A pendulum is a weighted object that hangs from a string or cord. It is a tool of divination and is used for spiritual guidance, making decisions, answering questions, and cleansing negative energy. For those who want to know how to use a pendulum, you ask a question, hold the pendulum, and it will swing in a certain direction to let you know the answer.
Of course, this is a quickfire description of pendulums when the weight of history and the world behind them is much fuller and more complex. Pendulums are a beloved method of tapping into divinity and dowsing and they are often compared to being a physical manifestation of our higher self or our sixth sense.
Pendulums aren’t a new age fad thing; people have been swinging crystals since the 17th century. Galileo Galilei was the first to formally study and report on this back in 1602 and since then it continues to crop up with some of the great scientific minds across the centuries. From Leonardo Da Vinci to Isaac Newton, pendulums have long been keeping the beat in time, but they have also been used for divination practice since the 16th century too. There are also estimations that pendulums were used back in Ancient Rome and Egypt too.
What are Pendulums used for?
Pendulums have been used as a technique for searching out the invisible - also known as Dowsing. Dowsing relies on the motion of the pointer, or the pendulums change in direction to answer our questions and guide us. The pendulum acts as receiver and transmitter from unseen influences and it communicates this wisdom with you. You can ask your pendulum yes and no questions which is usually the most straightforward way of using this tool of divination. But you can also use the pendulum to clear up any negative energy in the room, to find lost items, and to find water sources. The latter also shares the name of ‘dowsing’ and dowsing rods are commonly used for finding water.
How they work
But how exactly does pendulum dowsing and divination work? For a start, it taps into your own intuition. Sometimes we can have the answer stashed deep inside of us and it can be tricky to work through the tangled threads to get to our own truth. These clever little tools can merge the right and left signs of your brain so that they work in harmony together (rather than opposing forces) and help you commit to a balanced solution. Pendulums can be a shortcut through the noise. That’s how they work on a surface level but on a deeper spiritual level, pendulums connect with your spirit guides, guardian angels, and other unseen energy forces in the world.
The first step in using your pendulum is to cleanse it. This is always a good thing to do when working with any crystals for the first time or after a period of energetic use. Cleansing the crystal can shake loose any blockages or off-kilter frequencies and prime it for receiving and transmitting messages loud and clear. To cleanse your crystal, you can use some of the following methods (just make sure they are suitable for your own type of crystal first.
- Use smudging to cleanse
- Run the stone under some water
- Place it beneath the full moon
- Place it in a slant of sunlight for a short while
- Bury it in soil
- Leave it in the presence of other cleansing crystals
You should also make sure that you are centered too before you plunge into a pendulum session. Take a few deep breaths or take a few minutes for meditation, maybe light a candle, take some quiet space, and quiet your mind so you can truly connect.
Start by holding your pendulum in the palm of your hand for a few moments. This can help you to connect to it and forge an energetic bond. Next, you need to know your no from your yes. You can hold the pendulum a few inches above your palm and ask questions. Keep them simple - my name is...I live at.... etc., and make note of how the pendulum reacts to those yes and no statements. You could also skip this and simply set the pendulum with your own movement responses AKA tell your pendulum what movement means yes and no. This can help prevent things from becoming murky and vague. For example, you could choose left and right for no (like a head shake), front to back for yes, and round and round for maybe. You should take the pendulum between your index finger and thumb of your dominant hand and sit very still when using it. Demonstrate the moves and say the words that accompany each movement clearly (yes, no, maybe). This can help program your pendulum.
You can practice connecting with your pendulum by asking it to answer questions that you already know the answers for. For example, you can ask ‘ is my dog called Harry’, ‘is it raining today’, etc. This not only helps sync your energies but also can grant you more confidence in asking questions further on, as you explore the vibes of your swinging talisman. From here, you can move up to larger questions.
Working with pendulums takes time and patience so don’t expect it to go spinning off in clear directions. It may take time to build a relationship with your pendulum and it may take time for the pendulum to answer you. You also want to make sure you stay focused and open. Don’t force your mindset in one direction or the other as this could influence the pendulum. After a time, the force with which it swings can represent the power of the answer. For example, a gentle swing may be non-committal or approach with caution, whereas a full swing can be a wholehearted yes or no.