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Tips for Successful Pendulum Use

These are some helpful tips and ways to troubleshoot problems after you've learned how to use your pendulum. For instructions on how to use your pendulum, click here.
The Seer - Clear Quartz, Moldavite and Sterling Silver Pendulum
Important NOTICE: The following information is copyrighted by Eva Browning, 2009-2014. Feel free to print them out for personal use or to share with a small study group. If you want to reprint or republish these instructions - in whole or in part - you must first obtain my written consent. If you would like to link this page no permission needed.

Prepare yourself before each pendulum session

  1. Always cite the source before asking questions. You can say (either out loud or silently) "I call upon the higher self to answer these questions. I will only accept answers from the higher self and not from my conscious mind. I seek absolutely truthful answers that are aligned with the highest and greatest good for all concerned." You can definitely craft your own version of this – just make sure you use it each time.
  2. Cleanse the energy around and within you. Do this by visualizing a cleansing shower of white light that envelopes you.
  3. Quiet your mind (both before and while using your pendulum). Are you relaxed? If necessary, do a mini-meditation. "Mini" as in 30 to 60 seconds prior to beginning. Visualize a calm happy place that has no distractions – like a beach or forest. Visualize yourself sitting or laying peacefully in solitude, enjoying nature. Doing this sets the tone for your pendulum session and will provide a resting place for your conscious mind while you use your pendulum.
  4. Breathe. Slow steady breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth will calm and center you.
  5. Ground yourself. Visualize tree roots that connect your body to the earth. Allow these roots to penetrate deep into the earth's mantle, wrapping around large quartz crystals or if you like, beautiful gemstones.
  6. Be present - Do not try to multi-task. While you are using your pendulum, don't also be thinking about what's on your to-do list, or what sounds good for dinner tonight. Just focus on the task at hand and you can return to your normal state of multi-tasking when you are finished.
  7. Be patient – allow the pendulum as much time as it needs to swing.
  8. Be objective. Recognize that neutrality is your friend. While it may be tempting to allow your conscious mind to influence the pendulum's answers, know that if it is allowed to exercise any influence, the outcome will be useless.
  9. Be unemotional. Using your pendulum when you are emotionally upset will yield unreliable results. Asking emotionally charged questions can make it difficult to stay grounded and objective and get good answers. You can do it, but you have to approach it calmly and be willing to set your emotional responses off to the side.
    Dragon Fire - Carnelian and Sterling Silver Pendulum
  10. Don't try to predict the outcome. Willingly or unwillingly, predicting or just anticipating the pendulum's swing will sabotage your results. If you find yourself predicting or even if you're unwillingly anticipating the outcome - it's the same thing as trying to predict. Here's a powerful trick: Close your eyes and look up. This little muscle exercise will temporarily short-circuit the conscious mind's involvement and bring you back to a neutral, unbiased state.
  11. To get a stronger response, say “respond louder please”or "be more clear".
  12. Cup your free hand underneath the weight stone to help focus energy.

The Dream

Asking Well-Phrased Questions

You've heard the phrase "Garbage in - garbage out"? It's a computerism used to illustrate the value of data on both sides of a process, and it pertains to pendulums too. The quality of the questions you ask your pendulum will determine the quality of the answers you get. Truly, it's all in the language. Here's how to frame a good question:

  1. Be specific. Use names, dates, times, places, anything that narrows the focus on the matter. For example "Is it in my best interest to attend the "How to Use a Pendulum" workshop taught by __________ (instructor name) at ______________ (location) on__________ (date) at _________ (time)?
  2. Make sure your question can be answered with yes or no.
  3. Don't use the words "Should" or "Supposed to" in your pendulum questions.
  4. Do use phrases that your higher self can relate to. Insert your own details into the blanks on the following sample questions:
  • Is it in my best interest to _______________________________?
  • Is it in the best interests of all concerned if I _________________________?
  • Would it be worthwhile for me to ____________________________?
  • Am I correct in believing that ______________________________?
  • Is it wise for me to _________________________________?

Here's an example of a poorly phrased question: "Should I go to Mary's party?" These are the problems with this question:

  1. The word "Should" is vague and asks for an opinion based on undefined parameters.
  2. Mary who?
  3. Where is this party?
  4. What day?
  5. What time?

Now turn the question into a well-phrased one - You could ask, "Is it in the best interests for all concerned if I attend the party at Mary Johnson's house in Seattle on June 1st at 7 pm?"

In Dolphin Dreams

Troubleshooting Pendulum Problems

So you're doing everything right, but you still get funky, contradictory, or unclear responses? Don't be discouraged. Here are specific things to look at to help you get to the root of the matter:

  1. Is the pendulum properly programmed? Are you consistent in the way you use or read the "yes", "no", and "maybe" signals? If not, reprogram the pendulum and try again. Consistent programming is the number one thing that you can do to facilitate clear answers.
  2. Is the question clear enough? Can it be answered with a yes or no? Try rephrasing the question. Be succinct. If you need to, break it down into several questions rather than one big one. Remember - don't use the words "should" or "supposed to" in your questions. See section above for more phrasing tips.
  3. What is your current mind-set? Are you emotional, distracted or tired? Is this the right time to ask this (these) question(s)? If it isn't the right time, try again later.
  4. Did you cite the source? (See number one in section above about preparing yourself.) Remember - you need cite the source at the beginning of each pendulum session.
  5. Are you grounded? (See item number five in the section above about preparing yourself.)
  6. What is your posture? If seated, are your feet flat on the floor? Are your legs uncrossed? Can you place your elbow on a table? Try modifying the angle of your wrist.
  7. Are you physically comfortable? Do you feel balanced? Can you shift your weight or stance so that you are?
  8. Are you hydrated? If you're thirsty, then you're dehydrated. Drink a glass of water.
  9. What's your body's polarity? Are you are in harmony with the earth's magnetic field (polarity)? (See my "Ways to Use a Pendulum" page for instructions on how to check your body's polarity.)
  10. Does the energy in your pendulum need to be cleansed? Pendulums made with natural stones and crystals absorb the energy around them and can hold on to that energy for a long time. In most cases the energy stored in your pendulum is beneficial, but if there's a buildup of negativity or old energy in the stones, it can interfere with the pendulum's effectiveness. I recommend you cleanse a pendulum before using it the first time and then periodically after that. (In fact it's a good idea to cleanse the energy in all of your healing stones and crystals.) Click here to go to my Energy Cleansing page.
  11. What's going on in your environment? Are there energies present that may be interfering or influencing? Can you cleanse these energies with a visualized white shower of light or with a smudge stick? If not, can you relocate?
  12. Are you too still? If so, loosen up. If the pendulum is stock-still, or completely unresponsive - try shrugging your shoulders. Let natural momentum take over and allow the pendulum to move in response to the shoulder shrug. The swing that occurs will evolve into a signal if you give it time.
  13. Is the pendulum's chain the correct length for you? This will vary from person to person and you may need to experiment with your pendulum to find out what the optimal length is for you. If your pendulum's chain is too long - the pendulum may respond too slowly for your liking. If this is the case, try grasping it further down the chain (instead of at the very top). If it's too short (say, less than 3 inches), the pendulum can be too wiggly and fast - making it hard to read the signals. If that's the case you'll want to try a pendulum with a longer chain. Even the difference of an inch or two can change a pendulum's responsiveness - and your ability to read its signals.

Scolecite, Mother of Pearl, Blue Lace Agate, Rainbow Moonstone and Sterling Silver Pendulum

General Limitations

  1. Are you trying to predict the future? While you can use your pendulum to predict the future – it will read the future as it is only at the moment you inquire about it. Predicting future events is one of the most difficult tasks you can ask of your pendulum. The future is not written in stone. It is in flux and everything we do at this moment affects what comes later. So yes, you can predict the future, but the future may change before the predicted outcome arrives. You can ask on Monday about events that are to occur on Tuesday and your pendulum might get it exactly right, but something (even just asking the question) may modify the result between the time you made your inquiry and the time of the event - and the prediction becomes worthless. Pendulums are well suited to reading "what is" - and much less adept at reading "what will be".
  2. Do you have permission to inquire? Some people are surprised to learn that a pendulum does not provide free access into the hearts or minds of other people. To gain access to the inner life of another person, you must have their permission, and even then, results can be unpredictable. The person may say they give their permission, but in fact may unknowingly (or secretly) withhold it. This is especially true in matters of the heart. Here's an example: Instead of asking your pendulum, "Does Johnny truly love me?", ask it, "Am I correct to believe Johnny when he says that he truly loves me?". This may seem like a subtle distinction, but it's an important one when dowsing.
  3. Is this a good pendulum? Sometimes it's simply the tool that is the obstacle. The following questions are for you to discern without the help of the pendulum:
    • Do you know if your pendulum was created or obtained with integrity?
    • Are the materials in the pendulum safe (is it nickle, lead and/or cadmium free)?
    • Is the weight-stone physically balanced and the pivot point well centered?
  • If you got your pendulum from AYP, the answer to the questions directly above will be yes. But if you didn't get your pendulum at AYP and the the answer is no on any of the three questions, it's reasonable to look at the pendulum itself as the source of the trouble. You can verify this by trying a different pendulum to see if you get different results. Pendulums made with base metals (also called "pot metal") can be problematic. (This is why I don't use base metals in my pendulums. I stick to known quantities like as sterling, copper and gold. You can click here for more information about why the metal in your pendulum matters.) If you are using a hand-me-down pendulum or one of unknown origin and you've tried everything you can to resolve the problem but you're still getting skewed results, it's a good idea to retire the trouble-maker and start fresh with a new pendulum.
    The Weaver

Important NOTICE: The information on this page and on this website is copyrighted by Eva Browning, 2009-2015. Feel free to print them out for personal use or to share with a small study group. If you want to reprint or republish these instructions - in whole or in part - you must first obtain my written consent. If you would like to link this page no permission needed.

Please visit my Links page for a list of recommended pendulum books.