What is a Pendulum?

One of my absolute favorite metaphysical tools is a pendulum; however, there’s not a lot of hype out there about this little guy. So, what’s the deal? What is a pendulum and how does someone use it?

Quick definition: A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely.

Okay, great – but what does that mean? Basically, a pendulum is any object that you have swinging from a cord or chain, but the pendulum itself is used to direct energy. When we use a pendulum for divinatory purposes, the pendulum moves in response to our own personal energy or the energy of our Spiritual Guides. We ask a question and the pendulum “downloads” the information and responds accordingly.

If you were to purchase a standard pendulum at any metaphysical store, it’ll likely be a pointed crystal on a chain. However, your pendulum doesn’t have to be a crystal. Below is a basic glass bead chain pendulum I crafted last month:

This is a basic pendulum, but they can be more elaborate than this. You can wire-wrap a crystal and chain for a more customized look (like the ones I have in my Etsy shop HERE). OR, it could be even more basic – I’ve personally used a necklace I was wearing as a pendulum and have had great results. How a pendulum responds to you will depend on your energy and intention. The materials can be any you chose.

Pendulum Uses

Pendulums are extremely useful tools for divination – they can provide you yes/no answers for general questions, or more complex answers when used in conjunction with a spirit or pendulum board.

How does the pendulum do this? I believe that the pendulum connects us to our Higher Selves to provide us with the answers we need (not necessarily the answers we want). I have several pendulums that I use for different purposes, but one of the main purposes is divination.

Other uses for a pendulum are:

  • Scrying for (finding) Lost Objects
  • Chakra Assessment & Balancing (chakras are energy centers in your body)
  • Clearing Energy from Crystals & Tarot Decks
  • Selecting Holistic Healing Tools for Wellness (such as Essential Oils)
  • Ritual Magick

Pendulums are extremely versatile and I highly recommend you experiment with them to see if you can come up with any other uses! <3

Using a Pendulum for Divination Readings

Again, one of the most common uses for a pendulum is divination (the practice of discovering unknown information, or “fortune-telling”). Setting up a regular practice will help establish a relationship with you and your pendulum.

First, you want to get in the right mindset. You can do this however is most comfortable for you (if you have an established practice for Tarot reading, you can just use that!) – you can do a grounding exercise, do a light meditation, cast a circle, smudge the room, or just light a few candles. As long as the exercise gets you in the right mindset to do a reading (i.e., calm and focused), then you’re all set!

When first working with your pendulum, you’ll want to establish how it will respond to questions. First, get in a comfortable position, preferably with your elbow propped up on a table or hard surface (this will help you avoid fatigue). Next, holding your pendulum by the cord or chain, allow your pendulum to move, then ask the following questions one at a time, allowing your pendulum to change direction with each response:

  1. Can you please show me “yes”?
  2. Can you please show me “no”?
  3. Can you please show me “I don’t know”?
  4. Can you please show me “I can’t answer that right now”?

You’ll notice I didn’t indicate which direction your pendulum should swing – this is because there is no one right response. For “yes,” your pendulum may swing forward and back, or it may swing in a circle clockwise, or have an entirely different movement. Your pendulum will respond according to YOUR energy, so it’s important not to make assumptions and always check in with a new pendulum first before working with it.

When Answers Aren’t “Right”

One thing I want to stress is that you may receive answers from a reading that turn out to be the opposite of what occurs or proves true. Do not get frustrated! As with any divinatory tool, pendulums provide us with only one possible path, based on what is happening now. If you are asking questions about 6 months down the line, things can certainly change as 6 months (or even 1 day) can provide opportunities for a change in course. Just by asking the question, we may have altered our course! Please remember that pendulums are a tool to help us heighten our intuition and that your future isn’t set in stone.

Those are the basics! Please remember to also have fun working with your pendulum. The more you work with it, the more you’ll tune your new holistic tool to your energies.

If you’re interested in learning more, head over to my ***Pendulum Practitioner Course*** on CourseCraft – it is a comprehensive, online course that takes you through working with pendulums for divination, healing and ritual. 

Brightest Blessings, -Cory Gunn, CCH