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Home > Blog > Pendulum Readings: How to Use a Pendulum

Pendulum Readings: How to Use a Pendulum

For answering “yes” or “no” questions, a pendulum you use frequently is a good tool. Assuming that you want true answers, start by buying or making a pendulum. It’s no fancier than a small weight attached to the end of a four-inch or five-inch chain or string. They come readymade, with a pointed crystal or a metal or plastic weight shaped like a crystal.

To create your own, find string that is not as dense as twine or as frail as sewing thread, but in between. Dental floss is thin enough yet strong. Or use a pull chain from an old lamp.


Now attach this thread or chain to a reasonably small solid object that you like. The classic pendulum for divination is a wedding ring, probably because there is usually one in the vicinity. Use crystals, a stone earring or pendant, a lead weight from fishing tackle, or a plumb bob from the hardware store. A button will work, but an airy object such as a feather or whisker will not. Do not use animal parts such as bones or teeth.

Creating your own pendulum is a giant step toward aligning its energies with yours. Now that you have it, don’t let anyone else touch it. Before use, like most divination tools it must be blessed or “cleansed,” perhaps in running water, in moonlight, or smoked in burning sage leaves. Or bury it for a while in a jar or bowl of dried herbs or brown rice. For storage, keep it in its own little bag.

When it’s ready, you and your pendulum have to learn to communicate.

Hold Your Pendulum Correctly

The pendulum is an extension of your intuition. From there you can contact the universal mind. That’s a great feat, but it requires that you and your pendulum agree on a few things beforehand.


To start, hold the pendulum’s end between not index finger and thumb but between middle finger and thumb of your dominant hand. An index finger is too muscular and overbearing to use with a delicate instrument such as a pendulum.

When consulting a pendulum, it matters very much that the arm and hand are kept still. To make sure the pendulum’s motion is pure, diviners recommend immobilizing your elbow, keeping your forearm horizontal and fingers free. Set your forearm and the heel of your hand on a tabletop, allowing the pendulum to swing as it will. Coffee and cola lovers should wait until the caffeine has left the body or “coffee shakes” will interfere.

Then swing the pendulum gently back and forth, right and left, and around in a circle, clockwise and then counterclockwise, to get any kinks out and make sure that the dangle is securely attached to the string.

Calibrating the Pendulum

When the pendulum swings rightward it means “yes” and leftward it’s “no,” correct? Or you should have a piece of paper that says “Yes” and “No” beneath your pendulum, and if it hovers toward the Yes that means “yes,” right? No, that’s wrong! All wrong!

You and your pendulum communicate uniquely through your unique weave of vibrations, and must agree on what each motion means.

After giving the pendulum a little preliminary swing, still its thread or chain. Now it’s time to discover the motions that will mean “yes,” “no,” and “I don’t know.”

Approach this seriously. Dedicate yourself to truth. Your intentions matter. Even if it’s only a button on a string, the pendulum has been blessed, is ready to serve you, and does not want to play games.

Holding the thread or chain as still as you can, say, “Show me how you say ‘yes’.” Be patient, relax and breathe, and wait for the pendulum to move. It has five possible directions: back and forth, side to side, diagonally, or in a circle that moves clockwise or counterclockwise. Note the “yes” direction. Then stop the motion and say, “Show me how you say ‘no’.” Again, relax, breathe, and be patient. Think good thoughts about what you love.


Test it by asking a question with a definite “yes” answer and note how the pendulum moves. For example, try “Is it sunny outside today?”

The “yes” and “no” motions are then established. Stronger motion means the answer is more emphatic.

Furthering Your Mutual Understanding

Practice this until the language between you and the pendulum is clear and accurate. This process might be slow. The pendulum is a way to contact the universe, not command it. If frustrated, maybe let it rest for a day or a week and try again.

A motionless pendulum means “I don’t know,” or “I’m not ready to answer; ask later.” A pendulum swinging wildly means your vibration is too anxious or agitated to receive accurate readings.

If the pendulum never seems to work for you, lengthening the string or chain an inch or two might help. Keep trying. There is no reason it wouldn’t work unless you are asking it foolish or jokey questions. Your own unconscious mind knows better than to answer foolish questions.

What to Ask and How to Ask

After calibration:

  • don’t ask it questions you already know the answers to, and
  • don’t ask it to decide what is already decided, and
  • don’t ask the same question twice

Phrase your questions correctly to obtain yes or no answers. Not “What will happen with my grandmother?” but rather “Is my grandmother safe where she is?” or “Will my grandmother move in with us?” Not “When and where will I meet my soulmate?” but “Will I meet my soulmate this coming year?”

After the ritual requirements have been firmly established you can use the pendulum to answer other people’s questions. Don’t let them touch or use the pendulum that was tuned specifically to you. If they want one, tell them how to make and calibrate their own.

Why Does It Work, and How Fast?

The pendulum concentrates three kinds of vibrations or forces: yours, its own, and your environment’s. That’s why it moves.

Because it’s very sensitive, the pendulum can be engulfed in worry, in caffeine shakes, noise, wind, emotional upset, crowds, and confusion. It’s best not to use it while sitting on a bench in a mall or while texting with the other hand. It’s not made for outdoor use. A rumor says it will write its answers in sand. I haven’t seen that happen yet.

A user can be so anxious to get a “yes” or “no” that the pendulum might provide that answer whether it’s correct or not. Relax. Breathe! Asking the same question twice, seeking a different answer than the pendulum first gave you, shows disrespect. The only way the pendulum has to tell you to cut that out is to be undecided or wrong.


Some practitioners consult the pendulum daily. People who use it casually or demandingly will throw it aside after a few tries saying, “This thing doesn’t work.” Connection with larger or deeper forces through divination instruments is a learning process. Give it time and it will work.

Of course we all want our answers immediately, today, and right this minute if possible. If so, consult another diviner because using the pendulum is an art requiring concentration, not a grab-and-go proposition. If you are new to the art, consider whether you’d rather have from the pendulum a confused answer now or a correct answer later.

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