How To Use A Pendulum: The A-Z Guide // Tiny Rituals


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How To Use A Pendulum: The A-Z Guide

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A pendulum is a weighted object that hangs from a string or cord. It is a tool of divination and is used for spiritual guidance, making decisions, answering questions, and cleansing negative energy. For those who want to know how to use a pendulum, you ask a question, hold the pendulum, and it will swing in a certain direction to let you know the answer.

Of course, this is a quickfire description of pendulums when the weight of history and the world behind them is much fuller and more complex. Pendulums are a beloved method of tapping into divinity and dowsing and they are often compared to being a physical manifestation of our higher self or our sixth sense. Here, we look at the A-Z of Pendulums and everything you need to know about the artistry behind the swinging crystal.

Everything You Need to Know About Pendulums 

Pendulums aren’t a new age fad thing; people have been swinging crystals since the 17th century. Galileo Galilei was the first to formally study and report on this back in 1602 and since then it continues to crop up with some of the great scientific minds across the centuries. From Leonardo Da Vinci to Isaac Newton, pendulums have long been keeping the beat in time, but they have also been used for divination practice since the 16th century too. There are also estimations that pendulums were used back in Ancient Rome and Egypt too. 

What it is 

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. It doesn’t have to be a crystal, but you will need something symmetrical and weighted. Crystals are of course a great choice for using as a pendulum as they already possess a powerful frequency and a deep dose of spirituality. It’s called a pendulum because of the motion it uses when offering guidance - that is, it pendulates in different directions according to the answer.

What it's used 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 it works 

But how exactly does pendulum dowsing and divination work? For a start, it taps into your own intuition. Sometimes we can have the answer stashed deep inside of us and it can be tricky to work through the tangled threads to get to our own truth. These clever little tools can merge the right and left signs of your brain so that they work in harmony together (rather than opposing forces) and help you commit to a balanced solution. Pendulums can be a shortcut through the noise. That’s how they work on a surface level but on a deeper spiritual level, pendulums connect with your spirit guides, guardian angels, and other unseen energy forces in the world. 

Kinds of questions to ask 

So 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 super 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 you need 

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You don’t need to go full on when it comes to working with a pendulum, but it may help if you use crystals that you feel a connection to. As crystals are already soaked to the bone with spiritual energy, it may be much easier to harness those powers. 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, Rose Quartz is a crystal that will work beautifully as a pendulum. You can turn to it when you want loving guidance to make choices that come from the heart space, and for promoting peace and understanding within those decisions. 
  • Amethyst - Amethyst is one of the most spiritual stones in the pack. This gem is all about opening the crown chakra so you can connect to those higher guides and embrace bigger picture thinking. As it’s also a gem of clearer thinking and connection, making it an awesome tool for dreamy decision making. 
  • Clear Quartz - Clear Quartz is a great choice for those wanting a clear-headed pendulum that amplifies all kinds of energy. We love the Clear Quartz crystal as it is a dab hand at connecting with intention and turning the volume up on personal vibrations. These are great traits for manifesting all that you desire and keeping calm and balanced throughout any kind of process. 

Steps to use your Pendulum 

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The first step in using your pendulum 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. Cleansing the crystal can shake loose any blockages or off-kilter frequencies and prime it for receiving and transmitting messages loud and clear. 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

You should also make sure that you are centered too before you plunge into a pendulum session. Take a few gorgeous deep breaths or take a few minutes for meditation, maybe 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. 

Start small 

You can practice connecting with your pendulum by asking it to answer questions that you already know the answers for. For example, you can ask ‘ is my dog called Harry’, ‘is it raining today’, etc. This not only helps sync your energies but also can grant you more confidence in asking questions further on, as you explore the vibes of your swinging talisman. From here, you can move up to larger questions. 

Stay open-minded 

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.


Pendulums are an awesome way to get clear and to connect to your inner core and external guiding energies. Just having a pendulum on hand can make you feel less overwhelmed and alone when it comes to making decisions that matter. 

What's your experience with divination tools? Do you play with different pendulums or are you all about the tarot instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments and let us know how you connect to your subconscious mind and the wider world.


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