'DOWSER and DOWSING (from the Cornish "dowse," M.E.
' duschcn, to strike or fall), one who uses, or the.art of using, the dowsing-rod (called "deusing-rod" by John Locke in 1691), or "striking-rod" or divining-rod, for discovering subterranean minerals or water.
According to Cornish tradition, the divining or dowsing rod is guided to lodes by the pixies, the guardians of the treasures of the earth.
(ii.) The divining rod is the best-known example of this class; divination depending on automatic movements of this sort is found at all stages of culture; in Australia it is used to detect the magician who has caused the death of a native; in medieval and modern times water-divining or dowsing has been largely and successfully used.