Historically speaking, all necessaries of life were furnished the Greeks by the divining rod.
A “divining rod” is held in the hand, and the tip of the divining rod is known to dip to indicate a hidden spring of water. Divining rods have been used for centuries, and continue to be used today by a few individuals.
It was once believed, by some, that the Divining Rod has an intelligence or spiritual energy, “While working a divining rod, it will show no efficacy unless you say: ‘Divining-wand, do thou keep the power. Which God gave unto thee the first hour.'”
Divining rods have been used for purposes other than finding water. Cornwall is a field of operations where the miners firmly believe in the efficacy of the divining rod; where it bends, they believe they will find metal.
Babylonians of old also used divining rods. The mystical Magians made them out of tamarack trees, and the Hindus, as long ago as when the Vedas were written, practiced the art of discovering hidden things by means of magic wands. The Chinese made their wands of peach twigs, while European nations had faith in hazel branches.
How does the divining rod work? Is there science or facts behind the mystical qualities of divination? All underground streams or springs of water are said to be charged with electricity, and the person holding a divining rod made of hazel must then be strongly negative. It is important that the rod be live new wood and sappy, therefore a good conductor of energy. As the person holding the rod nears the vein or spring, the positive attracts the negative current which, passing down the rod, turns it in the direction of the stream.
Encyclopaedia of superstitions, folklore, and the occult sciences …, Volume 2
edited by Cora Linn Morrison Daniels, Charles McClellan Stevens 1903