

A dowsing rod is nothing special. They can be glass or plastic rods, held in your hands. The trick to using these dowsers is to channel your higher consciousness through them. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Read on to find out everything about Y-rods and how to use them in your paranormal investigations, along with some other equipment.

What Are Dowsing Rods?

Dowsing is the activity of locating objects (whether it be buried metals or underground water) using a dowsing instrument.

This instrument can be as simple as a forked stick or rod, or two L-shaped ones. A dowsing rod is also called a witching rod, divining rod or water rod.

Paranormal investigators also use dowsing rods to communicate with spirits, getting yes/no answers in response to questions asked.

The sticks respond to energy and vibrational frequencies, moving in certain directions to either point to a buried treasure, or answer a question asked by a ghost hunter.

The history behind Y-rods

People have been sensing Earth vibrations through dowsing for many years.

Archaeologists discovered paintings in the Tassili Caves in the mountains of North Africa that show a dowser with a forked rod in his hand. It is suspected that this painting dates back more than 8,000 years!

When dowsing became part of divination in the early 1500s, the Catholic Church was quick to ban the practice.

However, the practice endured, although with a lot of scrutiny. In the mid-1600s, divination rods were considered to be satanic, as if the devil was moving them.

But, dowsing was not always banned. In the 17th century in France, dowsing rods were used to track heretics and criminals (although it turns out it was abused to pin crimes on innocent people).

Today, witching sticks are used to locate buried metals, treasures, gemstones, grave sites, and water - similarly to how it was used in centuries past.

And of course, it has also been embraced by those seeking out paranormal entities.

How dowsing works

There's a lot of mystery still surrounding this practice.

There are three opinions on how it works:

  1. Paranormal believers: This group is of the opinion that we simply cannot understand how dowsing works, as it is connected to a sixth sense that dowsers possess. These individuals have The Gift and can detect treasures or communicate with spirits simply through their higher abilities.

  2. Scientists: Scientists explain that a dowser can do what he does because his body reacts to changes in the Earth's magnetic field, such as when there's groundwater. The dowser's body is a conductor, cutting through a magnetic field. This then causes the dowser's hand to make involuntary movements, moving the sticks.

  3. Non-believers: This camp doesn't believe there is any science or mystique related to dowsing, especially when it comes to water. Most areas have groundwater, and therefore when you drill down, you're likely to find it. As for paranormal communications? They believe it is all a hoax.

Types of dowsing rods

There are three main types of sticks usually used for dowsing or divining.

1. Dowsing twig

This was traditionally the most common dowsing rod, especially used to discover water.

A dowsing twig is a Y-shaped branch or stick. Dowsers would prefer specific types of wood, like witch-hazel or willow branches.

The ends of the fork would be held in the hands, while the stem points straight ahead.

2. Pair of witching sticks

Modern dowsers use a pair of L-shaped rods. A rod is held in each hand, holding on the short arm of the "L", and the longer arms point forward. The rods are made from metal, although glass or plastic rods are not uncommon.

As the dowser moves about or communicates with spirits, the sticks move synchronously or cross over one another and move apart again.

In rare instances, straight rods have been used.

3. Pendulum

Pendulums are technically not rods, but they have been used for dowsing and divination for many years. The dowser holds the cord of the pendulum in one hand, with the pendulum swinging freely. The dowser then interprets the movements of the pendulum.

How To Use A Dowsing Rod For Spirits

When you consider that almost everything on Earth has energy, it makes sense to use Y-rods to connect to that energy.

Here's how you can use witching sticks to locate an energy field which may indicate the presence of a spirit:

  1. First, you must become attuned to your dowsing rods. How do they react to questions? How do they feel when they move in your hands? By understanding the practice, you'll better be able to use them for divination.

  2. Now, on to the dowsing. Stand with your feet slightly apart, and tuck your elbows against your side. Hold the rods in front of you. Maintain a relaxed stance.

  3. Close your eyes, slow your breathing and heart rate, and clear your mind.

  4. Start calibrating your rods. To do this, think of questions, and establish yes/no responses. Feel how the sticks move. Now you're ready to search for a spirit.

  5. Open your eyes and start moving around, keeping an eye on your witching sticks. When you come across a spot with high energy, your rods may cross over one another to form an "X". This indicates a spiritual presence.

  6. Drop one hand, keeping only one rod up. Ask permission to communicate with the spirit. Your rod will respond to the yes/no position you calibrated earlier. If there's no response, move on to a different location.

  7. Once you find a spirit willing to communicate, introduce yourself and start asking your questions, once again, holding both sticks up.

  8. If your rods start reacting unusually, it is possible the ghost is no longer interested in yes/no questions and wants to lead you somewhere or tell you something more detailed. You can either attempt to interpret the meaning or follow the direction that the sticks are pointing.

  9. If you feel you've lost connection with the spirit, move on and try reconnecting.

You can end the session at any time by saying goodbye to the spirit.

Using dowsing rods with other ghost hunting equipment

Dowsing rods are not the only way to receive feedback from ghosts. You can incorporate other ghost hunting equipment into your dowsing session to paint a fuller picture of the spirits you're communicating with.

  • Ouija boards allow you to go beyond yes/no questions as the planchette moves across the board to letters and numbers.

  • Spirit boxes use radio frequencies through which a ghost can communicate.

  • Use an EVP recorder during your divination session to record ghostly voices that you can't hear.

  • Use ghost summoning equipment, like an infrasound generator, to increase paranormal activity levels.

  • An EMF meter can be used in conjunction with dowsing rods to find areas of ghostly activity.


Dowsing has been around for thousands of years, and it's not going anywhere soon. Whether you're looking for gemstones or want to make contact with a lost loved one, SpiritShack's range of dowsing rods will help you tune into the energies that flow around you.



How do dowsing rods work?

According to science, dowsing work via the ideomotor phenomenon. Which is the human unconscious accidental and involuntary movements. However, many of users of witching sticks claim gaining knowledge (answers to questions), they didn’t previously know. The only theory to support this is that spirits may be able to create magnetic fields around the metal rods to manipulate them.


How do you use dowsing rods?

To use witching sticks for asking yes and no questions, gently hold the rods our straight in front of you. Then ask the spirits to show you what a yes looks like. The rods may turn to the left, the right, cross over, or separate. The no will usually be the opposite of that. You can then proceed to ask yes or no questions.


What are divining rods?

Witching sticks are two rods which are made of metal and are L shaped. They may be made of steel, iron, brass, or copper. They need to be made of metal to be affected by magnetism. They have more than one use, a couple of these uses include finding water, and seeking hidden knowledge.


Does divination really work?

Dowsing rods are currently regarded as pseudoscience, as they have not been proven scientifically to show accurate and repeatable results. However, many users of witching sticks do claim to have success with them. Both in finding water sources, and for speaking with spirits.


How do you hold the rods?

To hold the dowsing sticks correctly, you hold one in each hand, holding the shorter sides of the L shaped rods. You want to help them firmly enough to keep them level and facing straight out in front of you. But as loosely as possible. Holding the rods too tightly will stop them from being able to move.