Basic Divination Skills: The Pendulum

Before I ever considered getting seriously involved in Santeria, I had already started to have the need to ‘see into the future.’ When I was in my teenage years I came across a book on Dowsing and Pendulums. I was fascinated by the fact that people could use very simple tools to find water, find lost items and in general, to answer questions in a rather simple yes or no format. So I read the book eagerly, and, since it came with a basic pendulum I started to use it to answer simple questions.

What is a pendulum? A pendulum is simply a small weighted object hanging from a string, chain or wire. The object may or may not have significance to you. It could be a perforated stone or a nut or bolt you find on the sidewalk. It could be a diamond ring passed down to you as an heirloom, or it can be store bought.

Ideally a pendulum should be a small object of about 1 inch in diameter with a string attached to it. The string should be about 12 inches long and although it should be thin, it also needs to be strong.

So the first thing you need to do is to assemble your pendulum or to buy one, whatever is easier for you. Some folks like to submit their pendulum to cleansing rituals. I frankly could care less to have it washed in salt water or in bleach for that matter, but if it makes you happy, you can clean it with salt and water and then bless it with some incense. I think that is all fine and dandy but not crucial.

Your next step is to draw a circle with a cross circumscribed in it, let the cross protrude from the circle and draw arrowheads pointing towards each of the four cardinal points. The horizontal axis of the cross will mean NO, the vertical axis YES. This means that if you pendulum swings from North to South (or viceversa) the answer to your question is YES, if it goes from West to East (or viceversa) is NO. When the pendulum swings in a circular clockwise pattern you can agree with yourself that this will mean a positive answer. If it swings counterclockwise then the answer is negative.

Start by organizing your questions, write them down if possible. Make sure they are asked in such a way that they can be answered with a yes or no response. Second, get comfortable. Set your elbow upon a table or flat surface, hold the tip of the chain or cord between your index finger and thumb. Pose your question and let the pendulum do its work. The pendulum is not going to move on its own. The body will direct impulses from your brain to your hand and the answer will become evident. The secret it not to influence the pendulum in a conscious fashion but rather to let go of all preconceived notions of what the answer should or not be and keep an open mind about the answer as the pendulum begins to swing.

There are many ways to work with a pendulum. Some people use it in association with a spirit guide, some others use it asking their higher self, some just ask for the sake of asking. Working with a pendulum requires some concentration and practice.

In my case I work the pendulum as a means to communicate with one of my spirit guides and to obtain advice from her. I limit my questions to an area of knowledge which I know this spirit is privileged to have. In other words, I do not go to a banker to ask advice on baking. So if you select to work with a spirit guide, and this guide agrees, stick to subject matters which are of the realm and knowledge of that particular spirit.

One word of advice, when using a pendulum keep a journal, look at it at first as a pseudo-scientific pursuit. This will allow you to detach yourself from lust of results and to keep an open and observant mind while you truly learn the system. Good observation is good science. The world of spirit is part of the world we live in, thus, you can apply methods of scientific observation to its existence and manifestation.

Oní Yemayá Achagbá

6 thoughts on “Basic Divination Skills: The Pendulum”

  1. I love this article. I too started off that way but my loa /spirits had a positive response to it although it’s not vodou tradition. So, as a result. I do not draw. I simply call the loa I work with and I say show me yes the I say show me no, ect. Some use the circular yes or no while others use north to south ect. it works very well. And yes, you must release the need to get the answer you want. I find a clearing meditation for a few minutes helps with that.

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