Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

16 articles on this Page

CITY POLICE COURT.

GREEK GIPSIES IN CHESHIRE.…

Advertising

LOCAL FLOWER SHOWS. -6.

PRIMROSE LEAGUE FETE AT GRESFORD.…

[No title]

[No title]

' LEST WE FORGET.'"

THE 'PALM' TREE.

FINDING WATER BY DIVINATION.

News
Cite
Share

FINDING WATER BY DIVINATION. Sir,—Belief in the divining rod seems to be a superstition which dies hard. May I venture to ask believers two questions P 1. When and how did the rod lose the power it formerly had of discovering murdererso stolen goods and their stealers, hidden treasures, and the lost boundaries of estates? Its use in some of these researches was older than its use in finding water, which is known to date from A.D. 1630, though the divining rod was famous at a much earlier date. Was its power lost little by little like that of the oracle of Delphi, of which Cicero tells us that it gradually waned as men became less credulous, until at last it was quite effete ? Or did it depart suddenly, as the spirits did half a century ago from the legs of tables, when Faraday demonstrated how the tables were turned ? 2. If the combination between the twig and its holder produces divining power, why does not that power operate as well when the diviner is blindfolded as when he has his eyes open ? To test this, let the diviner search a given area, and indicate the spots where water may be found, then let him be effectually blindfolded, and all possibility of collusion being excluded, let him be led by an impartial guide over the same area by a different route, but crossing the spots where the rod dipped in the first search. When this test has been applied, the rod has never told a consistent story. But, they say, facts support the diviner, for water is often found where the rod dips. Of course it is, and often it is not, at least within the promised depth; but there are few spots, except in primary rock, where water will not be found if a well is sunk deep enough. However, that a diviner will find it better than an experienced local well-sinker I do not believe. The successes of the diviner are advertised and proclaimed, but not his failures. I add an extract from a review written forty-three years ago, ascribed at the time to the late Sir Henry Holland, physician to the Queen, who had made a special study of the action of the mind in causing un- consciously the exertion of muscular force.— Your obedient servant, C. WOLLBY DODII Edge Hall, Malpas, August 20th, 1897. Extract from Quarterly Review, vol. 93 (A.D. 1853), p. 544 The motions of the rod are facts, explain them how we will, and notwithstanding that there may have been much intentional deception, yet the phenomena have presented themselves so frequently, when the rod was in the hands of individuals whose good faith could not be doubted, that we cannot set them down as being always, or even generally, no better than conjuring tricks. The 'expectant attention of the performer was long since recog- nised as the cause of the movements by M. Chevreul, who many years since made a most valuable series of experiments. Even Dr. Mayo, with all his predilection for Odylic agency was constrained to admit that when his performer knew which way he expected the fork to move the results were conformable but that when the man was left in ignorance, or was blindfolded, they were vague and contradictory. All our enquiries have led us to one conclusion: that where every kind of suggestion has been rigidly excluded, the failure has been complete, and that the instances of success are to be accounted for (where no fraud was practised) by guesses on the part of the per- formers themselves, or by the unintentional promptings they have received from the bystanders who are in the secret. See also a treatise de la baguette divinatoire,' &c., by M. Chevreul, published by Bachelier, Paris, 1854.

LANCASHIRE'S ENCROACHMENT.

-----THE ANNEXATION OF THE…

.— NATIONAL FEDERATION OF…

* CHESTER FOOTBALL CLUB.

♦— MARFORD HILL AS A RACING…

Advertising