Dousing, The Serpent Mind, and Lilith

Modern dousing instrument my father never used.

Modern dousing instrument my father never used.

In exploring Lilith’s qualities reflected in being depicted as a serpent, I want to refer to a description of her from the 13th century Cabalistic text, The Zohar. Lilith is described as “the soul of all the beasts of the field and every living creature that creepth.” As such, she can talk with plants and animals. What is the consciousness she represents that knows the language of the natural world, a language that I have come to think of as that involved with the snake mind?

I grew up on a farm where water dousing was used regularly.  We lived on land that had been drained by burying clay tile pipes so the land could be farmed.  At times the tile would get clogged and my father would have to locate where it was in order to know where to dig.  His friend Bill would douse to locate new sites for wells.  When I was a child my father would test us all for this ability. Some of us do it more naturally than others, although with practice the skill can be developed. He would place coat hangers bent into L shapes in each of our hands, each kid having a pair, and have us walk over a water pipe. When directly over the pipe, the wires would cross.

Brain waves have been measured of people in the process of dousing.  Normally we all have four basic kinds of brain waves:  beta, 14 and 30 hertz, the frequency we most often think of as everyday consciousness; alpha, 8-13 hertz, associated with tranquil and relaxed states of mind; theta, 4-7 hertz, found in dreaming sleep states and where creative ideas and instant solutions to problems flourish; and delta, 1/4-4 hertz, a state in deep meditative trance or deep sleep. There is also a fifth brain wave that has been measured during times the brain is putting together pieces of information from different parts of the brain, gamma wave, a fast-moving brainwave above 30 hertz that signifies inspiration.

When beginning dousers were hooked up to an EEG to measure the electrical activity of their brain, the alpha frequencies became more prevalent.  As they developed their skills, the theta waves increased, along with alpha and beta.  And most interesting, those master dousers who have developed their abilities have a mixture of all four brain waves going at once in a conscious state.

In The Divining Mind, Richard Wright and T. Edward Ross discuss the “resonating cavity” that we live in on earth, that cavity that exists between the ionosphere and the surface of the earth.  By dividing the electrical charge of the ionosphere by the distance to the earth, the fundamental frequency of this cavity (the atmosphere) is arrived at,  7.8 hertz.  This is the frequency at the seam between alpha and theta.

Much more can be said about this but for my purposes here, what is important is that by entering this meditative state,we become attuned to the frequency of the cavity we live in (7.8 hertz).  In this resonance we apprehend the instinct that Barbara Hannah says  “knows what interests the gods, and makes us do it.”  This is where we have access to a vitality that restores us.  This is healing, this resonance of being at-one-with. It is also a resonance that animals may well orient by, and especially the serpent. This meditative state incorporates older parts of the brain into a consciousness that is not only that of the neocortex, a consciousness that Hannah likens to the snake in that we are then able to react on “a much broader and consequently more creative basis” than one overruled by the newer parts of the brain.

Is this the revolutionary evolution that Lilith points us toward in her encouragement of betrayal of the old order, the unconscious union with the divine?  In this state of resonance we know the language of the animals and plants and our ambitions to dominate release. We again know the animating Spirit because we are at one with It.