Pendulum Dowsing History | Timeline

Pendulum History

Pendulum dowsing history is a long and varied one. Pendulums are also commonly known as dowsers. They have been used for thousands of years throughout history, and to this day, they are still used in commercial ventures. Historically, pendulums are widely known for their use in locating water, oil, iron, and even for mining silver and gold. Dowsing rods are possibly used more commonly for this type of finding.

Throughout the new age movement, pendulums have become more popular and recognized as a divination tool as well as for use in healing and within the paranormal activity.

Pendulum Dowsing History | Timeline

Pendulums and the use of dowsing go back as far as 6000BC. To name a few of the historical events where forms of dowsing have been used successfully:


Cave paintings that were discovered in 1949 picturing figures holding Y-Rods at the Tassili caves in Southern Algeria. This is documented as the first findings of evidence of dowsing. However, I would say this is very much down to personal interpretation as I personally cannot see this in the pictures.

dowsing history


The Chinese Emperor Yu, who was an explorer and dowser. He was believed to have found geopathic stress zones through dowsing and left written decrees forbidding any building of homes on these areas when he sailed ships to Western America and the Mexican coasts.

It is also believed that this is still used in the present day in the use of Feng Shui.

Dowsing was spoken of in the Bible and is known to have been used by the Greeks, Romans, Celtic Druids as well as the ancient Chinese.


In the Old Testament, a Rod was used by Moses and Aaron to find water in the desert. Egyptians Hieroglyphs were found describing a magicians wand or rod. This was called Ur-Heka and its meaning translates to “Great magical power”

The Queen of Sheeba was also believed to have used dowsing for prophecy and King Soloman used dowsing to choose the women for his harem.


Cleopatra was said to have constantly had dowsers carried with her and used them to find gold.


Marco Polo knew of pendulums, dowsing rods and the compass, all of which he learned from the Chinese between 1271-1295. He used them all widely.

More Recent Dowsing History


Spanish Inquisition. Possibly one the most known and widely recognized times in history regarding pendulum dowsing. The Inquisition attempted to banish all religions that followed the Goddess and stop women’s Psychic or Healing abilities.

At this time dowsing was considered to be evidence of witchcraft. Approximately 9 million people were burned at the stake or hung during the years of the inquisition. Most of them were tortured before their death and nearly all of them were women and girls. They were Psychics, Healers, Midwives, Dowsers, Goddess worshipers and Herbalists. This continued for many years throughout history.

spanish inquisition


Martin Luther, the German Monk, University Professor, Theologian, Priest, and founder of Protestantism. proclaimed that the use of dowsing rods was a violation of the first commandment. He Quoted “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me” which is one of the 10 commandments.


Queen Elizabeth I, introduced dowsing to England in the 16th century to keep up with the success that Germany had experienced. She used dowsing for mineral location in Cornwall. By 1600AD Dowsing was widely used for mining throughout Europe.


The persecution of witches in England. Another lengthy period in history and went on throughout the time of the Spanish Inquisition. This continued for approximately 200 years and is commonly known as “the burning times” England’s anti-witchcraft laws were not fully abolished until 1951.


Martine de Bertereau and her husband Jean de Chatelet from France were arrested and sentenced to life in prison for dealings in witchcraft. The highly skilled dowser Martine used her skills to find more than 150 coal mines of which were profitable.

Both the Baron and Baroness were later released but all their equipment was confiscated.

Martine was a mining engineer and became a mining adviser for the French government and discovered the now-famous tourist attraction Chateau Thierry mineral springs in 1629. She wrote a book on dowsing in 1640 and was rearrested with her husband the Baron again for the partaking in witchcraft. Jean and Martine both died in separate prisons.


Dowsing in France for tracing criminals was prohibited by 1701 and at this time Pendulum Dowsing was said to be common practice rather than the use of dowsing rods.


 Around this time Pendulums and dowsing went into a decline, this was due to insufficient evidence on how or why dowsing was so accurate in this age of reason. There were many historical figures that were interested in dowsing. The likes of Albert Einstein was a dowser himself and predicted that one-day science would be able to give explanations of this phenomenon.

Other famous and widely known figures all of which scientists that had dealings with pendulum dowsing were, Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Edison.

Recent Dowsing History

During the 1920s throughout England, pendulums and dowsing techniques were revived when development in medical radiesthesia was made as a healing field and machines using dowsing rods or pendulums in a complicated manner were developed. These were called radionics machines. Many medical professionals at this time adopted the use of them. Pendulums came into popular use and were widely used as a diagnostics tool. In France, more than 2,500 medical professionals used pendulums for diagnostic use and this continued until after WW2.

Armies worldwide have used pendulums and dowsing. General George Patton of WW2 employed dowsers. As did Robert Mcnamara, the secretary of state, during the Vietnam war. They were also used in Vietnam to locate land mines, underground tunnels, and ammunition dumps. Soviet geologists had also revived pendulum dowsing in the 1960s as a successful experiment with mining.

In modern-day technology dowsers still, have their place. Water companies still use them to locate new water sources. Worldwide they are still used by Oil companies as well as mining industries and is believed that pendulum dowsing will continue to be used in this way for many years to come.

Some other official names who are supportive of pendulum dowsing include:

The British Army, The British Academy of science, The US Marines, The Academy of Sciences of Paris, The United Nations Education, NASA. The former Soviet Union and many, many more.

I hope this helps. Blessings to you. Please Share this on your social media if you like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

J2A ๐Ÿ™‚

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