A pendulum is great for obtaining information quickly, and it can be used to answer virtually any yes-or-no question. Typically, a pendulum consists of a small weight — a crystal or some other stone, for instance — hung from a chain or a piece of string. You hold the chain or string loosely, allowing the pendulum to dangle from it, while you ask your question. The pendulum responds by swinging in a certain direction. You don’t jiggle the pendulum but rather allow it to move of its own accord.

Different stones appeal to different people. A dreamy sort of person may respond best to a hematite or onyx pendulum that helps her stay grounded, whereas someone who isn’t particularly intuitive might benefit from using one made of a sensitive stone, such as amethyst or moonstone.

Most of the time, if the answer to your question is “no,” the pendulum will swing from side to side. A back-and-forth movement generally means the answer is “yes.” However, it’s a good idea to check with your pendulum before you ask any questions to determine which direction will indicate yes and which will indicate no. The motion isn’t always the same for everyone.

Once you establish the significance of different directions, it’s time to pose your question. Keep it simple and direct. Try to hold your hand still — you may want to rest your elbow on a table or other surface to provide support — and give the pendulum a chance to respond. Sometimes it will start swinging right away, but at other times it may take a few moments. If the pendulum swings in a diagonal line, it can mean that the matter is uncertain or that your question can’t be answered at this time. If the pendulum doesn’t move, you can try asking another question or phrasing the same question in a different manner.

Your pendulum might swing in a circular motion. Usually, if it moves in a clockwise direction, the situation you’re asking about is favorable. If the pendulum circles in a counterclockwise direction, conditions seem unfavorable. Once again, it’s wise to confirm in advance which direction means what, to make sure you and your pendulum are both on the same page.

When you use a pendulum, you’re doing a form of dowsing. Most people think of dowsing as a way of searching for water that’s hidden underground. When you use a pendulum in the manner described above, however, you’re dowsing your own inner wisdom. You can use a pendulum to dowse for just about anything, including underground springs or buried treasure. If you don’t want to actually walk the land in search of your quarry, you can dowse a map. Hold the pendulum over a map of a particular area and ask, “Is this where [whatever you’re looking for] is located?” If the response is no, try another area. Keep at it until the pendulum says yes. You could even dowse a map of a city where you wish to find an apartment — the process is a lot faster and less hassle than pounding the pavement.

Some pendulums are designed with chambers that can be “loaded” with particular substances to aid the dowser’s search. Open the chamber and insert a small amount of whatever you’re seeking — gold, water, oil, and so on. The pendulum, thus programmed, will lead you to that substance.

It’s a good idea to cleanse your pendulum before using it. One way to do this is to hold it under running water for a few moments. If you prefer, place the pendulum on a windowsill and let the sunlight clear away any unwanted vibrations. Store your pendulum in a small pouch or wrap it in a piece of silk cloth to protect it.

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