What is a pendulum?
In popular use, a pendulum usually refers to any weighted object that can swing back and forth.
You’ve probably seen pendulums (or pendula) on old clocks. The pendulum is the round thing below the face of the clock, and the pendulum swings back and forth, rhythmically, keeping time.
If you pause the pendulum, the clock stops working.
In ghost hunting, a pendulum is usually a small, heavy object — like a stone, a crystal, or even a piece of metal — suspended from a cord, ribbon, or chain. A necklace can be ideal for this.
Some pendulums are highly decorative. Some of them have been blessed. Each one is unique and will respond differently.
A person — usually a psychic or a medium — holds the cord, ribbon, or chain so the heavy object can swing freely. Then, that person asks a question. The movement of the pendulum determines the answer.
Most of my pendulums come from Sean Paradis‘ company, Sleeping Meadows. (I think he’s closed his shop, but check with him, just in case.)
In my tests, the ones he makes have been the most responsive, and I own a variety of stones and colors. I use each for a different purpose, usually working with my “gut feeling” about which pendulum the spirit will respond to.
How to use a pendulum
The end of the string is held between the forefinger and thumb so that the object can swing freely. You can pinch the cord or chain at the very top, with your hand at an angle so your fingers are out of the way.
Or, you can drape the cord or chain over the middle of your index finger, and keep it from slipping by applying gentle pressure from your thumb onto the cord or chain, against your finger.
If you’d just like to experiment with this, you can make your own pendulum by tying any heavy bead or small pendant to a string or cord. The string should be about ten inches long.
You should be able to decide if pendulums work for you (they won’t work well for everyone) and if you like them.
Some people are naturally gifted at pendulum use. This seems to have no connection with whether they’re believers or skeptics.
Some people can use pendulums, but they internalize the energy. That’s not a good idea. If you can’t remain completely separate from the pendulum you’re using, stop immediately. Do not allow outside energy to be channeled through your body to the pendulum. (And, if you can’t tell the difference, don’t use a pendulum. The risks are too great.)
If you decide that a pendulum is right for you, I recommend professionally crafted pendulums. You’re likely to get better results. However, try a homemade pendulum or two, before investing in a professional-grade pendulum.
Next, you should try some baseline readings. It’s important to verify these every time you use the pendulum.
Start with the pendulum entirely still. Ask it a question with a yes or no answer that you already know.
Note the way that the pendulum swings in response. It may swing from side to side or from front to back. Or, it may swing in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner.
Now, ask another question with a different yes or no answer. Compare the results.
Repeat this several times until a clear pattern is established. (If no pattern emerges, you may need to use other divinatory tools. Pendulums don’t work for everyone, and it has no bearing on the person’s psychic abilities.)
In haunted sites, you can ask, “Is this room haunted?” or a similar question. The more active the pendulum movement, the stronger the spiritual energy is at that site.
Even in the hands of a skeptic, we’ve seen a pendulum swing so wildly, the weight snapped off a new chain and flew across the room.
I’ve created two different charts for use with your pendulum. To use either of them, hold the string so that the tip of the pendulum is about two inches above the center “dot” at the bottom of the half-circle. Then, ask your question.
One chart is designed for simple, yes/no questions. You can draw this on a sheet of paper, and use it yourself. The pendulum should favor one direction/answer more than any other. If it doesn’t rephrase your question, or take a break and return to this later. (Click on the image to download a printable JPG of this chart for your own use.)
The next kind of chart can be used to ask anything with numbers, such as the ghosts age when he or she left physical form. (Or, if the ghost believes that he or she is still alive, ask what year it is now.)
You can create your own charts on paper, providing many other kinds of answers, too. They could include letters of the alphabet, people’s names, places, or things specific to the life of the ghost you’re contacting.
No matter which chart you use, if the pendulum swings towards you, off the chart, try rephrasing your question. Or, the ghost may want you to answer the question for yourself, first, and then have spirit confirm it with a yes or a no.
If you are adept with a pendulum, I recommend professional pendulums designed for ghost hunters and psychic mediums, such as those from Sleeping Meadows.
Try one at first, to see how it works for you. If you did just as well (or better) with your homemade pendulums, keep using your homemade tools.
Some people achieve remarkable results with pendulums. Others don’t. It’s not a measure of how good you are at ghost hunting or communicating with spirits. It’s more like singing or running… different people have different talents. Someone who can play the violin may be perfectly awful at the piano.
However, one of the great things about pendulums, besides their simplicity, is that you can try this on your own without spending a cent.