DFestSW 18

The South West's first Dowsing Festival - DFest SW 18, organised by Somerset Dowsers and Devon Dowsers

took place on the weekend of 23rd & 24th June 2018, in and around South Zeal in Devon.       It was a great success with over 100 people attending on each day.

There was an array of Talks, Outings and Workshops, as well as time to socialise and meet with other dowsers.  The Event was open to all, and at minimum cost, and was a great fun weekend. 

Many thanks to all of those who were responsible for the Event, including all of those who gave Talks, ran Workshops and Outings, were Helpers on the weekend, and all of those who attended to make it the great success that it was.  Thankyou ! 

Special thanks go to Diana Burton and John Stedman of Devon Dowsers who managed the Booking process, enquiries, admin and finances even whilst moving house just shortly before the Event - absolute stars.

For a full write-up of the Event, please click on the blue link - DFest Full Report to view, download, or print the document (in PDF).  Thank you to Nigel Twinn for putting this report together, and to all of those who contributed.  Thank you from Mandy, the DFest Committee, and all at Somerset Dowsers.

Please see below; the summary article regarding this wonderful Event, kindly produced by Nigel Twinn of Tamar Dowsers :

South West Dowsing Festival - DFest (2018)

Definitively DFest

Consciously Communicating with our Surroundings

There are good dowsing weekends and there are great dowsing weekends.  This one exceeded all expectations right across the spectrum - a bit like dowsing itself, really. 

The first South West Festival of Dowsing (DFest) was held in South Zeal, which is a postcard pretty, tucked away sort of place, nestled under the bleak northern edge of Dartmoor, and overshadowed by the looming bulk of the mighty Cosden Beacon (well, it’s big by our standards!).  It’s the sort of place that is easily bypassed, even by many who have lived in the South West for years.   But this is a secluded village with a long history, and plenty of 21st century experience of hosting such events, as it has been the venue for the burgeoning Dartmoor Folk Festival for many a year.  With its two excellent pubs - one much haunted and containing an in situ Menhir, the other with a good camping field, and a bit more space - not to mention a very serviceable village hall, this was an ideal and very compact place, right next to a vast and beckoning open space, for a coming together of the open hearted and the open minded.

Originally conceived by the Somerset Dowsers and the Devon Dowsers as an event within an hour and a half’s drive from most of the likely participants - it ended up as a wonderfully intimate gathering of dowsers from right across the south and west of England.  Support was forthcoming from members of both the Trencrom and the Tamar Dowsers, and counties from Sussex to Gloucestershire to Cornwall were all well represented, together with a scattering from further afield.

The hope was for an attendance of at least 50, with both the Devons and the Somersets tentatively chipping in to underwrite the endeavour.  The eventual turnout of well over 100 could hardly have been anticipated.

The vibe was in full flow right from the outset.  National (dowsing) Treasure, Ann Lodygowski, set the ball rolling in her inimitable style, recounting her own introduction to the craft, and her personal history of living in the village as a teenager.  Normally known largely for her great experience in animal communication, this was AL explaining many of her broader insights, and how she came to gain that experience.

Mandy Bennett kept the flow moving nicely with a well-balanced and well-prepared presentation about the aspects of her work as a professional health dowser relating to dowsing and healing of land - including examples of some of the sites on Dartmoor chosen for Outings during the weekend.  Again, a nice blend of the personal and the professional - concepts in action, and theories in practice.

Basking in the quite exceptional Dartmoor heat (just for once, not an oxymoron), by lunchtime on Day 1 people were already whispering in hushed tones to one another about how, when and where the next DFest would be held.   What!

The afternoon saw most of us breaking into groups to do some outdoor dowsing in the superb scenery, and under perfect blue skies, in the strangely semi-arid landscape of the surrounding area.  Others had the indoor option of two excellent workshops, run by Somerset’s Sarah Shaw.

The evening was spent socialising and networking with friends old and new.  This was very much the mood of the moment - and one of the great successes of DFest 2018. 

The morning of Day 2 saw us visiting more special sites, both around Dartmoor and closer to the village, for some practical dowsing and helpful demonstrations.  Another workshop, with Ann Lodygowski demonstrating remarkable healing techniques to those present, was a parallel opportunity for those who hadn’t bargained on a couple of days of intense Mediterranean weather.

John Moss, of the Trencrom Dowsers, provided the afternoon entertainment, with his own stories of coming into dowsing, and of being the Director of the British Society of Dowsers for several years.  John’s talk was deliberately challenging, but laced with good humour, and provided a welcome dose of grounding, as well as advice for all comers, based on his own experience.  His approach was particularly valuable for those entering our exciting new arena for the first time.

The weekend ended, far too soon, with a Panel of the more experienced fielding some well-directed questions from the floor.  It was a forum in which some of those just setting out felt comfortable in speaking up, and those who have been around for rather longer were generous in sharing their experience.  How do you move an energy line; what is ‘Michael & Mary’; who says ants like detrimental energy; Hamish who?  It’s good, and rewarding, and necessary to get back to dowsing basics from time to time. 

Punters still had the opportunity to buy dowsing paraphernalia, including the specially commissioned DFest merchandise, which they purchased in some volume - and to get hold of information about the BSD and its activities.

For a few fortunate hours, novices and those needing a little more confidence rubbed shoulders with some of the more experienced professionals and practitioners in the South West.  Both groups learned a lot from one another, with dowsing taking the role of the bee in the flower garden.

Low cost, low tech, low impact - but maximum interest, enjoyment and camaraderie.  This was unashamedly old time dowsing at its very best, albeit with an injection of new millennium enlightenment. 

Inevitably, and rightly, Gwynn and Mandy may have been heavily focussed on getting their helpers and supporters through this adventure largely unscathed, but such was the unleashed power of the friendship of fellow travellers that, by the end of Day 2, there was already a surreptitious mini-Olympics process underway of bidding for the follow-up.

Huge thanks go to Gwynn and Mandy for getting the venture up and running, which had clearly developed a momentum of its own from the very start.  Many thanks, too, to the platoon of volunteers from the Devon and Somerset teams, who kept the show seamlessly on the road - and especially to Diana Burton and to John Stedman, who did most of the backroom paperwork and administration, which provided the pivot, around which the rest of this temporary miniature universe turned so smoothly. 

Nigel Twinn  June 2018

This overview may be used for circulation purposes and general publication.

Archive information, poster, and pre-event documentation:

Welcome to DFest SW 18  - The South West's first Dowsing Festival !

A fantastic weekend open to all, with discounted prices for BSD Affiliated Group Members and BSD Members.  We look forward to seeing you there.  Numbers are limited, so book early to ensure your place.

Full price for the Weekend Programme only £50 (not including food or accommodation).
See the Booking Form for discounted fees.

For further information and how to book your place - see below.

Further Information and Booking :

Please click on the blue links to view, print or download the relevant document (in PDF).

Overall Programme for the Weekend Download DFest Programme Document
As you will see there is the opportunity to join us (at no charge) for informal Pre-event activities on the Friday 22nd June.

This document provides information regarding the Venue, Parking, Food arrangements, possible Accommodation, Directions and other information.

Talks, Outing & Workshop Details - Download T,O&W Details Document
Here you will find detailed information on the Talks for the Weekend and the Options for the 'Outings/Workshop' Session for each day.  This will enable you to decide your order of preference for the 'Outings/Workshop' Sessions.  These are to be noted within the Preference Forms, for each person attending, for each day, and returned with your Booking Form and Payment.
Talks are open to all, and you do not have to choose for these.

Saturday Preference Form - Download Sat Pref Form
Sunday preference Form - Download Sun Pref Form

Booking Form - Download Booking Form