A Zoom presentation by Veda Austin
to the Devon, Tamar, Trencrom, Somerset
and Thames Valley Dowsing Groups
Extraordinary, enigmatic, exciting – a real lockdown liberation.
At the end of this remarkable presentation, our unflappable host, Gwynn Paulett, was left lost for words – and I feel much the same. It’s not that there is nothing to say, just how to construct something vaguely meaningful out of such a maelstrom of fascinating concepts. It feels a bit like being given a first draft of an epic tome, and being asked to ‘pick the bones out of that’. But here goes.
In a period when so many strange things have happened, and are still happening, this unexpected episode was almost par for the course. With the mysterious light of the Snow Moon streaming through our wintery windows, a woman speaking from tomorrow, quarantined in a military barracks in New Zealand – and of whom most of the viewers of the collective would never even have heard – gave a talk that clearly stimulated the imaginations of a huge and diffuse array of dowsers from the UK. Such events seem to be becoming the New Normal – and if so, then bring it on.
Veda Austin explained that her work is rooted at the junction where science, art and consciousness meet. This is not always a comfortable place to stand, but it does produce some interesting results. Add to the mix her Maori/Devonian ancestry, and you have volatile juxtaposition of threads and memes from which to create a vibrant tapestry.
The theme of her life has become her relationship with water. While that may be true of all of us – being as we are largely composed of, and totally dependent on, the substance – Veda’s relationship with it is a little different. As a teenager, she drowned in the sea and, in an echo of Hamish Miller’s near death experience, was later recovered and resuscitated. It just wasn’t her time to go. Years later, she was involved in a serious car accident that left her with potentially hazardous shards of glass in her arm and her jaw. The prognosis wasn’t good. However, after drinking water from a particular source, her wounds ‘miraculously’ and quickly healed – and her appreciation of water, in all its forms and with all of its qualities, was firmly established.
In recent years, Veda has taken up the strand of research set in motion by the late Masaru Emoto, who made the groundbreaking discovery that freezing water under certain conditions could produce ice crystals of distinct types and forms that appeared to reflect their original source and/or the intent of the researcher.
Emoto’s work was as controversial as it was enlightening – and what you make of it probably depends on where you stand on the issue, as much as on the analysis of the results. The same can be said of Austin’s output – and, for that matter, of dowsing.
Veda is very aware of the valid criticism that Emoto’s team only produced selected images to illustrate their conclusions, from a much wider range of original samples. She acknowledges that viewpoint, but asks those interested in her work to come to their own conclusions.
The images presented, both in this zoom and in her forthcoming book, powerfully demonstrate that something significant is going on. A film of water in a Petri dish, overlaid on a photograph, or even a typed word, and placed in a domestic freezer can (at least some of the time) reproduce a convincing image of the original. We are not talking here about photocopiers or 3D printers, but recognisable ideoglyphs nonetheless. The results are as striking as they are intriguing. In a classic parallel with dowsing, many of the ‘images’ seem to be representations of the original, rather than deliberate reproductions.
Austin interprets this latter aspect as part of her personal interaction with the intelligence of water – talking to water as an entity in its own right, co-creating a manifestation. Again, the strong parallel with dowsers interacting with the immersive information field is not difficult to appreciate. Veda, herself, makes no claim to be a dowser, which actually adds to the relevance of her work for us. If you already have a dowsing-centric worldview, then extending that mindset to include a new aspect of reality could be seen as a logical step. However, when someone comes up with this type of out-of-the-box material via a different channel entirely, that certainly does provide another scaffold pole in support of an alternative edifice.
In the Q & A session afterwards, a question was raised as to how one example – an impressionist ‘sketch’ of a dog, which had been drinking from the bowl from which a water sample had been taken – could have come about. Dowsers with an interest in a more philosophical appreciation of the craft were doubtless drawn straight to the idea of a holographic universe. This is a concept originally proposed by the physicist David Bohm, and currently being expounded by the dowser and futurist Jude Currivan amongst others. The essence of this idea is that all information could be encrypted in every ‘grain of sand’, every quanta of existence – and it is available to be reproduced under appropriate circumstances. Easily demonstrable visual holograms work on just such a basis. Scaling such a scenario up to include all the information in the cosmos would seem to be a massive leap of intuition, but stranger things have happened!
Veda, herself, acknowledges that the way the work is progressing is implying that the input – including the attitude and the expectations of the researcher – is a major part of the process. The observer affects the observed, but the reverse is also true. It is a two-way journey, an interactive experience.
In yet another parallel with the dowsing experience, Veda has found that producing meaningful images from her homespun experimental technique has improved progressively as she has developed her approach and immersed herself in the methodology. At first, credible output only emerged from time to time, but now she can get a recognisable result almost every time. Five screens of dedicated rod and pendulum users nodded silently in agreement.
The sceptic would correctly want to examine her extensive database of images that didn’t produce anything meaningful to come to a more rounded view – which is where Emoto’s team were less than fully disclosive. However, Veda has little to hide. She is primarily an artist and a Mum, who takes an open and inclusive approach. Her attitude is not to proclaim the meaning of life, but to suggest that we ‘take a look at this, and see what you make of it’.
Throughout this engaging and entrancing presentation, Veda Austin came over as presenting her research as very much work in progress, with little in the way of trying to prove a hypothesis. It’s almost art for art’s sake, learning for the benefit of learning – but with a 21st century twist. She acknowledges the gaps and the contradictions in what she is presenting with evident wonder and awe – and she openly invites members of the scientific community to assist her further understanding.
Dowsing was not the original object of the exercise, but the assembled group will have taken away so much to commend, and even more to contemplate. However strong the temptation to press the ‘too-good-to-be-true’ button, this canon of material cries out to be considered – and at some length.
Many thanks indeed to Veda Austin for such a thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable presentation – and to Devon/Leicester dowser Sian Wilson for creating the opportunity for us to engage with Veda.
For further information about the work or Veda Austin, and to pre-order her forthcoming illustrated book The Secret Intelligence of Water, please see her Facebook group or her website: