Water Witching or Divining

The universal tool of almost all water witches or diviners, who profess to have the ability to locate groundwater, is a wooden branch or a metal wire rod (often a wire coat-hanger), shaped either like a large letter "Y" or "L", called a divining rod. Held tightly in the hands of the witch, the pointing end is said to be magnetically pulled down toward the region of the ground where the desired water is located (Figure 2.33). The search is usually for a waterwell site or a location of buried water pipes. I talked to one witch who had an interesting capability. In his hands, the divining rod would tap out the depth (in feet) to the water source. When I asked whether his divining in France would tap out feet or meters, he replied "I don't know about that meters stuff; my rod always gives the feet down to the \ tap for a \ -foot water depth." Some witches, trying to establish a pseudoscientific basis to the procedure, say, "Everyone knows that water can conduct electricity, so it is the magnetism of the water that pulls the divining rod." Tests of the method, under tightly controlled field

FIGURE 2.33 ► Water witching works when there is prior knowledge of local water depths or when any spot in the area would be equally successful. Magnetism has no role in the divining.

conditions, with a statistically significant number of examples, have all shown that water witching is pure nonsense. The procedure is successful only by random luck, when the witch has prior knowledge of local waterwell depths, or when choosing any spot in the area would be equally successful in finding water.1

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