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Need water? Get a Witcher
Witching for water may seem a bit outdated in an age of technical instruments hooked to computers. Possibly some of you reading this would say it is down right ridiculous.Ridiculous or not, I believe. And, my late uncle had the gift.In an article entitled Ancient art of water witching survives the centuries, M.L. Lyke reports the earliest records of water witching are 6,000 to 8,000 year-old cave paintings in Africa. Then, as now, a water witcher or Dowser is primary used to find underground water for wells, although some say they are able to find graves. Practitioners use metal rods, wire coat hangers, or pliers. Others require a certain type of tree such as apple or peach. Holding the instrument of choice with both hands, water is located when the tip pulls either down or up. Dowsers have different thoughts on who actually has the gift. The American Society of Dowsers maintains everyone is born with the gift while others will say only one in a thousand can do it.There is much controversy surrounding the practice. Geologists almost unanimously condemn it. Lyke says "many modern-day critics call dowsing a superstitious relic." Although there are many people who do not believe, dowsing remains very much alive. Why? Because what is there to lose. When it costs $20,000 or more to dig a well, why not?Witching for a well was a common practice in the rural area where I grew up. I remember well the day my uncle came over with his peach stick when Dad decided to dig a new well. Gripping the Y shaped branch with a sort of backward grip, he walked back and forth over the area. Sure enough, the stick pulled down hard in one certain area. He kept walking around, always going back to the same spot. The well is there to this day.Years later, we were visiting with my uncle. When asked how it works, he said he did not know. We pressed for a demonstration. No peach branch was available but he thought pliers from the shop would do. Although he had a very tight grip, we could hear the rubbing on his hands as they pulled down while walking around the kitchen. He said the pliers were reacting to the water lines in the house. That sounded crazy so I held on to the pliers over his hands and, sure enough, I also experienced the pull. I discussed Uncle Lawrence's witching gift with his son not long ago. He agreed his dad had this ability. He saw him use it many times. When asked if he too could witch, he said, "Hell no." What ever one might believe on this subject, perhaps this quote from an article entitled Dowsing, Science or Humbug says it all"Simple truths about nature can't choose to hide from the skeptical minds and be seen by the gullible at the same time."