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  • Writer's pictureHeidi

Water Witching

A few years ago our well ran dry and I made an appointment for a well digger to come assess our property. He could only make an evening appointment so Ben had to meet him on his own. Ben frantically calls me at work wanting to know where the f*ck I found this freaking dude?!?!?!? I didn't have the heart to tell him that Roger Leed, the owner of the well digging company helped me out of a pickle a few years back and refused to take money for his help. He said, "if you ever need a well dug, please come to me." So you bet I followed through with my promise to repay his kindness. Helping a damsel in distress was surely a testament to his character, but not necessarily his well digging skills. I was a little nervous about Ben's response to him..

Ben said that Roger "grabbed a branch off of one of our trees, walked around the yard with it and decided where he needed to dig." Ben instantly thought the guy was out of his mind and a complete sham. I was hesitant to share that I really didn't know about this guy's work, but at the same time I was excited that he was water dowsing old school style and completely intrigued by the idea of finding water with a limb from our tree. I knew I wanted to see this technique in action first hand, so I made sure I was home when Roger came to dig for our new well.

Roger kindly explained to me that he just uses a branch from any fruit bearing tree. In our yard he had taken a bough from a black cherry tree. He also let it be known that not everyone possess the innate ability to water dowse. He said that his father started the well digging company, but was unable to dowse himself. He relied on Roger's skill from a young age to determine where they should dig for a well. I was so excited to see if I was able to dowse, so I asked Roger to teach me. He gave me a quick run down on how to hold the "Y" shaped branch and I walked around the yard completely in shock on how hard of a pull the invisible force had on my stick. Ben was not convinced so he gave it a try, but it appears he is not capable of this talent. But really one water witch in family is enough.

This technique for finding underground water has been known by many terms, water dowsing, water witching, witchcraft (this one makes me lol), and my personal favorite, doodlebugging. Whatever expression you choose to use, be sure there is a LOT of controversy surrounding this practice. Multiple cultures have practiced this skill for as long as history has been recorded; conversely science has been trying to debunk its validity for almost as long.

Our biggest struggle last year was being able to get water to the garden in an efficient manner. We made it work, but the plants needed to be water more frequently and the tenants complained about their water pressure when we hooked up the hose to their house. We are considering alternative options for this coming year. I had the thought of digging for groundwater to install a drip irrigation system; having long plastic tubes with tiny holes run the length of each row depositing water to each plant at soil level.

Before I gather the courage to ask the landowner about drilling where we garden, I decided to grab a branch of mountain laurel (pliable evergreen) and go doodlebug to see if there is even an underground source of water. I asked my stepson Cody to come down and video tape me so I could post to Instagram. If you hop on over to our page, you can see that there was a HUGE pull in one corner of the garden. I was pretty stoked!

One of my 24 year old coworkers suggested that I share my video on TikTok. I did not have a TikTok account, but decided to download the app and upload my dowsing video to my new found page. Within one week I gained over 5,000 followers with over 365k views, 80K "likes" and over 750 comments on just this one little demonstration!! I was floored that so many people have never heard of water dowsing. Many have been exposed to it by an animated character named Coraline Jones, though (judging by the comments) they did not understand what she was doing until they saw my post.

With all of this popularity my post was gaining there were MANY haters in the group. Lots of people saying that I was forcing the stick to move with my hands, people stating that science has called b*llsh*t on this, and it was all just "cap." I have come to learn that "cap" used in this context means fake, thank you for the vocabulary lesson TikTok...I thought they were making fun of my running gear, hahaha. One page even went as far as to copy my video and "stitching" it with a video of a magician "proving" this doesn't work.

I have zero clue why water dowsing works, why some people can do it while others do not seem to have the ability, or how accurate it really is. All I do know that is if you can do it, the force of the pull is too strong to ever deny. I stand by this 100%, and have made the public vow that IF I am ever allowed to drill for water I will video tape it at this spot and share what is found. Have you ever tried to dowse for water? Know a family member that used to do this? Please share your experience with us.

P.S. If you live in the Lancaster County, PA and ever need a well dug I highly recommend Leed's Well Drilling and Geothermal. He took care of us and his technique on where to dig worked like a charm;)

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