The use of dowsing rods for the study and perusal of Indian culture. This study is applicable to all Indian tribes
Dowsing Indian Culture Don and Diane Wells
WHO WE ARE We are researchers and colleagues working under the Indian Cultural Heritage Program of the Coalition of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Inc. (AKA Mountain Stewards). Mountain Stewards is a non-profit 501 (c )(3) organization. The home office is in Jasper Georgia, but the Indian Cultural Heritage Program is nationwide.
WHAT WE DO The focus of our effort is identifying the truth about Indian Cultural Heritage that not only was impacted negatively by the basic treatment of the indigenous peoples of America but exacerbated by the purposeful genocide of those same people. In 2007, a joint effort by colleagues from several states resulted in the establishment of the Trail Tree Project, the Indian Trail Mapping Program and the Documentary Film Group. The Documentary Film Group had a two-fold purpose: 1) to make a record of the more traditional research and 2) to film interviews with a variety of tribal elders and others who know parts of the Indian history. You can find out more information about this work at www.mountainstewards.org or www.mysterytrees.org . There is also a Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/mysterytrees. OUR STORY Ten years ago the Indian Marker Trees were the main focus of our research. Tribal elders had shared with us that these trees had been manipulated by their ancestors and were a part of their historic culture. It was felt that locating, identifying, and documenting them as Indian Cultural Heritage sites was important. The trees have multiple configurations but in time we began to recognize them. The purposes of the obvious ones - pointing to a spring, a stream crossing or a trail – were easy but, for the most part, the many purposes of the trees remained a mystery. Much of the research that had been done on the Marker trees in the early 1900’s languished in dusty boxes in dimly lit rooms in various libraries. It was not categorized, or filed. The boxed had to be dug through one scrap of paper at a time to discover what information they held. By 2010 it became clear that if the information we were learning was not going to just find its way back into more boxes, it needed to be put in a book. In 2011 The “Mystery of the Trees” was published. In 2015 we released a one hour documentary, also titled “The Mystery of the Trees”, that followed our journey as we learned more and more about the trees. Our quest to learn more about this fascinating part of Indian culture continues. In late 2015 one of our colleagues, who had spent years locating underground water, told us about an interesting phenomenon. It seems that most if not all Indian cultural heritage sites have an underground stream of water associated with them. These sites included Marker Trees, rock cairns, effigy mounds, burial mounds, sacred rock sites and more. He said that these underground streams could be located using dowsing rods. This made us wonder if dowsing could be used as a research tool to locate, confirm, and document Indian cultural heritage sites? After learning to dowse, we wanted to confirm for ourselves this, new to us, phenomenon. In the past two years we have visited over a hundred Marker Trees, rock Effigy mounds, Earthen burial mounds, Sacred rock sites, rock cairns, and many others. All but one of the sites had water directly under them. The one site that did not have water under it was the rock formation on Fort Mountain in Georgia. Archaeologists have designated Fort Mountain as a Cherokee site, but little proof of that has been offered. We now feel comfortable using dowsing as a main tool in documenting Indian cultural sites. For example, in the past we assumed that when a marker tree was needed a sapling in the forest was selected and then bent to point to a location associated with its purpose. Now, we believe that the Indians somehow knew where the underground water flowed. They either planted or selected a sapling already in the appropriate place and bent it in the direction of the flow. Knowing about their association with underground water, Marker Trees are now validated by dowsing. Part of our ongoing research is to try to learn more about how the Natives knew about the underground water, why they choose to place a Marker Tree in a certain area, what the meaning of the particular bend the tree has is, and how the tree was tended to make it hold that bent shape. As we developed our skill in dowsing, we learned that there was another phenomenon. One can ask “yes” or “no” questions and receive a response from the dowsing rods. This phenomenon can be used to delve into the historical aspects of an Indian cultural site. Carefully crafting a series of yes/no questions allows knowledge about the site to be discovered. That knowledge can be used to support preserving those sites for future generations. Using this ability we have gained new insights into the purpose of many known Indian sites as well as identified sites previously not known to have existed. One of the most useful things one can do with dowsing is to locate graves. We are discovering that trees that mark graves have specific shape characteristics and appurtenances which identify the number of graves being marked. Using the dowsing rods we can determine the gender of the person in the grave, the tribal affiliation, the age when the person died and in some cases the cause of death. The next decade of research about the cultural heritage of the Native Americans offers exciting possibilities. The limits of what can be learned by dowsing are not known. Each site we visit, each tree or rock cairn, each village or trail we study teaches us more about the Native American’s and their history. Our most recent dowsing discovery has led us to understand that earth energy lines exist. Some of these lines seem to be associated with Indian cultural sites. We look forward with anticipation to learning more about these lines. It is beginning to seem that the underground water and the earth energy lines may have played a spiritual role in the lives of Native Americans. We have initiated a program to locate and train others who have the gift of dowsing to help with the research that this very old technique allows us to do. Each little bit we learn helps us to realize just how much more there is to be learned about the historic, cultural and sacred sites of the Native peoples. There is also much to be learned about using dowsing as a research tool. We will add to this page as new insights and learnings about the subject become known to us.