Failure is success in progress – Albert Einstein

You might think that dowsing is a special psychic ability limited to a few individuals born with ‘the gift’, but actually, while dowsing for beginners can be quite challenging, it’s something that can be learned by anyone who’s curious and willing to put in the time and practice to learn the art.

So while dowsing for beginners can be quite frustrating  – it really can be magical in so many ways quite quickly.

As a transformation coach and energy healer, I love sharing practical things that have given me positive results. A few months ago I fell in love with the pendulum as a way of testing for shifts after specific healing protocols, which has been really useful and got me hooked!

More recently I started learning to dowse with rods as a way to connect with Nature, earth energies and the Higher Consciousness that connects us all.

If you're curious to learn more about this fascinating practice, I hope you enjoy my beginner's guide to dowsing below. It's everything you need to know to start your dowsing adventures!

For starters, I would love to see more people in the shiny online space sharing about their ‘failures’ and less braggable experiences. Currently we don’t have a balanced picture of reality when it comes to what one needs to do to become successful, or what success really is.

But then again, maybe knowing in advance how stretching the experience is to go for your dreams and goals, you might not want to leave the unsatisfying, yet familiar world that you know!

Would you agree?

I like to read about a person’s real journey, without leaving out all the things they found difficult or that didn’t work out for them. I’m fascinated by the strength and resiliency of the human spirit and how someone perseveres in their own unique way to eventually have a breakthrough.

Authenticity and inspiration!

What are success and failure, really?

How much more are you focusing on what you believe you can’t change or have rather than on your dreams and goals?

However, in today’s world, particularly online, most people only talk about their successes, although we all know failures are bound to happen multiple times along the way.

Have we gotten so used to instant gratification that we’ve blanked it out of our awareness that things worth having or achieving take time, energy, mastery and dedication? Plus, we simply don't value things that come to us instantly.

The truth is, although it might feel awful and uncomfortable at the time, failing is part of the struggle; a normal part of the process of growing and evolving towards the life you want to be living.

What is failure anyway, but feedback: life lessons from the universe in response to our beliefs,  choices and actions.

While the culturally conditioned idea of success is something external, material and an end result of productive, hard work, that's just not true for everyone.

Maya Angelou was quoted as saying, ”Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” I think that gets closer, but for me, success has a more spiritual dimension than that.

It’s about discovering and fulfilling the divine purpose we came here for. And this success is kinder because there’s no deadline and no one is holding a gun to my head to do it right NOW. It’s an evolving, life-long commitment to growth for which there’s time, and I know that if I deviate too far off course then my soul will nudge me back into alignment. And this kind of success brings me a deeper sense of satisfaction, joy, inner peace and contentment because I feel my interconnection with all things and the divine intelligence of life guiding me.

How about you? What would you say is your definition of success?

There is no failure, only feedback

The value of not having things work out as planned

Although inconvenient and a bad thing in the capitalist world-view, there is such a lot of value in the experience of things not going as we planned, even though it sucks to go through it.

We grow stronger and more resilient, we learn our realistic limitations, we discover where we weren’t fully aligned with our vision or where we’d missed some important detail that was needed to make a better choice or to have a better chance at a favourable outcome.

You might also find out that the linear road to success is hardly ever an authentic one, and that life naturally offers a meandering path; sometimes clear and easy, and other times steep, narrow and strewn with obstacles to navigate. It takes some practice and it’s not easy, but if you can let go of judging one part as good or welcome, and another as bad or unacceptable, and just allow yourself to experience what life presents to you, then you will soon move through the more difficult stretches and find greater peace, equilibrium and sustained joy through the natural ups and downs.

As we slow down and embody more of our Divine Feminine energy, feeling our way one step at a time through our bodies’ knowing, rather than thinking, planning and driving our way forward from our minds, we experience the process of becoming more true to ourselves and what we really want and feel, as opposed to what we have been unconsciously conditioned to want.

Plus, we get to enjoy the moments along the way and the value in the journey with presence, rather than racing ahead, efforting our way to the end goal or destination before we allow ourselves to stop, breathe and savour the results.

Fail your way to success

Failing our way toward the world we want to live in

I wonder if culturally we were more transparent and less judgemental about the things that seem to go pear-shaped for us, whether more of us would be willing to stretch ourselves and try new things that might change our societies?

What advances could we make if failure was deemed not only acceptable but maybe even celebrated as a necessary and expected rite of passage on the way to breakthroughs and personal success for each of us?

Wouldn’t it be great if we were encouraged culturally to laugh at our misadventures, be curious about where and why life wanted us to deviate away from our plan and feel proud of having a go, rather than self-recriminate?

Currently, however, we collectively hold a lot of fear and shame around the idea of failing, and that acts as a bad ass saboteur that stops so many people from stepping a foot outside their comfort zones, going for their dreams or trying something new in case they fall flat on their face and get judged (by others or themselves).

When I was working on the membership site I had waves of fear come up. After all, I’d been away from the online business world for a couple of years and here I was stretching myself with a brand new endeavour, using a whole different technology and no Facebook to rely on for marketing since they shut down my account after I was hacked (with no recourse to get it back)… so everything felt new, unknown, stretchy and outside my comfort zone. I had all the jangly nerves and anxiety of being a beginner again!

But working through that was also fascinating and a lot of fun. I unpicked so many limiting beliefs and healed old wounds. I created a whole new level of loving connection and communication with my inner child, and it was exhilerating to meet my edges, nudge them outwards and discover parts of myself that had been holding me back in all kinds of ways my whole life. It felt like progress. It gave me confidence because I could feel myself growing and changing, and this time around I was much more gentle, kind and compassionate to myself as I went through the process.

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm

Dodging the bullet to burn out 

When it came to soft-launching the community space I was full of joy, expectation and enthusiasm. I knew how impactful dabbling could be as a way to create more joy in your life, foster a deeper connection with Source Energy and get back into flow; the membership space looked beautiful and enticing, and the women I invited to join were wise, supportive friends who understood the concept and value of conscious community with other women.

But, after running it for a month, I discovered just how much energy and attention it would need from me to take it forward. What with everything else going on in the world, overcoming sickness that floored me for a few weeks and the responsibilities I was carrying in life, I felt really overwhelmed and exhausted and I realised that it was just too much.

The biggest red flag was that, despite being able to top myself up temporarily through my dabbling practices, I noticed how flat and joyless I was beginning to feel underneath.

It wasn’t filling me, it was draining me, and I recognised that slippery slope to burnout.

So I hit the pause button on the membership and pulled back to lick my wounds, regroup and reflect.

Failure is success in progress

Hitting the bottom

I’m not going to lie, it was really disappointing. Also, I don’t seem to be wired to be able to focus on multiple projects at one time, so I had given this a lot of my time and energy at the expense of other things. So I felt guilty, ashamed and stupid about ‘wasting' time. I felt lost, uncertain and directionless, wobbly and vulnerable, and my confidence in my ability to make good choices for myself had taken a beating.

I was aware of my mind racing around in fire-fighting mode, seeking solutions, questioning, berating, looking for a way through or for something to salvage, or for what to do to avoid feeling these feelings. It was exhausting!

But underneath all that, I felt such a relief that I had set myself free, and a big weight lifted from my shoulders.

It was the right decision.

And when I shared what I needed to do with my members, and friends who’d followed my journey, I was met with such love and acceptance. Most said how much they admired my courage in making the difficult decision to stop, rather than pressing on. It was very humbling, and I’m very grateful to have had the reassurance and understanding from these exceptional women.

So right now, The Conscious Dabbler Collective is on hiatus. However, if timing and circumstances line up, I can open the doors again, but it will be in a different way, having learned from this experience!

In the meantime, I have realised how much I need simplicity. So to that end, I am focusing on my 121 coaching practice, which feels really good to me right now.

But I have a feeling something else is just around the corner...

And as they say, when one door closes, another door opens!

I wonder what that will be? 

More uses for dowsing

As a final note, I think dowsing for beginners, while initially being quite a challenge to trust the information and guidance you receive from your dowsing tools, it only takes a moment of connecting with something greater than ourselves in a state of presence, to make this practice so rewarding.

It's exciting and wonderful when you do get those connected responses from your dowsing that feel true, especially when confirmed by others. It all helps to build trust in oneself and one's intuition, confidence in the practice, and as you relax into it, you get even better results.

I'm really enjoying practicing this wonderful art because it’s so practical. I love how it’s teaching me to connect more often through my body to the intelligent field of consciousness that we are all part of, and it inspires me to get out in nature much more to play. It might be an ancient practice, but dowsing, especially outdoors, is a great antidote to the modern lifestyle of spending too much time on computers or devices, and too much time in the mind, all of which separates us from the vibrancy of life all around us.


What’s your perspective on dowsing? Are you curious to have a go yourself? Maybe you’re an old hand, or a complete sceptic? What does it mean to you? Let me know in the comments below.

Cathy x
Dividing line

Further dowsing resources

If you want to start playing with dowsing yourself, it’s helpful to find a group or other people who you can dowse with.

The Geomancy Group has an events page for courses and trainings around the world, as well as more detailed information on the body-mind connection to the quantum field and how dowsing works through that.

The British Society of Dowsers

Western Geomancy

The American Society of Dowsers

Canadian Society of Dowsers

Dowsers Society of NSW

Penwith Press was founded in the 1990s by Hamish Miller, a well-loved and respected dowser, philosopher, blacksmith, engineer and tree-planter, and was designed as an outlet for his books and DVDs, which record his extraordinary journeys and quest for knowledge.

This is a wonderful introduction to dowsing for beginners by the late Hamish Millar on Youtube.

And here is an excellent documentary on health problems created through geopathic stress by Irish dowser, Brendan Murphy.

Spiritual Dowsing, by author Sig Lonegren, is a history of the Earth Energies and their relationship with ancient sacred sites, how to dowse for these energies, healing techniques, and other uses today.

Dividing line


Cathy portraitCathy Ballard – Mentor and visionary coach for spiritual paradigm-shifters and sensitive empaths.

Cathy teaches her clients to develop and trust their connection to Source, master their spiritual power and reclaim their worth and value, creating more joy, satisfaction and abundance as a natural by-product of authentic alignment.



Facebook: Cathy Ballard Transformation Coaching