A CHANCE to try dowsing and learn about water gods will be on offer at Scotland’s Beer and Berry Festival this year.

Professional dowser and geomancer Grahame Gardner will host an introduction to water dowsing workshop, giving participants a grounding in the use of the pendulum, L-rods and other dowsing tools.

As well as finding water, Gardner (below, right) said dowsing has a variety of uses in everyday life.

“It can be used to find lost items and buried artefacts, test for food intolerances, identify geopathic stress areas, measure and locate imbalances in the body’s energy field and much more,” he said.

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The festival at Hospitalfield, Arbroath, will also celebrate the rich food and drink culture of Angus and Tayside and the importance of water.

“In 2023, the precious nature of water, whether to drink, grow with, wash or swim in, has become the focus of much of our attention,” said Lucy Byatt, Hospitalfield director.

“As the summers grow warmer and drier with the impacts of climate change across the globe, we are looking to remind ourselves of water’s extraordinary qualities, and our essential relationship to it. This year’s programme of talks and workshops highlight the many ways water sustains us literally and creatively.

“We are also delighted to be working for the first time this year with the wonderful organisation Red Rock Music on our Live programme throughout the day, working with musicians from Arbroath, Angus and Tayside.

“Developed in partnership with FEAST Journal, we will be foraging, planting, talking and listening. We can’t wait to invite visitors to stroll around the many stalls and buy excellent quality food and drink, meet the producers, growers and local suppliers.”

Also at the festival, author and cultural anthropologist Veronica Strang will introduce her recent book, Water Beings: From Nature Worship To The Environmental Crisis, before opening up a discussion on her research.

“My talk will explore how and why many societies moved from worshipping ‘nature’ to exploiting and destroying it,” she said.

“It will focus on the serpentine beings or deities that in early human history represented the creative (and potentially destructive) powers of water. These beings were central to respectful and reciprocal relationships with the non-human domain.

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“But as people developed technologies giving them more material control over the world, many of the beings representing water and other aspects of the non-human world were displaced by more humanised deities. Sometimes nature beings were demonised and recast as ‘evil’.

“Yet today, as societies seek to regain more collaborative and sustainable relationships with the environment, traditional water beings are resurfacing as symbols of change. Following their fortunes over time illuminates key changes in human-environmental relationships: how and why these went wrong, and what needs to be done to put them right.”

The festival is being held on August 5.