How to Use a Pendulum: The Basics

Having constructed your pendulum, the next step is to learn the vocabulary that will be used by your subconscious mind to communicate with the pendulum. You may want to think of this learning process as a way to program your subconscious mind the same way you would write a software program for a computer.

Like the real world, people who share the same language often have slightly different vocabularies, and in a similar way, different people have different pendulum vocabularies. The description that follows is intended to be a suggested guide, so don’t be discouraged if your results are different.

Since the most basic application of the pendulum is to answer questions, it’s important to identify four main language components: 

Starting position

This is where you will begin all of your pendulum sessions. For most people, the pendulum will be motionless when it is in its starting position. Begin by resting your elbow on the table and holding your pendulum over the chart on page 57 of this book. The pendulum should be no more than an inch off the chart. If it starts to swing, you’ll want to steady it with your free hand. Say to yourself, “This is my starting position.”

The “YES” Response

With your pendulum in the starting position, ask a “calibration” question that you know the answer to, such as “Is a stop sign red?”

The most common “-Yes” response is for the pendulum to swing back and forth, almost as if to mirror an affirmative nodding motion of your head. The second most common response is for the pendulum to swing in a clock-wise circular motion.

Sometimes a beginning dowser will get no response at all to the initial calibration question. If this happens to you, make the pendulum move in the direction you want it to move. In this example, if you get no movement after asking “Is a stop light red”, simply start the pendulum swinging with a small forward motion of your hand. You may ask... “Isn’t this cheating?”

A fair question, to be sure, but remember that the objective. in this exercise is simply to learn the vocabulary you will use with the pendulum. Think of starting the initial forward motion with your hand the same way you would consider the use of flash cards in a traditional learning situation.

Once you have a response to your calibration question, say to yourself “This is my Yes’ response.”

The “No” Response

Bring your pendulum back to the starting position, and ask a. second calibration question that you know the answer to, such as “Is a stop sign green?”

The most common “No” response is for the pendulum to swing from side to side, as if to mirror a negative shaking motion of your head. The second most common response is for the pendulum to swing in a counter-clockwise circular motion.

Remember - if you get no movement after asking the calibration question, move the pendulum in the direction you want it to move.

Once you have a response to your calibration question, say to yourself “This is my No’ response.”

The “Maybe/Unclear” Response

The fourth basic pendulum movement is usually somewhere in between the “Yes” and “No” responses.
Bring your pendulum back to the starting position, and ask a calibration question that can be answered with a “Maybe”, such as “Will it rain tomorrow?”

If you picture the pendulum held over the horizontal face of a clock, the “Maybe/Unclear” response would be back and forth between 10:30 and 4:30, or 1:30 and 7:30.

As with the “Yes” and “No” responses, if you get no movement after asking the calibration question, move the pendulum in the direction you want it to move.

Once you have a response to your calibration question, say to yourself “This is my ‘Maybe’ response.

“Not Ready” Response

The “Not Ready” response is unlike the other responses in the sense that it isn’t really a response. In other words, the pendulum doesn’t move at all. This is an indication that for one reason or another, the answer isn’t ready to be known.

Getting Started

Although you are now technically ready to start dowsing, it should be understood that, like any newly-learned skill, the more you practice, the more proficient you will become. The ideal conditions for practicing the basic pendulum responses are similar to those you would want for meditation or quiet reflection. It is always beneficial to find a place and time when you won’t be disturbed by others. Some people like to begin with a brief prayer, meditation or relaxation exercise to calm their mind and get into the appropriate mood. Another way to signal your intent to your subconscious mind is to light a candle and play some soothing music.

Plan on practicing once a day for at least a week or two before you can expect to see dependable results. Begin each practice session by rehearsing the four basic responses (Starting, Yes, No and Maybe). Try using different calibration questions that you know the answers to, and observe the types of response that you get to each question.

For example, sometimes the pendulum will swing only an inch or so in the expected response direction, while at other times, it may swing widely over a distance of several inches. Traditionally, this is interpreted as how certain or tentative the response is: the greater the response, the more certain the answer.

You may discover that at times your results are less than encouraging. Don’t despair - even experienced dowsers have off-days, and this can be due to many different sources of interference. Sometimes taking a short break - even 30 minutes -- will mean the difference between confusing and meaningful answers.

Once you feel confident in your results, you may want to incorporate a simple question exercise into your practice session. Before describing this exercise, let’s take a look at one of the key elements to success in your dowsing efforts.

How to Phrase Questions Learning how to phrase a question is probably one of the most important things to master when beginning to dowse. Although this may seem obvious, the clearer you phrase your question, the more likely you will get an accurate answer. When you are first starting out, try limiting your questions to those that can be answered with a “Yes” or a “No”, and try to be as specific as possible.