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Serial Lesson 120

From Course XI, Divination and Character Reading,
Chapter 3

Original Copyright 1940, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light

To purchase the print book Divination and Character Reading click here


Subheadings:  The Principles Involved in Using the Divining Rod    Selecting the Divining Rod    Using the Divining Rod    Locating Substances Other than Water    Estimating Depth and Volume    Determining the Contour of the Deposit    Many People Can Successfully Use the Divining Rod    Coin on a String    Bible on a String    Geomancy

Illustrations:  Divining Rod Illustration 1    Divining Rod Illustration 2

Chapter 3

Divining Rod and Other Divination

THE MOST familiar use of the divining rod, and the one most people know something about through reputation if not through actual observation, is that of locating underground water. The divining rod of late years, however, has greatly extended its usefulness. In its different forms it is known to oil and metal prospectors as a “doodlebug.” And although the claims of those using “doodlebugs” for such purposes should be taken with much caution, such “doodlebugs” at present are in rather common use, and at times with outstanding success, in the effort to locate mines, and in locating oil.

They have been employed, with varying degrees of success, in the development of the newer oil fields of the southwestern United States. Instances of their successful use in this region might be cited at considerable length, but as these have not painstakingly been investigated by men of academic standing as scientists, such citations would carry little scientific weight. Yet before explaining this form of divination and how to practice it, irrefutable evidence should be presented that it can be done. And, as more convincing than the experience of any layman, I shall call upon one of the greatest scientists of our times, Professor Charles Richet, who investigated the subject exhaustively, to present the necessary proof. In his noteworthy book, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, on page 230 he says:

The bending of the rod over water-springs or metals is incontestably true. It has recently been fully verified, with all possible care, and the phenomena can no more be denied than any fact of chemistry or physiology.

There was a series of trials published in 1913 by H. Magar, at the Forest of Vincennes at which it was clearly proved that masses of metals buried in the ground could be discovered equally well as moving water. The discovery of moving underground water has almost become a trade and cannot be doubted; the government engineers in different lands use the faculty of dowser {one who uses a divining rod is called a dowser) to discover water; this is done in various districts of France, in Tunisia, Algiers, the United States, and in German Africa. Differences of skill in dowsers are not due to the rod not turning in their hands, but to unequal ability in interpreting its movements as to the extent, depth, and direction of flow.

On page 231 he gives the results of still other investigations:

Summing up his results, M. Vire has sent me an unpublished note in which he give the figures below from fully verified trials since 1913 by Messrs. Pelaprat, Probst, Jouffreau, A. Vire, Colonel Vallatin, and the Abbe Mermet:

Subterranean water, number of experiments 19, successes 89%.

Subterranean cavities, number of experiments 23, successes 87%.

Metals and metallic veins, number of experiments 11, successes 80%.

Coal, number of experiments 9, successes 55%.

Calculation by percentage underrates the successes, for a remarkable positive result greatly outweighs many failures. The probability is not 1 to 2, but very much less.

For instance, M. Pelaprat and M. Vire (in an unpublished experiment) showed Mr. A.C., councilor of state, where to sink a well on his property at Juillac (Depart. Lot.). Several borings had been made without results. Messrs. Pelaprat and Vire indicated a thin stream of water thirteen metres below the surface; a well was sunk, and water was found in sufficient quantity for the purpose required.

These quotations from a book written by a man recognized throughout the world for his scientific attainments will, I believe, be sufficient to indicate not only that the divining rod actually may yield information regarding underground substances, but that in the hands of an expert diviner it may prove of great practical value.

In the past such divination has been practiced mostly by the ignorant. It has systematically been discouraged as a mere superstition. In consequence, it is an ability which has been cultivated by the few indeed, and this cultivation has not been approached in an intelligent manner. Therefore what has already been accomplished in this line is probably inferior and unreliable in comparison to what may be accomplished under intelligent training based upon a more thorough knowledge of the principles that must be utilized.

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The Principles Involved in Using the Divining Rod

The principles underlying the use of the divining rod are the same in their general outlines as those underlying cup divination and other divinatory methods. Extra-Sensory Perception must be employed to enable the unconscious mind, or soul, to ascertain the position of the underground substance sought. Then, in order that this information, which after it has been acquired resides at least momentarily in the unconscious mind as a memory, shall be made available to objective consciousness, it must be projected into the physical world in a manner that can be recognized and given correct interpretation. It is the manner in which the information is thus imparted from the soul to objective consciousness which to a certain extent makes the divining rod unique; for in using it the unconscious mind utilizes control of certain nerves and muscles to cause the rod to turn in the diviner’s hands in such a way as to transmit the information it possesses.

Now it might be thought that the senses of the soul could perceive the presence of one substance under the ground just as readily as they could perceive another. But experiments, such as the series just cited, indicate that it is much easier to locate underground water than to locate oil, and that oil is easier to locate with a divining rod than are metals.

A little reflection will show that this is what should be expected; for when these objects are above ground it is easier to detect some at a distance, by means of the physical senses, than it is to detect the presence of others. A horse, for instance, if thirsty, will smell water at a long distance. Also, in the amounts in which they commonly occur, water may be seen at a much greater distance than gold Pools of oil on the surface of the earth may be smelled at a distance, as well as seen. Silver, in the chemical combinations of its ores as usually mined would not be so readily seen at the same distance, and would not appeal to the sense of smell.

The astral counterparts of substances certainly do not all have the same properties; in fact, objects are as different on the inner plane as they are on the physical. Their properties vary as greatly. And as a consequence of their individual properties, some can be perceived by the soul senses much more readily than can others. This is just what experiments with the divining rod indicate.

Undoubtedly all objects radiate astral vibrations But in addition to these inner-plane radiations all physical objects also radiate Boundary-Line vibrations. As was explained in Chapter 1 (Serial Lesson 118), man normally lives in two realms; in a realm of slow velocities and fast time called the physical, and in a realm of high-velocity, slow time which is called the astral world or inner plane. Connecting these two velocity-time regions, in one of which dwells his physical body and in the other of which dwells his soul, is a Boundary-Line region where velocities are those of light, electromagnetic waves and radiations. The realm where velocities are above 186,173 miles per second is the inner plane where mind resides and exercises Extra-Sensory Perception and Extra-Physical Power. The realm where velocities are below 186,173 miles per second is the outer plane where the physical body resides and exercises physical senses and muscular power. For the outer plane to affect the inner, or the inner plane to affect the outer, it must utilize energies of the Boundary-Line region.

As all physical objects have their astral counterparts, and can influence these only through Boundary-Line energies, and the astral counterparts can only influence the physical through Boundary-Line energies, it follows that material things radiate, in some degree, Boundary-Line energies. These greatly facilitate the detection of certain substances through ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception).

Material science is only now coming to recognize these Boundary-Line radiations which have been known to students of the occult for centuries. Let me quote from the front page of the Los Angeles Times, issue of December 30, 1939:

Columbus (O.) Dec. 29. (AP) A radio microscope, a new scientific instrument which has disclosed an entire world of unseen rays, was announced to the American Association for the Advancement of Science today.

Man himself as well as all kinds of supposedly inert matter constantly emits rays that this instrument ‘sees’...

The radio device actually is a radio frequency spectroscope. It does the same thing for cool, non flowing matter that the spectroscope does when it discloses the kind of atoms that make the stars...

It was reported by I. I. Rabi, P. Kusch and S. Millman of Columbia University to a crowded hall filled with eminent physicists who listened enthralled.

The existence of such rays coming from man and all living things, and probably from the inanimate world, has been suspected by scientists for many years. Today is the first experimental proof of their existence.

The discovery shows that every atom and every molecule in nature is a continuous radio broadcasting station. That hot atoms broadcast waves has long been a proven fact. But this new broadcasting is by atoms not only at room temperature, but in any degree of cold.

Thus even after death, the substance that was a man continues to send out its delicate rays. The wave lengths of these rays range from shorter than anything now used in broadcasting to the longest kind of radio waves.

The jumble of these rays is almost inconceivable. There are millions of them. A single very large molecule, Professor Rabi said, may give off 1,000,000 different wave lengths at the same time.

The longer wave lengths of this sort travel with the ease and speed of radio waves...

There is one amazing difference between the new radio rays and familiar waves like light. This is the prolonged time, amounting to thousands of years, which these radio waves will keep on emitting from undisturbed matter. The more familiar rays, like light and heat, are all given off in a short time, as anyone can prove to himself by watching a fire.

The cells of the nervous system of the human body are specially adapted to the production of short-wave electromagnetic radiations and to carrying electric currents. Thus, as seems well demonstrated by experiments in telepathy, it is a radio broadcasting set. And as scientists have found these electrical phenomena of the nervous system are reversible, as is demonstrated when the cells recharge in sleep, this means also that the nervous system is a delicate receiving set, capable of intercepting short waves which reach it from other broadcasting sets.

Nerve currents which are given the frequencies characteristic of the influence of the upper-octave planets—Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—may be used for broadcasting or for reception by reversing the polarity. And while long distance telepathy often is accomplished through transforming high-frequency electromagnetic radiations into astral vibratory rates which have a still higher velocity, the more common short distance telepathy is accomplished through electromagnetic waves. For this reason the ancients classified thought transference as one of the seven physical senses.

The senses of the soul are capable of perceiving on the inner plane, and quite apart from their electromagnetic radiations, the astral counterparts of physical objects, and acquire information thus about them. But objects and thoughts, and things which people have carried about their persons so that they have acquired the electromagnetic quality of their thoughts, radiate Boundary-Line energy. And a properly attuned nervous system within the radius of these electromagnetic radiations is capable of picking them up in the manner of a radio receiving set. It then requires only the ability on the part of the unconscious mind to interpret the significance of what is felt to acquire information not accessible to the physical senses.

Intellectual ESP gains its information more directly by an extension of consciousness through which it contacts the astral counterpart of the object or condition. It does not depend upon picking up, radio fashion, either the astral vibrations or the electromagnetic vibrations radiated by that about which it seeks information.

Feeling ESP, on the other hand, depends exclusively upon picking up with the nervous system, or the currents traveling over it, either the astral vibrations or the Boundary-Line vibrations radiated by that which it thus contacts. And while Feeling ESP is capable of thus picking up and interpreting the astral radiations of objects and thoughts, those who practice it usually depend very largely upon feeling the Boundary-Line radiations of people and things. For the purpose of possessing very delicate receiving sets, capable of picking up and discriminating the difference between such waves as now are perceived by the radio microscope they hyper sensitize their nervous systems.

Those who are good water diviners, and who as professional psychics are accustomed to give excellent personal readings to clients, usually are no better than others in tests with the ESP cards, or in acquiring information unknown to other minds or about matters which have no distinct Boundary-Line radiations. From a handkerchief carried by a person, or from a letter written by him, or from a lock of his hair, such a psychic may give amazingly accurate information not accessible through physical channels. But when the same psychic is asked to discern the symbol on a face-down card, if no other person knows what it is, that is quite a different matter. The electromagnetic radiations of these symbols are too weak and too similar for his nervous system to be able readily to distinguish one from another.

A stream of water under the ground, however, has powerful electromagnetic radiations, and to a person whose nervous system is even slightly attuned to pick up vibrations, radio fashion, its perception is quite easy. Oil, when in quantities sufficiency large to be commercially valuable, also has an electromagnetic radiation not too difficult to be felt by a hypersensitive nervous system. However, distance is a factor in the reception of Boundary-Line energies, and oil often is far beneath the ground. In locating things beneath the surface of the earth by means of Feeling ESP, both the quantity of the substance sought and the ease with which its characteristic electromagnetic radiations can be felt, as well as its distance from the diviner, are factors that enter into the degree of success in locating them.

But whether Felt through electromagnetic energies picked up by a sensitive nervous system or Intellectually perceived on the inner plane, the information to be of practical value must be in some manner transmitted to objective consciousness.

Now because the unconscious mind commonly directs the movements of the involuntary muscles, and those that perform their movements through habit, it is able to use unconscious muscular actions with facility in conveying its signals. Through the suggestion reinforced by tradition that the divining rod will turn down, or behave in a specified way, in the presence of the substance sought, it becomes aware of the nature of the signal it is expected to give. And thus in the use of the divining rod it employs unconscious muscular movements, even as much table-tipping, automatic writing, and many Ouija board messages may be attributed to not dissimilar manifestations.

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Selecting the Divining Rod

From this explanation of the principles underlying the use of such an instrument, it might be thought that the kind of a rod is unimportant. One might even be led to think that it would be quite as easy to locate underground treasures without the use of a rod or instrument of any kind through some arbitrarily chosen code between the soul and the physical brain. Experiments, however, show decidedly that this is not the case. They show that a rod made in a certain manner and of a certain material gives better results than one made otherwise and of a different material. Quoting again from Thirty Years of Psychical Research:

The Abbe Caubin, a very experienced dowser, was able to reveal the presence of divers metallic masses. The kind of rod used has some influence on the result. With a wooden rod there were eight successes out of eight trials; with a copper rod four successes in seven trials; iron gave two in four; and glass none in five trials.

The reason a rod of one material is not so good as that of another is much the same as that a microscope constructed of one kind of glass may be not so good as one constructed of another kind. Nor can one see without a microscope all that can be seen with one, even though in both cases the image is conveyed to the eye by rays of light reflected from the object. Certain substances, chiefly organic in nature, through the organization in their astral makeup, possess the power of collecting and transmitting inner-plane and Boundary-Line vibrations more fully than other substances. They commonly are called mediumistic. Of them live ivory (as distinct from fossil ivory) has this power perhaps in greatest degree. Almost as mediumistic as ivory is witch hazel. Next in value for this purpose is willow. Peach, almond and apple also are woods that are quite mediumistic.

The younger shoots or branches of the above named shrubs and trees are more mediumistic than the older growth. Also, the time when these shoots are cut has an influence upon their power to collect and transmit vibrations. It would seem that the general astral quality of the branch at the time it is cut from the main stem and thus exists independently is then somewhat polarized by planetary positions. The cutting of the branch from its parent, after a fashion is the birth of the severed branch, and the time it thus first exists independently is analogous to its birth time, from which a horoscope may be erected.

The one quality, however, which it is desirous that the branch so cut shall have, is mediumship. Therefore, for best results, a time should be chosen that will confer mediumistic quality upon the rod in the strongest degree. This time, as determined from astrological considerations, is just before midnight on the night of the full moon. That is, the night when the moon reaches its full after midnight, but before midnight of the following night. The moon should not have passed its full at the time the branch is cut. And if a month is chosen when the sun is in a negative sign, in which to cut the branch, so much the better. The most mediumistic time of year, and consequently the best time to cut a switch from which to make a divining rod, is just before midnight on the night of the first full moon after the sun enters the sign Capricorn. The sun then is in a negative sign in the fourth house of the chart, and the moon culminates in its own home, the most mediumistic of all the signs, Cancer.

After the shoots or branches are cut it is not necessary that they be made into divining rods at once. They may be put away until such a time as it is convenient to do further work on them, or they may be trimmed to the proper proportions at once.

The shapes of divining rods vary. The prevalent form, however, and the one that seems to give best results in the hands of the widest number, is that of a prong, or fork, or crotch. The switch is cut some three or four inches below where it forks, and a foot or eighteen inches of both branches above the fork is left, the ends exceeding this length being cut off. This leaves a crotch, preferably forking rather widely, each of its branches at the largest place being about the diameter of a man’s little finger, and about a foot or eighteen inches long, although the size of the rod may vary greatly from this.

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Using the Divining Rod

The customary manner of using such a divining rod is to grasp the ends of the branches, one in each hand, with the thumbs and first fingers toward the crotch. This makes a circuit between the right hand and the left hand, yet the energy present also has opportunity to flow into the four or six inches of stub that has been left where the forks of the rod join, and which thus acts as a pointer.

The upper arms are held loosely close to, and parallel with, the sides. The forearms are held in front of the body at right angles to it. The divining rod, which is now directly in front of the solar plexus, is held with its point—the end where the two branches unite—turned toward the zenith. With the rod held in this manner, the diviner walks over the ground in the region where the substance sought is thought to exist. When he comes more or less close to the spot directly above the substance the point—the stub above where the branches join—will gradually turn toward the earth. The closer to the spot directly over the object sought he comes the more downward points the rod until, when he is directly over the spot where it occurs, it points perpendicularly downward to the earth.

By far the most potent force operating to turn the rod downward usually is the unconscious muscular action of the diviner. The involuntary muscular contractions, directed by the soul, are so strong often as to overcome any and all resistance the diviner may make to the turning of the rod. There are other cases, nevertheless, in which there undoubtedly is some psychic force present other than muscular contraction.

With a rod of the shape I have described, even though the rod turns in the hands with such force as to break it, and brings blisters on the hands of the diviner, it is difficult to prove that these results are not wholly due to involuntary muscular movements. Other forms of divining rods, however, are occasionally used. Sometimes a long, straight switch of hazel or willow is held with both hands near the large end. Such a switch will sometimes, in the hands of an experienced diviner, bend downward at the tip violently, much after the fashion of a fishing rod when a fish has been hooked. It will then continue with the tip bending down as if a weight were attached to it, a condition impossible to produce by any amount and kind of muscular movement of the hands where they hold the rod.

Another method of using a divining rod, although, I believe, not so good as the one I have recommended, is to grasp a straight switch of hazel or willow near both ends. The middle part, then, is supposed to bend downward when over the substance sought. This bending will sometimes take place when it is held so loosely in the hands as to make it impossible thus to bend it through muscular action. Then again, as shown by experiments carried out by Paul Memoine, when the ends of a divining rod are placed in sheaths, and these are held in the hands, the rod nevertheless turns in the sheaths. This could not happen if muscular action alone were responsible.

The novice at using the divining rod should not expect violent manifestations such as have just been described. With the first trials it should be sufficient if the rod turns down in a manner somewhat accurately locating the substance sought. The turning will probably be due to involuntary muscular contractions. Yet it should also be recognized, so the mechanics of the subject may be thoroughly understood, that even as when tea leaves or coffee grounds are being distributed in a cup, or when tarot cards are being shuffled, so also when using the divining rod there may be present a psychic intelligence which not only perceives the matter sought, but which also is capable of exerting an influence upon the movement of the rod quite independent of the muscles of the diviner.

Such independent movement is possible only when there is electromagnetic energy at hand in considerable volume, radiated from some person present. Therefore, these violent and independent manifestations of the rod usually occur only when the diviner is pronouncedly mediumistic. Yet a person not mediumistic in this sense may use the divining rod with quite as much accuracy. The movement of the rod may be only strong enough to act as a signal from the unconscious mind, yet give information of utmost value and precision.

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Locating Substances Other than Water

When water is the substance sought the diviner commonly uses the rod without anything in addition to it. But when oil or the metals are to be located some system must be employed that will impress the information upon the soul that water is not wanted, and just what the nature of the substance is that should be located. This is accomplished in different ways by different diviners, but the method most in favor is to hold a portion of the substance sought next to the divining rod in the right hand of the diviner.

Thus if oil is to be located, a small cotton cloth is saturated with crude oil and wrapped around the portion of the rod where grasped by the right hand. If silver is sought, a silver coin is held in the right hand against the rod where it is grasped. If gold is the metal to be found, a gold coin or a gold ring is grasped next to the rod in the right hand. A portion of the substance sought should actually contact the rod in a manner as if it were expected that the energy from the diviner should flow through this substance and out through the pointer of the rod.

And, in addition to astral energy, it seems that electrical energy—associated with both the earth and the diviner—must flow through the rod for its successful operation. Thus it has been proven by various series of experiments that rubber soles on the shoes, or glass insulation from the ground, or rubber, woolen or silk gloves on the hands, destroy the power of the rod. The feet must contact the earth in such a manner that there is no pronounced insulation, and even very heavy leather soles on the shoes are not best. There also must be no insulating material between the hands and the rod held by them. It is unlikely that astral energies are hindered by insulating materials, but astral energies to affect physical substances, such as the turning of the rod, impart motions through Boundary-Line energies. That these shall be adequately present it seems that the diviner’s body must be properly grounded. That these electromagnetic forces may act upon the rod, it seems there must be no insulation between his hands and the rod.

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Estimating Depth and Volume

The mere matter of locating where there is underground water or underground oil or underground metal is the easiest part of a diviner’s work. Were his work to stop here it would be of but slight value. It is his endeavor also to determine approximately the amount of substance present, at what depth it occurs, and in the case of water the direction of its flow.

The amount of the substance present is approximately determined by the violence of the pull on the tip of the rod. Only experience will teach the diviner how much pull on the rod represents a given amount of the material sought. An angler who has caught trout has an approximate idea of the size of the fish he has hooked before lifting it from the water. Another kind of fish of equal size may not exert so much pull upon the line as a trout. Yet if he knows the kind of fish he has hooked he may be able to tell something about its size by its pull on the line. So, in using the divining rod, knowing the material sought, the diviner from his previous experiences with this substance seeks to determine by the amount of pull on the rod just about how much of the substance there is.

It is common for diviners to estimate the depth of the hidden material in this way: The point where the rod first starts to turn is noted. Then the point is marked where the pointer turns completely down, perpendicular to the earth. Usually the diviner goes to some distance, and in a different direction, from where the pointer turns completely down, and again walks toward the spot and notes where it commences to turn, and also if it turns completely down at the same spot. He does this from several directions. Then in each case the distance from the point where the rod commenced to turn to where it turned completely down is measured and the average taken. If the diviner is quite precise in his work, this measured distance is the depth the substance sought is under the surface.

The point is approached from several different directions and the average of the distances is taken to lessen the likelihood of error. Experiments with the diviners in the oil fields, where the depth to the oil may be well over a thousand feet, and is often several times that, have yielded some amazing results. The distance between where the rod commenced to turn and where it pointed directly down, when tried from various points has, with some diviners, varied not more than a few feet. If this were guess work, it is remarkable that a person could guess a distance so great as this, after having established it at first trial, again and again, from different directions, with not more than two or three feet difference as measured later by a tape line. But when this also has been found to coincide as closely with the depth of the well when drilled, it is truly a remarkable achievement. It must be added, however, that such accuracy and precision, among those who divine for oil, while attained by a few, has been fallen far short of by the many.

In some places, notably in France, the divining rod has been used successfully to locate not only minerals, but also to locate underground crypts and caverns. In locating coal, a small piece of coal is held in the right hand against the rod. Likewise in locating other minerals, a portion is held against the rod. How, then, is the diviner to distinguish an underground grotto? He holds in his right hand, next to the rod, a small piece of clay tubing or a small hollow clay ball. This focuses the soul senses on hollow spaces under ground.

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Determining the Contour of the Deposit

The approximate contour of the hidden deposit or cavern may be determined by using the rod at different points, and noting the amount of pull on the rod at each point. In the case of an underground stream the rod will point down almost immediately at any spot directly over its course. Therefore, to find its depth under the ground it is necessary to approach its edge from beyond its boundary, noting the distance from the point where the rod begins to turn to the point where it finally is perpendicular to the earth. If there is a distinct current in the underground stream, the direction of the current’s flow will be indicated by a slight vibration of the tip of the rod. The vibration, or series of slight movements of the rod, will be toward the direction in which the current is flowing. It will be felt, perhaps, by the hands of the diviner as a tremulous tugging of the rod in the direction of flow, more distinctly than it is seen. He is thus quite definitely made aware of the movement of the underground stream and the direction of that movement. But if the underground substance is not in motion, no such vibration is felt in the rod after it has turned directly down.

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Many People Can Successfully Use the Divining Rod

Experiments indicate that rather a high percentage of people can use the divining rod with some success at the first few trials. Some who have studied the matter have concluded that all persons, with sufficient training, could have some success as rod diviners. When we reflect however, that some persons never seem to be able to learn a simple strain of music, that others never master, even after arduous practice, the simplest mathematical problems, that there are persons in considerable number who cannot distinguish between the colors red and black, it seems probable that there are many persons also who could not develop the ability successfully to use the divining rod.

When we bear in mind that the greatest naturalist of the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin, in his maturer years lost the power entirely of appreciating music, and that another great naturalist and scientist, Louis Agassiz, had a decided weakness in mathematics, we are not likely to make the mistake of considering those deficient in some normal faculty as necessarily mentally inferior.

It would seem that the power of communicating in some small measure what the soul perceives to the physical brain is a normal faculty. It is a faculty, however, which has received scant attention in the past, and for that reason it performs its function imperfectly with most. The ability of the unconscious mind to communicate signals to the physical brain by means of involuntary muscular contractions, also is a normal faculty; for it is not altogether dissimilar, although there is an element of objective consciousness present in them, from winking the eye involuntarily or Jerking the hand away from a very hot object or recoiling from a startling noise. In the case of many involuntary movements it is better to permit the actions to be controlled by the soul. Yet there are other instances, blushing for instance, where such control is inconvenient, and still others where it might prove dangerous. It is well, therefore, carefully to watch the effect of practice with the divining rod.

The distinction here between utilizing one’s own faculties and that of being under the control of some other entity should be kept well marked in the mind. The irresponsible medium permits whatever intelligence is present to use his brain and nerves and muscles. The diviner instructs his own inner-plane senses to perceive what is sought. He instructs his soul, or unconscious mind, to use his nerves and muscles to impart this information to his brain through turning the rod. He does this much as he would instruct his soul to supervise the function of digestion for acquiring better health, or instruct it to awaken him at a specified time in the morning, or instruct it to aid him in the performance of some work requiring exceptional skill.

When we thus instruct our unconscious minds to bring about certain results, and those results follow, we are still in command of ourselves. But when we vacate control and permit another to take charge we are breaking down our power to direct and control ourselves in the future. Nevertheless, both Feeling ESP and employing involuntary muscular movements such as are present in rod divining, need to be approached with caution. The caution is necessary to insure that conditions which are well within the individual’s control at start do not develop into conditions which are not thus completely under his control.

The faculty of finding substances may be cultivated by using the rod to find a portion of the chosen substance which has been buried, or which has been placed under the floor, by an acquaintance. In this way the rod may be used to locate the exact spot where a small portion of the substance has been hidden close to the surface. To practice estimating the depth of the deposit a dry well may be utilized, and the substance may be suspended in the well at depths unknown to the diviner. The rod should commence to turn at a distance from the well equivalent to the depth of the substance under the ground.

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Coin on a String

Another form of divining instrument occasionally used in locating hidden deposits is a coin tied on the end of a string. The prospector walks over the ground where the mineral is likely to be. The coin on the end of the string performs no unusual movements so long as there is no mineral deposit underneath. But as it approaches such a deposit it begins swinging around in a circle, due, no doubt, to the unconscious muscular contractions of the diviner. The swinging, and also the spinning of the coin, become more violent as the deposit is neared becoming most violent when directly over the deposit.

There are variants from the common usage, but it is usual to use a gold coin for locating gold, a silver coin for locating silver, etc. The coin, like the divining rod, is a means by which the soul signals objective consciousness what it has perceived by its inner-plane senses.

There are other rods, used by metal prospectors, in which a little chamber at the end of the rod farthest from the hands contains metals, or other substances, in various combinations. The principle on which they operate, however, is essentially the same as that employed in the ordinary divining rod as already described.

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Bible on a String

There is also a method of divination common in some sections which employs a small Bible to answer questions. No doubt there are many variants of the method, and that it can be practiced by one person, but as I have witnessed its use two persons acted as diviners.

The small Bible is tied to a string and the other end of the string is tied to the middle of a cane. One person holds one end of the cane and the other person holds the opposite end. The Bible is thus suspended about a foot from the floor by the string tied to the middle of the cane. The Bible is then permitted, by the movements of the hands holding the ends of the cane, to sway gently to and fro.

The question to be asked is clearly formulated in a manner that it may be answered by yes or no. One or more passage of Scriptures is chosen to repeat before the question is asked, such as two or three verses of the Twenty-Third Psalm. Then, after repeating the Scriptural quotation decided upon, one of the persons holding the cane, the Bible gently swinging meantime, follows the quotation with the question. If the answer to the question is no, the Bible will almost, or quite, stop swinging; but if the answer is yes it will begin to swing in circles that become wider and wider until this is recognized by the diviners as an affirmative answer to the question.

The religious element and the solemnity enjoined tend to direct the attention of the souls to the question. One question follows another, each preceded by the Scriptural quotations. In this manner, through affirmative and negative replies, considerable information of value occasionally is gained. Of course, as a usual thing, in this method of divining the unconscious mind merely makes use of the unconscious muscular contractions to signal what it has acquired through ESP to objective consciousness.

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I have seen a native of Baluchistan give a divinatory reading, which subsequently proved quite correct even in detail, to another sorely perplexed native of the same country after the following manner:

He first brushed a space in the dust a yard or two square. Then he cut a switch from a nearby tree, trimming it so there were several prongs left at the smaller end. Grasping the switch by the larger end, he used the prongs to trace marks in the leveled dust. While making the marks on this dust blackboard he looked off into the distance in an abstracted manner and permitted the switch to perform whatever movements he felt impressed to make. He did not look at the design thus automatically traced in the dust until after such marks as he felt impressed to make were finished. Then he dropped the switch and directed his attention to the tracings.

The tracings, which presented a crazy-quilt effect, were interpreted much after the manner in which a divining cup is read. The combination of lines and spaces gave a bizarre resemblance to pictures of objects and animals. These were interpreted as symbolic of approaching conditions and events, the interpretation passing from one figure to another until the resemblances were exhausted.

On another occasion the same diviner was asked a question which could be answered by yes or no. In this instance one person was desirous of knowing if another person who had gone away would return.

He took up a small stick and looking into the distance made a row of marks in the dust, then below these another row, and below these a third row, without keeping track of how many marks were made in each row. He then counted the marks made in each row and by a single mark, or by two marks, made notation whether the marks in a row were odd in number or were even. These resultant marks then were counted and the number so found was seen to be an even number. His answer, therefore, was in the negative, that the person would not return. Had the final result been an odd number, he would have passed judgment in the affirmative.

This is but one of a great number of methods of divining in the earth, called geomancy. I will briefly give another method requiring a little knowledge of astrology for its interpretation:

Pencil and paper may quite as well be substituted for the earth. Four horizontal rows of marks, or dots, are traced on the ground, or on paper, without any thought being taken as to the number of marks made. The top row is then counted, and if the resulting number is uneven 1 cipher is marked down, but if the number of marks is even, two ciphers are marked down. Then the next row beneath is counted, and the cipher, or ciphers, designating whether the row is of even or uneven number is marked down directly beneath the cipher, or ciphers, marking the first row. The result of counting the third row is noted down beneath the others, and the result of counting the fourth row is placed beneath this. The result is a figure containing from four to eight ciphers, there being a possibility of sixteen different designs. These designs have arbitrarily been assigned to the ten planets, certain of them representing planets well aspected, and others representing planets much afflicted by aspect. This arbitrary assignment is given at the front of this chapter.

Now if the answer to a question is sought, the diviner, while keeping the question in mind, makes four rows of marks as above instructed. He then determines which lines are even, and which uneven, noting down the result as ciphers. These ciphers thus jotted down present one of the sixteen designs shown at the front of this chapter, and thus represent one of the planets. If this planet is favorable to the proposition, the reading is thus given; if it is adverse, the nature of the affliction is made known.

Should a complete reading be desired by this method of astrological geomancy, the diviner uses an ordinary blank astrological chart. The design resulting from the first four lines of marks corresponds to one of the planets, and he places this planet, with its aspect if it has one in the design, in the first house of the chart. He then makes four more lines of marks and places the planet and its aspect, if any, thus found in the second house of the chart. And thus he proceeds until each of the twelve houses contains a planet. These planets, by the nature and aspect of such as have aspects in the design, each indicate the events and conditions that are approaching in each department of the life. In this manner a very complete reading can be given covering all twelve departments of life.

Astrological geomancy requires that the diviner know something of the nature of the planets and of the houses of a horoscope. Such knowledge is not required, however, to consult other oracles, such as those commonly to be found in a Book of Fate. The designs formed by noting even and uneven lines, or the symbols found by some other apparently chance method of selection, then correspond to the answer to be found elsewhere in the book. The instructions often require that the resulting designs or symbols be combined, or that there should be other complex manipulation. The principle, nevertheless, is quite the same.

The accuracy of the information received by the methods of divination mentioned depends upon the ability of the diviner’s soul to perceive conditions not known to the objective consciousness, and to communicate that knowledge, by means of involuntary movements of the body, to the objective consciousness. No one may say, without trial, to what extent reliable information may, or may not, be gained in this manner.

One thing seems sure: Now that man has conquered the air, the next realm to conquer is the astral. Had life in the past been content to function in a single realm there still would be fish in the sea, but no creatures on the land. I am inclined to believe that the conquest of the astral realm is no greater task for man, nor requires greater initiative nor courage, than the conquest of the land by creatures originally unable to breathe dry air, whose limbs were fins, and whose conception of what other environment than the sea is like could hardly have been more or less comprehensive than the conception now, of the majority of persons, regarding the astral region.


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Divining Rod Illustration 1


Divining Rod Illustration 2


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