How to use a pendulum

Quick Pendulum Dowsing Instructions

I give a complete set of dowsing instructions in my Intuitive Awakening Course. But if you would like the quick (and free!) version, below is a set of instructions for pendulum dowsing that some readers might find useful.

I have been working with a pendulum for a few years now and I love it. Pendulum dowsing is a great way to get answers and guidance from spirit because it is so specific.  You can get specific yes/no answers or even percentages.

But there is more to pendulum dowsing than simply whipping out a pendulum and letting it swing.  That’s why I’ve provided these dowsing instructions – I get lots of people telling me they don’t bother with dowsing because they get contradictory answers all the time. That might be because you didn’t program your pendulum properly.

To do it properly and to get accurate answers, use the following instructions:

1. Choose the Right Pendulum

If you haven’t yet chosen a pendulum, just make sure you get a pendulum that appeals to you aesthetically and swings for you when you hold it out.  It is easier to do this in a metaphysical store than choosing online, because you get to see the pendulum in person first rather than getting it in the mail and later deciding you don’t like it.

2. Clear the Pendulum

Once you have found your pendulum, you will need to clear it.  This means you remove any unwanted energetic residues which are still present in the pendulum.  All objects absorb energy from their environment and the chances are you do not know where your pendulum was made or where it has been.

Here’s how you do this: place the pendulum in a pot plant overnight and make sure it is covered with soil.  You could also put the pendulum outside in the soil.  Alternatively, you can run the pendulum under hot water and then under cold water alternately, and visualize the pendulum becoming clearer energetically as you do this.  Keep running it under water until you get the sense it is clear again.

3. Program the Pendulum

Next, you will need to attune your pendulum to your Higher self.  This ensures that the answers that come through your pendulum come from your Higher self and not your subconscious mind or emotional body.  We want answers to come from your Higher self because it sees much further than your subconscious mind or emotional body.

Do the following:

1. Take three deep breaths.

2. Then call on an Archangel or an Ascended Master, and ask them to be present. Then say the following:

I ask that this pendulum relay answers from my Higher self/spirit at all times, unless I request otherwise.  I also ask that all information be in truth and accuracy and 100% aligned with my highest good and the highest good of all.

3. Now hold your pendulum out.  Just relax your hand and ask the pendulum, “Show me a yes” and just allow the pendulum to swing.  It may swing from forwards and backwards or side to side.  It may go in a clockwise circle or in a counter-clockwise circle.  When you see what your pendulum does in response to a ‘yes’, write it down and say “Thank you” aloud.

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Next ask the pendulum, “Show me a no”. Observe what the pendulum does in response.  It will move in a different way compared to when you asked for a ‘yes’.  When you write down what it does, say “Thank you”.

Now ask the pendulum, “Show me a ‘maybe’/’undecided” and observe what the pendulum does in response. Once you have your ‘maybe’, say “Thank you”.

Now your pendulum is ready to use!

How does Pendulum Dowsing Work?

This set of instructions wouldn’t be complete without an understanding of how dowsing actually works.  You might be wondering why we have to call on an Archangel or even involve your Higher self.  When you begin by connecting your pendulum to your Higher self, what happens is that the answers go from your Higher self, to your unconscious mind (which makes tiny movements in your wrist and hand to make the pendulum swing) and then to your conscious mind, when it sees which way the pendulum is swinging.  So, when you use a pendulum, you are moving it unconsciously.  Spirits do not move the pendulum for you.  It is a spiritual thing (in that it comes from the spirit in you), but not a ‘paranormal’ thing, like a ouijia board (which I don’t recommend you use, by the way!!)

So, those are the dowsing instructions (short version), to start you off if you’re a beginner. As I mentioned, there is also a longer and more complete version in my Intuitive Awakening course (with suggested questions to ask.)

How to Use a Dowsing Pendulum For Divination

Dowsing Pendulum image

Using a dowsing pendulum is one of the easiest forms of divination, making it suitable for virtually anyone to practice. You definitely don’t need to be ‘psychic’ to use it! Here are some tips to help get you started:

1. Choose the right pendulum

Think about what type of material or crystal you would like your pendulum to possess. What is your power stone (i.e. the stone you resonate and work with the best in your life)? If you have access to a metaphysical store, hold each pendulum and see how it interacts with you. If you don’t have access to a store that stocks pendulums, consider purchasing one online. Here are some examples:

Alternatively, you can try to make your own pendulum by using string and trying a heavy object on the end (mind you, not too heavy!) One easy DIY pendulum can be made by using the string of a tea bag and tying a simple glass bead on the end.

2. Cleanse the pendulum

Once you have found the right dowsing pendulum for you, you’ll need to clear it of residual energy. You can energetically cleanse your pendulum in the same way you would clear a crystal. For example, you might like to run it under cold or hot water, bury it in the soil for a day, place it under the moonlight, use a singing bowl, light a smudge stick, and so forth. Once you sense that the pendulum is clear, you can then use it.

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3. Build a relationship with the pendulum

Building a relationship with your pendulum is quite straight-forward, however like anything worth pursuing, it takes a bit of time and commitment.

In order to learn your pendulum’s ‘language’ and attune it to your unconscious mind, you will need to ask it a few questions.

Take the following steps:

1. Take a few deep breaths. This will help to ground and center you.

2. Ask for guidance and support. I like to say a prayer to my Soul (Higher Self) and Spirit Guides to ensure that I receive the clearest, most objective answers possible. I encourage you to do the same if this resonates with you.

3. Next, ask your pendulum some questions in order to determine what means “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” Your pendulum may swing backwards, forwards, side to side, clockwise or counterclockwise. In order to understand what the directions mean, try the following two approaches and see which one you like better:

  • The first approach is to simply say to the pendulum, “show me a yes” and wait for it to swing. Then say, “show me a no” and wait for it to swing. Finally, ask it “show me maybe” and wait for its response. Thank you pendulum, note the directions and proceed with your question.
  • The second approach is to ask the pendulum questions that will establish objective responses. For example, if you want to know in what direction your dowsing pendulum will swing “yes,” ask it affirmative questions such as “Am I male/female?” “Am I __ years old?” “Are my eyes blue?” Notice which direction your pendulum swings. Then ask it questions that signal “no.” For example, “Is my dog still alive?” “Are my parents together?” “Do I love swimming?” Make sure you ask questions that have clear and definitive answers.

Repeat this step every time you use your pendulum because it doesn’t always choose the same directional responses!

4. Ask your pendulum questions

Now your pendulum is ready to use! Ensure that you are comfortably seated. To begin your practice, you will want to make sure that your arm is stable. So try to put your elbow on the table for added support. Hold your pendulum loosely and gently between your thumb and index finger – with just enough pressure to prevent it from falling.

Next, call to mind a question you’re seeking a clear response for. You can ask your pendulum virtually anything (within reason, please see the next section). Topics can range from locating a missing object, deciding what to wear on a date, and choosing a field of study, to uncovering your hidden feelings, motives, desires, gifts, and dreams. Your dowsing pendulum can be used to answer everyday questions and those relating to money and relationships, all the way to profound spiritual/existential issues.

Some websites and pendulum books (such as this one) also offer charts that help you to assess the health of different organs within your body and chakras.

Use Your Pendulum Wisely

Like any spiritual tool, pendulums can be misused. Here are some words of caution:

  • Please don’t use your pendulum when you’re feeling emotionally or mentally imbalanced (e.g. if you’re stressed, angry, tired, etc.) as this will give you inaccurate responses. To ensure that you’re in the right frame of mind, you can ask your pendulum before beginning, “Is now a good time to dowse?”
  • Please don’t use your pendulum as a replacement for medical expertise. Don’t endanger yourself. If you have a serious health concern, please seek medical assistance.
  • Please ensure that you are dowsing only for yourself, not another (unless they give you explicit permission). Even if you’re dowsing for another, please assess whether you’re skilled enough to proceed.
  • Please approach your pendulum dowsing with an open and unbiased mindset. If you have already made up your mind regarding something, it’s likely that this will be reflected in your dowsing.
  • Please understand the limited nature of pendulum dowsing. Sometimes, it is much better to consult other forms of divination (such as tarot, runes, I Ching, scrying, etc.) which give you multi-layered answers to consider. Personally, I always try to supplement dowsing with another form of divination which gives me more information than a “yes,” “no” or “maybe” response.
  • Please don’t become overly reliant on pendulum dowsing. This is a form of divination to help you make decisions, but it shouldn’t be the sole way you make decisions. Please don’t use it as a crutch. It is important that you take self-responsibility and consciously make decisions. Don’t use the excuse of “the pendulum told you to” in order to bypass your responsibility, and then blame it if anything goes wrong.
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If you can think of any other ethical concerns, please let me know below.


Finally, before each pendulum session, you might like to preface with the following questions:

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  • CAN I? (Am I ready to ask this question?)
  • MAY I? (Do I have permission to ask this question? This is useful to ask when you are dowsing for another person such as a friend or family member. Remember that it’s still possible to get a “no” even if the person has consciously said “yes” to you. In such cases, don’t proceed.)
  • SHOULD I? (Is it appropriate for me to ask this question? As a general rule, try to avoid using “should” in your major question because it tends to make judgment calls which you need to take responsibility for, not the pendulum. Only use “should” in your preliminary question.)

That’s it!

I hope you enjoy experimenting with this amazing tool. If you want to share any tips or bits of advice, please share in the comments.

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