Divining Rods

like the magician's wand, are traditionally made of HAZEL. The rod seems to have been introduced into Britain by German miners in the 16th or 17th century. Evelyn's words on the subject, "certainly next to miracle, and requires a strong faith", seem to be an indication of recent introduction. Even today, some three hundred years on, divining is still looked on in some quarters with disbelief. Hazel was the wood for a wishing-rod, too (Grimm). And the Welsh wishing cap was generally made of its leaves or twigs, though sometimes juniper was used, too. In the Basque country, it was DOGWOOD that was chosen for divining rods (W Webster), rather then hazel. In Yorkshire and Lancashire, divining rods were often made of ROWAN (Besterman), though hazel was usually preferred. In America, or at least Iowa, BOX ELDER seems to be the favourite for the purpose, or the twigs of WITCH HAZEL were used, and that acounts for the common name, because divining was looked on as the result of occult power (Weiner). Guernsey dowsers used TAMARISK, as well as hazel, for their rods (Garis).

Like other magical plants, MISTLETOE was credited once with making the wearer invisible (Dyer. 1889), it will open a lock, and, used as a divining rod, will reveal hidden treasure (Grigson. 1955), just as GOLDEN ROD will, if held in the hand. It has long had this reputation of pointing to hidden springs of water, as well as to treasures of gold and silver (Dyer. 1889).

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