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History of Pendulums

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Pendulums - Where did they come from & how do we use them?

Pendulums have been used for divination and dowsing for thousands of years. Throughout time periods, historians still discover evidence of pendulum use. It's stated that historically pendulums have been used by the Pythian Oracle of Delphi (400 BCE), French Explorers, Mathematicians (1600) and even Italian scientists (1500).

In 1833 Michel Eugene Chevreul researched the movement of the pendulum and concluded that involuntary and subconscious muscular reactions are responsible for the movement of the pendulum - aka the earliest definition of the ideomotor reflex

What is A Pendulum?

Ok, so what exactly is a pendulum? A pendulum is usually a crystal or gemstone that is on the end of a string, chain, or rope. You will need something symmetrical and weighted. Crystals are an excellent choice for using as a pendulum as they already possess a powerful frequency and a dose of spirituality. It’s called a pendulum because of the motion it uses - it pendulates in different directions according to the answer.

What do we Use it for?

Pendulums have been used as a technique for searching out the invisible - also known as Dowsing. Dowsing relies on the motion of the pointer, or the pendulums change in direction to answer our questions and guide us. The pendulum acts as receiver and transmitter from unseen influences, and it communicates this wisdom with you. You can ask your pendulum yes and no questions, which is usually the most straightforward way of using this tool of divination. But you can also use the pendulum to clear up any negative energy in the room, to find lost items, and to find water sources. The latter also shares the name of ‘dowsing’ and dowsing rods are commonly used for finding water.

How does it work?

Pendulums combine a simple appearance with a mystical and nuanced function. They respond to your body's own energetic field in conjunction with your higher self and intuition, provoking jerk reflexes in your arm and wrist that allows the pendulum to move in a certain way. This movement in your wrists/arms, is what Chevreul discovered back in 1833, the Ideomotor Reflex. It is said that this reflex is derived from the muscles moving in your arm, which is triggered by your subconscious brain activity. So, by asking your pendulum a yes/no question, your energy field is simply responding to what your inner self already knows subconsciously.

Kinds of questions to ask?

What kind of questions should you be asking your pendulum? Yes and no questions are best because they are the only ones the pendulum can answer. But you can turn any issue, query, or decision into a yes and no format. You should be truly clear with your question and take the time to mindfully feel into that question. Remember, the pendulum is connecting to your own energy and as our energy can be constantly shifting and settling, the answer you get one day could very well be different the next. That’s not to say, the answer is fickle or wrong, but by gathering intentions and answers, we can learn to hone our own energy better and connect in less scattered ways to the pendulum.

What do you need?

The same rule applies with pendulums as to all crystals - use stones and gems that call to you. If you aren’t sure where to start, we have three stones you should consider...

  • Rose Quartz - A stone of pure love and heart centered power and for promoting peace and understanding within those decisions.

  • Amethyst - Amethyst is one of the most spiritual stones, opening the crown chakra so you can connect to those higher guides and embrace bigger picture thinking and for clearer thinking and connection.

  • Clear Quartz - Clear Quartz is a clear-headed pendulum that amplifies all kinds of energy.

What do you need?

Cleansing: The first step is to cleanse it. This is always a good thing to do when working with any crystals for the first time or after a period of energetic use.

To cleanse your crystal, you can use some of the following methods (just make sure they are suitable for your own type of crystal first.

  • Use smudging to cleanse

  • Run the stone under some water

  • Place it beneath the full moon

  • Place it in a slant of sunlight for a short while

  • Bury it in soil

  • Leave it in the presence of other cleansing crystals

Take a few deep breaths or take a few minutes for meditation, perhaps light a candle, take some quiet space, and quiet your mind so you can truly connect.

Pendulum moves: Start by holding your pendulum in the palm of your hand for a few moments. This can help you to connect to it and forge an energetic bond. Next, you need to know your no from your yes. You can hold the pendulum a few inches above your palm and ask questions. Keep them simple - my name is ...I live at.... etc., and make note of how the pendulum reacts to those yes and no statements. You could also skip this and simply set the pendulum with your own movement responses AKA tell your pendulum what movement means yes and no. This can help prevent things from becoming murky and vague. For example, you could choose left and right for no (like a head shake), front to back for yes, and round and round for maybe.

You should take the pendulum between your index finger and thumb of your dominant hand and sit very still when using it. Demonstrate the moves and say the words that accompany each movement clearly (yes, no, maybe). This can help program your pendulum. Working with pendulums takes time and patience so don’t expect it to go spinning off in clear directions. It may take time to build a relationship with your pendulum and it may take time for the pendulum to answer you. You also want to make sure you stay focused and open. Don’t force your mindset in one direction or the other as this could influence the pendulum.

After a time, the force with which it swings can represent the power of the answer. For example, a gentle swing may be non-committal or approach with caution, whereas a full swing can be a wholehearted yes or no.

Visit our site to get your own personal pendulum:

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