Pendulums 101 - choosing a pendulum

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Lately I get asked pendulum questions a lot!  In this series of posts I will be covering some basics on how to choose, cleanse, program and use a pendulum for healing work or divination/dowsing. 

Note that this type of information can be found in many other places online, but I wanted to put together a handy summary of what I've learned from different sources, teachers, and my own experience that I hope will help you guys get up and running with your new pendulum without having to do a lot of research on your own. 

Silly question, but what is a pendulum?

A pendulum is a piece of crystal (or sometimes metal or wood), usually in a cone-like shape, on a 6-8" chain, often with a stopping bead at the end of the chain.  The most popular uses of pendulums are for measuring chakras in healing work, and for dowsing/divination/receiving guidance from Spirit. 

Buying a pendulum

It's usually recommended that you buy a pendulum in person at a metaphysical or crystal store.  Your pendulum should be responsive to you, and for some funky reason not every piece of crystal will be, so it's good to test a pendulum before buying.

Buying at a store

When buying at a store, look at the pendulums on display and see which one you are intuitively drawn to.  If you trust your gut feeling, the right one will often "jump out" at you and grab your attention. 

To test the prospective pick for responsiveness, hold it by the end of the string, trying not to move your arm (don't get too stiff though! I find that resting my elbow on the side of my body helps me hold my hand steady).  Ask the pendulum, "Show me YES".  A responsive pendulum will swing in a certain direction - usually either up and down or clockwise.  Next, ask, "Show me NO".  The pendulum should swing in the opposite direction - side to side or counterclockwise for example.  If you received the answers and the pendulum didn't just remain still, you have your winner - break out that credit card.  If not, test another one the same way.  (If you want to get technical, the pendulum is not capable of giving you answers and initiating movement by itself, it's just a rock on a string.  It's either your Spirit Guides or your Higher Self moving it - we'll talk later about what all can make your pendulum move.) 

In terms of the choice of crystals, I'd day it's ultimately up to your preference.  I'd go for more neutral and universal stones, such as Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Rose Quartz...  Beware of stones that have a highly specialized purpose.  For instance, I wouldn't buy ones that absorb negative energy, such as Black Tourmaline, especially if you're going to be using the pendulum on clients.  Honestly though, get the one that's calling your name. :) 

If you're in San Francisco Bay Area, here's a crystal store that was recommended to me and where I got my beautiful Amethyst pendulum (beware of hippies): The Love of Ganesha

Buying online

If you must buy a pendulum online: IT'S OKAY! :)  Don't let the "only buy in store" folks deter you. 

However, if you're buying online and thus cannot test a pendulum for responsiveness (and usually cannot pick a specific piece), do go for either the stones you're very familiar with or - best option - go for the neutral and highly programmable Clear Quartz.  Can't go wrong with that one. 

I find that Etsy has a great selection of pendulums.  It will make your head spin trying to pick just one.  Try this link to search for Clear Quartz pendulums on Etsy. 

Other tips for choosing a pendulum online: 
- Stay away from pendulums with too intricate of a design, such as unusual crystal shapes, too much metal around the stone, wirewrapping, etc.  Simple is best. 
- Once you see an item you like, take a quick look around the online store that sells it: is this a store that specializes in high quality crystals or is it a mass reseller of generic items and not specifically crystals?  What is the return/refund policy in case you don't like the item?

How many pendulums do I need? 

Well, if you've never worked with pendulums before, get one and see if you like it first. :) 

If you're only going to be using your pendulum for one specific purpose, you can get away with having just one.  But if you're like me and you're doing both energy healing on clients AND psychic readings using dowsing AND talk to your Guides using a pendulum, I'd recommend getting at least TWO pendulums: one to work with clients and one for your divination purposes.  

Why?  Firstly, because you may want to program your pendulums differently for healing and divination work (more on that in later posts).  Secondly, because crystals can absorb negative energy from others when used in healing work, and that may affect accuracy of your dowsing later.  You probably don't want to have to cleanse and reprogram your pendulum every time you need to dowse after using that pendulum for healing work.   


What's next?  

In the upcoming posts, I'll be talking about cleansing, programming and working with your pendulum.  You can subscribe to future blog posts either by signing up with your email address right here on this webpage (look for the Subscribe form), by adding the blog to your RSS feed, or by liking/following my page on Facebook.