Divining rod

Divining rod

A divining rod (also known as dowsing rod) is an apparatus used in dowsing. There are many types of divining rods:

* two brass "L" shaped wire rods (commonly made of brazing or welding rod, but glass or plastic have also been accepted) that are to be held one in each hand. When something is found, they cross over one another making an "X" over the found object. If the object is long and straight, such as a water pipe, the wires will point in opposite directions, showing the direction the object is pointing. Brass is commonly used.

* A forked (or "Y" shaped) branch of a tree or bush. The two ends on the forked side are to be held one in each hand with the third pointing straight ahead. Often the branches are grasped palms down. The pointing end turns up or down when water is found. This method is sometimes known as 'Willow Witching'. Hazel or willow branches were commonly used; these were called virgula divina. ref label|1728|1|^

Divining rods are used in dowsing, a type of divination that claims to be able to find ground water, oil, and other mineral resources by non-scientific means. Expert dowsers are allegedly capable of dowsing exact depth measurements of water veins, electromagnetism, currents and telluric phenomena. They are also allegedly capable of measuring blood toxicity, white cells, and sugar levels, and detecting human illness and health. Expert dowsers are allegedly not limited to any specific time and space, claiming the ability to dowse any material at any given time from any location.

Virgula divina

Virgula divina, or Baculus divinatorius, was a form of divining rod created from the forked branch of a hazel tree, used in the discovery of underground mines, springs, etc. The claimed method of using this Y-shaped branch involved the following: the user walks very slowly over the places where he suspects mines or springs may be; effluvia would then exhale from the metals or the water, impregnating the branch's wood, making it dip or incline. Such motion was supposed to indicate a discovery.

Many experiments alleged on its behalf, authors searched for the natural cause. The corpuscles, they said, rising from springs or minerals, entering the rod, force it to bow down, in order to render it parallel to the vertical lines that the effluvia created as they rose. In effect, the mineral or water particles were supposed to be emitted by means of subterraneous heat, or of the fermentations in the interior thereof. The virgula, being of a light, porous wood, gave an easy passage to those particles. The effluvia, driven forwards by those that follow them, and driven backwards by the atmosphere incumbent on them, are forced to enter the tiny regions between the fibres of the wood, and by that effort oblige it to incline, or dip down perpendicularly, to become parallel with the little columns which those vapors form in their rise.

An epigram by Samuel Sheppard, from "Epigrams theological, philosophical, and romantick" (1651) runs thus:

:"Virgula divina".:"Some Sorcerers do boast they have a Rod,:Gather'd with Vowes and Sacrifice,:And (borne about) will strangely nod:To hidden Treasure where it lies;:Mankind is (sure) that Rod divine,:For to the Wealthiest (ever) they incline."


#note label|1728|1|^1728 [http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/HistSciTech/HistSciTech-idx?type=turn&entity=HistSciTech000900240226&isize=L]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Divining rod — Divining Di*vin ing, a. That divines; for divining. [1913 Webster] {Divining rod}, a rod, commonly of witch hazel, with forked branches, used by those who claim to be able to discover water or metals under ground by sensing them through such a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divining rod — n. a forked branch or stick used by dowsers and others in seeking water or minerals hidden in the earth: it is believed that when the stick dips downward, the location of water or a mineral deposit is indicated …   English World dictionary

  • divining rod — /dəˈvaɪnɪŋ ˌrɒd / (say duh vuyning .rod) noun a rod used in divining, especially a forked stick, commonly of hazel, said to tremble or move when held over a spot where water, metal, etc., is underground …   Australian-English dictionary

  • divining rod — a rod, esp. a forked stick, commonly of hazel, supposed to be useful in locating underground water, metal deposits, etc. Also called dowsing rod. [1745 55] * * *       instrument used in dowsing (q.v.). * * * …   Universalium

  • divining rod — n. rod for detecting and searching for mineral and underground water, dowsing rod …   English contemporary dictionary

  • divining rod — divin′ing rod n. a rod, esp. a forked stick, commonly of hazel, supposedly useful in locating underground water or metal deposits Also called dowser • Etymology: 1745–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • divining rod — noun forked stick that is said to dip down to indicate underground water or oil • Syn: ↑dowser, ↑dowsing rod, ↑waterfinder, ↑water finder • Derivationally related forms: ↑dowse (for: ↑dowser) …   Useful english dictionary

  • divining rod — noun Date: 1751 a forked rod believed to indicate the presence of water or minerals especially by dipping downward when held over a vein …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • divining rod — noun rod used for dowsing, a technique of divination used to locate subterranean sources of water, metal, other mineral resources or even various other things through magic, or according to many believers a natural phenomenon …   Wiktionary

  • divining rod — noun a stick or rod used for dowsing …   English new terms dictionary

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