Melissa Portan MSW, MEd

Writer & Sexologist

Melissa is a 5th generation spiritual guide and healer who specializes in helping others find their own spiritual path. She is also a sex and relationship therapist practicing in NYC.


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Divination: Introduction to Pendulums

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

The pendulum is a tool used for divination purposes. Often it is used together with tarot cards and scrying mirrors/bowls. A pendulum can be used to communicate with the spirit world, with higher consciousness, and with yourself. It can also help expand your spiritual abilities. What a pendulum can do depends on the person and how it is used.

The history of the pendulum is long and varied. Pendulums have been used for thousands of years for healing, for protection, and much more. Everyone from the Ancient Egyptians, the Chinese, and Greeks used pendulums. (Source 1.)

Anyone can learn how to use a pendulum and it doesn’t take much time to do so. At its most basic, a pendulum can answer in the following ways: yes, no, maybe, and unsure/unable to answer. But that is just the beginning of what a pendulum can do. The answers a pendulum provides can be profound, insightful, and cover a wide range of topics. The versatility of the pendulum is one of its strengths, whereas its simplicity and ease of use can be one of its pitfalls.

If you have never seen a pendulum and how it works, the first time you do so it may seem like a magic trick. What happens is the pendulum is held from the tip of the string, a question is asked either out loud or internally, and then the pendulum begins to move of its own accord to give an answer. To me, it is one of the coolest divination methods (aside from direct psychic readings). I have dozens of pendulums in different shapes and gemstones and at one point in my practice I used them on a daily basis. Technically, any weight attached to a string/chain can be used as a pendulum. This means that you can make your own pendulum out of your favorite pendant or even out of your headphones (I have done both). Though using a pendulum is relatively easy, it seems to be a rare form of divination and most people don’t know about it.

For beginners, having only one pendulum and using it only for divination/dowsing purposes is best. This is because you first want to learn the basics, get familiar with how this works, and establish an energetic connection between the pendulum and yourself. Once the pendulum has your energy, it will respond easily to you. Think of the pendulum as an antenna; it can read the energy around you, it can amplify this energy, and it can connect energy. This is where the pendulum becomes a powerful tool because it helps build direct connections.

Some of the benefits of using a pendulum regularly are enhanced intuition, ability to sense and read energy, and higher awareness. When a pendulum is answering a question it does seem like it is moving on its own, or it can seem like the person is moving it on purpose, depending on the person’s physical state/control, but it is neither. When the pendulum moves it is technically because the person is moving it; however, the person is unaware of his or her movements. The answers come from the deeper levels of the mind, the parts of consciousness connected to universal knowledge. Regularly accessing the deeper levels of consciousness leads to higher awareness. With higher awareness comes enhance intuition and other psychic abilities.

An important part of beneficial divination is having a method that you are comfortable with. Sometimes tarot cards are not so appealing or may seem overwhelming. For others scrying is not something they feel comfortable with and so they do not experience anything otherworldly, nor do they gain anything but frustration. If you still haven’t found your method of divination or want to add to your current abilities, give pendulums a try.



Webster, Richard. Pendulum Magic for Beginners: Tap Into Your Inner Wisdom. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2002. Print.


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