Dowsing for Oil

Bette and Eliza Dowse for Oil

The agreement was to dowse, not for the oil, but to confirm what the geologist and other scientific tests had determined, was to be the best part of the “lake” of oil, for the drilling equipment to go in, and the depth, the rate of flow, and to formulate a question as to bringing in investors, or using personal money.

David's House at the Compound Entry My phone calls with him, a very kind man named Dusty, told me it would not be a joyful experience for me.

I’m a verbal communicator and an intuitive…he speaks in sound bites.. a lot of them. So when he offered that I could bring a friend at his expense, I asked Eliza, second daughter and intuitive, to join us. She is also incredibly charming and overlooking… and fearless in ways that I am not…. heights, cold, chaos. It was a good decision. The ranch foreman, a gentle, soft spoken Cherokee in his mid 30’s, who lives alone on this 6,000 acre ranch that runs along the Rio Grande, was at the airport to fetch us. Three hours of rough road, mostly, we arrived at the Healing Hot Springs retreat which Dusty owns and uses as headquarters for his life there. It was dark, cold, and the bungalow we were to stay did not have any heat because the space heater had not been turned on… So I slept in all of my clothes, including shoes, and my bad attitude.

P1110458Dusty arrived during the night and when I came to the next morning and realized Eliza was not there, I followed the scent of some critter being cooked and went to the mail lodge. There was Eliza and Dusty in the kitchen, laughing it up like old friends and he’s flipping chops made from the javelina that David, our foreman, had killed a few days earlier. I joined the laughter, took good coffee, became charmed by this Scorpio who loves to argue and we went to the lobby of the hotel across the way where David had built an amazing fire and within an hour I was thawed and we made our plan for the weekend.

View from the topBy early afternoon we were heading up the side of a mountain to the site.

I was too cautious to ride the 4 wheeler without doors or windshield, so I rode with David in his pickup and Eliza goes with Dusty, throwing caution to the wind… I was so terrorized that I mostly had my head covered and my mouth moving in curse words, my two favorites, over and over as a prayer. Fortunately, and as any oil person would know, the site was flat and the vista breathtaking.

Once I got to the site, I walked for a while, blessing the land, being grateful for the safe journey, and honoring the four corners.

P1110466Many years ago I was gifted with “a responsibility” of an Eagle feather to use in ceremony, by my mentor and Chawtaw “grandmother”. I was able to find a clear spot on the earth where I could sit and talk to the oil until I felt clear enough to do the work I was there for. My tool of choice is one L-rod, but the wind was pretty strong, so I used two, knowing the wind would not blow in two directions at the same time. I also used a witness chamber for the first time in ages but not having a vial with me to hold the witness, I poured the crude oil over and into a ball at the end of a very long L-rod. Then I confirmed all of my work with a plastic Y-rod, which replaces the traditional WITCH hazel tree limb. more later…

P1110468Dusty was pleased with all of the questions being answered and hopefully Eliza was taking notes for I did not.

The LAKE of oil is HUGE…and 5100 ft down, damn… that’s almost a mile.. and the yield is 5 barrels per minute. Dusty marked … I think.. 19 points of entry. I took one last walk to look at the beauty of that place and then got back into David’s truck… holding my breath as I watched my little girl, Eliza, drive away (this time she’s driving) in that toy jeep, going up to the highest point on the mountain, clinging to the side on a road barely as wide as the jeep with a strange man who looks like John Goodman. The return P1110462didn’t require quite so many “s***,f***’s” except for the times when David would stop at an especially scary spot to point out something to me. This was a wonderful experience even thought I never did get warm and I’m especially grateful that Eliza was with me, not just because she’s going to be a great dowser one day, but because she keeps the men laughing even when I’m ……. hmmm, not! My momma had that gift. I think Grandpa Sid was watching us and smiling a little.

Bette Epstein

Bette Epstein


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