Dowsing is referred to a water witching mystery. A dowser is a person who tries to find water under the ground by using metaphysical powers but also some hand tools like the diving rods.
The history of dowsing take us back to Germany in the 15th century, the first tool was a fork made of wood which people claim that it helps them to located materials such as water, oil and even metals like gold that are buried deeply in the ground. Dowsers where also accused in witch craft because it was believed that the devil is controlling the divining rods. According to the superstition it was a big risk to practice in such dangerous ritual because it connects you with bad spirits who are trying to mislead you. And instead of search for minerals you will end up in a tragic accident like falling from a mountain or being locked in a dark cave forever.
The old dowsing rods were simple tree branches in a shape of the latter Y, Today they are made of metal in shape of the latter L. The concept behind these divining rods is that when a dowser reaches to a place where there is underground water the devices moves a bit. If you have made a discovery the old Y shaped tool is needed to fall down, to feel in your hand that something is pulling it to the ground like a magnet or an unknown force. The modern tool is the L shape rods which should cross themselves when a discovery is made. These tools are very gentle and every little move with your hand can tilt it and make you think you found water. This is the main reason why there are lots of skeptics that claims it is not real. The modern view of water witching is explained by psychic powers, the subconscious mind can discover the treasure by itself and this is what moves the divining rods to the hidden source, this is also why lots of dowsers don’t usually use these tools as much as they used to in the past.
Dowsing is a spiritual process that connects you with the higher spirits. Basically you ask a question that the answer is “yes” or “no” and than you wait for the guidance. After you practice more in these techniques you can ask more complicated question. You might think that only few people are searching for minerals in that way, but you might be surprise because even the US army using similar techniques to find weapons and wanted people all around the globe. There are also many oil companies that pay lots of money to psychics just so they will know where on earth to dig and find minerals. This is why the dowsing phenomenon is here to stay; our human mind is built in a way that we want to believe. Whether it works or not it doesn’t matter.