How To Use a Pendulum for Beginners: Quick, Easy & Accurate

A pendulum is any weighted object that is suspended from a pivot, so it can swing freely back and forth or in a circle. Science logically qualifies and defines it as a body suspended from a fixed point so that it can swing back and forth under the influence of gravity.

In the spiritual realm, a pendulum is a tool of divination — a powerful tool that I use to access intuition. Let’s forget about gravity for a moment — because a pendulum actually defies gravity and works against it — and explore how truly magical a pendulum is!

What Is a Pendulum Used for and How Does It Work?

Pendulums have been around for thousands of years and used for divination practice since the 16th century. It has been used in dowsing — or for searching for the invisible — as it relies on directional changes of its motion when it answers questions and guides us.

I ask my pendulum yes or no questions in the most direct way a pendulum is used, but a pendulum can also be used to find missing items, look for water sources, or clear up negative energy in the room. I communicate with my pendulum when it acts as a receiver and transmitter of unseen forces and influences. It’s a fantastic piece of spiritual tool that I really cannot do without.

How do you use the pendulum?

It is called a pendulum because of the motion it does when answering a question or giving guidance — it pendulates or swings in different directions. A pendulum is usually a gemstone or a crystal that is suspended from a rope, a piece of string, or a length of chain. You can use other materials, of course, but I suggest using a crystal because they already have their own powerful frequencies of energy and mega doses of sprituality.

When used correctly, and when you have forged a strong bond and connection to your pendulum, it can transfer wisdom to you through the energies it collects — all while opening the path to your Higher Self where knowledge abounds limitlessly.

How Do You Choose a Pendulum?

Have you ever heard the quote from Harry Potter: “The wand chooses the wizard?” In the same manner, unsurprisingly, the pendulum will choose you.

When selecting the best crystal for your pendulum, feel it, listen to its humming, look into it, and let it call upon you. There is no way I can clearly define how this match will happen as this is a personal, magical connection made between you and your pendulum. A spark, a glimmer, or maybe a light that reflects straight into your eyes will make you pick up the pendulum, and then something about it will just feel right. However that happens, trust that it is the stone that beckoned you to work with.

Pendulums can be bought from crystal shops or any new age specialty shops. While they are also available from online shops, I strongly advise you choose one that you can personally touch and feel before purchasing. Remember, however, that you can use any item that is suspended from a string for a pendulum. It can be an old piece of jewelry, or even your ID lanyard, or you can DIY as well.

Pendulum 101 for Beginners

Once the task of choosing a pendulum is accomplished, follow these steps:

The Cleansing Ritual

It is important that you cleanse your pendulum before you use it. Pendulums that have been touched, rubbed, and passed around by people carry residual energies and forces of these people which may affect the accuracy of your pendulum. Cleanse it the way you would your other magical tools, and that usually involves an incantation or a chant over it.

There are several ways to cleanse your pendulum. You may opt to do one that suits you best, for as long and as often as you deem necessary.

  1. Visualization: I often use the simpler way of cleansing which is visualization. I hold my pendulum in my palm and think of a white and bright light that surrounds it, slowly lifting all the energies left by other people, and I chant my composed incantation as I do this.
  2. Smoke Cleansing: Incense or burning dried sage will work best for smoke cleansing. Move the pendulum through the smoke as you continue with your incantation.
  3. Crystal cleansing techniques: There are many ways to cleanse a crystal which you may opt from: place it on a windowsill on a full moon, bury it underground for 24 hours, use rain water to cleanse, soak in a bowl of salt water, or use sound cleansing tools like a tuning fork or a bell.


Once your pendulum is free of other people’s remnant energies, you then have to charge it with your own energy. It has to align with your energy for it to become accurate with its responses and attuned with you.

The best way to do that is to simply carry it around with you, place it in your pocket, and ask it simple everyday questions just so its energy begins to vibrate and hum with yours.


Programming your pendulum means channeling how it will work for you. You must understand its movements and the corresponding meanings of those movements.

What does it mean when a pendulum swings back and forth?

You must always keep control of the pendulum and the spirits that communicate through it. The pendulum is just a tool, and the spirits are guiding forces, but you are the one in control.

My pendulum and I have established our own agreed upon motion responses. It swings in a clockwise motion for a NO, a counter-clockwise motion for a YES, and sometimes it would move from side to side for a MAYBE. and If it doesn’t understand the question, it will just be dead still unless I rephrase my question. For you to establish these patterns, raise your pendulum and hold it over your palm about 20 centimeters high and ask it basic questions that you already know the answers to. Take note of its motion replies.

Tips for the First Time User

Your pendulum and the spirits communicating through it can only offer advice and guidance. You have full control over it and your life, but if you feel using a pendulum is for you, then keep these tips in mind as you start out.

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