How to Choose and Use a Pendulum
So you have been eying those beautiful pendulums and wondering if you should try one. Perhaps you are skeptical or maybe thinking just how does this actually work? They are really pretty but does it really work? If it does work, just how does it work?
As a Reiki Master Teacher, I initiate my students to the art of pendulum dowsing. Most students come into the idea of pendulums in a variety of ways. The two I hear most are: skepticism and, the opposite side of the coin, excitement. What I see after I teach them is pure awe on the faces of everyone, even from those who were the most skeptical.
A little history first. Dowsing actually began as using sticks, or metal rods, to find water or minerals. Dowsing with sticks is pretty much as old as mankind. There are cave drawings of men doing what appears to be dowsing. Prior to the Industrial Revolution dowsing was considered a natural, human art accepted by the majority of civilization. After this time period it was relegated to more of a “rural art” and not considered mainstream anymore.
In early 19th century, a French priest named Abbe Bouly worked with his country men and others in Europe to find water sources. Later, after World War 1, he worked to find viable bomb shells in the ground. He reportedly was able to tell the difference between German and Allied shells prior to actually digging them out. He used a pendulum for these dowsing methods and named the method radiesthaesia (using the Latin term radius for radiation and the Greek word eshaesis meaning sensitivity). He continued experimenting with dowsing throughout his life, even venturing into the medical field. In 1950, he was made a Chevalier de La Legion d'Honneur, which is the highest decoration that the French had.
Bouly also worked with another French priest, Abbe Mermet. Together they researched using a pendulum with a great deal of focus given to the health and medical fields. Today, Mermet is acknowledged as probably the greatest and most famous pendulum expert. Many doctors from those years used a pendulum for diagnosis. Even General Patton used dowsers in World War II to find underground water and dowsers were used in Vietnam to find booby traps.
This is just a little of the extensive history of dowsing to give you a bit of background. It is not New Age, woo-woo, witchy or nonsensical. Instead, it evolved and was studied and researched extensively by both non-scientists and scientists alike. Today it is considered to be a useful tool for divination and for alternative healing methods.
HOW TO CHOOSE A PENDULUM
The very first thing is to find a pendulum that resonates with you. Sometimes it is easier for beginners to start with a clear quartz crystal pendulum. It is not necessary, though. If you see another pendulum that keeps catching your attention then that is usually the pendulum for you.
As you learn and continue you may find yourself drawn to many pendulums. Many of us have a great variety of them and may use them for different purposes. For instance, I have one I prefer for Chakra Balancing and another I like for Akashic Records. I have a personal pendulum for my questions and others that I intuitively choose for others questions. You will know what is right for you.
PREPARING YOUR PENDULUM
After you have chosen your pendulum (or it has chosen you) it should be cleansed. This can be done using sage, bells, singing bowls, tuning forks or other sound instruments like a Ting Sha. Depending on the stone you can also gently cleanse with a mild soap and water.
The next step is to sit quietly with the pendulum in your hand. Meditate with it. You need to let the pendulum know what your intent is. I am very polite to my pendulums and say please and thank you. As an example, if you ask the pendulum to work with you in finding the answers you need, thank it for its assistance after it gives them.
HOW TO USE A PENDULUM
Hold the pendulum chain gently and loosely, draping it over your forefinger and lightly holding it with your thumb. Use the hand that feels most comfortable to you. Place your other hand a few inches below the dangling pendulum. You should feel an energetic connection in the palm of your hand to the pendulum.
At this time, ask the pendulum to please show you yes. The pendulum will begin to move. It could go in a clockwise or counter clockwise circle. It may go back and forth or from side to side. Once you have noted the movement say, "please stop". The pendulum will come to a complete stop. (This is usually where the awe begins to show on people's faces because you can manipulate movement but there is no way you can force it to stop its momentum so quickly.) Then ask the pendulum to show you no. The pendulum will move in a different direction. After noting this movement ask the pendulum to please stop. Many folks tell their pendulums they want to ask again to make certain that they have the movement for the yes and no questions correct. Once you have ascertained the correct movements for your pendulum you can start asking yes and no questions. *
If you ask a question and the pendulum does not move at all then it is telling you that it does not know the answer or it is not available at that time. That is OK, not all is ready to be revealed at that very moment. You can try again at some other time.
You should ask the show me yes or no question each time you use your pendulum. Sometimes the movement will change. Of course, if you have used your pendulum for a while and it never deviates from the movements it usually shows then you can probably feel safe not asking the “show me” question.
Also, please remember to occasionally cleanse your pendulum. I like to cleanse mine with a Ting Sha after every use.
Why would you use a pendulum?
Some folks have been able to find lost items with a pendulum pointing the way. Some people use it as a healing tool. Chakra balancing with a pendulum is very effective and so is its use to help "diagnose" problem areas. Some use it as a form of divination, receiving answers to the questions asked while holding a pendulum. There are many various and sundry reasons why one might use a pendulum. One thing to remember is that a pendulum is not a toy. It is a spiritual tool that you will become very familiar with and fond of.
A word of caution: Do not “play” with a pendulum for a long time because the longer you work with it in a sitting, the more likely you will be able to manipulate it to answer according to your will.
Why does a pendulum work?
This is a good question that has no set answer. I do have my own thoughts about it.
We are all energy just as everything around us is energy. Is is electricity? Some may say so. Some say it is our higher self communicating with us. Personally, I am a proponent of this idea, it resonates with me.
Our intuition, “vibes”, feelings, subconscious mind are all energy. It makes sense that our higher self would be able to “speak” to us in this manner. As with all energy work, the more you practice the more in tune and attuned you become. Eventually you will be so comfortable with your pendulum that you no longer feel you are using it but you are working together for your highest good.
FINAL NOTE ON PENDULUM USE
There is such a variety of beautiful pendulums that we have to offer you. Is one calling your name? Perhaps the crystal on that pendulum is something that you need in your life at this moment. Listen to your intuition, listen to your heart and choose the pendulum that is meant especially for you! I hope that you will find working with your pendulum to be enlightening and fulfilling.
-- Linda Fletcher Whitley is a Reiki Master Teacher in the Usui Tradition, certified in Crystal Healing and Color Therapy. A certified Acupressure Practitioner and Teacher, Linda also teaches Aura Reading, Pendulum Dowsing, Chakra Balancing and Crystal Energy Work. facebook.com/ReikiSpiral
* Editors Note: Some people like to use pendulum mats to keep track of the pendulum's movement. You would adjust the mat to the directions the pendulum gave. Also, some use these mats as one would a spirit board, with the pendulum gravitating to the appropriate response on the mat by itself.
P.S. See all of our pendulum offerings easily by exploring our Pendulum Collection!