After learning to dowse, it’s easy to get excited by the possibilities of this new tool and way of tapping into our intuition, our higher selves, the higher selves of others, the web of life that connects and informs us all … However, with this amazing tool also comes a great deal of responsibility. Like any modality of spiritual healing or energy work, it’s important to be clear on your ethics and boundaries, to know what you will and won’t do – and this can vary from person to person. As with anything, we often have different opinions about what’s ok and what’s not.

dowsing rods and pendulums

As a way of approaching this, most dowsers learn that before dowsing it’s important to adopt a neutral attitude and begin by asking three questions:

Can I …?
May I …?
Should I …?

Although at first these questions sound similar, they’re actually asking very different things. Can I is asked to determine whether you have the skill to do what you’re proposing. May I is about permission, and is asking whether you are allowed to do/ask/dowse for this thing. Should I is asking whether or not you ought be doing this. (A lot of dowsers also ask ‘Am I ready?’, ‘Is it the right time?’ or similar.)

A negative answer to any of these questions indicates that you shouldn’t continue. Perhaps you don’t have the ability, perhaps you’ll get in over your head, perhaps now isn’t the right time or you’re not the right person to be doing/asking this. You might want to try rephrasing the question or changing your approach, or just try again another time. But if you ignore a negative response and continue anyway, I don’t believe you’ll be able to trust your dowsing and the answers you receive. (Having said this, even if you do receive an affirmative response to these questions, this doesn’t give you free rein to go ahead and interfere however you want.)

Above anything else, when dowsing, your first priority should be: do no harm. When considered fully, this can be a complex thing!

ethical dowsingAlthough you can dowse for anything concerning yourself, more caution needs to be taken when dowsing for someone else – even a child, partner, parent or other family member. Permission should always be sought and you should never work on others without receiving it. Some believe they can get around this by contacting another person’s higher self and receiving permission that way, or that it’s ok to do the work without someone’s permission if it’s for their higher good – I don’t agree. Everyone has their own path to walk, with their own challenges to meet – in their own way and time. No one can presume they know what is best for another person, or decide how or when their challenges should be removed or overcome.

While your intentions may be good, this isn’t enough. If this person knew what you were dowsing for, would they support it or feel that you were sticking your nose in? Just as you wouldn’t walk into someone’s house uninvited and start snooping around, reading diaries, looking in drawers or moving things, a person’s psychic space is the same – you shouldn’t dowse without permission. It’s invasive, disrespectful of their privacy and just wrong.

Ethics are still important even when you have been given permission. Any information received through dowsing carries responsibility. How information is passed on should always be carefully considered and any guidance given should be in the best interests of the person being dowsed for. Dowsing can open things up on such a personal level that it’s important to always be mindful of ensuring your own personal beliefs and values don’t influence your dowsing (hence the note earlier about adopting a neutral attitude). Ensure you aren’t attached to receiving a particular response or you won’t be able to truly trust the answers you get.

So what to do if you don’t have permission or if you receive a negative response to those initial questions (Can I … May I … Should I …)? It’s time to get creative and think about things a little differently.

For example, rather than deciding you’ll dowse to heal someone or correct something for them, you could instead offer a blessing. This more general love and healing energy could be sent to them with the intention that their higher self or energetic body will decide whether or not to accept it, and how to use it.

ethics and dowsing

Or if you wanted to work on someone you believe is a difficult person but don’t have permission, rather than focusing on that person, why not work on yourself and your reactions to them? Dowsing to support yourself in this situation will also help you to better understand yourself and be open to experiencing this person in a different way.

Or if you’re going to be in a difficult group situation, consider focusing on the physical space you’ll be meeting in, rather than working on anyone in the group. Doing geomantic work to raise the vibration of the space – and discovering if there’s any geopathic stress to remedy – will enable that space to hold you all differently and support the group to meet on a more beneficial level. This kind of work can be profound.

There are so many charts and different ways to use dowsing, we really are only limited by how we think to use this tool, and by the questions we ask or the approach we could possibly take. Experiment and play with it – this is when it gets really fun!

We should all be aware of our ethical boundaries before doing energetic work of any kind. I don’t believe any of us has the right to use our dowsing however we like, even if it is done with the best intentions. Receiving permission is incredibly important, and even once received it’s still best to start by asking Can I …? May I …? Should I …? For me, if there’s even a flirt within me that something I propose to dowse may be stretching my own code of ethics I don’t dowse it – or if I ask the three questions and receive a negative response I stop. I don’t feel that we have the right to interfere just because we have this tool that can open up possibilities to do so. What it really comes down to is using your common sense, remaining respectful, not violating others’ boundaries, or their energetic or psychic space, not being nosy or meddling, not trying to interfere or manipulate others when you have no business doing so, and never misusing the information received through dowsing.

When used respectfully, dowsing can be a truly powerful tool, and one that can open up so many possibilities!


Why not try your hand at dowsing, or extend your dowsing abilities and learn new ways to use this tool?
Join us at one of our workshops and learn how to dowse the subtle realms – as well as discussing the ethics of this valuable tool. Learn more about all of our workshop offerings here.