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Working With The Pendulum

The Pendulum
The word 'pendulum' is from Modern Latin pendulum, first used around 1643. It is derived from the Latin adjective pendulus "hanging down". While the name we know is pretty old in the scheme of things, it has been used throughout history for more than 1640 prior to it's introduction into Europe. 
It is a simple tool used for communicating and gaining guidance from the spiritual world. This is one of the easiest methods of divination and is much more secure and accurate than an Ouija board. When used for divination the pendulum acts as an antenna that amplifies signals or energy vibrations emanating from a spiritual guide or the Divine energies you've called upon. These vibrations focus their attention on the pendulum and cause it to move in specific directions, giving you answers and guidance to the questions you put to the tool.
A pendulum is simply a string or chain, weighted by a pointed crystal or some other form of heavy object called a "bob". In my personal experience, I've had better results from natural materials, such as crystals, and varying forms of metal, silver, gold and so on. The pendulum to the right is simply a clear quartz crystal, decorated with two shades of amethyst, hanging on a gold chain, with a pentagram for easier handling when in use. (Just imagine the chain being a little longer. ;-} ).
The History Of The Pendulum
One of the earliest known uses of a pendulum was in the first century seismometer device of Han Dynasty Chinese scientist Zhang Heng. Its function was to sway and activate one of a series of levers after being disturbed by the tremor of an earthquake far away. After years of observation of the sky, Zhang was able to draw a relatively detailed map of the stars. His observations enabled him to build a water-powered celestial sphere considered to be the world's oldest three-dimensional model of the heavens. He then used the power of water to make his globe complete one rotation every year, showing how the positions of the stars changed from a winter solstice to the next.
Zhang Heng (c78-139), was a native of Nanyang in central China's Henan Province,. He was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer of the Eastern Han Dynasty (c25-220). He became chief astrologer and minister under the Emperor An'ti of China. Some believe it is his work as astrologer where he merged his use of the pendulum from his seismometer with his knowledge of time, motion and the stars to predict future events for the Emperor.
It isn't until centuries later when the use of the pendulum as a divination tool can be found in Europe. One of the earliest European uses of the pendulum was through Dowsing. Dowsing as a practiced appears to have come through Germany during the 15th century, when it was used to find metals. As early as 1518 Martin Luther listed dowsing for metals as an act that broke the first commandment. The 1550 edition of Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia contains a woodcut of a dowser with forked rod in hand walking over a cutaway image of a mining operation.
Some of the earliest stories of pendulum use for divination comes through Italy and traveling gypsies. To escape persecution for possessing 'tools of the devil', early gypsies would wear their pendulums as necklaces. The pendants would function as simple decoration when worn. But when removed could be quickly used as a tool for divination.
The Pendulum Board
Along with the pendulum a diviner can use a variety of tools to help answer questions, provide guidance or even simply to point in the direction one needs to travel. One of the most common accessories is a Pendulum Board. You can click here and print this image for your own pendulum board.
The pendulum board is not necessary to perform tasks of divination, but it does come in handy. Especially if you're a beginner. You can make your own or purchase a pendulum kit when you're looking for the right tool for you.
If you want to make your own, you simply need a circle with these six directions. This is the most common layout of a pendulum board. As you progress you might decide to make a more elaborate board that includes an alphabet and numbers.
The following is the basic layout of a pendulum board and how to program the directions.
  1. Yes ~ an up and down direction.
  2. No ~ a side to side (left to right) direction.
  3. Maybe ~ a diagonal direction, from the lower left to upper right corners of the circle.
  4. Don't Want To Answer ~ a diagonal direction , from the lower right to the upper left corners of the circle.
  5. Probably Yes ~ a clockwise circle.
  6. Probably Not ~ a counter-clockwise circle.
Making Your Own Board
Most pendulums you can purchase come with their own pendulum board. But not all do. If you chose to use a board, you can use a variety of things to make your own board.You can click here and print this image for your own pendulum board.
You can draw a simple circle on a piece of paper and place the labels in the locations you feel most comfortable with. You can use a photo. You can alter a photo or picture with a graphics package and print it from your computer on photographic paper. You can even use "The Wheel" or "The Fortune" card from your favorite tarot deck.
The key is finding an image that inspires you, that has a circle in the center and you can easily identify the answer layout to.
This image is a good example of how a picture can be used to create a board. It's a picture that was sent to me as a gift. Using a graphics package, I simply added the labels to make the board. In reality, you don't have to add the words if you don't want to. It can make it easier for the client to watch the pendulum as it swings and answers their questions. And it can also provide the new reader with a reminder of how they programmed the pendulum to operate.
Using The Pendulum
Once you have picked out an attractive pendulum that you feel drawn to, you don't just sit down in your car outside the store and start "playing" with it. This is a divination tool which should be treated with respect and reverence, just as you would a deck of Tarot cards. There is a proper place, time and way to use this tool for the best results.
There are two ways of using your pendulum. A full reading and for receiving quick guidance and direction. You can't do the latter until you have sat down, consecrated your pendulum and made it your own. So before you use it for quick guidance, you should do at least 1 full reading for yourself.
Click Here To Download Our BoardOnce you've gotten home, prepare your ritual space just as you would for any spiritual work. Open your session with a brief prayer for protection, guidance and calling in your spirit guide or guidance. Explain what you're doing, what you want to accomplish and what information you're seeking.
Regardless of which method of divination you're conducting, a full reading or quick guidance, you'll need to set directions. This is a way of making an agreement with your pendulum for which movements mean what. Some call this programming the pendulum. I prefer making an agreement because the agreement is really between you and the spiritual forces that will provide movement to the tool.
Once you have programmed your pendulum, you're ready to ask question. Your question must be in a form that will provide yes or no answers. If you used the method described above for programming your tool, your answers will come in the following forms.
  • Yes and No answers are self explanatory.
  • Maybes imply the energy patterns are not yet set and some decisions still need to be made before the outcome can be determined.
  • If you receive a Don't Want to Answer, (DWA) then the answer to the question could alter a spiritual or karmic lesson you have to learn, or it's none of your business. DWAs are most often received when you're asking questions about other people, in other words, you're being nosy.
  • Probably Yes means as things stand right now, "it" what ever you asked will probably happen, or is probably yes.
  • Probably No means just the opposite.
Once you've completed your reading, place the pendulum in a protective pouch. Say a prayer of thanks and close the energies you've pulled in for this ceremony. Then clean up your ritual space and take time to write your experience in your journal.
A Step-By-Step Reading
Here's a step-by-step process for conducting a session of divination with a pendulum. From lighting the candle to closing the circle.
Set-up your ritual space.
  • Select an area where you'll be left alone for about 30 minutes to an hour. Clean the space, dust, vacuum, whatever is needed. Make a small ritual table or alter. Something for you to place your tools and your focus during the ceremony. It can be a box covered with a lace cloth, a small table, TV tray, or even the floor. What ever feels right for you. Place it in the north section of the circle.
Set up your altar.
  • Select a white candle, a crystal, a sage and lavender smudge stick or a special incense you like. Don't forget the matches or a lighter.
  • Prepare a tape or CD with some soft spiritual music you like to drown out any background noises in or around your spiritual space.
  • Lay out your pendulum, pendulum board, a notebook and something to write with. Find a pillow or something that you can use to support your arm while you hold the pendulum. You want to make your hand as steady as possible. If you have to build a little platform for your hand and wrist out of boxes, an upside down glass or cup, figure it out now. Don't wait until you're in the middle of your reading when your arm gets tired.
  • Once you have all your tools and preparations in place, you'll be ready to begin. Turn on you music and step into your ritual space.
Set your Intent
  • Light the smudge stick, or incense you've chosen. Stand facing North holding it up in both hands about shoulder level and say a prayer. Something like:
    Great Spirits, Creators of All That Is, I ask for your protection, your wisdom and your blessings as I open this spiritual circle today.
  • Blow out the flames, if they haven't gone out themselves.
  • Lower the incense, turn to the right and face East. Hold up the smoldering incense and call upon your spiritual guide or guidance. Say something like:
    (State their name if you know it, otherwise call them your guide) I call upon the wisdom and energy of my guide, and ask for your assistance here within this circle as I seek for answers and guidance.
  • Lower the incense, turn to the right and face South. Here you need to state your purpose for opening this circle. You can use as much or little detail as you like. But the intent must be clearly defined. Don't just say something like, I'm going to use my pendulum. Hold up the incense and try something like this:
    I call upon the Great Spirits, my spiritual guides, and the higher divinity within myself for the purpose of divination by pendulum. This tool is new to me and I ask for your guidance and protection as I search for answers regarding - my job, relationship, whatever. For this I give my thanks and gratitude.
  • Lower the incense, turn to the right and face West. Now that you've called in all this energy, you can use it to clear and protect your circle. Hold up the incense and say something like this:
    I set this circle in divine light and protection. I bind any negative or earth bound energies from entering this ritual space. I empower myself, my tools, my mind and spirit with positive and balanced energies to perform this task of divination.
  • Lower the incense, turn to the right and face North once more. Some people like to close of the top and bottom of the circle once it has been drawn. If you'd like to do that too, raise the incense in the air over your head, make a large circle (clockwise) so the smoke makes a bit of a trail, then do the same thing near the floor. As you do this say something like this:
    To the Father Sky, To the Mother Earth, I protect this space and ask for your balancing energies to keep me focused and clear.
  • Now sit down in front of your alter and place your incense in a holder on the table. Let it continue to smolder while you're conducting the reading. Don't light it again, if it goes out on it's own that's fine.
Set A Connection To Your Tool
  • The next thing to do is to prepare yourself for divination. After all you'll be holding the pendulum and therefore you will be part of the tool. With your left hand, light the white candle you've selected. As you light the wick, imagine the flame being part of your inner being. A symbol of the divine light within you. As you imagine this, say something like:
    I call upon the Great Spirits, my guide (say their name if you know it), and the positive forces around me this day/night to help me find the answers I seek at this time.
  • Pick up your pendulum and pendulum board and say:
    Protect and use these tools to guide me in my search for spiritual growth, awareness and clarity. In return I give my thanks and gratitude, my love and light.
  • Place the pendulum board on the table. As your holding your pendulum, use your free hand to log this session in your notebook.
    Note the time, the date, who you called upon to help guide you and it might be interesting to note the weather and the phase of the moon. You'll notice patterns after a time, for which conditions seem to work best for you.
Program Your Pendulum
  • Hold your pendulum at the top. Most often there will be a holder for you to grasp comfortably, much like the one in the picture above. Make your arm comfortable as possible as you hang the pendulum over the board. When you're ready, you can make your agreement with your spiritual guides that have come concerning the movement of the tool.
  • Holding the pendulum over the board, gently move the weighted end so it swings from top to bottom and say: "This will be Yes."
  • Stop the movement and let it hang in the center of the board. It doesn't have to be perfectly still, but it shouldn't be moving very much at all. Gently move the weighted end so it swings from left to right and say: "This will be No."
  • Stop the movement and let the pendulum hang in the center again. Gently move the weighted end so it swings diagonally from the bottom right to the upper left and say: "This will be a Don't Want To Answer."
  • Stop the movement and let the pendulum hang in the center. Gently move the weighted end so it swings in a clockwise circle and say: "This will be Probably Yes."
  • Stop the movement and let the pendulum hang in the center. Gently move the weighted end so it swings in a counter-clockwise circle and say: "This will be Probably No."
Begin Your divination
  • Ok, take a deep breath and focus on your pendulum. Imagine it being engulfed in white and purple light.
  • Compose your first question. Remember to write it in a format that can be returned in a yes or no answer.
  • Holding it as still as possible in the middle of the board, ask your question. The pendulum will move on it's own, do your very best not to influence it's motion. Otherwise you'll have a false reading and this will be pointless. Just trust in yourself and your abilities. You can do this!
  • If you still don't receive an answer, calm yourself a little bit. Have faith that this type of divination is possible if you believe in yourself and the forces around you. Position your arm again, try to restate your question just a little bit and wait for an answer. Once you receive one, record the answer in your notebook and compose your next question.
  • Reposition the pendulum over the circle and ask another question. Keep doing this until all your questions have been answered.
Close The Circle
  • It is just as important to spend time on closing you circle as it is for opening one. You want to thank your guides and close the energy within the space. You want to balance your own energies and get grounded again. And you want to clean and clear up your alter so it's ready to go for the next spiritual event.
  • No matter what your ceremony is for, you should add a moment of meditation to the event. In this altered state, you can contact your guides and review the answers you received. Ask for clarification or further insight into how the events might unfold. You can use this time to thank the forces that have helped you this evening. Or you might ask for clarity of vision or a better understanding in the situation at hand.
  • Before you conclude your ritual, you should formally thank the spirits, deities, guides and anyone else in spirit you called upon, for their assistance. Typically this is done through an offering of some type. Bread and wine is a common offering, you might offer seeds for planting, or a seedling tree that will be planted in the honor of the spirits. There are as many different types of offerings as there are practitioners around the world. Be true to your heart and your emotion, and select an offering that will have the most meaning to you.
  • Conclude your ritual by closing your chakra centers. When you have completed this step, stand inside your circle. Face north and give thanks once more for this sacred space and close the circle by saying something like this:
  • Great Spirits, Guides, and all the unseen forces who helped me this day/night. I send you my heart felt thanks and gratitude for your presence, for the guidance you have given me and the answers you have helped to uncover. I ask you now to close the energy within this circle, returning it to it's original state. I ask that this sacred space, my home and my physical body continue to be protected in the loving glow of the Divine. I ask that my feet, my body and my mind become firmly planted and grounded as the energy of this circle subsides. For this assistance, protection and graceful company, I once again give my thanks.
  • Clean up your space, starting with the extinguishing the candle. Place your pendulum back in its protective pouch and return it and any other tools to their rightful place within your home.
That's all there is to it.
Quick Guidance Readings
Once you have set a connection between you and your pendulum through a full reading, you can carry it with you and use it when ever you feel a need for guidance. If you're shopping, find a private space such as your car or a changing room. Set your pendulum board on your lap, set a shield of protection and call your guides, then program your pendulum and ask your question for guidance. It's that simple. Once you receive your answer though, don't forget to say a quick thank you for the spiritual help.
You can provide quick guidance for yourself, for a friend, at work, home, in your car or where ever you happen to be. Just keep in mind that if you're doing a reading for someone or if you're asking about deep issues in your life, you should still conduct those through a full reading. But for quick guidance, these types of quick readings are one of the great things a pendulum can be used for on the fly.
A Few Sample Questions
Here's an example of how to ask questions and follow through with a reading.
Let's say we have a friend here that we're doing a pendulum reading for. We'll call her Daisy. Daisy wants to ask some general questions about work. We've done the above preparations and now we're ready for Daisy to ask her first question. {Oh, if you are doing a pendulum reading, have the client record the questions and answers so you can focus on the pendulum and the energy surrounding you both.}
  • Daisy asks: "I want to know if I'm going to get my promotion and the new office I want".
  • You should say "We need to break that question up, so we'll ask:
    • Will Daisy get her promotion at work?" Give the pendulum a few moments to reply. When the weighted end moves up and down, respond to Daisy "Yes".
    • Will this promotion come with a new office? When the weighted end moves, respond accordingly.
  • Now that Daisy has the hang of this, she asks: "Will the promotion come soon?" Answer accordingly. Let's say the pendulums response was "Maybe".
  • Daisy: "When?"
    • Again remind Daisy the question must be in a yes or no form. So let's ask: "Will the promotion come within this month?" The pendulum responds "No."
    • You ask: "Within two months?" The pendulum responds "Yes".
    • You ask: "Will the promotion come in the first two weeks of (name the next month, we'll say it's July)?" The pendulum responds "No".
    • You say, "So Daisy will get her promotion during the last two weeks of July?", the pendulum responds "Yes".

Daisy is happy, you close the circle and the session is over. 

 Pendulum vs Ouija
Though they seem like similar divination tools, they really are different. 
The Ouija
The Ouija is a physical tool that requires more interaction and more importantly, more connection between you, the tool and spirit. Because of this, the Ouija is considered to be an earth based tool, meaning it's used to connected with earth bound entities or ghosts rather than spirits of higher spiritual realms.

Earth bound entities, or ghosts still have a strong connection to the physical world. They can use this connection to manipulate an Ouija pointer across a board, but to do that, they also have to manipulate you, your hands and arms. Additionally ghosts are not connected to the higher spiritual knowledge of the Divine realm. This can make their information unreliable and often connects it to desires, ego and all those earthly physical emotions that get in the way of positive divination messages. Because of this the Ouija is not a good tool for divination. Especially if used by a novice. Which of course is represented in ALL Ouija movies.
The Pendulum
While you may hold the pendulum by some form of tab, you don't touch the chain or bob during a divination session. This raises the tool out of the realm of the physical world and into a higher spiritual realm. The absolutely best way to use the pendulum is by placing the tab on a hanger and not touching the pendulum itself, but rather placing your fingers on the stand hold the hanger.

This takes all the physical influence or interaction off the tool and into the "hands" of spiritual energy. After the decades of using a pendulum it still amazes me when I stabilize the bob and then ask a question and watch it slowly begin to move.
Because you're not physically interacting with the chain or the bob, Earth bound energy has a much harder time making the chain and bob move. In other words it takes greater spiritual energy to manipulate the moving parts of the tool. Earth bound entities, along with your actions to clear energy and setting a shield of protection make it much harder for ghosties to move the bob and chain. So it's a safer tool to use for divination that an Ouija board. 
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Source: 1, c3, c4, c8, c13, s1, s2, s4, s5, s6, s7, s11, s14, m1, m5, m18, m23
Created: 04/04/1999        Updated: 03/24/2010


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