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A pendulum is simply a weight that is hung from a fixed point, giving it the freedom to swing in multiple ways from that fixed point. Frequently, there are limitations so that the weight can only swing in two directions. The most commonly seen example of this is with an old pendulum clock as seen at the right, here.
The French physicist, Léon Foucault (1819–1868) came up with an experiment with a large pendulum that wasn’t locked into two directions. Although the pendulum had freedom to swing in any direction, the weight at the bottom, along with the motion of the pendulum’s swing, acted like a gyroscope, keeping it moving in a fixed direction. However, by using markers on the floor beneath it, the pendulum seemed to rotate around the circle of markers at a rate of 11° per hour. This demonstration, first publicly shown in 1851, was a proof that the Earth rotates on its axis. Actually, by the mid-19th century, just about everybody knew this, but it was nice to have the extra proof.
Parts of a Pendulum
In the diagram above, we can see the parts of an “ideal” pendulum. In the real world, there is no such thing as a pivot without friction or a rod without mass. In fact, for our purposes, rather than a rod we’ll use a chain. This means you could use a necklace with a favorite pendant as the weight or “bob.” As the diagram shows, the bob should be “massive,” so again, as a general rule, the heavier the pendant the better.
The pivot we will use is simply our index finger. Different people have greater success with one hand or the other, so you’ll have to experiment to see which works the best for you. Instead of a solid rod you will use a cord or chain. Since it will be possible to wrap a chain around your index finger, having a longer chain is fine. Longer chains, especially for people beginning with a pendulum, may show a wider and more obvious swing (amplitude ). This can make interpretation easier. I’ll discuss how to make that amplitude greater and more obvious in a later post. The bob’s trajectory or direction is also important, and I’ll discuss this in my next post.
If you want to experiment with pendulum magick, you’ll need to obtain a pendulum. As I wrote above, you can use a necklace with a heavy pendant. However, most people prefer to have a more traditional pendulum where the weight looks like a surveyor’s plumb bob. The advantage of this is that the bottom end of the bob is pointed. Many gem and stone stores have a wide variety of these wonderful tools.
How The Pendulum Works: In General
Spirits do not move a pendulum. Higher powers do not move the pendulum. Hidden magnets or secret trap doors do not cause a pendulum to swing. There is only one thing that causes the pendulum to work: you. When you hold a pendulum, the swinging weight amplifies tiny motions sometimes called “micro-motor” motions created by your own muscles. But this does not mean you (or anyone else using a pendulum) is faking. You are not consciously causing the pendulum to swing. Rather, it is your unconscious mind that results in the motion of the pendulum. A pendulum functions as a simple and inexpensive biofeedback device capable of bilateral communication with your unconscious.
How the Pendulum Works: For Magick
The expression “bilateral communication” is just a fancy way of saying that the biofeedback can go both ways. Not only can you use a pendulum to receive messages from your unconscious (that’s the way most people use a pendulum), you can also use it to program your unconscious mind! Why is this important? Your unconscious mind is a direct link to the astral plane, and whatever you create on the astral plane must eventually manifest on the physical plane.
You can literally program your unconscious mind to create the future you want. This, indeed, is the essence of real magick.
Using a Pendulum
PREFACE: I have discussed what a pendulum is and the technology of how it works. I wrote, “Spirits do not move a pendulum. Higher powers do not move the pendulum… There is only one thing that causes the pendulum to work: you.” In reading this over I realize it may have been misconstrued. What I wrote is accurate. It is your unconscious mind that causes your muscles to move in tiny amounts. That is amplified by the motions of the pendulum. What I didn’t write is the answer to some basic questions: what influences your unconscious mind? How does the unconscious mind know the answers to questions and have the ability to give advice based on things your conscious mind doesn’t know? As I explained, your unconscious is a direct link to the astral plane. It is here that you can contact non-physical entities such as spirits, angels, etc. It is here that the unconscious can tap into the akashic records, a super-library with records of all things. Your unconscious mind does cause the pendulum to swing, but things such as spirits and higher knowledge influence the unconscious mind, giving it a wider range of knowledge from which to send messages to your muscles.
Holding Your Pendulum
The less potential for undesired conscious control of the pendulum the better. Most people simply hold the end of the chain or cord attached to the weight or bob of the pendulum, letting the bob hang down. Here are some examples of what I suggest you do NOT do. It allows for excess conscious control of a pendulum:
Instead, I suggest that you hold the pendulum between your thumb and index finger, but allow the chain or cord to go over your finger as shown below:
Finally, bend your elbow and rest it on a table. In my opinion, this is the optimal way of using a pendulum, but you can hold it directly or without supporting the elbow, or like I do with the pendulum close to you and your elbow anchored to your body. As you begin to work with the pendulum, try working with either hand. See which works the best for you. That’s the one you should use.
Some people believe that a pendulum works the same way for everyone. I don’t even like the same cereal for breakfast every morning. There is no reason to assume that the pendulum is always the same for everyone or stays the same. To solve this, begin each pendulum session with a calibration. Simply hold the pendulum as described over a blank, unlined, piece of paper. With your free hand, stop the pendulum from random motions, holding it in the equilibrium position. When the pendulum is fairly still, say aloud in a commanding voice, Show me “Yes.” In a few seconds the pendulum will start to move. If you visualize a clock face on the paper, it may swing forward and back, marking the 12:00 to 6:00 axis. It may swing left to right on the 9:00 to 3:00 axis. It may swing at an angle, such as the 2:00 to 8:00 axis or 11:00 to 5:00 axis. Alternatively, it may swing in a circle, either clockwise or counterclockwise. I am most familiar with yes being clockwise, and no being counter clockwise. In witch terms clockwise is Deosil (pronounced jess-sill) and counterclock wise is Widdershins. Some people may think it’s not moving. In fact, it is moving, however the motions are simply so small you cannot see them. If you either can’t see the motions, or they are so small that they are unclear, say aloud in a commanding voice, Larger. If you still can’t
see the motion, repeat this command. Some people have to repeat the “larger” command several times. Whatever the pendulum shows, this is the way the pendulum will move for you during this session. There is no “right” or “wrong,” just what the pendulum wants to show. Draw a line or a circle with an arrow indicating the route of the pendulum and label it “Yes.” Repeat this process for “No.” While this is generally opposite the “yes” indicator, it is not always so. Repeat the process again with the command, Show me “Unclear.” You will end with a paper that may look like one of the images below:
The next step is to simply practice. Ask any yes/no questions. At first, just try it. don’t count on accuracy. If you can’t see a response, use the “larger” command. In a session or two you will be surprised at just how accurate you will become.
Move beyond simple binary, yes/no questions. Make a page with a straight horizontal line. Above the line draw an arc from one end of the horizontal line to the other, so you have half of a circle. From the center of the arc, draw a line to the center of the horizontal bar. Draw a line from each half of the arc to the center of the horizontal. Repeat this until you have 26 spaces. Insert one letter of the alphabet in each of the spaces. (If people use different alphabets, change the number of spaces accordingly.) Make your equilibrium point at the center of the horizontal bar. Now you can ask questions and have the pendulum spell out an answer. If you can’t see the pendulum indicating a letter, use the “larger” command. Still the pendulum by holding it steady with your free hand at the equilibrium point after each letter is revealed. You can also make a diagram as above, but divide it into just four sections. Label each section with the name of one of the magickal elements: Air, Earth, Fire, or Water. Or use one of the year’s seasons. Or divide it into 8 sections and label them with the Sabats of
Paganism. Make one with ten spaces that you number from 0 to 9 in order to get numbers. Make one with 12 spaces to work with time. Experiment! Have fun. Discover what you can learn.
In the first post of this series I described a little of the history of the pendulum as well as how it works. In the second post of this series I described the basics of using a pendulum, including how to hold it, how to calibrate it, and how to get answers to questions you ask it. Before going on I would suggest that you read those two posts again (or for the first time). The key to using a pendulum for magick is to understand how it works. And that means first understanding the difference between the conscious and unconscious.
The Conscious and Unconscious Minds
The conscious mind observes everything you’re doing and thinking. That’s it. As soon as you think about something it’s in your conscious mind. It’s actually very limited and can only do a few things at one time. Your unconscious mind controls everything else. Everything from your pulse and respiration rates to the flow of hormones and the triggering of muscles so you can walk and balance to keep you from falling are controlled by the unconscious. It used to be believed that there was no way to control many of these so-called autonomic aspects of your being. Now it’s known that there are techniques for doing this. One technique for doing this is called biofeedback.
When you go to a doctor you may get hooked up to a device that simply records your brainwaves or the beats of your heart. Such devices indicate temperature, blood pressure, etc. Biofeedback devices can help train you to make changes in these things, such as reducing anxiety or lowering your blood pressure. Such devices allow for bilateral communications with your unconscious and can even allow you program the unconscious. For example, a simple device known as a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) meter shows the amount of electrical capacitance in your skin. This is usually indicated with a visual signal or a sound. You can consciously work to move the visual signal or change the tone of the sound. This programs the unconscious to change the capacitance of your skin. It was discovered that stress and anxiety are directly related to the capacitance of your skin. This interrelationship is something that occurs unconsciously. But you can use a GSR device to train yourself to alter the capacitance of your skin. The result is that with a few minutes of training your unconscious using a GSR—biofeedback—you can lower anxiety and stress. This can also lower your blood pressure. GSR devices sell for anywhere from far under $50 to way over $1,000 depending upon sensitivity, accuracy, brand, features, etc.
Just as you can use an inexpensive GSR device to lower stress, anxiety and blood pressure, you can use
another biofeedback device, a pendulum, to program the unconscious to create something on the astral plane. And as I wrote in the first post of this series, “whatever you create on the astral plane must eventually manifest on the physical plane.” That is the very essence of magick!
Unconscious Doesn’t Mean Stupid
Merely because you don’t normally have awareness of communications between your conscious and unconscious doesn’t mean the unconscious mind is stupid. However, it does indicate a few things. First, you have to know how to speak to it and second you have to listen to it. A key to programming the unconscious is to understand that it doesn’t play well with negatives. If you tell it, “I don’t want to be sick,” it thinks you mean “I want to be sick.” So stick with positives concepts. In this example, instead of “I don’t want to be sick,” you might use “I want to be healthy.” Another key is that the unconscious will do what you tell it…literally. And it can be kind of lazy. If you just try to program it with “I want to be healthy,” its probably response is “That’s nice. Let’s take a nap.” It has no idea when you want to achieve health. So give a date for achieving your goal. A third key is reality. If you were very sick and needed ten days of antibiotics, but tried to program your unconscious to have you perfectly healthy by 5:00 tonight, your unconscious would laugh it off. “Yeah, right!” it would be thinking. So be realistic as to what your unconscious can achieve. Give it achievable goals with realistic times for achieving those goals. It’s your mind, not God. And the fourth key is to trust your unconscious. It knows how long things will take to accomplish, so ask it! Here’s how:
Basic Pendulum Magick
With this information, we’re ready to begin. Here we go. Step One: Relax and center yourself. Step Two: Perform a banishing. Step Three: Calibrate your pendulum according to the Step Four: Do a divination. Ask the pendulum, “Is it advisable to do magick to __________?” Assuming you get a positive answer, continue on. Step Five: Ask advice from the unconscious. Word your questions carefully. Use the pendulum as described in the last post to learn: Do you know what to do to achieve ______(your magickal goal)____? Will it take days? Weeks? Months? (Give the pendulum a chance to answer) How many days/weeks/months will it take?
Will you do it in ______days/weeks/months_____? Through this questioning you’ve discovered if your unconscious can and will do it and how long it will take. Step Six: Tell your unconscious “Start doing everything you need to do to achieve _____(the goal)__________ in _X_ number of ____days/weeks/months_____. Give me a ‘Yes’ sign when you finish putting everything into motion.” Wait until you get the yes, then repeat the banishing. Finish by recording your ritual in your magickal diary as described in Modern Magick. And that’s it! Of course, you’d have to ask other questions if you don’t get positive answers to determine why your unconscious won’t do something. But it’s really that simple. Your unconscious will put everything into motion that will result in achieving your goals.