The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that “dowsers” – folks who use wooden sticks resembling large wishbones which they claim can tap into a natural energy to find water hidden underground – are enjoying a new boom in business since the skies dried up over California. Farmers, homeowners and even some vineyards are resorting to them to locate areas of underground water supplies.
The AP features the story of Marc Mondavi, a vineyard owner in the Napa Valley who learned dowsing from the father of a former girlfriend.
“It’s kind of bizarre. Scientists don’t believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do,” Mondavi said about the practice.
He has become the region’s “go-to water witch” in the Napa Valley, charging $500 a visit and more, and says his phone has been ringing a lot more lately as people begin to panic in their thirst for water.
They’d be better off praying to God for relief rather than offending Him by turning to occult forces to solve their problem.
Dowsing or “water witching” is an occult art employed by people who think they have a “special gift” of being able to discern the earth’s magnetism, water “radiations” or other natural phenomenon in order to discover hidden water or mineral supplies.
“They believe their dowsing stick or other device (often an occult pendulum) somehow ‘focuses’ or otherwise identifies this energy so that one is able to find water or other substances or things that one is seeking — including oil, treasure, and lost persons or objects,” writes Elliott Miller, editor of the Christian Research Journal.
As we report in this blog about dowsing, many practitioners believe theirs is a divine gift and appeal to the Bible as justification for what they’re doing; however, most of the scripture passages they cite refer only to digging wells or searching for water – never dowsing – which they claim is because the verses were mistranslated. If they were correctly translated, they would supposedly mention dowsing.
This is simply not so. There is only one direct reference to dowsing in Scripture and it’s hardly an endorsement. “My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; for a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have played the harlot, departing from their God” (Hos. 4:12).
Dowsing, in any form, has always been considered an occult art, and one that is often associated with witchcraft, which explains the alternate term of “water witching.” Many dowsers put themselves into a trance before dowsing and are expected to have faith in the “power” behind the dowsing rod as well as to have a personal interaction/response with it.
The Bible and the Catechism are very clear about resorting to the occult for anything (see Deuteronomy 18 and the Catechism Nos. 2115-2117).
If the people of California want more rain, they should follow the example of so many civilizations in the Old Testament who were relieved only after they repented of their sins and turned to God for help.