The pendulum is an informal system of divination that can be used by anyone. It is an intensely personal system, with no established correspondences to learn. While this may seem unnerving at first, it is in fact extremely liberating.
The pendulum has been used in folk practice for such varied purposes as finding water, determining the sex of unborn children, and to receive direction from the spirit-world. It is still used in the modern world to locate leylines and other hidden resources such as wells, unmarked graves, health issues, and fluctuations in energy found in homes (as in feng shui) or people (chakra balancing).
How the tool works exactly is unclear: does the individual asking the question subconsciously influence the answer through energy manipulation or even small reflex motions of the hands, in essence answering his/her own question? Some pendulum diviners feel that they are actually communicating with spirits or guides, or that their answers come specifically from their deity.
What is a Pendulum?
A pendulum is a weighted object on the end of a string or chain. If you can hold the top of the string and the bottom swings freely in all directions, you have a perfect pendulum. Traditionally, the length of string is 9 inches, although depending on the length of your forearm, you can adjust it to your personal preference.
You can make a pendulum yourself quite easily – all you need is string, and an object to tie to the bottom of the string. If you’d prefer to buy a ready-made pendulum, then most New Age and Wiccan bookshops will sell them, and you can also buy them online (go here for a selection of pendulums and accessories).
How do You Use a Pendulum?
To use the pendulum, place your elbow on a flat, solid surface so that the pendulum is suspended from your hand without any vertical influence upon the swinging motion. Relax, and keep your elbow stationary. Wait until the pendulum is still before beginning.
Before you can use the pendulum, you will have to establish which direction it will swing to indicate your answer. While some people believe that a universal clockwise motion means a “yes” or a “no”, your divination will be more precise if you ascertain through your personal interaction with the pendulum what motion will indicate a “yes” answer and what motion will indicate the “no” answer. Do this by asking the pendulum for an answer to a question that you already know the answer to: for example, ask, “Am I male?” and watch to see which way the pendulum swings to answer yes or no. Motion can include swinging towards and away from you, from side to side, or a circular motion in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, among other movements. Ask several control questions of this sort to determine a consistent response for “yes”, “no”, and the always-necessary “I don’t know” answer.
Once you have the answer motions for your pendulum set, ask your questions out loud or in your head, and observe which way the end of the pendulum swings.
Some people create chart for each session, with very specific questions being answered from the chart. Pendulum may also be used like the ouija board. A circle can be made of the alphabet with room for a pendulum to swing between the letters.