From simple everyday questions like “which movie will I enjoy more?” to the tough decisions you’ve been putting off for weeks or maybe even months, a pendulum can help you cut out some of the guesswork. Once you get comfortable with your pendulum you’ll be able to rely on it for big and small questions. Using your pendulum can not only clear up some free space in your mind but can help you connect with your soul and loved ones in spirit.
My fondest memories of my Grandma are of her getting out her pendulum during family get-togethers at her house. My sister and I would take turns asking our big questions. Grandma would focus, become still, and dangle her pendulum over our questions that she wrote out. We’d watch it swirl and not know what it meant as we impatiently awaited her answers from beyond. Before my Grandma left this plane she passed down her pendulum to me. It is my most treasured object and has become a favorite tool in my spiritual toolbox ever since.
What is a Pendulum?
A pendulum is simply a small weight at the end of a string or a chain. The use of pendulums goes back thousands of years. There’s evidence that they were used in both ancient Rome and Egypt. In the past, they’ve even been used for divination and to locate water and minerals within the Earth.
How does it work?
Though it seems like magic, it’s actually you who’s moving the pendulum! Whatever you want to call it: subconscious, your soul, or spirits speaking through you, the pendulum is ultimately controlled by you.
It is called the ideomotor response. Your pendulum amplifies responses from your subconscious that would normally be undetectable.
If you believe that your soul is an extension of the universe itself and can connect with energies of all kinds, then your pendulum can be viewed as a very extraordinary tool. If you don’t, it’s still pretty amazing to have access to your subconscious!
My Grandma believed she was channeling loved ones that had passed on. Once she remarked that she would feel bombarded with their energy like they were all chiming in at once with their answers.
Getting started with your pendulum.
- Choose a pendulum that you connect with. They come in a variety of materials ranging from crystals, wood, plastic, and metal. You can even find simple instructions for creating your own pendulum online.
- Make sure that your arms and legs are not crossed when using your pendulum. Closing yourself off in this way can block your energy and affect the pendulum’s answers.
- While sitting, place the end of the string or chain in your hands and place your elbow on a table so it’s steady.
- Next you’ll need to determine how your pendulum will answer your questions. I like to start by writing out these phrases on a piece of paper: “yes,” “no,” “I don’t know,” and “I can’t say.” Then I’ll hold the pendulum over each phrase and ask it what does “yes” mean and see what its reaction is. If it gives a clockwise turn, I’ll write down “clockwise” under “yes”. Continue for each phrase and be sure to test your pendulums response to each phrase a couple of times for accuracy.
- Start by asking your pendulum simple questions that you already know the answer to, like “is my hair blonde?”. Once you’re used to how your pendulum responds you can start asking other questions, keep in mind your questions must be able to be answered by yes or no.
- Avoid asking your pendulum questions if you already have a strong pull towards an answer. Remember, your pendulum is pulling from your subconscious, so if you already feel strongly about something, it is likely that your pendulum’s answer will be swayed towards what you want.
Pendulums are one of my favorite tools because they’re so versatile. They can be used for mundane uses like locating lost objects or for magical uses like connecting with spirits. Like any intuitive tool learning how to use your pendulum will take time.
Here’s a post that shares other uses for pendulums (click the arrow on the photo to see more details):
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If you feel called to explore more about pendulums, I have a workshop where you will learn all about using your pendulum for both mundane and magical purposes. You can find more information here.
Do you have a favorite pendulum or book about pendulums? I’d love to know about it! Please send me a DM if you want to share.
Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.