The Dowser’s Daughter

Spin Cycle - Sixth Sense


I think that as humans, to think we are the only creations, earthly or otherwise, with our intelligence level, is a bit smug, at best.  I think that there must be other beings out there and around us.  I feel it’s a matter more of whether we are intuned to them or willing or able to believe in them or accept them.  

Seriously, how do we KNOW what lies ahead of us?  I’m sure we all like to think there is something for us after our years here on earth.  Who are we to know for certain whether the continuance of existence is in the form of heaven or hell, or in a spirit realm or as a different person or creature altogether? 

I’m not sure which of these scenarios or combinations of scenarios may or may not be real, but, I do believe that there ARE spirits or spirit beings that are around that some may call angels, or demons, or ghosts, or poltergeists.  I feel that I, as well as others in my family have had encounters with some of them (another blog).  And I do believe some are good and some aren’t. 

I do think there are those people who have special abilities to communicate with these beings and also those who can perform actions that others can’t.  I believe that there are things that are unexplained and not necessarily scientific but nonetheless real. 

Take, for instance, the ability of my father to dowse, otherwise known as “water witching”.  I used to think this was farfetched and that people maybe “pretended” to be able to do this for other people’s benefit…until I tried it myself. 

I am one of six children born to a dowser.  I remember growing up and having people invariably come by our house several times a year because they couldn’t find water on their property and they had heard of our father’s “gift”.  He would always go and help them and he never charged them because he felt he needed to share this “gift” that had been bestowed upon him.  I guess I took it for granted for years or just thought it was something HE did. I never thought of it as being something that was unusual or necessarily passed on.  I never remember a time when I didn’t know that my father was a water witch.  He had always done it. 

My daddy


One weekend I remember my father challenges us, all six of his children, to see if we shared this ability.  I was totally skeptical.  I remember thinking “What am I supposed to do?  Am I supposed to MAKE the stick fall or turn it with my hands to make it look like I can do this? “  

forked tree branch used for dowsing


I took the tree branch in my hands and felt NOTHING….. My father told me to just loosely hold the branch in my hand and walk across the yard.  Of course he had already done this beforehand and knew already where they veins of water were underneath the ground.  We didn’t.  I started to walk across the yard and as I walked, at a certain point I could feel the branch start to turn in my hands.  I gripped the branch harder.  I didn’t WANT to be able to do this!  It scared the beejesus out of me! All I could think about were the tales of my grandmother making her table “walk” (I’m sure it was some form of levitation, but the stories handed down were that she made it walk).  I didn’t want to be one of those crazy ladies that made tables walk!  The branch continued to turn in my hands.  I gripped it so hard, as hard as I could, so that it would NOT turn.  As hard as I tried, I could not STOP it.  It turned despite the fact that I did not want it to and despite the fact that I was gripping it so hard that I felt there was no way it COULD turn.  I really thought it was going to rip the skin off my hands.  I don’t think there was any way I could have stopped it short of letting go and that didn’t even seem possible at that point. 

I remember going back to my daddy with such mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was so proud that I shared this gift with my daddy, as did one of my brothers and one of my sisters.  So this “ability” was passed on to half of us.  And that thought terrified me!  I definitely did not feel at ease with the mixed emotions that were warring in my body and my brain, Was this a gift?  Was this a curse?  

I’m still not sure what the answer is.  I just know that I NEVER, EVER tried to dowse again.  The thought that I could possess that ability was disturbing enough. The knowledge that I did was downright terrifying.  For some reason, maybe because of the religious views that had been instilled in me as a child, I was extremely uncomfortable with possessing this ability.  I call it an ability because I did not personally see it as a gift for me to possess it.  Funny thing, I had always considered it a gift for my dad and that he could share that with others.  But for myself, it was almost as if it would be blasphemy to use it. Against my dad?  Against God?  I don’t know.  I just know I had not only no desire to cultivate it, I had a NEED not to.


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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26 Responses to The Dowser’s Daughter

  1. Hadassah says:

    Interesting story. I believe we are given gifts. We can use them or not. Perhaps one day you’ll find a reason to use yours. 🙂

  2. This is so cool, Peg! I don’t know if what was happening had a spiritual or a physical reason, but it’s awesome! My husband Alex is Navajo and his mother is married to a “medicine man”. There are so many things outside of our realm of understanding that it’s amazing. I could all be scientific in nature, but we just don’t understand the science yet. Know what I mean? (By the way, I’ve missed hearing from you!)

    • pegbur7 says:

      I’m sorry I hadn’t been by in a couple days. I’ve had my daughter visiting from out of town and been swamped. I’ll try to drop by today and catch up!

  3. Very cool. I have heard of this and that it can be hereditary. I wonder why you feel so compelled not to use this skill. Whatever the reason, clearly you should listen to your instinct!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I think Suzi and I feel the same way. Probably because part of our family felt things like this come from a “bad place” and that thought was kind of pounded into our little heads? Partly because I myself don’t understand where it comes from and you know how we all can be about the “fear of the unknown”!

  4. suzicate says:

    I see we have much the same view on our exoerience of this. As a child, I thought it was cool. I did this many times with Daddy through the years, it didn’t conflict me until I tried it as an adult with more of a religious background. That’s when I couldn’t do it anymore.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I haven’t even tried because it still terrifies me too much. I’m probably more afraid that I still can than I can’t! Know what I mean?

  5. I think I understand where you’re coming from. There’s that plus side of being “abled”, knowing you have something special in you, and that negative of being “gifted”, knowing it makes you different from everyone else.
    While one hand feels amazing at being blessed, the other feels weighted down by the possibility of people either degrading you, mocking you, or worse, using you.
    I have seen dowsers at work, amazed at what they always find (because they ALWAYS find the water if there is any), and yet remained skeptical even though my own eyes proved my questions moot.
    I consider it a blessing. You’re linked!

  6. Ron says:

    What a faaaaaabulous post, Peg!

    Yup…I very much believe in the unexplained. Too many things have occured in my life that could not be explained, but were REAL all the same.

    I’ve read a little bit about dowsing in the past, so I’m familiar with it. I’ve read it goes back to the Native American Indians.

    Hey, he may come in handy one day if you’re ever stranded in a desert!

    Enjoyed this post very much.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Ron. And yes, we do have Native American Heritage on our dad’s side. I believe it was his grandmother that was Monaccan Indian. He “found religion” in the last few years and quit dowsing himself as he felt conflicted with his gift and his newfound views. He did however, several years ago, find water when they built the newest school up there when no one else could find it. He got a nice write up in their little local paper over it!

      Thanks again. Your comments always make me smile!

  7. Angelia Sims says:

    I’ve come to understand the last few years that God made energy. He made us of energy. He made supernatural beings called Angels all around us. Demons were made when Satan was cast out. He supernaturally made Mary pregnant. He supernaturally rose from the dead.

    My gosh the supernatural is nothing to be scared of. Imagine back in the time of his days how they found water? That was a lifesaving gift and nothing to be afraid of. 🙂

    I’m thrilled and amazed to know a real live dowser and her family. Aren’t we lucky in today’s world we don’t have a dire need for your gift?

  8. LisaF says:

    With all the negative opinions linking it to witchcraft, the occult and demonic forces, it would be hard to view it as a gift. Yet, I wonder if those same critics view speaking in tongues the same way. There is a supernatural realm we are not privy to most of the time. Occasionally God will pull back the curtain and let us witness his supernatural actions. Is dowsing a form of divination? Will it lead to other psychic, occult worship and abilities? I think those things can only be answered by looking deep into your heart and your relationship with the Savior. A heartfelt conversation with the Creator of all things (natural and supernatural) will guide you in what you should do. What would be your underlying reasons for embracing (or rejecting) this ability? Would there be ulterior motives that were self-serving or idolatrous is you accepted that this was indeed something your possessed? Many God-given talents can and have been used for idolatrous and demonic purposes. Only you and God know the answer to how you would handle it. Happy praying. 🙂

  9. Jimmy says:

    Hey Peg,

    I had a gentleman I worked with that had the ability to witch for water as he called it, it was pretty impressive to watch him and to watch his face when he was proven right.

    Whether this is an unwanted gift or an inherited ability is up to you, if you choose to use it and feel comfortable then it is an appreciated ability, if it scares you at the thought of it and working it makes you sick then you are right to shy away from it, whatever it is will be determined by how it affects you.

    Very interesting post I truly enjoyed the read.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Jimmy. I guess I feel I’ve never had a NEED to use it. If it ever came to where I needed to find water, then maybe I’d change my mind! My father’s ability’s were sp strong at one point that he could find other things too. And he could use just about any instrument. I have even seen him use a coat hanger that had been straightened out and reshaped into a diving rod. Once in our family cemetary to gravestones got moved (I don’t remember why) and he was able to find where the bodies were by doing the same thing. THAT really scared me! I wouldn’t even attempt that.

  10. Angelia Sims says:

    “Many passages in the Bible allude to dowsing, relating in considerable detail how both Moses and his son, Aaron, used a dowsing device referred to as “the Rod” to locate and bring forth water.”

    I thought this was interesting… 

  11. joz1234 says:

    great post! I think it is a wonderful ability to have, and I also agree with LisaF about it.

  12. Patty says:

    This is fascinating. While it is easy for me to say how cool it is, I can also see why you might have mixed feelings about it. On the other hand, I think God does give us gifts and using them to help others only honors Him.

  13. Mama Badger says:

    Ok, so for me your fear to use your ability is part of why the belief in the paranormal sucks. You have a natural ability to find water. We can’t explain it, but we know it to be true. But because we can’t explain it, it must be magic of some kind. And for some people magic = bad. That’s just not fair! If people would realize that everything has some sort of explanation, even if we don’t have that explanation right now, then there wouldn’t be this kind of fear. And you might feel more inclined to use your ability. It’s a crying shame that religion and pop culture took us down this road. Great spin, though.

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