Dowsing: a Journey Beyond Our Five Senses

Have you ever misplaced your cell phone and wondered how to find it easily? Hamish Miller’s little book on dowsing will give you the tools to do so.

Meet Hamish Miller

Hamish Miller

Hamish Miller was one of the guiding lights of Fountain International, a group I was connected with in the 1990’s.

Hamish Miller, one of Britain’s best known, most highly respected and certainly best-loved dowsers, has died at his home near Lelant in Cornwall aged 82, writes Nigel Twinn.

He was born in Bo’ness, Scotland, in 1927, the son of a dentist. In the 1940s, he attended St Andrew’s and Edinburgh Universities and subsequently started his own furniture manufacturing company in Sussex. By the early 1980s, he had become a highly successful businessman, but in 1982 he suffered complications during a major abdominal operation and effectively died on the operating table. The near death experience, with which he later came to terms, changed the course of his life radically and irrevocably.

He left behind the world of commerce and engaged a completely different outlook, with far-sighted goals and values. One aspect of this new life was to make him a household name, with an international reputation – it was his involvement with the niche world of dowsing.

Hamish joined the British Society of Dowsers in 1983, and rapidly became a stalwart member and regular lecturer. He was fulsome in his support for the organisation and was actively involved in its annual conferences right up to 2010.

Originally inspired by the equally legendary Fountain Group founder, Colin Bloy, and by the clairvoyant and healer Michael Colmer, Hamish made a series of groundbreaking dowsing discoveries during the 1980s and 1990s, which are described in his collaborative works, The Sun and the Serpent, The Dance of the Dragon and In Search of the Southern Serpent. These books captured the imagination of a whole new generation of practitioners. (West Briton obituary Feb 4 2010)


Dowsing cover

By the time Hamish died on January 25 2010, he had revolutionized the way dowsers were viewed. He had taken them from the medieval “Water Witches” to the modern “Earth Energy analysts”. The following excerpt comes from the flyleaf of the 2004 publication of his book Dowsing, originally published in 2002 as The Definitive Wee Book on Dowsing:

“Dowsing is one of the most ancient and peculiar arts or sciences known to man. Widely used for millennia to find water, it is today employed by builders, plumbers, and electricians the world over. In ancient times it was an invaluable tool for locating minerals and metals in the earth, and it briefly became a mainstream science in the eighteenth century before frustrated scientists, unable to prove its efficacy, expelled it from the arena of respectability. Today dowsing remains one of the most widely used paranormal skills, and yet little is understood about it. This book, by a master dowser, tells the story of dowsing and its principles, offering instructions for making dowsing instruments, locating water, and dowsing your home.”

Tools: as long as they work

In this section of the book, Hamish explains that almost anything can be used for dowsing, including your hands.

“There are almost as many variations of tools as there are competent dowsers. Some are ingenious and some downright hilarious. A Californian one made from bent wire in the form of a continuous Greek Key pattern was five feet long and had to have a piece of broderie anglaise on the end.”

“Some practiced dowsers use their hands, with fingers moving in unison like a bunch of little L rods, or with their thumbs thrumming on forefingers. New materials such as carbon fiber have allowed dowsers to create imaginative, lightweight, sensitive, and discreet tools to help them in their searches.”

Using the Tools: a simple start

Illustration from book

Hamish’s instructions are simple and down to earth. This section of the book gives the steps for using the tools.

“The first essential is to establish a reliable yes or no.”

“Using two rods, hold them in your hands about fifteen inches apart. They often cross for yes and open out for no. Once they’ve decided, they don’t usually mess about like pendulums.” (In my experience, I’ve only had the crossing rods, never the opening out: does this mean that my rods only answer in the negative?)

“A single rod gives a strong result. Hold it in front of you in your working hand, moving it slowly forward as you ask the question. If it turns the answer is yes, if nothing happens the answer is no.”

Practice: next steps forward

They say practice makes perfect, and this is especially true with dowsing.

“Try dowsing separate glasses of bottled water, tap water, and red wine, asking if they are okay to drink. Now try it with water from the drain. Check the red wine to see if a few more would do you any harm.” (Hamish’s humour is evident here.) “Dowse to see if the cheese you’ve left in the fridge is all right for you and your family to eat. If not, would it be good for the cat?”

“The answers will be yes or no but shouldn’t be acted on until you have a lot of faith in your dowsing ability. Use your chosen weapon to find out if it’s going to rain when you go shopping. Will everyone be happier if you go and visit your mother-in-law? Should you just drop everything and go to Ibiza?”

“Above all, practice your new talent even though you do get wet between shops.”

Beyond the Veil: quo vadis

Hamish at work

The purpose of this little book was to help others work with Earth’s energies. This is really the whole point to dowsing, in my opinion.

“In dowsing we have a tool that stimulates senses beyond the usual five. It is one way of letting us recognize the limitations of our present perceptions. With the realization that the social, spiritual, and moral restrictions that have historically controlled our thought patterns can be questioned, modified, or lifted comes the freedom to make our own decisions about the lifestyle we would like to follow. Each of us needs the courage to accept responsibility for the results of our decisions.”

“We can all do it if we work together with love, care, and concern for the Earth in all its manifestations.”

I couldn’t have expressed that any better, myself.


You can obtain Hamish’s book from Walker & Company, New York. I would recommend that you do, especially if you have always wanted to try dowsing. The last word comes directly from Hamish in the following video:

Photo credits: Hamish Miller courtesy of
Hamish at work courtesy of
The book cover and illustration are courtesy of

About cdsmiller17

I am an Astrologer who also writes about world events. My first eBook "At This Point in Time" is available through most on-line book stores. I have now serialized my second book "The Star of Bethlehem" here. And I am experimenting with birth and death charts. If you wish to contact me, or request a birth chart, send an email to (And, in case you are also interested, I have an extensive list of celebrity birth and death details if you wish to 'confirm' what you suspect may be a past-life experience of yours.) Bless.
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6 Responses to Dowsing: a Journey Beyond Our Five Senses

  1. Nienna says:

    Thanks for this – sounds interesting andand I want to read more, as dowsing fascinates me. May he rest in peace.


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