How to Use a Pendulum: A Step-By-Step Guide

Pendulums are a common tool used in the practice of divination, which aims to clarify information or foresee the future by supernatural means. Pendulums usually consist of an object suspended from the end of a string or a chain. The string allows the pendulum to swing back and forth under the influence of your higher self and paranormal entities.

woman with pendulum

If you’re a beginner with your first pendulum, you’re probably wondering how to get the clearest signals. This post helps you understand how to best use your pendulum, from asking the right questions to choosing the right pendulum for you—one that easily connects to your energy. Once you and your pendulum find each other, that’s when the real journey begins.

What to Use a Pendulum For

You can use your pendulum in the practice of divination and dowsing. Divination helps you understand the significance of events, cause of events, and even the foretelling of events, and dowsing detects your sensitivity to the unknown and hidden materials, such as water, minerals, and other underground materials.

Although dowsing can be done with a Y-shaped branch or dowsing rod, you can also use your pendulum for dowsing. In dowsing with a pendulum, you connect your energies with that of the Earth and use the motion of the pendulum to unearth the unknown. Pendulums can also be used in the practice of cleansing, grounding, and balancing your chakras.

How to Use Pendulums

Once you’ve found your pendulum, you need to prepare your subconscious mind to receive the information the pendulum can provide. The following sections help you understand the mental and physical preparation you should perform before using a pendulum, which is just as important as what you do with the pendulum itself.


How to use a pendulum


1. Cleanse Your Pendulum

Before the first time you use your pendulum, you need to cleanse it to remove its energy residue. Pendulum materials, especially crystal ones, absorb and retain the energy around them for a long time, and cleansing before use offers the best start to accessing the divine messages and spiritual guidance your pendulum has to offer.

Cleansing can be done using several methods, including: 

  • Crystal cluster baskets
  • Brown rice
  • Sunlight or moonlight
  • Smudge stick

Before cleansing, know what material your pendulum and setting consist of. Although water and salt have been used in cleansing, some stones, like Selenite, become cloudy when exposed to water, and salt can be corrosive to some materials, especially settings made of sterling silver.

2. Focus Your Energy

To connect with your pendulum, you need to focus your energy. Spiritual meditation empowers you to reach your higher consciousness and connect with your pendulum. Spiritual meditation releases you from all perceptions of who you are, allowing you to connect more deeply. 

Your mind needs to be open and focused, free from the barriers of fear and anxiety, to become aware and sensitive to your intuition and energy. Take a series of deep breaths to relax yourself as a short meditation of just 30 to 60 seconds can set your conscious mind to rest, as well as set the tone for your pendulum session. You can also listen to some calming meditation music to deepen your spiritual connection.

3. Determine Your Pendulum’s “Yes” and “No” Swings

Before you start asking questions, you need to determine what your pendulum’s “yes” and “no” responses look like. The two movements, at first, may not be clearly discernible, but as you practice asking questions, you can read its movements better. 

To determine your pendulum’s responses, sit relaxed while holding the pendulum in your dominant hand, with its chain or rope between your thumb and index finger. Run your hand down the chain until it reaches the tip of your pendulum, and then remove your hand. Ask out aloud or in your mind, ask the pendulum to show you a “yes”  response and then a “no” response, and watch how the pendulum moves for each. 

Sometimes the pendulum movements are more nuanced and a clear “yes” or “no” is not evident, meaning it could be telling you the answer is “maybe.” You have the option of accepting this answer or asking differently to receive a clearer response.

4. Ask Your Questions

Pendulums respond best to questions with “yes” or “no” answers, and focus on improving a situation in your life. Good divination questions illuminate answers to underlying questions about your life that explain what and why something is happening, as well as how to improve it.

Good questions focus on solving problems in your life and include details. Questions that assume you can influence your future receive the clearest answers, but vague questions receive vague answers.

5. Consult Additional Resources As Needed

Other divination tools can be used along with pendulums to determine your destiny, including:

  • Tarot cards: a divination tool that helps you release your intuition and insight into life, including how to respond to what may happen in life
  • Archangel oracle cards: similar to tarot cards but are more loose and interpretive
  • Ouija board: a spirit board used for channelling spirits
  • Pendulum board: a divination tool used in conjunction with a pendulum to answer questions

These other resources can provide an extra step for connection, but aren’t necessary for pendulum use. They just further enhance the insight into your life and aid you in decision-making.

Questions to Ask a Pendulum

You should ask your pendulum “yes” or “no” questions to receive the clearest, most useful answers. You can use the following questions as inspiration, but remember that what you choose to ask your pendulum is highly personal.


Example questions to ask your pendulum


Questions About Your Future

  • Should I move?
  • Is it in my best interest to start a new project?
  • Should I discuss my issues with my partner now?
  • Is it worthwhile for me to plan a holiday now?
  • Do I need to look for a new roommate?

Questions About Love

  • Is this person my soulmate?
  • Will this be a healthy relationship?
  • Should I practice more self-love?
  • Should I consider beginning a new relationship?
  • Is this partner right for me?

Questions About Money

  • Is it the right time for me to ask for a raise?
  • Should I play the lottery with these numbers I feel strongly about?
  • Will building relationships with colleagues help me earn more money?
  • Will my current approach in my career lead to more money?
  • Am I on the right path to get the salary I want?

Questions About Your Career

  • Am I focusing on the right career goal at the moment?
  • If I continue on this path, will I get a promotion?
  • Should I consider a career change right now?
  • Will this business idea make me successful?
  • Will I be successful on this career path?

Types of Pendulums

The type of pendulum you use is a very personal choice. If the pendulum speaks to you, and you feel a connection to it on sight as well as a tactile connection when you touch it, then you know it’s the pendulum for you. The next sections explain the different options for pendulum materials and chain options.

Chain Types:

  • Sterling silver: This mixture of two metals usually consists of pure silver combined with copper. Strong and durable, sterling silver makes an excellent conductor of energy.
  • Copper: Useful in healing and divination, copper amplifies and straightens the energy of crystals. Stable and non-corrosive, copper conducts energy well.
  • Gold: Precious metals like gold make great chains for pendulums because they transmit movement so easily.
  • Leather: Pendulum chains should allow free movement. So if you use a leather chain, make sure the leather is well-worn and flexible. Choosing leather from a meaningful object already in your life can make for a stronger connection.
  • Cotton: If you choose this material, you should treat it with beeswax to make it last longer.
  • Nylon or silk thread: Both nylon and silk were traditional choices centuries ago, making them beautiful choices even now.

Pendulum Types:

  • Crystal: Each crystal has an energy of its own. Crystals are common choices for pendulums.
  • Stone: Since stone can be found anywhere, this is one of the easiest substances to use to make your own pendulum.
  • Wood: If you love the warmth of wood, this is the perfect material for your pendulum. You should choose one with a good amount of weight.
  • Bone: If you prefer materials reclaimed from the wilderness, bone is an excellent choice for a pendulum.
  • Gemstones: Like crystals, certain gemstones correspond to certain energies, as well as to astrological signs. For instance, rose quartz is the stone of love and is known for helping its owners resolve old emotional wounds.

Tips for Clearer Pendulum Use

If you practice divination using a pendulum, you want to get the most out of it. Follow these best practices when it comes to interacting with and maintaining your pendulum to lead you to inner insight and a divine path forward. 


Tips for using your pendulum


  • Be open to any answers you may receive. The more open you are, the easier it will be for you and your pendulum to communicate. Anticipating the pendulum’s swing sabotages your results.
  • Practice your ritual in a quiet space: Turn off your cell phone and find a place free of distractions so that you can clear, ground, and centre yourself.
  • Be direct with your questions. Use as many details as you can and be specific with names, dates, and places.
  • Practice proper maintenance and upkeep of your tools. To ensure that your pendulum works well and is as responsive as it can be, you need to periodically cleanse the energy from it. Over time, pendulums can pick up other energies—both positive and negative—and that residual energy can interfere with your readings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do pendulums work?

To learn how pendulums work, you must understand that the person holding the pendulum acts as a vessel. Like a medium, a transmitter and receiver of information. The information passes through the person into the weighted object’s movement.


Pendulums make wonderful tools to use in your search for meaning and ways to improve your life, as a pendulum connects you to your higher self. If you have made a connection to a pendulum and have cleansed it thoroughly to remove leftover energy, it can draw out inner truths that lead you to deep insight and wisdom.

SpiritShack has various pendulums for use in divination to help you connect to higher powers. You can teach yourself to use a pendulum in minutes and use it for years to come to enhance your intuition and lead you to a life with increased levels of light, joy, and peace.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!