Update News Article Link–December 2015:
During a California drought 100 years ago, the city of San Diego hired a rainmaker—and the rains fell hard. Coincidence, science, or complete flimflam?
July 2015: Amid epic drought, California farmers turn to water witches. Rejected by scientists, dowsing is an ancient tradition that’s dying hard in the Central Valley’s parched fields.
Witching in Bib Overalls:
So—water witching (dowsing) is in the news, and my knee-jerk reaction was to notice that the buzz is centered in California, a land known for fads and fringe. Or maybe the drought has them desperate.
But then I read that wine company executives and respected farmers are hiring witchers (diviners), and some are paying $500 a session. I’d want the witcher to find a reservoir of Guinness Stout for that price, but I understand what the Big Dry has been doing to the Golden State. The lack of water is no joke—but does that mean we need to grab our divining rods?
And just when I’m getting smug about “voodoo followers,” I’m reminded that a fair few in my home area of central Iowa have the water divining faith. “They might be using copper or wooden divining rods nowadays,” Dad tells me, “but I’ve seen locals use willow branches or even wire coat hangers. Many rural folks think of it as a proven practice.”
When it comes to modern-day water witching, I suppose digital imaging and water sniffing drones will win out. But for my money, I’d take guys like Milo. The drones might find water, but at the end of the day, they couldn’t tell a good story or share a cold beer with you.
by dan gogerty (photo from motherearthnews.com)
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