One of the most common forms of divination, pendulums are used to tell the sex of unborn children, detect pregnancy, tell the future, answer life’s questions, prophecy, divining, and a common place magic trick. No one really fully understands the process of how the pendulum works. Pendulums are easy to make as it simply involves attaching a small weight to a length of chain, thread, or cord. The process of using it is even easier, as all one has to do is place their elbow on a table, face the pendulum which is looped over the index finger, and asked questions – to which the weight will move and provide answers. People often ask the pendulum if they should take trips, make life choices, if someone likes/loves them, relationship issues, if they should make purchases, if they are sick, allergic, and/or pregnant. Some use the pendulum to determine allergies. Others use pendulums to locate lost items, find places on a map, hidden treasure, water, caves, graves, or secrets of the unknown. Albeit easy to use, the pendulum does take a bit of rhythmn, practice, and tuning for precision results. Pendulums can be constructed of simply a lead fishing weight, a coin (such as a Norwegian kronos), a ring, a crystal, stone, or needle attached to a length of string or chain. Some choose to purchase simple to elaborate ones from Metaphysical, Pagan, New Age, Witch, or Occult shops. Some “experts” claim a true pendulum needs to be made using certain guidelines, including requirements of something that weighs at least three ounces and attached to 4-6 inches of cord. In my experience, the cord should be roughly the length of your hand from your wrist to the tip of your middle finger. As far as weight, that varies, as I’ve had much success if a pin definitely weighing under 3 ounces.
The best success with pendulums use I’ve found is to hold the cord between the thumb and first finger of your right or left hand (depending on what handedness you are – though some claim it must be the right hand. I am however left-handed and find it works perfectly with my usual orientation) or drooped over your index finger pinned by your thumb. Then resting your elbow on a table allow the pendulum to swing freely an inch or so above the surface of a table. You can also purchase a pendulum board for clearer and a more “fancy” presentation. Stop the movement of the weight with your free hand and then ask the pendulum your question. Ask it to answer “yes” and make note of the movement of the swing. Ask it to answer “no” and make note of the movement of the swing. Generally though, if it swings the direction of your head when nodding “yes” (to and from your face), then that is a “yes”. If it moves side to side, like the movement of the head in western culture for “no” it is a no. There is some dispute that the movements vary based on cultural views of body language for yes/no answers. The pendulum can also move diagonal meaning “maybe”, “don’t want to answer”, “right question”, or “don’t know”. It can also move in circles (clock-wise or counter-clockwise). Once the pendulum indicates an answer, which can be answered with mini swings to full swinging motions your answer should be revealed. There is also some debate that you should be asking Deity, spirits, ancestors, faeries, angels, and/or the undead directly your question while others believe you can just do it directing the question to the pendulum itself. (A debate similar to the usage of a ouija board) Your questions don’t need to be limited, just make sure you really want to know the real answer to your question. It is also very possible to mentally influence and override the movements of a pendulum if you think to hard on a particular response or too personally engaged with the result. In this case, its best to have someone not attached to the matter to do the pendulum reading for you. It is advised not to use the pendulum flippantly nor to let it rule your life. Place intuition, instinct, and common sense into action for your commitment with results from the pendulum. Pendulums are used also for dowsing. The intent behind the dowsing or divination sometimes dictates whether the pendulum is made of crystal, metal, or other materials. Stage magicians have audience members seal items in envelopes and presented to him/her to which a pendulum is used to “dowse” whether the item belongs to a male or a female. They can be held over a pad or cloth with yes/no written on it as well for audience demonstration. In Radiesthesia, pendulums are used for medical diagnosis.
Scientifically we know the pendulum swings by the influence of gravity, making it swing back and forth along a circular arc. The time it takes for a pendulum to oscillate from the peak of the swing on one side to the other and back is called the period of vibration, which depends on the length of the pendulum, the magnitude of gravitational acceleration where the pendulum is located, and the amplitude of the swing. A small amplitude has no effect on the period and the period is given by the equation T=2p l/g where T is the period of vibration, l is the length of the pendulum, and g is the local gravitational acceleration. The Greek letter ∏ (pi) is a constant with an approximate value of 3.1416. Pendulums are used in science for the uniformity of its period especially for keeping time, demonstrating the earth’s rotation, and determining gravitational acceleration at a particular location. The first recorded use of a pendulum, according to Science, was in 1620 when the British scientist Francis Bacon proposed using a pendulum to measure gravity, suggesting taking one up a mountain to see if gravity varies with altitude. According to “science” its use for pseudo-science broke out from the knowledge of the foucault pendulum. In 1851, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault showed that the plane of oscillation of a pendulum, like a gyroscope, tends to stay constant regardless of the motion of the pivot, and that this could be used to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. He did this by suspending a pendulum free to swing in 2 dimensions from the dome of the Panthéon in Paris. The length of the cord was 67 m and once in motion, the plane of swing was observed to precess or rotate 360° clockwise in about 32 hours thus becoming the first demonstration of the Earth’s rotation that didn’t depend on celestial observations. After this, it was believed that “pendulum mania” broke out and utilized in various sub-cultures, groups, demonstrations, and New age spirituality.
~ By Leaf McGowan
- Bibliography, References, Recommended Reading:
- About.com: How to use a Pendulum. Website referenced July 2012. http://healing.about.com/cs/tools/ht/How_pendulums.htm
- Calacademy: The Pendulum. Website referenced July 2012. http://www.calacademy.org/products/pendulum/page1.htm
- How Stuff Works: Science – The Pendulum. Website referenced July 2012. http://science.howstuffworks.com/pendulum-info.htm
- Llewellyn Publications: The Pendulum. Website referenced July 2012. http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/471.
- Pendulums.com. Website referenced July 2012. http://www.pendulums.com/