Witchcraft

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Witchcraft

Postby Kevin » Thu May 11, 2006 2:02 pm

Witchcraft,please excuse me if this has been dealt with before ?
I had a strange thing happen yesterday, I noticed a local church was actually open, so in I went, of course with dowsing rods in hand.
I found a group of people with children in the church, one of the ladys asked what I was doing, which was odd?
I was at the time looking up at the ceiling which is all painted in William Morris style, fabulous.
She then asked if i was a dowser of water, I said yes amongst other things, upon which, I was pronounced a witch, and told that the bible denounces any such practise and I should get out of her church.
I refused and said I thought actually it was anothers church, not hers.
She then started on about dowsing and how evil it was, against god.
I was somewhat taken back, and asked if I had suddenly been sent back in time.
I felt it best to leave, and asked her where her christian tolerance was, she barked I have non for the devils works.
I have googled the net trying to find where this bible book says all of this, and am struggling, the nearest is,
Exodus22:18
Deutronomy18:10-11
Galations5:19-20
Revelations21:8
I have always considered this book a good story book, but now I find it has a dangerous side, if this woman could have burnt me on a stake , I am sure she would have.
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re: Witchcraft

Postby Ian Pegler » Thu May 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Dowsing is not Witchcraft, unless you class divination as Witchcraft, which doesn't make sense, as I shall attempt to explain:

Old Testament law forbids any kind of "divination" (or that which is perceived to be divination) to the laity but not to the priesthood. This is made clear by the fact that the Old Testament priests practiced a form of divination themselves.

It was called the Urim and Thummim, but quite how it worked no-one knows. Similarly, the New Testament states that the apostles used a form of divination known as the casting of lots, to decide which of two candidates would replace the recently deceased Judas Iscariot (who either hanged himself or burst his bowels, depending on which gospel you decide to believe).

It should also be noted that the three "wise men" or Magi, practiced a form of divination called astrology.

The problem the Church has with divination is essentially the same problem it has with the Da Vinci Code, namely that they are perceived as undermining the power of the priesthood. In Old Testament times the problem was one of trying to impose a completely new theology on a group of people and to stop them back-sliding into old habits or the religious practices of the native Canaanites which is why any practices which were perceived as undermining these efforts were banned.

The question is not one of morality or of doctrine, but of authority.

That said, you need to be discrete when dowsing on any religious premises. You will meet people like your "friend" who abhor dowsing and related practices - doesn't make them right, but you wouldn't go practicing Christian worship in a Mosque either.

Ian

Edited by I.P. 10.9.07 - added link to Da Vinci code thread
Last edited by Ian Pegler on Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Frog » Thu May 11, 2006 5:24 pm

It is strange to notice such a violence against dowsing/ers in a religious context, because, religious men have made the history of dowsing.

At least in France, when you have a look at the recent history of dowsing (among the 2 last centuries) a few names appear here and there (abbé Mermet, abbé Jurion, abbé de Vallemont...) and all of them are religious people.

They gave dowsing some credibility, working for the people - water finding, disease curing... - and developped methods of their own (which you still find in book-shops).

But these men must have been more open-minded than "basic" believers.
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Postby Kevin » Thu May 11, 2006 6:09 pm

Ian, I am discreet when I go into churchs, and normally most people are very interested, more interested in where the wells are etc, if I start talking about the measurements of the church and how very clever dowsers indeed were employed to set out the foundations, most start to glaze up.
I was amazed at the way the Hebrew words have been translated into different bibles, sort of whatever suits them at that time, incredible.
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Discretion is the better part ...

Postby Ian Pegler » Thu May 11, 2006 7:04 pm

Frog wrote:It is strange to notice such a violence against dowsing/ers in a religious context, because, religious men have made the history of dowsing.

At least in France, when you have a look at the recent history of dowsing (among the 2 last centuries) a few names appear here and there (abbé Mermet, abbé Jurion, abbé de Vallemont...) and all of them are religious people.



This is spot on, many clergymen were (and are) dowsers, as pointed out in Hamish Miller's "Definitive wee book on Dowsing". He also advises discretion and suggests that one should have a word with the vicar before dowsing in a church to avoid causing offense. Also if someone does give you grief you can then just say you've had permission, can't you?

Mind you, I don't wish to labour the point, as I don't have much time for people who think that dowsing is in anyway "evil". It does seem a rather unenlightened perspective in this day and age, and gives the cynics the chance to stick the boot into religion.

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Postby Grahame Gardner » Thu May 11, 2006 9:48 pm

There is nothing more dangerous than an under-educated zealot.
It's perhaps worth remembering for future occasions that what is possibly the earliest reference to dowsing comes from Exodus 17; the story of Moses striking the rock to find water:

3. The people were thirsty for water there; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?"

4. Moses cried to Yahweh, saying, "What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me."

5. Yahweh said to Moses, "Walk on before the people, and take the elders of Israel with you, and take the rod in your hand with which you struck the Nile, and go.

6. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. You shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

And also this, from 'Antiquities of the Jews', by Flavius Josephus:
Moses therefore betook himself to prayer to God, that he would change the water from its present badness, and make it fit for drinking. And when God had granted him that favour, he took the top of a stick that lay down at his feet, and divided it in the middle, and made the section lengthways. He then let it down into the well, and persuaded the Hebrews that God had hearkened to his prayers, and had promised to render the water such as they desired it to be…

The above description sounds very like a forked stick V-rod dowsing tool to me. Interesting technique to check for purity however...! :)
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Postby Guest » Sat May 13, 2006 8:12 pm

With regard to kevin's post about translations of the Hebrew scriptures, The New testement (unlike the old) was origionally written in Aramaic. Certainly when I read a direct translation of the Lord's prayer from the Aramaic directly into modern English it seemed extraordinary and more spiritual quite different from the version we are more likely to know. When I get the computer system my copy of the Aramaic to English translation is on operational again, I will post it here just for comparision. Maybe there are some good dowses to be done in understanding the meaning more,


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Moses dowsing?

Postby SussexJim » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:51 am

Good to see someone has 'un-earthed' the bit about Moses and the staff.... sounds very much llke dowsing! I wonder if it might also have bearing on the work done by some dowsers with 'redirecting' water to wells....???? just a thought. :)
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Postby Keith » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:09 pm

I have come across this sort work of the devil sort of thing in the past.

I remember I had just completed the first half of a talk on dowsing when a nun came up to me and said she was not at all sure that my work as a dowser was not the work of the devil.

There was no malice in her approach, in fact she was a little anxious if not fearful. Perhaps she thought I was going to cast some evil spell on her.

I assured her that it was not the work of the devil in fact if she thought of Moses sticking his rod down and water appearing, it was in fact the opposite to what she had thought.

She left me still with a very concerned and worried look on her face.

As was said earlier some people's beliefs are stuck in the 15th Century.
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Witchcraft

Postby Sig » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:20 am

While I take Ian's point about the Urim and the Thummim, another term for dowsing is "water witching."

It is my understanding that witches have long used dowsing. For example, in the Witches Museum in Boscastle in Cornwall, there is a long stick with a tiny Y at the top - I believe hikers today call it a thumb stick. But it was in the witches museum. My feeling is that these sticks can be used for visual dowsing. Place the bottom end of the stick against the thing you want to "see", and press your closed eyeballs against the forked Y at the other end. You would be surprised at what you can see.

Of course, anyone who could connect directly with the spirit realms would be seen as a threat to the religious heierarchy. That's why the Church in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries didn't like witches - and scientists, for that matter.


}:-)

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Re: Witchcraft

Postby Ian Pegler » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:21 pm

Sig wrote:While I take Ian's point about the Urim and the Thummim, another term for dowsing is "water witching."


It would be an interesting exercise to try and find out how old all these different terms and phrases are. Today we tend to think of "water witching" as an American term, but it's probably much older as many American phrases preserve old English ways of speaking, e.g. "I guess so" is an old English phrase.

I'll wager the term "water witching" goes back a good few centuries and would have accurately reflected the attitude towards dowsing in mediaeval times.

Interestingly the terms dowser and dowsing have no direct equivalents in the Welsh language per se, although there are several words relating to divining and soothsaying.

In Welsh there are many many words for witchcraft (why does that not surprise one?) but there's little overlap with the words for divining.

The Welsh term used for witch in Exodus 22:18 is hudoles which specifically means a female witch. The New Jerusalem Bible uses the term sorceress, so this is probably the correct interpretation of the original, and again implies the female gender.

This would explain a few things about the mediaeval witch-hunts, I guess.

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Postby Guest » Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:53 pm

Somewhere I read that the American term witching came from the old english settlers, "wych" meaning bend.

To me this makes sense when you think of London's Aldwych or old bend as this feature certainly does bend.

I have also read that witch hazel was used for dowsing. This type of wood differing from the hazel wood that is used here
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Postby Keith » Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:56 pm

I guess I should have logged in before putting my thoughts together above where I am now listed as a guest
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Meaning of Wych

Postby Ian Pegler » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:01 am

Anonymous Keith wrote:Somewhere I read that the American term witching came from the old english settlers, "wych" meaning bend.


The following is from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary:

wych-, wich-, witch-, pref. in names of trees with pliant branches; ~-alder, Amer. plant akin to witch-hazel, with alder-like leaves; ~-elm, species of elm (Ulmus glabra); ~-hazel, (1) Amer. shrub of genus Hamamelis whose bark yields astringent lotion, (2) = wych-elm. [OE wic(e) app. f. Gmc *wik- bend, cogn. w. WEAK]


Obviously the American shrub has nothing to do with dowsing, but my understanding was that over here in the U.K. the term wych-hazel applies to any tree with pliant branches (and is therefore suitable for dowsing).

Yet for all that, I understand that the wood commonly used by "village dowsers" (as Underwood called them) was (and still is) just straight-forward hazel.

According to Georgius Agricola, the German dowsers used different types of wood for dowsing different types of metal, but obviously there was a much older belief concerning hazel which may have had pagan roots.

SCOTT: The Antiquary, ch. xxiii. wrote:"Pray, Mr. Dousterswivel ... will you assist us with your triangular vial of May-dew, or with your divining-rod of witch's hazel?"


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Mormons in The USA

Postby kazzer » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:16 pm

I am A British dowser living in Palmyra New York, home of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon faith. c 1830

Joe was purported to have found the golden tablets on a hillside nearby, and translated them into the book of Mormon. He was a dowser, using crystal seer stones. It is documented that he found the tablets, written by an ancient society, using dowsing techniques. He later placed his seer stones into his top hat, and stuck his face into the dark hat, and gazed at the stone. His mother wrote down the 'translation'. He was supposedly aided by the Angel named Moroni. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to read this book, I have come to the conclusion that Moroni, (a messenger from God- supposedly) God, and Joseph Smith have a very poor understanding of the English language. Or perhaps Smith was overcome by asphixiation from the carbon dioxide he breathed into the hat, and his god had little to do with anything.

Dowsing is not discussed in the Mormon world, probably because they don't want it to be publicly known about old Smithies secret ways.

Maybe the lady in your church was a Mormon?
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