What are Pendulums and how are they used?

If we look at ancient art, such as Greek and Egyptian paintings, we will find images of pendulums. They have been a tool of humanity since ancient times, probably before the recording of history and were considered one of the fundamental tools in Greek science. And the power of pendulums are still available for us today. The East teaches us that the goal of life is finding balance within the oscillation of life, and this is the same energy that guides the pendulum, its oscillating balance.


There are many ways to use your pendulum. Asking and receiving answers to yes/no questions is the most basic tool of a pendulum. But this is not its only use. In fact, the oscillation of a pendulum is a 180 degree possible swing, with allows for far more complex questions and answers than just yes or no. It is easiest to start with yes/no questions and then as you get comfortable with the subtle messages of the pendulum and how to phrase questions, you may move to more complex questions and answers.


It is best not to share your pendulum. You want to keep it’s energy clear and programmed for you. (Step 3 below will present Programming your pendulum). The choice of material (traditionally crystal, metal or wood) is of personal choice. It is best to hold and try a variety of materials and shapes to see what resonates and feels comfortable to you. Choice of materials might be considered in the type of help being sought of the pendulum. For instance working on opening a particular chakra would suggest a crystal pendulum that resonates with that pendulum. Help with health (life force) questions would suggest a wood or carnelian pendulum. But for most pendulum practitioners, they develop a relationship with a particular pendulum and continue to use it regardless of the type of questions being asked. A pendulum can also be used in place of muscle testing.


How to Use a Pendulum to Answer Yes/No Questions

1. Relax and bring your mind to a calm and focused state with your thoughts releasing any worries and distractions. Free yourself of internal chatter and noise. Do not multi-task, but be present to the pendulum. Relax and focus. Quiet music may help, along with other meditational aids like candles, incense, or crystals. But these things are not required. You can use your pendulum anywhere, at any time, with or without these extra items.


2. Position yourself and your pendulum. Ideally, you want to sit up straight or stand straight. Grasp the pendulum's fob ( the end of the chain opposite the pendulum) between your thumb and forefinger, or the end of the chain just blow the fob. Arch your wrist slightly, steady your forearm (but not your hand). You can use something solid, like the edge of a table to steady your arm, but in time you get used to just holding your arm steady and at rest. Let the pendulum just dangle, but hold it still. Your hand may shake but it won’t matter to the pendulum. but don’t worry if your hand shakes a little bit.


3. You should now Program your pendulum’s signals if you haven’t before. You only need to do this step once, unless you decide to make changes afterward. The purpose of programming is to establish signals for each of these answers:

- Yes

- No

- Maybe (which can also be interpreted as "I don't want to say")


Here are some common, easy-to-read signals that your pendulum may use:

- front to back (like a head nod - common for “yes”)

- side to side (like a head shake - common for “no”)

- clockwise circle

- counterclockwise circle


To begin Programming, first ask your pendulum “What is your yes?” Then be patient for this beginning use of the pendulum. Again stay focused and mindful. Give the pendulum space to answer. Then ask the opposite, “what is your no?” And finally ask about “maybe”. You might ask if here is a different response for “don’t know” or “can’t say”, etc.


Now verify the answers. You can test out the different answers by asking a couple of test questions, such as “Is my name ____?” Or, "Is today Monday?" Basically, you want to verify that yes is yes and no is no. If the signals are consistent, go back to the beginning of step 3and reprogram the pendulum. Once your signals are verified, you skip this step.


4. Then you will Program your pendulum’s Source. Unlike steps 3, you'll want to include this step every time you prepare to use your pendulum. The purpose is to establish where the pendulum will get its answers. The goal is to tap into your higher self. Skipping this step may cause your pendulum to restrict itself to the subconscious mind or Ego.


Begin each session by saying something like, “I call upon the higher self to answer these questions. I seek only truthful answers, which are aligned with the highest and greatest good for all concerned.” Or, “ I ask that the Source of all that is Good and True guide my pendulum….” this can be said silently or aloud. Do what you are comfortable with, and of course, feel free to tailor this language to words that reflect Source for you and so that it matches your own terminology.


5. Ask your question. Ask questions that can be answered by YES or NO. Be as specific and clear as you can in your phrasing. Avoid asking for opinions or using the words “should” or “supposed to” in your questions. You might want to initially first write out questions so you can more easily see any ambiguity in your questions. Be specific with dates, times, names, places. (“Will my appointment tomorrow at 10am with ___ provide solution to ____?”) Be objective in the question not biasing towards the answer. (“Will John, that jerk, ever ask me out?”)


6. Wait for the answer. Be patient. Give the pendulum as much time as needed. The speed of answers will probably change over time as your relationship develops. Concentrate on your question but do not concentrate on what you think the answer should or will be. And try not to become anxious. Remember to breath! If it is difficult to focus you might try Clearing your thoughts by closing your eyes. Keep them closed and look up. This little muscle exercise will temporarily short-circuit the conscious mind's involvement and bring you back to a neutral, unbiased state. Remain detached about the answer and focus only on receiving a correct, unbiased answer.


When the pendulum swings, look at it - observe its direction. This is your answer. If it doesn’t move immediately, give it time, or if it’s unclear what the signal is, try rephrasing the question and do it again. When the pendulum swings with great force, it’s answering loudly. If it swings with only light force, you can interpret this as a quiet, perhaps less committed response.


8. Clear the pendulum at the end of each question by touching its weight to the palm of your free hand or on another surface. This signals that your question has been answered and you are ready to move on to the next question.


9. Protect and cherish your pendulum when not in use. You might wear it on a neck chain or in a little bag with a cord. That way it will receive your energy all day long, and will be readily attuned to your body's energy and vibrational level. And it will be easily accessed when you have a question to ask. Or you can keep it in a pouch or a keepsake box.


If worn or used much, the metal of the pendulum will eventually oxidize and develop a patina; a warm glow accentuated by darkened areas. And crystals may develop a skin, which is natural for crystals. You can either leave it this way, or if you prefer a bright and shiny surface, gently polish with a soft cloth to remove the oxidation. Never use abrasive cleansers or expose to salts. Ideally store in a cool dry place when not worn.


Pendulum Charts

Pendulum charts expand the power of your pendulum far beyond the simple yes/no/maybe question method. Pendulum charts are available individually or in booklets.


There are lots of different types of charts. Some are complicated and others, quite simple, but the principle is the same in all. Instead of using pre-programmed signals (as you would when asking yes/no questions), your pendulum uses the reference points on the chart to show you answers. Usually the charts are a half-sphere with subdivisions, each division labeled with a different possible answer. For example, a chart for nutrition might have divisions with different vitamins or herbs to answer which would be beneficial for your diet. Or for Chakra energy work the divisions would have the major Chakra names.


Chart work is usually done standing or sitting at a table. The charts may be opened from a booklet or created at the time to address the possibilities of the questions that are going to be asked. Remember to Program the Source even when using charts.


Updated: Feb 2


The seven major chakras

The Chakras

We know through science and may experience for ourselves that our physical bodies are encircled and held by an electromagnetic field, analogous to the flowing energy field that encircles and emanates from Mother Earth. The field protects us, and creates our environ through which we interact with the world. Everything is experienced because we’re both surrounded by our own personal force field, and the insides of our bodies contain electrical generators, which the body uses to send signals through our body and experiences our environment. The focus of that field is at our core, running from below our feet through to above our head. In the Eastern tradition the focuses of that field are called chakras. They are not really points, but focuses, spinning energy points of that larger field, interconnected to our mind and body and spirit. (In the eastern and western mystic traditions these are not separate things, but one interconnected aspect of our being.) Virtually every single process which is keeping you alive can be traced back to that field and those energy focuses.

There are seven major chakras, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. These spheres of energy, aligned with the spine, keep us vibrant and healthy. The Sanskrit word Chakra translates as “wheel” or “disk”. In the eastern tradition the invisible, healing energy is called Prana, the vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.

The first three chakras, starting at the base of the spine are chakras of matter. They are more physical in nature.


First Chakra: In Sanskrit, Muladhara, the Root Chakra is the lowest chakra and connects us to Mother Earth. Through this chakra we experience stability, security, and our basic needs. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless. It is also one of the paths through which we connect to others, like spokes of a a single wheel, through the Muladhara we connect to the spoke and others experiencing our interconnection and “oneness”.

Second Chakra: The Svadhisthana , the Sacral Chakra is our creativity and sexual center. It is located above the pubic bone, below the navel. It holds much of our life force and vitality.

Third Chakra: The Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra resides between the navel to breastbone. The third chakra is our source of personal identity and power. When people refer to feeling something “in their gut” or “butterflies in their stomach” this is us feeling our Solar Plexus. It contains our “inner wisdom”, that which we know is true for us, versus what for which the world is trying to convince us.

The Fourth Chakra: The Anahata, the Heart Chakra, is the Connection Between Matter and Spirit. Located at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit. The fourth is also spiritual but serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection. It contains both our passion and compassion, and therefore guides how we connect to others. Sometimes it is described as if it is two aspects, but in truth this is a single, connecting chakra.

The last three chakras are the Chakras of Spirit.

Fifth Chakra: The Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra, is the fifth chakra found at the area of the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our truth. But the throat chakra may be used in silent prayer, meditation, and empathetic expression. It is another sphere of connection to others through our sharing and blessing.

Sixth Chakra: The Ajna, the Third Eye Chakra, is located in between the eyebrows. It connects mind to spirit. The Ajna is our center of intuition, or “seeing in a different way”. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its guidance and warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help hone this ability.

Seventh Chakra: The Sahaswara, the Crown Chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher/highest selves. It is a focus of connection to others, the communal consciousness, and ultimately to the divine.


The Seven Chakra Sanskrit Names

The Importance of the Major Chakras in the Body and Relation to Wellness

Wellness: We have all met people who are physically well, but in whom we can feel that they are feeble, or that their life force is weak. And then there are others, like newborn babies, who just radiate that vitality of life. In them the life force is strong and we would say that their chakras are “open”, vital and flowing. And we can feel and see that vitality. And that vitality is not actually limited by age or circumstance. It is an internal, powerful force.

These chakras, swirling spheres of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven major chakras contain our body, electromagnetic flow, bundles of nerves, and major organs. And each is part of our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. This is not a static energy, rather verything is moving, spinning, flowing. It’s essential that our seven chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy flow will be restricted.

Balance: In the eastern tradition, wellness is found through balance. Mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected. The condition of these energy centers can affect the physical organs that are found within their vicinity in the body. Our bodies are in constant flux between balance and imbalance. The chakras impact emotional, spiritual and mental aspects such as: feelings of security and "groundedness"; artistic creativity and enjoyment; motivation or drive; connection and love; assertiveness, communication and self expression; intuition and self confidence; feelings of ecstasy and blissfulness. Awareness of an imbalance in one area through chakra meditation will help bring the others back into balance. Awareness is the first step in detecting any imbalances. Then through the use of techniques such as meditation and yoga sequences, crystal healing, and Reiki, one can work towards improved energy flow and balance. These techniques, beginning with meditation, can open the chakras, restore the balance, and strengthen our life force, sense of well being, and connection to spirit.


- Aum Shanti

Updated: Feb 2

By Ross of Aum Shanti Bookshop




Crystals are a powerful tool for promoting healing, wellness, creativity; all critical needs during this time of "stay at home" isolation. Time to pull out your crystals, spend some time with them in meditation, reflection, and inspiration.


Why are healing crystals so unique in helping to heal and balance our lives?

We think of ourselves as bodies, mass. But science tells us that we are actually more space than mass. As Buddhism reminds us, we are containers; voids more than objects. And we are vibrations, from the spinning electrons, through the neurons firing in our minds, to the echo of our heart and voice through our jowl, organs, stomach, on to the tips of our fingers. Quantum physics shows that mass is energy, integrally connected without regard to the distance between. We can feel the electromagnetic field, the energy flow, the tingle at our feet as we connect to Earth, the tingle at the tip of our head as we connect to Heaven. When I work with seniors I often can see when one has a strong life force, or a weak life force, which has little to do with their medical ailments, or age. But much to do with their outlook, their connection, the sparkle in their eyes, and the strength of their vibration. And our own vibrations are stimulated through sympathetic vibration (much as we feel in our knee the vibration of a tuning fork, or feel in our chest the vibration of a drum, which are auditory vibrations.)


Crystals are formed deep within Mother Earth, over eons, pressed, moved, elements combining. Science now thinks that complex elements can only be created through exploding, imploding stars, hurled out into space, pulled by Mother Earth’s gravity, molten at her core, combined by shifting textile plates. They are mass and energy formed from the source of time and space. And as such they vibrate with deep ancient intensity. Vibration is also color, and so it is often the beauty of the color of crystals that we first experience. But that vibration is also resonating with my own energy fields.


We can think of our energy field as encircling us (like the earth’s own massive protective, flowing fields beneath us and above us, hidden to the eyes but sometimes revealed in the Northern Lights) but most intense at our core, what the East calls our chakra points. They are not really points as much as three-dimensional focuses, rotations, vibrations. Our “wellness” comes not from “getting over illness” but from being in open, balanced flow. That impacts the immune system,  stamina, and even our gate. We are natural beings who resonates with other natural beings. And crystals are a tool, and a friend who, through their own natural resonance and balance, create sympathetic vibration in our own energy.

But this explanation is a bit too clinical because it loses sight of the metaphysical, personal aspect of the source of all that is good. Wellness and balance are about more than just a body that “functions well”. The life force is more profound than that. Our root chakra connects me to you and all other life forces through Mother Earth. The crown chakra also connects me to you and the stars through the Tree of Life and spheres of Heavens. We are learning that Mother Earth is deeply impacted by how we treat the environment and resources. But the pace of life for a crystal is at a very different rate that we experience life. It has been suggested by astronomy theorist that planets and stars, and therefore crystals, may even experience time in reverse to us (they are experiencing the spin towards rather than away from the Big Bang). Heady stuff…


What does, 'let your stone choose you,' mean?

Recognizing our limited understanding, but full of curiosity, how do we begin to experience crystals? I often hear staff and guests at Aum Shanti Bookshop respond to a crystal with, “Isn’t this beautiful.” We are talking about not only a visual beauty, but that sudden excitement, resonance one feels. I will show a customer a tray of Chalcopyrite, and their eyes sparkle as they grab one piece and say, “Wow. Look at this one.” Why that one? I didn’t see anything different about that one? But it wasn’t “my one”. But I could so clearly see it in their face that it was for them. I think we often ignore our own inner wisdom, when our heart mind will immediately be telling us what crystal to choose. There is a great book called “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell (who also wrote the “Tipping Point") that writes about how in the West we have been taught to not listen to our inner wisdom. We let our mind rule our heart mind. Its time for us to let our heart mind rule again, as we did as children.


Here is another wisdom to learn from crystals: We can let the crystal do the calling. We should approach the crystals with our expectations put on hold. But be full of curiosity and openness. And without question, lots will happen as we look and touch and hold crystals. The nice thing with a crystal shop is that we can take time to hold and feel, and enjoy the moment as we meet new vibrational friends.

What are some crystals for increasing energy?

To increase energy I would suggest beginning at the solar plexis (where I “feel it in my gut”) This energy sphere impacts my mood, my energy, and my self-knowledge. I would suggest holding Citrine (tumbled or raw) to feel the increase of energy. Citrine also increases the energy of other natural entities, including other crystals and plants and animals. Energy is mind, body and spirit, and all three are increased with Citrine.

What crystals attract abundance?

I have abundance in my root chakra when I have physical, material abundance (for which I would suggest pyrite). I have abundance in my life force when I am vigorous and my step is quick (for which I would suggest red jasper). I have abundance in my heart when I choose love over fear, my core holds the Sacred Heart (for which I would suggest Jade or Green Aventurine). I have abundance in my throat chakra and my third eye when I think with my heart, see with my inner eye before I speak and then I speak my inner truth (for which I suggest Lapsis)


I have abundance of my highest self when I say to the Source “not my will but thy will be done” for which I would suggest 10 minutes of silence, listening to the breath and holding Apophyllite.

What crystals help with grounding?

It depends... I would suggest black tourmaline to ground and to anchor. But if looking for grounding at loss or betrayal, I would suggest holding Apache Tears which can help release negative emotions, start to connect the emotions and meanings of the loss; ground and balance the emotional state.

What crystals would you suggest for attracting romance into your life?

I would suggest rose quartz, volunteer work, and dancing lessons to attract romance. But if I am anxious about having romance in my life, I might hold Atlantisite which will help me find inner peace. It will also stabilize my moods and give me a more relaxed attitude in life, so that romance can come gently, unexpectedly, rather than desperately.

What crystals are for inspiring creativity?

I find many crystals, by opening, stimulating my chakras bring greater creativity. I love Tiger Iron/Muggle stone for its clarity in creative endeavors and stimulation of all types of artistic abilities, and the stamina that a creative endeavor often needs. It opens me from my root to my solar plexus. I also love Yellow Aventurine which is a gentle but strong, Sacral energy crystal. She stimulates all areas of creativity, and imagination, as well as intellect and mental clarity. 

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