The practice of dowsing, using divining rods to locate water, is so common as to not be doubted, but no one, including the practitioner, understands how they work. Some humans can douse, but most cannot, so its recognized to be a talent or ability within the practitioner. Dowsing works best when the dowser is allowed to walk about out in the fields and forest by him or herself, uninterrupted. When crowds follow about, they are less likely to find water, and many dowsers come unannounced at odd hours to assure themselves the privacy they require. Dowsers are called upon when all else fails. Well after well has been dug, following the geologists recommendations on the lay of the land, location of local springs, emergence of underground streams or rivers, stratification of rock layers, and success of other wells in the area. In despair, the dowser is brought in, and against all odds and against all reason they point to an unlikely place and chances are that a well placed there will be productive. What is going on during dowsing, and how does this work?
An oft quoted phrase is that man is 98% water, as is all plant and animal life. Water carries electric current, if fact so effectively that lightning will race through water as well as metal wires on its way to the ground. The human body senses electrical charges in the vicinity, as the movement of electrons in all their many forms is not isolated to where the current is running. An electric current creates an electrical field around it, just as a river of water causes humidity in the air nearby. Humans are sensitive to electric current, as the higher rate of cancer in those who live near high tension wires attests. The dowser listens to what his body is telling him, a very quiet voice but a voice nonetheless.
The electrical current in groundwater is stronger where the water has filled all connected air pockets that might act as insulators. This fact has been noted by geologists monitoring earthquakes, as the electrostatic bursts increase as the ground comes under pressure preceding an earthquake. Geologists recognize that this increase in electrostatic bursts is due to compression of the groundwater. The dowser is locating, with his sensitive body, those places where the groundwater has collected and accumulated, coming under pressure in that it cannot easily leave. The mystery of the divining rods is more easily understood when one understands that the divining rods are in fact the dowser's hands. The rods, extending from the dowser's hands, allow the dowser to note how his hands are reacting. They are a signal flag, helping the dowser note the whispering voice in his body that is saying "here, over here, there is a subtle pull toward an electrical current in the ground".
The pull is within the electrical current in the dowser's own body, which seeks to flow in sync with the electrical current in the ground.