Dowsing Ethics, Part 2: What Not to Do!

NOTE: everything I report below could just as easily be applied to comments delivered by a psychic, spiritual healer, etc.

A real life example

In my first dowsing class (a week long course) some people were uncomfortable with a fellow classmate. They asked the teacher about it, and he responded that this individual had killed them in a past life. The students reported this to other students and even to those outside the class in a mutual ARE (Association of Research and Enlightenment) organization and local New Age church until many others were shunning this student as well.

The teacher’s comment was emotionally charged and created an atmosphere of fear and distrust where before there had only been a vague feeling of unease from something they didn’t understand—unease that could have come from what was going on personally in the life of that individual that may have had nothing to do with his classmates whether in this life or any other. This incidence brings up the multiple problems.

The problem of interpretation

The students interpreted the teacher’s words of having been “killed” to mean that they had been murdered. But were they? Even if the teacher was correct, someone can be killed through many other means—ignorance, superstition, negligence, accident, misunderstanding, poor communication, laziness, self-defense, mistaken identity, perceived wrongdoing, or set-up. Even if death occurred and it was deliberate, it may have been sanctioned by the larger community as an act or casualty of war, or in the service of cultural, political, ideological or religious beliefs, a serious violation of some community rule. Those killed could have done something to be sentenced to death by their group as punishment.

Faulty interpretations

When I dowsed on the example above, my interpretation was that the “killing” was not a physical death, but rather a psychological dismissal. In other words, this student (who was a personal friend) did not respect or take these certain classmates seriously. He judged them as much too gullible and not exercising common sense—something borne out by their behavior. Perhaps, the students were feeling uncomfortable because they felt judged, but didn’t understand it. They may also have been picking up bad vibes because this same person was going through marital trouble with his spouse, who was also in the class.

Above all, do no harm.

Regardless of the correct interpretation, the fact remains that this individual’s reputation was ruined both in the group and the larger community on something that could neither be proved or disproved, money due him was withheld, and relationships and good will in the greater community were ruptured irreparably and permanently.

This teacher failed to consider the ramifications his comment would have on the class and on the accused student both inside and outside of class. He had not considered the maturity and understanding to those he was speaking. He had not considered their awareness that in the context of multiple lifetimes, a soul swings between being saint and sinner, priest and prostitute, cop and villain, rich and poor, victim and victimizer, and from one culture, race, gender and religion to another. He had not considered that that these students, like most people, might think of themselves as the innocent party in their interactions, and deny their own part in whatever happened to them, and the harm they have done (or wanted to) to others in any point in time.

An opportunity missed

The pertinent issue overlooked in class was what to do when you feel uncomfortable with someone. This teacher missed a precious opportunity to teach the entire class how to use dowsing to heal a relationship, and how to turn upsetting experiences and stuck emotions into a blessing. This is something of which I know much, and I will address in another post.

Dowsing past lives is frivolous. Dowsing issues is not.

While I personally believe in past life, I do not take past life scenarios, whether gleaned through hypnotic regression or dowsing, seriously as it cannot be verified. What is relevant is what is going on now? If trauma has occurred, find the positive learning, the wisdom, and release all stuck emotions from things real or imagined. Locate and clear any limiting beliefs or judgments whether justified by the facts or not. Stick to healing issues, working towards solving practical problems and being of service.

Dowsing is meant to be a blessing. How can it help you in your life today? If you are dowsing (or using any psychic art) out of curiosity rather than healing your own issues, solving practical problems, being of service to someone else, you are misusing it.

Dowsing Ethics —“Above all, do no harm” 



NOTE: Everything in the article below could just as easily be applied to ethical behavior with any form of psychic or spiritual healing, energy work such as long distance Reiki, or remote viewing.


You’ve just taken your first dowsing class and you’re all excited about the vast possibilities of finding information hidden from your conscious mind that can be elicited through dowsing. And, you or an enthusiastic friend are curious, nosy, angry, fearful, or otherwise emotional, and want to dowse on it. (“Is my boyfriend cheating on me?” or “Do I or ___ have __ disease?”) Or you or a friend have to make important decisions with serious ramifications. (“Should I get a divorce/ get married/ quit my job/ move to __?”) Or you or that friend are wondering why you dislike, or are having a problem with a specific person.

Dowsing is a fantastic tool that in the hands of a trained, experienced, ethical, grounded person who exercises common sense. It can lead to valuable knowledge, discovery, healing, etc. But if entered into carelessly, or as entertainment, it can, like the Ouija board, lead to ethical violations, delusion, making serious mistakes in judgment and bad decisions, and possibly harming someone else as well. Without quieting the mind and adopting a neutral attitude to the dowsing response, you could be on a merry chase along the ego’s hopes, fears and prejudices. Because of all these reasons, most dowsing schools teach their students to ask three basic questions.

The Three Question Test

  1. May I? Do I have permission to ask questions or to do work in this area?
  2. Can I?  Do I have the ability to successfully dowse in this area? Am I ready?
  3. Should I? Is it my business to know? Is it advisable, appropriate, and the right time to do it? Am I properly prepared?

Having a legitimate right to know the answer is critical.

Dowsing for personal information about someone else who has not asked you for help, and about which is outside of your rightful business to know, is snooping. It is an invasion of privacy, a kind of psychic spying, and wrong. For example, inquiring about your neighbor because you are nosy is none of your business. However, if you have children, and you are considering entrusting the care of that child in his or her babysitting care, you do have a need to know about them in the areas that are relevant to those rightful concerns.

Having good intentions is not by itself good enough.

Wanting to dowse to help someone who is having problems is laudable.  But first apply the three question test. Is it is ethical and appropriate for you to seek information on another? Is it right for you to request specific action be taken on their behalf or are you meddling in their affairs and unwittingly trying to control or manipulate them? Unsolicited attempts to control and manipulate might be considered black magic. Instead, only dowse in a way that you are sure would please them if they knew both the nature and content of your questions and your requests for healing.

Here’s the test

If you were to request Divine intervention to make some changes in another or in their life through dowsing and they heard every word you said, would this person be happy about it, or be annoyed that you were poking your nose into their business? Are you being presumptuous to think that you know what’s best for them and what they want? Better to ask the person directly for permission to dowse, and precisely how they would like your help. Don’t presume anything.

As long as you do not specify what you think their highest good might be, no permission is required to pray or dowse for someone’s highest good, or to dowse to bless them in a general way. Asking Spirit to connect an individual to his own true spiritual guidance so that he makes the right decisions for himself is a blessing. Asking Spirit to help him to ___ (leave or stay in their relationship/ stop smoking/ become a vegan/ quit or stay in his job) is meddling unless he has specifically asked for that help.

Just as you do not have permission to walk into your neighbor’s house and look around because you are curious, or start to redecorate it because you think it needs it, you need permission before checking on others and to change things that have no relationship to you. They are entitled to live their own life as they please.

However, if you perceive that someone is suffering from non-beneficial energy such as a psychic attack or other interference, you don’t need permission from that individual to dowse to request spiritual intervention on their behalf to remove it. This is similar to calling the cops that thieves or trespassers are in your neighbor’s house. But ask the three questions anyway.

Does the individual want your help? Are you clear on precisely what he wants?

Just because you mean well doesn’t entitle you to remove what you consider negative thoughts, habits, or personality quirks in others. While using the wording “in accordance with your Highest Good” is a helpful safety clause for dowsing, prayer or energy work such as Reiki, it is not sufficient to avoid manipulation and to prevent violation of another’s free will. Take care not to assume karmic debt by meddling with someone else. Hence again the advisability of asking Can I? May I? Should I?” 

No permission is required to inquire about someone else if they have come to you for help, or if you are asking questions to better understand your relationship with them, but only in the areas of inquiry that are relevant. It is appropriate for you to inquire about someone’s character if you are considering doing business with them, entering into a relationship, or entrusting them with some important aspect of your life, home, business or family. But stick to only what is relevant and your/their legitimate right to know, and nothing more.


When dowsing, with or without charts or checklists, know that the answers indicated may not be literally true, but metaphorically or only partially so. The charts or checklists may not provide you with the correct answer but point you in the right direction. The Greater Intelligence that is providing you with dowsed information can only work with the words you have listed on the page, or the specific questions you have asked, your vocabulary and understanding at the time. That is why you should repeat the question in different wordings to make sure of the interpretation. “Are you saying _______?

It is helpful for every chart/checklist to include the word “other”. Also helpful is to write “somewhat” or “maybe”. I have seven specific pendulum code movements that help me gain greater accuracy: “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “somewhat”, “working mode” (doing what I have asked it to do), “balancing” (or putting in good energy), and “don’t know, don’t want to answer”. Finally, pay attention to your gut feelings when dowsing to come to know what is a clear ‘yes’ and ‘no’ or ‘sort of’ response.

Be sensitive in how you report what you find and to whom.

Any dowsing answers about others should be revealed to them with only the greatest of gentleness and tact and must never elicit fear, anger or despair.  As a hypnotherapist, I am well aware of the power of suggestion to heal or to do great harm. Remember that your dowsing can be inaccurate or you may not be interpreting it correctly. Better to use the information you obtain through dowsing to ask questions and elicit more information: “What is your objective? Tell me more about ____? How do you feel about ____? What’ s going on with you? How is that effecting you? Are you telling me that you would like ___?” 

I find that I can usually help a person more by teaching them how to apply dowsing to reduce their own stress, and to heal mentally and emotionally rather than just dowsing for them myself. Teaching my clients or encouraging them to learn other self-help methods is usually indicated. I find that my other training in counseling, hypnosis, stress management, and just my observations and life experience, are just as valuable in assisting other as dowsing. Employ multiple tools in helping both yourself and others.

Here are some additional, basic guidelines:

  • Keep confidentiality.
  • Respect someone else’s reputation–it is a precious thing.
  • Your dowsing or interpretation of it can be faulty.
  • Consider carefully what you report and the maturity and understanding of those to whom you report whatever you find.
  • Power misused is taken away. 
  • Like attracts like

When you are dowsing, you are working with spiritual forces in resonance with your intention and frequency. So before you dowse, take some time to center and raise your vibration by thinking of gratitude, unconditional love, compassion for others, and holding a desire to be of service. Then ask the three questions, Can I, May I, Should I. This will assist you to do only good through dowsing. Remember:

Above all, do no harm!

Copyright by Roxanne Louise. However, this article may be shared in free online sources only if this copyright notice and link to and  are included with the content.