‘Keys to Wisdom’
As Billy Gawn once said : “Anyone can learn to dowse, like anyone can learn to ride a bike, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to win the Tour de France.” The route to Carnegie Hall is always by way of practice.
There are many books on learning to dowse, talking to fairies, & breathless and tangled tales of string theory after a mauling by Schrodeger’s Cat, but virtually no books on how - after your rod has learned to swing - you develop your skills.
That is why I often refer with admiration to Joey Korn’s book*, not only as a personal dowsing journey, but as a manual which steadily takes the reader forwards, progressively equipping them with skills and techniques which build in a modular fashion until a high level of competence is gained.
It is this question of ‘how you progress’ which is also tackled with gusto by Heather Bray - dowser, healer and Quaker - in her book ‘Keys to Wisdom’. It is one of the most important & thought-provoking books on dowsing to have been published in recent years.
The personal journey is again to the fore, in Heather’s case prompted by the tragic death of her daughter. “This was my wake-up call, my impetus to really look at things spiritual”.
Like Joey’s work this book offers concrete ways of exploring issues, making interventions, and learning.
The core of the book is what might be called next-stage pendulum work. Heather has identified/developed a series of particular pendulum movements which bring her and the students of her work great insight and information; and to her clients, healing.
Most of us have an internal template which says that when the pendulum swings forward/sideways/clockwise/whatever** then that means yes (or no), and the opposite movement means no (or yes).
Heather has added to this list a raft of special pendulum movements, and their interpretations, including three types of diagonals, loops going forward from a fixed point creating a circle, loops going backwards, and all in relation to the outer edge (notional circle) of the pendulum’s movements going backwards, or forwards.
Furthermore, all these pendulum movements are ways of interpreting a pendulum ‘wheel’ or chart of meaning, rather like the Walt Woods/Joey Korn wheel, or the Mager Disc. But instead of the wheel being made up of such information as Yes~No, 1 to 10 (strength), 1 to 31(days of the month), 1 to 360 (degrees), etc, it is created out of opposites such as Open~Shut, Obsession~Peace, Lethargy~Action, etc.
In fact the wheel is perhaps the most important part of Heather’s approach. The wheel, interpreted by these specific pendulum movements, is the core of the work of diagnosis and intervention.
‘Keys to Wisdom’ not only sets out these insights and interventions, but also how they are applied in Heather’s healing practice. Heather uses Bach flower remedies, crystals, chakras, guides and colour, but the core of the work is the dowsing to (a) identify the imbalance, and (b) identify and make the intervention.
So wide is Heather’s skill base that at one point you begin to ask yourself, for example, if this is a dowser who also uses crystals, or a crystal healer who also dowses.
But there is nothing vague here. Heather knows her stuff. She has a well worked up methodology which she shares with her readers.
Two questions arise : (a) How necessary is this level of detail, and (b) Does it have any basis in reality, or does it all just come out of her head ?
You either find water or you don’t. You either locate oil or you don’t. You either heal people or you don’t.
Heather heals people. My words, not her’s. This raises the interesting question of whether it is Heather-as-Dowser, or Heather-as-Heather that is really doing the healing. For if it is Heather-as-Heather, instead of using these techniques she could perhaps achieve the same effects by reciting some of Dudley Wheeler’s jokes, but dowsing is what she does…
…and these techniques work. They work for Heather and her students, and in the process she has opened up a whole new way of thinking about dowsing.
Heather has set out for others what she does, and in so doing has nailed her colours to the mast. It is now down to others to come up with a better battleship.
If we have no vision, the people perish. If we don’t continually make small changes, we are forced into making big ones. As Heather writes…in 1989, two years after her death, I asked my daughter Vania for a maxim for Life…This is what my pendulum spelt out : ‘By adjustment do we learn our lessons’ .
* ‘Dowsing : A Path to Enlightenment’ Joey Korn
** See my review of Vicky Pollard’s book on dowsing : ‘Yeah But, No But’ (forthcoming)
This review first appeared (without the photograph) in Dowsing Today No 291 March 2006.
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