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Chapter 3
Divining Rod And Other Divination
The most familiar use of the divining rod, and the one most people know something
about through reputation if not through actual observation, is that of locating
underground water. The divining rod of late years, however, has greatly extended its
usefulness. In its different forms it is known to oil and metal prospectors as a
"doodle-bug." And although the claims of those using "doodle-bugs" for such
purposes should be taken with much caution, such doodle-bugs" at present are in
rather common use, and at times with outstanding success, in the effort to locate
mines, and in locating oil.
They have been employed, with varying degrees of success, in the development of
the newer oil fields of the southwestern United States. Instances of their successful
use in this region might be cited at considerable length, but as these have not
painstakingly been investigated by men of academic standing as scientists, such
citations would carry little scientific weight. Yet before explaining this form of
divination and how to practice it, irrefutable evidence should be presented that it can
be done. And, as more convincing than the experience of any layman, I shall call
upon one of the greatest scientists of our times, Professor Charles Richet, who
investigated the subject exhaustively, to present the necessary proof. In his
noteworthy book, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, on page 230 he says:
"The bending of the rod over water-springs or metals is incontestably true. It has
recently been fully verified, with all possible care, and the phenomena can no more
be denied than any fact of chemistry or physiology.
"There was a series of trials published in 1913 by H. Magar, at the Forest of
Vincennes at which it was clearly proved that masses of metals buried in the ground
could be discovered equally well as moving water. The discovery of moving
underground water has almost become a trade and cannot be doubted; the
government engineers in different lands use the faculty of dowser {one who uses a
divining rod is called a dowser) to discover water; this is done in various districts of
France, in Tunisia, Algiers, the United States, and in German Africa. Differences of
skill in dowsers are not due to the rod not turning in their hands, but to unequal ability
in interpreting its movements as to the extent, depth, and direction of flow."
On page 231 he gives the results of still other investigations:
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"Summing up his results, M. Vire has sent me an unpublished note in which he give
the figures below from fully verified trials since 1913 by Messrs. Pelaprat, Probst,
Jouffreau, A. Vire, Colonel Vallatin, and the Abbe Mermet:
Subterranean water, number of experiments 19, successes 89%.
Subterranean cavities, number of experiments 23, successes 87%.
Metals and metallic veins, number of experiments 11, successes 80%.
Coal, number of experiments 9, successes 55%.
"Calculation by percentage underrates the successes, for a remarkable positive result
greatly outweighs many failures. The probability is not 1 to 2, but very much less.
"For instance, M. Pelaprat and M. Vire (in an unpublished experiment) showed Mr.
A.C., councilor of state, where to sink a well on his property at Juillac (Depart. Lot.).
Several borings had been made without results. Messrs. Pelaprat and Vire indicated a
thin stream of water thirteen metres below the surface; a well was sunk, and water
was found in sufficient quantity for the purpose required."
These quotations from a book written by a man recognized throughout the world for
his scientific attainments will, I believe, be sufficient to indicate not only that the
divining rod actually may yield information regarding underground substances, but
that in the hands of an expert diviner it may prove of great practical value.
In the past such divination has been practiced mostly by the ignorant. It has
systematically been discouraged as a mere superstition. In consequence, it is an
ability which has been cultivated by the few indeed, and this cultivation has not been
approached in an intelligent manner. Therefore what has already been accomplished
in this line is probably inferior and unreliable in comparison to what may be
accomplished under intelligent training based upon a more thorough knowledge of
the principles that must be utilized.
The Principles Involved in Using
the Divining Rod
--The principles underlying the use of the divining rod are the same in their general
outlines as those underlying cup divination and other divinatory methods.
Extra-Sensory Perception must be employed to enable the unconscious mind, or
soul, to ascertain the position of the underground substance sought. Then, in order
that this information, which after it has been acquired resides at least momentarily in
the unconscious mind as a memory, shall be made available to objective
consciousness, it must be projected into the physical world in a manner that can be
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recognized and given correct interpretation. It is the manner in which the information
is thus imparted from the soul to objective consciousness which to a certain extent
makes the divining rod unique; for in using it the unconscious mind utilizes control of
certain nerves and muscles to cause the rod to turn in the diviner's hands in such a
way as to transmit the information it possesses.
Now it might be thought that the senses of the soul could perceive the presence of one
substance under the ground just as readily as they could perceive another. But
experiments, such as the series just cited, indicate that it is much easier to locate
underground water than to locate oil, and that oil is easier to locate with a divining rod
than are metals.
A little reflection will show that this is what should be expected; for when these
objects are above ground it is easier to detect some at a distance, by means of the
physical senses, than it is to detect the presence of others. A horse, for instance, if
thirsty, will smell water at a long distance. Also, in the amounts in which they
commonly occur, water may be seen at a much greater distance than gold Pools of oil
on the surface of the earth may be smelled at a distance, as well as seen. Silver, in the
chemical combinations of its ores as usually mined would not be so readily seen at
the same distance, and would not appeal to the sense of smell.
The astral counterparts of substances certainly do not all have the same properties; in
fact, objects are as different on the inner plane as they are on the physical. Their
properties vary as greatly. And as a consequence of their individual properties, some
can be perceived by the soul senses much more readily than can others. This is just
what experiments with the divining rod indicate.
Undoubtedly all objects radiate astral vibrations But in addition to these inner-plane
radiations all physical objects also radiate Boundary-Line vibrations. As was
explained in Chapter 1, man normally lives in two realms; in a realm of slow
velocities and fast time called the physical, and in a realm of high-velocity slow time
which is called the astral world or inner plane. Connecting these two velocity-time
regions, in one of which dwells his physical body and in the other of which dwells his
soul, is a Boundary-Line region where velocities are those of light, electromagnetic
waves and radiations. The realm where velocities are above 186,173 miles per
second is the inner plane where mind resides and exercises Extra-Sensory Perception
and Extra-Physical Power. The realm where velocities are below 186,173 miles per
second is the outer plane where the physical body resides and exercises physical
senses and muscular power. For the outer plane to affect the inner, or the inner plane
to affect the outer, it must utilize energies of the Boundary-Line region.
As all physical objects have their astral counterparts, and can influence these only
through Boundary-Line energies, and the astral counterparts can only influence the
physical through Boundary-Line energies, it follows that material things radiate, in
some degree, Boundary-Line energies. These greatly facilitate the detection of
certain substances through ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception).
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Material science is only now coming to recognize these Boundary-Line radiations
which have been known to students of the occult for centuries. Let me quote from the
front page of the Los Angeles Times, issue of December 30, 1539:
"Columbus (O.) Dec. 29. (AP) A radio microscope, a new scientific instrument
which has disclosed an entire world of unseen rays, was announced to the American
Association for the Advancement of Science today.
"Man himself as well as all kinds of supposedly inert matter constantly emits rays
that this instrument `sees'...
"The radio device actually is a radio frequency spectroscope. It does the same thing
for cool, nonflowing matter that the spectroscope does when it discloses the kind of
atoms that make the stars...
"It was reported by I. I. Rabi, P. Kusch and S. Millman of Columbia University to a
crowded hall filled with eminent physicists who listened enthralled.
"The existence of such rays coming from man and all living things, and probably
from the inanimate world, has been suspected by scientists for many years. Today is
the first experimental proof of their existence.
"The discovery shows that every atom and every molecule in nature is a continuous
radio broadcasting station. That hot atoms broadcast waves has long been a proven
fact. But this new broadcasting is by atoms not only at room temperature, but in any
degree of cold.
"Thus even after death, the substance that was a man continues to send out its delicate
rays. The wave lengths of these rays range from shorter than anything now used in
broadcasting to the longest kind of radio waves.
"The jumble of these rays is almost inconceivable. There are millions of them. A
single very large molecule, Professor Rabi said, may give off 1,000,000 different
wave lengths at the same time.
"The longer wave lengths of this sort travel with the ease and speed of radio waves...
"There is one amazing difference between the new radio rays and familiar waves like
light. This is the prolonged time, amounting to thousands of years, which these radio
waves will keep on emitting from undisturbed matter. The more familiar rays, like
light and heat, are all given off in a short time, as anyone can prove to himself by
watching a fire."
The cells of the nervous system of the human body are specially adapted to the
production of short-wave electromagnetic radiations and to carrying electric
currents. Thus, as seems well demonstrated by experiments in telepathy, it is a radio
broadcasting set. And as scientists have found these electrical phenomena of the
nervous system are reversible, as is demonstrated when the cells recharge in sleep,
this means also that the nervous system is a delicate receiving set, capable of
intercepting short waves which reach it from other broadcasting sets.
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Nerve currents which are given the frequencies characteristic of the influence of the
upper-octave planets--Uranus, Neptune and Pluto--may be used for broadcasting
or for reception by reversing the polarity. And while long distance telepathy often is
accomplished through transforming high-frequency electromagnetic radiations into
astral vibratory rates which have a still higher velocity, the more common short
distance telepathy is accomplished through electromagnetic waves. For this reason
the ancients classified thought-transference as one of the seven physical senses.
The senses of the soul are capable of perceiving on the inner plane, and quite apart
from their electromagnetic radiations, the astral counterparts of physical objects, and
acquire information thus about them. But objects and thoughts, and things which
people have carried about their persons so that they have acquired the
electromagnetic quality of their thoughts, radiate Boundary-Line energy. And a
properly attuned nervous system within the radius of these electromagnetic
radiations is capable of picking them up in the manner of a radio receiving set. It then
requires only the ability on the part of the unconscious mind to interpret the
significance of what is felt to acquire information not accessible to the physical
Intellectual ESP gains its information more directly by an extension of
consciousness through which it contacts the astral counterpart of the object or
condition. It does not depend upon picking up, radio fashion, either the astral
vibrations or the electromagnetic vibrations radiated by that about which it seeks
Feeling ESP, on the other hand, depends exclusively upon picking up with the
nervous system, or the currents traveling over it, either the astral vibrations or the
Boundary-Line vibrations radiated by that which it thus contacts. And while Feeling
ESP is capable of thus picking up and interpreting the astral radiations of objects and
thoughts, those who practice it usually depend very largely upon feeling the
Boundary-Line radiations of people and things. For the purpose of possessing very
delicate receiving sets, capable of picking up and discriminating the difference
between such waves as now are perceived by the radio microscope they
hypersensitize their nervous systems.
Those who are good water diviners, and who as professional psychics are
accustomed to give excellent personal readings to clients, usually are no better than
others in tests with the ESP cards, or in acquiring information unknown to other
minds or about matters which have no distinct Boundary-Line radiations. From a
handkerchief carried by a person, or from a letter written by him, or from a lock of his
hair, such a psychic may give amazingly accurate information not accessible through
physical channels. But when the same psychic is asked to discern the symbol on a
face-down card, if no other person knows what it is, that is quite a different matter.
The electromagnetic radiations of these symbols are too weak and too similar for his
nervous system to be able readily to distinguish one from another.
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A stream of water under the ground, however, has powerful electromagnetic
radiations, and to a person whose nervous system is even slightly attuned to pick up
vibrations, radio fashion, its perception is quite easy. Oil, when in quantities
sufficiency large to be commercially valuable, also has an electromagnetic radiation
not too difficult to be felt by a hypersensitive nervous system. However, distance is a
factor in the reception of Boundary-Line energies, and oil often is far beneath the
ground. In locating things beneath the surface of the earth by means of Feeling ESP,
both the quantity of the substance sought and the ease with which its characteristic
electromagnetic radiations can be felt, as well as its distance from the diviner, are
factors that enter into the degree of success in locating them.
But whether Felt through electromagnetic energies picked up by a sensitive nervous
system or Intellectually perceived on the inner plane, the information to be of
practical value must be in some manner transmitted to objective consciousness.
Now because the unconscious mind commonly directs the movements of the
involuntary muscles, and those that perform their movements through habit, it is able
to use unconscious muscular actions with facility in conveying its signals. Through
the suggestion reinforced by tradition that the divining rod will turn down, or behave
in a specified way, in the presence of the substance sought, it becomes aware of the
nature of the signal it is expected to give.
And thus in the use of the divining rod it employs unconscious muscular movements,
even as much table-tipping, automatic writing, and many Ouija board messages may
be attributed to not dissimilar manifestations.
Selecting the Divining Rod
--From this explanation of the principles underlying the use of such an instrument it
might be thought that the kind of a rod is unimportant. One might even be led to think
that it would be quite as easy to locate underground treasures without the use of a rod
or instrument of any kind through some arbitrarily chosen code between the soul and
the physical brain. Experiments, however, show decidedly that this is not the case.
They show that a rod made in a certain manner and of a certain material gives better
results than one made otherwise and of a different material. Quoting again from
Thirty Years of Psychical Research:
"The Abbe Caubin, a very experienced dowser, was able to reveal the presence of
divers metallic masses. The kind of rod used has some influence on the result. With a
wooden rod there were eight successes out of eight trials; with a copper rod four
successes in seven trials; iron gave two in four; and glass none in five trials."
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The reason a rod of one material is not so good as that of another is much the same as
that a microscope constructed of one kind of glass may be not so good as one
constructed of another kind. Nor can one see without a microscope all that can be
seen with one, even though in both cases the image is conveyed to the eye by rays of
light reflected from the object. Certain substances, chiefly organic in nature, through
the organization in their astral makeup, possess the power of collecting and
transmitting inner plane and Boundary-Line vibrations more fully than other
substances. They commonly are called mediumistic. Of them live ivory (as distinct
from fossil ivory) has this power perhaps in greatest degree. Almost as mediumistic
as ivory is witch-hazel. Next in value for this purpose is willow. Peach, almond and
apple also are woods that are quite mediumistic.
The younger shoots or branches of the above named shrubs and trees are more
mediumistic than the older growth. Also, the time when these shoots are cut has an
influence upon their power to collect and transmit vibrations. It would seem that the
general astral quality of the branch at the time it is cut from the main stem and thus
exists independently is then somewhat polarized by planetary positions. The cutting
of the branch from its parent, after a fashion is the birth of the severed branch, and the
time it thus first exists independently is analogous to its birth time, from which a
horoscope may be erected.
The one quality, however, which it is desirous that the branch so cut shall have, is
mediumship. Therefore, for best results, a time should be chosen that will confer
mediumistic quality upon the rod in the strongest degree. This time, as determined
from astrological considerations, is just before midnight on the night of the full
moon. That is, the night when the moon reaches its full after midnight, but before
midnight of the following night. The moon should not have passed its full at the time
the branch is cut. And if a month is chosen when the sun is in a negative sign, in which
to cut the branch, so much the better. The most mediumistic time of year, and
consequently the best time to cut a switch from which to make a divining rod, is just
before midnight on the night of the first full moon after the sun enters the sign
Capricorn. The sun then is in a negative sign in the fourth house of the chart, and the
moon culminates in its own home, the most mediumistic of all the signs, Cancer.
After the shoots or branches are cut it is not necessary that they be made into divining
rods at once. They may be put away until such a time as it is convenient to do further
work on them, or they may be trimmed to the proper proportions at once.
The shapes of divining rods vary. The prevalent form, however, and the one that
seems to give best results in the hands of the widest number, is that of a prong, or fork,
or crotch. The switch is cut some three or four inches below where it forks, and a foot
or eighteen inches of both branches above the fork is left, the ends exceeding this
length being cut off. This leaves a crotch, preferably forking rather widely, each of its
branches at the largest place being about the diameter of a man's little finger, and
about a foot or eighteen inches long, although the size of the rod may vary greatly
from this.
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Using the Divining Rod
--The customary manner of using such a divining rod is to grasp the ends of the
branches, one in each hand, with the thumbs and first fingers toward the crotch. This
makes a circuit between the right hand and the left hand, yet the energy present also
has opportunity to flow into the four or six inches of stub that has been left where the
forks of the rod join, and which thus acts as a pointer.
The upper arms are held loosely close to, and parallel with, the sides. The forearms
are held in front of the body at right angles to it. The divining rod, which is now
directly in front of the solar plexus, is held with its point--the end where the two
branches unite--turned toward the zenith. With the rod held in this manner, the
diviner walks over the ground in the region where the substance sought is thought to
exist. When he comes more or less close to the spot directly above the substance the
point--the stub above where the branches join--will gradually turn toward the earth.
The closer to the spot directly over the object sought he comes the more downward
points the rod until, when he is directly over the spot where it occurs, it points
perpendicularly downward to the earth.
By far the most potent force operating to turn the rod downward usually is the
unconscious muscular action of the diviner. The involuntary muscular contractions,
directed by the soul, are so strong often as to overcome any and all resistance the
diviner may make to the turning of the rod. There are other cases, nevertheless, in
which there undoubtedly is some psychic force present other than muscular
With a rod of the shape I have described, even though the rod turns in the hands with
such force as to break it, and brings blisters on the hands of the diviner, it is difficult to
prove that these results are not wholly due to involuntary muscular movements.
Other forms of divining rods, however, are occasionally used. Sometimes a long,
straight switch of hazel or willow is held with both hands near the large end. Such a
switch will sometimes, in the hands of an experienced diviner, bend downward at the
tip violently, much after the fashion of a fishing rod when a fish has been hooked. It
will then continue with the tip bending down as if a weight were attached to it, a
condition impossible to produce by any amount and kind of muscular movement of
the hands where they hold the rod.
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Another method of using a divining rod, although, I believe, not so good as the one I
have recommended, is to grasp a straight switch of hazel or willow near both ends.
The middle part, then, is supposed to bend downward when over the substance
sought. This bending will sometimes take place when it is held so loosely in the hands
as to make it impossible thus to bend it through muscular action. Then again, as
shown by experiments carried out by Paul Memoine, when the ends of a divining rod
are placed in sheaths, and these are held in the hands, the rod nevertheless turns in the
sheaths. This could not happen if muscular action alone were responsible.
The novice at using the divining rod should not expect violent manifestations such as
have just been described. With the first trials it should be sufficient if the rod turns
down in a manner somewhat accurately locating the substance sought. The turning
will probably be due to involuntary muscular contractions. Yet it should also be
recognized, so the mechanics of the subject may be thoroughly understood, that even
as when tea-leaves or coffee-grounds are being distributed in a cup, or when tarot
cards are being shuffled, so also when using the divining rod there may be present a
psychic intelligence which not only perceives the matter sought, but which also is
capable of exerting an influence upon the movement of the rod quite independent of
the muscles of the diviner.
Such independent movement is possible only when there is electromagnetic energy
at hand in considerable volume, radiated from some person present. Therefore, these
violent and independent manifestations of the rod usually occur only when the
diviner is pronouncedly mediumistic. Yet a person not mediumistic in this sense may
use the divining rod with quite as much accuracy. The movement of the rod may be
only strong enough to act as a signal from the unconscious mind, yet give
information of utmost value and precision.
Locating Substances Other than
--When water is the substance sought the diviner commonly uses the rod without
anything in addition to it. But when oil or the metals are to be located some system
must be employed that will impress the information upon the soul that water is not
wanted, and just what the nature of the substance is that should be located. This is
accomplished in different ways by different diviners, but the method most in favor is
to hold a portion of the substance sought next to the divining rod in the right hand of
the diviner.
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Thus if oil is to be located, a small cotton cloth is saturated with crude oil and
wrapped around the portion of the rod where grasped by the right hand. If silver is
sought, a silver coin is held in the right hand against the rod where it is grasped. If
gold is the metal to be found, a gold coin or a gold ring is grasped next to the rod in the
right hand. A portion of the substance sought should actually contact the rod in a
manner as if it were expected that the energy from the diviner should flow through
this substance and out through the pointer of the rod.
And, in addition to astral energy, it seems that electrical energy--associated with
both the earth and the diviner--must flow through the rod for its successful
operation. Thus it has been proven by various series of experiments that rubber soles
on the shoes, or glass insulation from the ground, or rubber, woolen or silk gloves on
the hands, destroy the power of the rod. The feet must contact the earth in such a
manner that there is no pronounced insulation, and even very heavy leather soles on
the shoes are not best. There also must be no insulating material between the hands
and the rod held by them. It is unlikely that astral energies are hindered by insulating
materials, but astral energies to affect physical substances, such as the turning of the
rod, impart motions through Boundary-Line energies. That these shall be adequately
present it seems that the diviner's body must be properly grounded. That these
electromagnetic forces may act upon the rod, it seems there must be no insulation
between his hands and the rod.
Estimating Depth and Volume
--The mere matter of locating where there is underground water or underground oil
or underground metal is the easiest part of a diviner's work. Were his work to stop
here it would be of but slight value. It is his endeavor also to determine approximately
the amount of substance present, at what depth it occurs, and in the case of water the
direction of its flow.
The amount of the substance present is approximately determined by the violence of
the pull on the tip of the rod. Only experience will teach the diviner how much pull on
the rod represents a given amount of the material sought. An angler who has caught
trout has an approximate idea of the size of the fish he has hooked before lifting it
from the water. Another kind of fish of equal size may not exert so much pull upon
the line as a trout. Yet if he knows the kind of fish he has hooked he may be able to tell
something about its size by its pull on the line. So, in using the divining rod, knowing
the material sought, the diviner from his previous experiences with this substance
seeks to determine by the amount of pull on the rod just about how much of the
substance there is.
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It is common for diviners to estimate the depth of the hidden material in this way: The
point where the rod first starts to turn is noted. Then the point is marked where the
pointer turns completely down, perpendicular to the earth. Usually the diviner goes
to some distance, and in a different direction, from where the pointer turns
completely down, and again walks toward the spot and notes where it commences to
turn, and also if it turns completely down at the same spot. He does this from several
directions. Then in each case the distance from the point where the rod commenced
to turn to where it turned completely down is measured and the average taken. If the
diviner is quite precise in his work, this measured distance is the depth the substance
sought is under the surface.
The point is approached from several different directions and the average of the
distances is taken to lessen the likelihood of error. Experiments with the diviners in
the oil fields, where the depth to the oil may be well over a thousand feet, and is often
several times that, have yielded some amazing results. The distance between where
the rod commenced to turn and where it pointed directly down, when tried from
various points has, with some diviners, varied not more than a few feet. If this were
guess work it is remarkable that a person could guess a distance so great as this, after
having established it at first trial, again and again, from different directions, with not
more than two or three feet difference as measured later by a tape line. But when this
also has been found to coincide as closely with the depth of the well when drilled, it is
truly a remarkable achievement. It must be added, however, that such accuracy and
precision, among those who divine for oil, while attained by a few, has been fallen far
short of by the many.
In some places, notably in France, the divining rod has been used successfully to
locate not only minerals, but also to locate underground crypts and caverns. In
locating coal, a small piece of coal is held in the right hand against the rod. Likewise
in locating other minerals, a portion is held against the rod. How, then, is the diviner
to distinguish an underground grotto? He holds in his right hand, next to the rod, a
small piece of clay tubing or a small hollow clay ball. This focuses the soul senses on
hollow spaces under ground.
Determining the Contour of the
--The approximate contour of the hidden deposit or cavern may be determined by
using the rod at different points, and noting the amount of pull on the rod at each
point. In the case of an underground stream the rod will point down almost
immediately at any spot directly over its course. Therefore, to find its depth under the
ground it is necessary to approach its edge from beyond its boundary, noting the
distance from the point where the rod begins to turn to the point where it finally is
perpendicular to the earth. If there is a distinct current in the underground stream, the
direction of the current's flow will be indicated by a slight vibration of the tip of the
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rod. The vibration, or series of slight movements of the rod, will be toward the
direction in which the current is flowing. It will be felt, perhaps, by the hands of the
diviner as a tremulous tugging of the rod in the direction of flow, more distinctly than
it is seen. He is thus quite definitely made aware of the movement of the underground
stream and the direction of that movement. But if the underground substance is not in
motion, no such vibration is felt in the rod after it has turned directly down.
Many People Can Successfully Use
the Divining Rod
--Experiments indicate that rather a high percentage of people can use the divining
rod with some success at the first few trials. Some who have studied the matter have
concluded that all persons, with sufficient training, could have some success as rod
diviners. When we reflect however, that some persons never seem to be able to learn
a simple strain of music, that others never master, even after arduous practice, the
simplest mathematical problems, that there are persons in considerable number who
cannot distinguish between the colors red and black, it seems probable that there are
many persons also who could not develop the ability successfully to use the divining
When we bear in mind that the greatest naturalist of the nineteenth century, Charles
Darwin, in his maturer years lost the power entirely of appreciating music, and that
another great naturalist and scientist, Louis Agassiz, had a decided weakness in
mathematics, we are not likely to make the mistake of considering those deficient in
some normal faculty as necessarily mentally inferior.
It would seem that the power of communicating in some small measure what the soul
perceives to the physical brain is a normal faculty. It is a faculty, however, which has
received scant attention in the past, and for that reason it performs its function
imperfectly with most. The ability of the unconscious mind to communicate signals
to the physical brain by means of involuntary muscular contractions, also is a normal
faculty; for it is not altogether dissimilar, although there is an element of objective
consciousness present in them, from winking the eye involuntarily or Jerking the
hand away from a very hot object or recoiling from a startling noise. In the case of
many involuntary movements it is better to permit the actions to be controlled by the
soul. Yet there are other instances, blushing for instance, where such control is
inconvenient, and still others where it might prove dangerous. It is well, therefore,
carefully to watch the effect of practice with the divining rod.
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The distinction here between utilizing one's own faculties, and that of being under
the control of some other entity should be kept well marked in the mind. The
irresponsible medium permits whatever intelligence is present to use his brain and
nerves and muscles. The diviner instructs his own inner-plane senses to perceive
what is sought. He instructs his soul, or unconscious mind, to use his nerves and
muscles to impart this information to his brain through turning the rod. He does this
much as he would instruct his soul to supervise the function of digestion for acquiring
better health, or instruct it to awaken him at a specified time in the morning, or
instruct it to aid him in the performance of some work requiring exceptional skill.
When we thus instruct our unconscious minds to bring about certain results, and
those results follow, we are still in command of ourselves. But when we vacate
control and permit another to take charge we are breaking down our power to direct
and control ourselves in the future. Nevertheless, both Feeling ESP and employing
involuntary muscular movements such as are present in rod divining, need to be
approached with caution. The caution is necessary to insure that conditions which are
well within the individual's control at start do not develop into conditions which are
not thus completely under his control.
The faculty of finding substances may be cultivated by using the rod to find a portion
of the chosen substance which has been buried, or which has been placed under the
floor, by an acquaintance. In this way the rod may be used to locate the exact spot
where a small portion of the substance has been hidden close to the surface. To
practice estimating the depth of the deposit a dry well may be utilized, and the
substance may be suspended in the well at depths unknown to the diviner. The rod
should commence to turn at a distance from the well equivalent to the depth of the
substance under the ground.
Coin on a String.-Another form of divining instrument occasionally used in locating
hidden deposits is a coin tied on the end of a string The prospector walks over the
ground where the mineral is likely to be. The coin on the end of the string performs no
unusual movements so long as there is no mineral deposit underneath. But as it
approaches such a deposit it begins swinging around in a circle, due, no doubt, to the
unconscious muscular contractions of the diviner. The swinging, and also the
spinning of the coin, become more violent as the deposit is neared becoming most
violent when directly over the deposit.
There are variants from the common usage, but it is usual to use a gold coin for
locating gold, a silver coin for locating silver, etc. The coin, like the divining rod, is a
means by which the soul signals objective consciousness what it has perceived by its
inner-plane senses.
There are other rods, used by metal prospectors, in which a little chamber at the end
of the rod farthest from the hands contains metals, or other substances, in various
combinations. The principle on which they operate, however, is essentially the same
as that employed in the ordinary divining rod as already described.
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Bible on a String
--There is also a method of divination common in some sections which employs a
small Bible to answer questions. No doubt there are many variants of the method, and
that it can be practiced by one person, but as I have witnessed its use two persons
acted as diviners.
The small Bible is tied to a string and the other end of the string is tied to the middle of
a cane. One person holds one end of the cane and the other person holds the opposite
end. The Bible is thus suspended about a foot from the floor by the string tied to the
middle of the cane. The Bible is then permitted, by the movements of the hands
holding the ends of the cane, to sway gently to and fro.
The question to be asked is clearly formulated in a manner that it may be answered by
yes or no. One or more passage of Scriptures is chosen to repeat before the question is
asked, such as two or three verses of the Twenty-Third Psalm. Then, after repeating
the Scriptural quotation decided upon, one of the persons holding the cane, the Bible
gently swinging meantime, follows the quotation with the question. If the answer to
the question is no, the Bible will almost, or quite, stop swinging; but if the answer is
yes it will begin to swing in circles that become wider and wider until this is
recognized by the diviners as an affirmative answer to the question.
The religious element and the solemnity enjoined tend to direct the attention of the
souls to the question. One question follows another, each preceded by the Scriptural
quotations. In this manner, through affirmative and negative replies, considerable
information of value occasionally is gained. Of course, as a usual thing, in this
method of divining the unconscious mind merely makes use of the unconscious
muscular contractions to signal what it has acquired through ESP to objective
--I have seen a native of Baluchistan give a divinatory reading, which subsequently
proved quite correct even in detail, to another sorely perplexed native of the same
country after the following manner:
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He first brushed a space in the dust a yard or two square. Then he cut a switch from a
nearby tree, trimming it so there were several prongs left at the smaller end. Grasping
the switch by the larger end, he used the prongs to trace marks in the leveled dust.
While making the marks on this dust blackboard he looked off into the distance in an
abstracted manner and permitted the switch to perform whatever movements he felt
impressed to make. He did not look at the design thus automatically traced in the dust
until after such marks as he felt impressed to make were finished. Then he dropped
the switch and directed his attention to the tracings.
The tracings, which presented a crazy-quilt effect, were interpreted much after the
manner in which a divining cup is read. The combination of lines and spaces gave a
bizarre resemblance to pictures of objects and animals. These were interpreted as
symbolic of approaching conditions and events, the interpretation passing from one
figure to another until the resemblances were exhausted.
On another occasion the same diviner was asked a question which could be answered
by yes or no. In this instance one person was desirous of knowing if another person
who had gone away would return.
He took up a small stick and looking into the distance made a row of marks in the
dust, then below these another row, and below these a third row, without keeping
track of how many marks were made in each row. He then counted the marks made in
each row and by a single mark, or by two marks, made notation whether the marks in
a row were odd in number or were even. These resultant marks then were counted and
the number so found was seen to be an even number. His answer, therefore, was in the
negative, that the person would not return. Had the final result been an odd number,
he would have passed judgment in the affirmative.
This is but one of a great number of methods of divining in the earth, called
geomancy. I will briefly give another method requiring a little knowledge of
astrology for its interpretation:
Pencil and paper may quite as well be substituted for the earth. Four horizontal rows
of marks, or dots, are traced on the ground, or on paper, without any thought being
taken as to the number of marks made. The top row is then counted, and if the
resulting number is uneven 1 cipher is marked down, but if the number of marks is
even, two ciphers are marked down. Then the next row beneath is counted, and the
cipher, or ciphers, designating whether the row is of even or uneven number is
marked down directly beneath the cipher, or ciphers, marking the first row. The
result of counting the third row is noted down beneath the others, and the result of
counting the fourth row is placed beneath this. The result is a figure containing from
four to eight ciphers, there being a possibility of sixteen different designs. These
designs have arbitrarily been assigned to the ten planets, certain of them representing
planets well aspected, and others representing planets much afflicted by aspect. This
arbitrary assignment is given at the front of this booklet.
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Now if the answer to a question is sought, the diviner, while keeping the question in
mind, makes four rows of marks as above instructed. He then determines which lines
are even, and which uneven, noting down the result as ciphers. These ciphers thus
jotted down present one of the sixteen designs shown at the front of this booklet, and
thus represent one of the planets. If this planet is favorable to the proposition, the
reading is thus given; if it is adverse, the nature of the affliction is made known.
Should a complete reading be desired by this method of astrological geomancy, the
diviner uses an ordinary blank astrological chart. The design resulting from the first
four lines of marks corresponds to one of the planets, and he places this planet, with
its aspect if it has one in the design, in the first house of the chart. He then makes four
more lines of marks and places the planet and its aspect, if any, thus found in the
second house of the chart. And thus he proceeds until each of the twelve houses
contains a planet. These planets, by the nature and aspect of such as have aspects in
the design, each indicate the events and conditions that are approaching in each
department of the life. In this manner a very complete reading can be given covering
all twelve departments of life.
Astrological geomancy requires that the diviner know something of the nature of the
planets and of the houses of a horoscope. Such knowledge is not required, however,
to consult other oracles, such as those commonly to be found in a Book of Fate. The
designs formed by noting even and uneven lines, or the symbols found by some other
apparently chance method of selection, then correspond to the answer to be found
elsewhere in the book. The instructions often require that the resulting designs or
symbols be combined, or that there should be other complex manipulation. The
principle, nevertheless, is quite the same.
The accuracy of the information received by the methods of divination mentioned
depends upon the ability of the diviner's soul to perceive conditions not known to the
objective consciousness, and to communicate that knowledge, by means of
involuntary movements of the body, to the objective consciousness. No one may say,
without trial, to what extent reliable information may, or may not, be gained in this
One thing seems sure: Now that man has conquered the air, the next realm to conquer
is the astral. Had life in the past been content to function in a single realm there still
would be fish in the sea, but no creatures on the land. I am inclined to believe that the
conquest of the astral realm is no greater task for man, nor requires greater initiative
nor courage, than the conquest of the land by creatures originally unable to breathe
dry air, whose limbs were fins, and whose conception of what other environment
than the sea is like could hardly have been more or less comprehensive than the
conception now, of the majority of persons, regarding the astral region.