Locals say dowsing is the real deal for a better life

Locals say dowsing is the real deal for a better life

Betty Milazzo and Elizabeth Desrochers, of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Dowsers, with their primary tools of the trade, "dowsing rods." (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

NORTH PROVIDENCE - It's both a science and a feeling, an extension of one's perceptions and a tangible way of living, say those who practice it.

Rhode Island has an active group of "dowsers," people who use various devices and their own mental, emotional and intuitive faculties to find things like water, missing pets and lost jewelry, and they're looking for new people to join them.

Those who practice dowsing are convinced that it can help them with any number of daily tasks, from picking out vegetables at the grocery store that do not have genetically modified organisms to stopping water from coming into the basement.

Hands-on free dowsing classes are held on the second Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Notte Park off Douglas Avenue. The last class before the summer break will be Saturday, June 14.

Elizabeth Desrochers, head of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Dowsers, said dowsing is "one of the oldest forms of people getting answers."

Desrochers, of Johnston,, and fellow dowsing instructor Betty Milazzo, an employee in the North Providence Recreation Department and a town resident, say they remember growing up in Italian homes and using a needle and thread to find answers, like whether a pregnant family member would have a boy or a girl.

"We were doing dowsing without even knowing it," said Desrochers.

Dowsing is the action of a person (dowser) using a rod, stick or dowsing rod to locate things like underground water, hidden metal, treasure, oil, lost people or pets, among other things. It is an ancient practice, according to Desrochers, used for thousands of years as a "proven" tool to those who use it.

"With the aid of one's super conscious mind and a suitable device, you can find anything," states the modern dowsing guidelines.

Participants use the "natural extension" of a body's natural energy to ask "anything and everything" they want the answers to, said Desrochers.

The accomplishments of dowsing can be proven scientifically, she claimed, with such achievements as cleaner water. There are also less tangible benefits, like better health and dispelling of negative energy.

While traditional dowsing is often seen only as the practice of finding new water sources, Milazzo said she has never used it for that purpose. She was able to use it to change the flow of water away from the basement of a family member simply by talking to the water from an underground well.

"I'm always amazed by everything that happens," she said.

It is very important to identify what your "yes" and "no" answers will be before each dowsing session, said Milazzo. The tools of the trade, including a pendulum, fork stick and dowsing fork, will offer different signs as answers to each person based on the sign they chose ahead of time. For one person, a yes answer will mean the pendulum they are holding will swing back and forth. For another it could hang perfectly still.

To use a dowsing rod, a dowser holds the rod out in front of them, holding it by its swiveling handle. To find anything, a person must clear their mind and "get centered" to focus on whatever it is one is looking for.

"It helps to say the name of the object over and over as well as visualizing it in your mind," state the dowsing directions.

When a dowser walks over water below, their two dowsing rods will cross paths in front of them. Milazzo demonstrated how both rods swing in one direction when she asked them to show her the largest body of water around, in this case the Wenscott Reservoir.

It's not just daily conveniences that dowsing helps with, said Desrochers. Dowsers have done a great deal of good finding sources of water around the world, helping people in poor countries find new sources of sustenance. Not only do representatives from the American Society of Dowsers find the water through the Water for Humanity program, but they pay to dig the wells, she said.

For more on the American Society of Dowsers, visit www.dowsers.org . For more on the June 14 dowsing session at Notte Park, call Desrochers at 401-447-3671.