Traditionally, a forked wooden stick, cut form a willow or other water-loving plant, used in dowsing. It supposedly dips down sharply when held over a body of groundwater or a mineral deposit, thus revealing the presence of these substances. Syn: witching stick; wiggle stick; dowsing rod; mineral rod; dipping rod; twig; dowser.

Glossary of Geology, Third Ed. Bates and Jackson. American Geological Institute, 1987.
I actually had the opportunity to see a divining rod in action. My Danish grandparents, who lived in North Dakota, had purchased an old house. The blueprints for the sewer were gone they and needed to find the old sewer pipes in the back yard without digging up the whole thing. So my grandmother went down to the river bottoms and found a diamond willow, which is a willow tree infected with a fungus, causing diamond shaped patterns in the bark. She cut a fresh Y shaped stick about 2 cm in diameter. I followed her in anticipation as she walked across the lawn, holding the top ends of the Y in her hands with the palms up. When she had reached the spot that contained the sewer, I saw the stick twist down toward the ground. The stick turned down to the earth so violently that the bark was twisted and shredded where her hand were holding.

The next day a crew came and dug up the sewer in that exact spot.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.