How to Use a Pendulum for Divination

Updated on June 30, 2020
Elderberry Arts profile image

I have studied crystal healing for many years and have studied and been attuned to reiki levels one, two, and masters.

Pendulums can be used for divination and can be bought or made using simple materials.
Pendulums can be used for divination and can be bought or made using simple materials. | Source

A pendulum can be made from a variety of materials including chain, cord, beads, gemstones, glass or any combination of several different items. It consists of a length of material that can be used to hold and suspend a weighted object. These objects must be able to move freely to work correctly.

Pendulums that are suitable for divination can be bought from many sources but it is also fairly simple to create your own. An advantage of making a pendulum is that it can be made to suit your own personal tastes and wishes. This could include using favourite colours and gemstones or using those that correspond well to divination and spirituality. The pendulum will also be charged with your personal energy and intent during the process of being made, linking and empowering it for you.

Do not worry about not having the creative skills or imagination to create a complicated or highly ornate pendulum as these purely cosmetic features are not necessary for it to be able to work well for you. As with all spiritual work and magic, your intentions and dedication to your workings are far more important and will determine your success.

A pendulum can be used in divination and can be especially useful in situations where there are emotions involved and you feel that your subconscious mind may be clouded from letting you see the truth. When using a pendulum it is important that you are not feeling any strong emotions or strongly wish for one outcome or another.

These strong emotions can have an influence on the pendulum and mean that you receive an incorrect answer. Clearing your mind and calming any emotions using techniques such as meditation and grounding can be very helpful. These will also allow you to focus readily on the divination task that you wish to carry out without the distractions of other thoughts and feelings creeping in.

When used on its own a pendulum can only give simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers based on the direction of its swing. The questions that you ask should be clear and require only one answer of yes or no. For example, you cannot ask a pendulum a question such as ‘shall I use a quartz crystal or amethyst for healing?’ Even if one of these is the correct crystal for you at this time, the pendulum will be unable to give an accurate answer. To use a pendulum is this situation you would need to ask it whether you should use each of the crystal types individually and note the answer. In this instance, two questions should be used, for example:

‘Shall I use a quartz crystal for healing?’ and then if needed,

‘Shall I use an amethyst crystal for healing?’

Pretty rose quartz pendulum
Pretty rose quartz pendulum | Source

Using a Pendulum for the First Time

Once you have your pendulum you can start by asking it simple questions that you already know the answers to. These could be questions such as ‘is my hair blonde?’, ‘is it Thursday today?’ or ‘do I have blue eyes?’. This will help you to get the feel for the pendulum and also determine what response it gives for each answer. Generally, swinging right to left indicates a no response, and up and down means that the answer is yes though this is not always true of all pendulums.

To start out sit quietly where you will not be disturbed and hold the pendulum cord or chain so that the weighted end hangs down and can move freely. You can ask the pendulum to spin if desired and this is a nice way to signal the start of the divination but is not necessary, do whichever feels most comfortable for you. You may also find that the pendulum spins by itself. Clearly ask the pendulum a series of questions one at a time, asking only what you already know the answers too. This way you can easily determine how it will signal its answers to you in the future.

A second method of determining how your particular pendulum will show its responses is to simply ask it, ‘how will you answer yes’ and ‘how will you answer no?’. You could also use a combination of both and start by asking how it will respond and then try asking questions you know the answers too to test you are correct. Carry out this process using whichever method feels right and most comfortable for you. As with all spiritual practice and work you should always feel comfortable and happy. Letting your instincts and gut feelings guide you is also likely to lead to the best results.

If you find that the pendulum swings in circles or stops this generally means that the answer to your question is uncertain or undecided at that moment or that you are not permitted to know the answer at this time. If you wish to go into this in more detail you can try questions such as:

  1. Am I not permitted to know the answer to my last question?
  2. Is the result/outcome of my last question undecided?
  3. Will I be able to receive an answer to the last question at another time in the future?

Some people believe that the wider or more vigorously the pendulum swings, the more accurate the answer given is. When you have finished working with the pendulum you may like to thank it for its help and it should be stored safely and respectfully until you wish to use it again.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • What type material do I use for the pendulum?

    Essentially, anything that can be attached to a cord or again and will hang straight can be used. Gemstones are a common choice, for example, and beads or a pendant work well. You could also wire wrap a crystal point. I have also seen metal, wood and even shells used to make pendulums.

© 2015 Claire


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    • Elderberry Arts profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago from Lincolnshire, UK

      Thank you. I have heard of people using rings and keys as pendulums as well. Like many things it is mainly a tool to help our focus and intention. I feel things that are important or mean something to us can make excellent spiritual tools as well, regardless of how they look.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      22 months ago from Beautiful South

      You're right, Claire, it doesn't have to be fancy or pretty. One day in a pinch to find something I had misplaced, I tied a safety pin onto a piece of dental floss and used it for a pendulum. It operated properly, but I don't remember if it helped me find the object.

      I was warned by my metaphysical teacher to not "play" with a pendulum frivolously because it might cause the subconscious mind to stop giving answers through the pendulum. I like your article better than a few of the others because you do put some spiritual insight into it. Just saying that one can use a pendulum like any witch is an inadequate explanation.

    • profile image

      Toya Elaine 

      2 years ago

      I taught myself how to do this a long time ago I never knew what it was until I looked on this site and being a psychic sensitive doing this only adds on to my abilities I use to use rosary beads as a pendulum but I use a crystal tied a thread and what I do I draw a circle and write down the person's name and date of birth if I know it since I am Roman Catholic I start off using the sign of the cross and then I say my own incantation I ask my question then saying swing for no spin for yes tell me the truth most of the time the answers are mostly accurate........

    • Elderberry Arts profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Lincolnshire, UK

      I have seen woooden pendulums to buy so I don't see why not.

    • Katiewitch profile image


      2 years ago

      Can you make one out of wood?

    • Elderberry Arts profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Lincolnshire, UK

      This can be a common issue, especially if you already have a fixed or desired idea of the outcome. It's also important to remember that the future is not set in stone and can be changed by ourselves and others. It will help to practice more and to work on being able to clear you mind and focus only on what you are doing, rather than any concious or unconcious hopes or desires or even the possible outcomes. Meditation can help with this and if you find this difficult, many people find that guided meditation is easily to follow. Remember that your wording is very important when using a pendulum as it can only give limited answers. You could also try using a pendulum chart. These can be found online, downloaded and printed.

    • profile image


      3 years ago


      I use my pendulum, but in most cases the answer is wrong about future.

      How and in what conditions can obtain more precise result of the pendulum?

      thans a lot

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Claire, this was another one of your beautiful crystal hubs. I enjoy reading them and learning about the crystals, too. What a clever idea to use an pendulum! Voted up!


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