Dowsing with L rods
(Please note - a complete introduction and system of dowsing is described under pendulum dowsing - if you are not already a dowser we suggest that you read the pendulum dowsing section first before acquainting yourself with the other tools.)
What Are L rods?
L rods are amongst the favourite tools of the dowser and are typically used for dowsing searches that are concerned with locating linear features such as water veins, energy lines or archaeological features, and are helpful when covering any distance out of doors.
The L rod may be made from any material, copper, brass, steel and coat hanger wire all being popular. They are so-named because of the shape of the rod, having typically a hand-held section of rod six to eight inches in length bent at a right-angle to a section of ten to eighteen inches which is held away from the body at or near the horizontal.
You can easily make yourself a pair from coat hanger wire by cutting and bending coat hangers into shape - one for each hand. Bend the tips over so that you are not left with a sharp point, and if you wish you can make sleeves for the handles by slipping the empty body of a biro pen over the short sections of the L, which makes the rods more sensitive by allowing them to swing more freely.
Using the L rods
The search position for your L rods is achieved by holding them one in each hand, slightly out from the body with the hands a comfortable shoulder-width apart and the rods in parallel pointing away from the body at or near the horizontal. (Looks like a cowboy holding two pistols...).
Your L rods will swing more freely and sensitively the nearer they are to the horizontal, and if you need them to be a little less responsive, such as if you are walking or out in a wind, drop the tips of the rods down below the horizontal which will make them a little more stable and slower to react.
"Yes" and "no" responses are gained by holding the rod to the right or left, or dominant or non-dominant sides of the body while asking to be shown your signals for "yes" and "no". The rods will typically open apart for "yes" and close or cross over each other for a "no" response, although as with the other tools the response that you get or choose to use is an entirely personal matter.
You can get additional responses from your L-rods by having only one of the two rods swing or both rods swinging in the same direction, giving you sufficient responses for your "yes but", "no but" and "wrong question" signals.
Finding the Target - Triangulation
If you are searching for hidden features in a large area, you can start by dowsing in which direction you should begin your search - "Where did I leave my car in this parking lot ?" - "Where is the missing engagement ring..."
To do this, hold one L rod out at arms length and slowly rotate your body while repeating the question.
The tip of the L rod will "stick" like a pointer-dog when it is pointing in the right direction even though you continue to rotate your body and arm past the point.
You can then either proceed to walk in the direction indicated with your rods held in search position until your receive another dowsing response, or else you can go to a second point in the area of search and repeat the rotation procedure to get a second line on the target, thus giving you the proximity of the object of your search by triangulation - where the two lines indicated by your rods meet, "X marks the spot".
When moving over an area looking for a particular feature such as a water vein or energy line, either following a triangulation line or simply "quartering" the ground, keep the L rods out in front of you and parallel with each other in their search position.
Be as specific as you possibly can in the question that you are asking - "Show me the water vein feeding my well" - "Show me the strongest energy line to place my meditation seat upon".
When you get close to the object of your search, the tips of the L rods will start to split apart, and once your hands are exactly over the feature, the rods will be pointing in opposite directions and they will be parallel to the feature that you have found.
This immediately gives you the both the location and directionality of your target, and you can use the previously described "yes" and "no" responses to gather more information about the feature that you have found, such as depth, strength, potability and seasonality of a water vein.
Tracking a Linear Feature
Once you have found your drainage pipe, water vein or energy line, you may track it over a distance of its course by moving along sideways facing it, intermittently pushing your rods over it to re-establish its location and directionality.
Another technique is to place your body directly over the line and face yourself long its path.
This done, point your rods along the line in search position and ask the tips to point at the center-line of the feature that you are going to follow. You can then proceed along the line, allowing your rods to point slightly together like the edges on the point of an arrow, keeping you on track and pointing you back on course if you stray to one side or another.
If you are looking for one particular point along such a feature, such as a break or block in a pipe or a power centre along an energy ley or water vein, you can arrange to have your rods split fully apart or cross completely over each other when you arrive at this point in your tracking.
One or two pitfalls to be aware of when seeking for or tracking features "in the rough" -
Water veins and energy lines have two edges and a centre, and sometime also have dowseable energetic "auras" out beyond their anatomical edges. It is important to be highly specific when dowsing as regards which bit of your target you are looking for or finding...
Also, a common error for beginners using L rods is to get the dowsing response occurring when their feet rather than their hands are over the target - this is simply a question of practice and intention, and can be checked by dowsing over the target from both sides of the feature, and paying attention to whether the same spot is found or whether there is an apparent "lag" in the response occurring, giving an apparently different response point - were your feet or your hands on the same spot when the response occurred ?
L rods are tremendously useful and versatile tools and certainly are worth a bit of patience and perseverance in gaining their acquaintance. There is a good deal of variation in weight and rod length and you wish to experiment until you find a pair that feel comfortable in your hands.
Most dowsers will quickly and easily find a friendly pair of L rods and get clean and clear dowsing responses with them. As with the other tools, any trip-ups are typically caused by inadequate or ambiguous question asking, so if you find yourself mislead at any point, do go back over your dowsing inquiry and see if you can find where the error crept in - this is not in order to blame or shame yourself, but to let you know that you are in grand company with the rest of us and to learn from your occasional mistakes…