How to use a Pendulum – Dowsing, Witchcraft, Yes and No

Using a Pendulum made of wood or crystal can be an interesting addition to your magickal practice and even to your witchcraft and spells studies. In this article, I’m going to cover all the topics you need to learn on how to use a Pendulum for dowsing, witchcraft, answering Yes and No questions, and even for extra things such as finding a lost object.

How to use a Pendulum in Witchcraft and Dowsing

Pendulum definition

Let’s first understand what a Pendulum is. A pendulum is essentially something heavy that is hung at the end of a string or cord and is able to swing. According to Oxford Dictionary, the meaning of a pendulum is:

A weight hung from a fixed point so that it can swing freely, especially a rod with a weight at the end that regulates the mechanism of a clock.

Oxford Dictionary

Pendulums are usually found in clocks, but the ones we are going to use here are a bit different.

The pendulums we use for dowsing, asking questions and magickal purposes are often made of crystals, stones, or wood. There are several kinds of it, and they may have different energies. So you can, let’s say, have a collection of pendulums and choose the “best one” for specific use for example.

They are always hung at the end of a string – and again, this string can be made of different materials too!

Check below some of the pendulums I have here. This is my personal collection of pendulums.

The 3 pendulums I currently own
The 3 pendulums I currently own

Whenever a crystal pendulum is broken – during the use or due to an accident – the best thing is to discard it. I personally put them together with my plants and flowers.

A broken quartz crystal pendulum in the garden
Pendulum Cemetery – A broken quartz crystal pendulum in the garden

If you don’t have a pendulum now while you’re reading this guide, don’t worry. You can continue reading it to be prepared when you get yours.

Below you can find some beautiful options from Amazon. You can also look for pendulums at your local crystal or esoteric shops.

How do pendulums work

Pendulums for dowsing, magick, and making questions work with your own personal energy and power. That’s why there are some training steps and programming to be done first, before using them. They essentially channel your energy and mix it with their own energy. After this, they “read” the energy available universally and give you the answer you’re looking for.

As you may have noticed, you first need to be balanced to use a pendulum. You need to have your energy in “good standards” so you can properly work with it. Being in a good mood, having a purification bath, meditating, and other rites can help to be ready to use a pendulum.

Besides using your own energy, you may also choose to work with Gods, Goddesses, Deities, Nature Spirits, or other spirits too. How to use a pendulum with them? Simply connect your energy to theirs!

How to purify or cleanse a pendulum?

After getting your pendulum, the first thing you should do is cleanse it, to purify it. There are different ways to do so, but the cleanse is done just like you do for all kinds of crystals, stones, and other magickal things. Check below some options:

  • Bathe it with coarse salt: gently pass your pendulum in coarse salt and leave it on a bed of coarse salt for a day;
  • Use incense smoke: light up incense such as benzoin, sandalwood, storax, rue, myrrh, or any other cleaning incense, and pass your pendulum in the smoke for some seconds. Do it 2 or 3 times during a day;
  • Put it on a Selenite piece: Selenites are known for being able to purify other objects on it. If you have a selenite piece big enough to put your pendulum on it, simply leave it there for twenty-four hours.
  • Make a full cleansing ritual with the four elements on an altar: if you prefer a more traditional approach, you can set up your altar with the four elements and use each one of them to make a full purification rite.

After purifying and cleansing your pendulum, the next step is going to be programming it. This way you and your pendulum will have a “communication channel” and you’ll be able to understand it.

Make sure you purify and cleanse your pendulum properly. It’s essential to do this before knowing how to use a pendulum.

Lepidolite pendulum
My Lepidolite pendulum (this is the one I currently use for everything)

How do you tell if a Pendulum is saying yes or no?

To tell if a pendulum is saying yes or no, you must program it first. To fully use a pendulum, you must make sure you both may communicate with each other. To correctly program a pendulum you simply need to prepare some things:

  • Have your pendulum fully cleansed;
  • Have yourself purified – you can perform your favorite kind of purifying ritual or purifying bath for this;
  • Be in a calm environment with no distractions;
  • Have your mind calm – you can meditate before programming a pendulum.

After you checked the list above, get your pendulum and hold it so it can swing freely.

Now make the following questions and observe how your pendulum is going to swing. It’s important to be patient, because the pendulum may take some time before it starts swinging freely.

The first question is:

1) How can you tell me “yes”?

Now wait a bit and your pendulum will start swinging in one of the following patterns:

  • Horizontally;
  • Vertically;
  • Spinning clockwise;
  • Spinning counterclockwise;

The most common way a pendulum may respond to a “yes” question is by swinging vertically. Keep in mind that this is not a default way of answering.

After it stops swinging, repeat the question:

2) How can you tell me “yes”?

If the pendulum swings in the same way as it did before, the “yes” part is ready. If it swings differently, you must repeat the question until you have 2 similar swinging directions in a row.

Now let’s check the “no” answer. To do this, make the following question:

3) How can you tell me “no”?

Wait a bit and your pendulum will start swinging. It usually swings horizontally for a “no” answer. If it repeats the same movement as it did before, ask again. If it continues giving you “confusing” movements, it means something is wrong either with you or with the pendulum. It’s worth purifying everything again.

After it stops swinging, repeat the question:

4) How can you tell me “no”?

If the pendulum makes the same movement again, it’s done. If it’s different, repeat the question until you have 2 similar movement answers.

Now that you have the “yes” and “no” programming done, let’s do something extra.

Hold your pendulum again and ask the following question:

5) How can you tell me “maybe yes”?

You’ll get a movement. It usually is a clockwise circular movement. Repeat the question to confirm.

Now, the last step to correctly program a pendulum:

6) How can you tell me “maybe no”?

After it gives you the answer and confirms it, the programming is done!

Your pendulum is ready to work with you!

How to use a pendulum

Now, let’s learn how to use a pendulum! You got your pendulum, you cleansed it and programmed it. Everything is ready for you to work with it.

You may be wondering “how can I use a pendulum?” or “when should I use a pendulum?”. For these questions, I’m going to present a list of answers and explain the best ways you can use a pendulum to achieve a specific goal. Let’s start with the most used “function”.

Hematite pendulum
My hematite pendulum

How to use a Pendulum for Yes or No Questions

I’m going to explain how to use a pendulum for Yes and No questions. This is a great tool that can be used as a divination technique alongside the Tarto, the I-Ching, and other methods. The biggest difference between the pendulum to the other ones is that the pendulum is much more objective and gives a faster answer. There’s not much room for interpretation here. It’s a straight to the point “yes” or “no” answer to a simple “yes” or “no” question.

You can use this tool whenever you feel like you need some guidance or you need some answers about something that starts bothering you. It can also be used when you must make a decision and, for some reason, you’re having difficulties doing so.

To use a pendulum for Yes and No questions, simply get your pendulum and hold it so it can swing freely.

Now, concentrate on the question and ask, out loud, to the pendulum.

Give it a moment and it will start swinging in a certain way. Remember the programming steps? You “taught” the pendulum to give you 4 possible pieces of information. And they were:

  • Yes;
  • No;
  • Maybe yes;
  • Maybe no.

Depending on the movement the pendulum makes, you’ll have a specific answer just like it was during the programming.

Simple like that!

List of questions to ask the pendulum

Here’s a list of questions you can ask the pendulum. You’re free to ask any kind of Yes and No questions, but if you need some inspiration to start, check the following ones:

  • Someone is pregnant and you wish to know if it’s a baby girl or a baby boy. Ask: Is it a baby boy? Is it a baby girl?
  • You’re looking for a job and you find an opportunity you want to know if it’s good for you. Ask: Is this job good for me?
  • You’re moving to another house and you found an interesting one. Ask: Will I be happy in this house?
  • You’re looking for a lover and you find someone interesting. Ask: Should I invest in this relationship?
  • You’re about to make an important decision and you want to know the impact of it. Ask: Is this the right decision to make?
  • You are suspicious about a person who may try to trick you. Ask: Is this person trustful?
  • You want to know if there will be something exciting this month. Ask: Will there be anything exciting this month?
  • You want to know if you’ll get some extra money soon. Ask: Will I get some extra money soon?

How to use a pendulum to find something

Now, let’s suppose you’ve lost something. You really can’t remember where you left an object. Could it be at your house? In your car? At your desk in your job? How to use a pendulum to find something? Let’s learn now.

The first thing you must do is narrow down the possibilities. To do so, simply start by asking the “macro” options. For example, I lost my favorite purple pen and I can’t remember where I left it. So I’ll get my pendulum and make the following question:

  • Is my purple pen in my job?

If the answer is a “yes”, then OK. I know it’s there, probably on my desk. If the answer is a “no”, then I’ll make another:

  • Is my purple pen somewhere in my house?

Now let’s say the answer is a “yes”! I know it’s here somewhere but I have no idea where exactly. So I have two options now:

  1. Walk every room and ask: “Is my purple pen here?”
  2. Sit down and ask about every room: “Is my purple pen in my living room?”; “Is my purple pen in my kitchen?” and so on until you get a “yes” answer.

That’s it!

And if you can’t find your lost object in the room, you can get the pendulum and ask specifically about a place or piece of furniture. For example: “Is my purple pen below this desk?” or “Is my purple pen inside this cupboard?”.

Never suffer for a lost object again!

Pendulum swing meaning

What does it mean when a pendulum goes back and forth? As I mentioned before, you first have to program it, so you’ll be able to communicate with it properly. Apart from making yes or no questions, a pendulum may swing back and forth to show you directions or point to specific things – just like the technique I’ll share below, with a board with letters.

So in other words, it all depends on what you’re asking your pendulum for.

Below you can find my pattern of communication. Maybe yours will be the same! This is how to use a pendulum for me.

How to use a pendulum board with letters

Now I’ll explain how to use a pendulum to discover more things. If you wish to discover more complex things, you can use your pendulum alongside a board with letters or numbers. This is a common practice in Dowsing. In a short way, all you need is a board with letters and numbers – they are also called charts – and then you position your pendulum over a neutral area. After making a question, it will then swing in the direction of a number or letter.

You repeat this process until you have the full answer you’re looking for.

There are several types of boards (or charts) available out there. You can even make your own. Check below an example of a chart including letters, numbers, and even colors. You can download a high-resolution printable version of this chart on my Ko-fi page for free (and you can also make a donation if you wish :D). If you can’t print at home, you can also order a print!

How to use a pendulum board with letters
Download a high resolution of this chart or order a print if you can’t print at home

Are pendulums accurate?

Yes, they are. As pendulums are drawing all the energy available around you and even your own energy, they can give accurate answers to your questions. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you must be balanced to use a pendulum. If you’re feeling down, if there are too many evil energies around you, if you’re feeling you’re under a psychic vampire attack, or even if you are simply too tired, it’s better to avoid using a pendulum as it may mix these energies and give you inaccurate answers to your question.

Keep this in mind! If you’re not feeling ok, the pendulum will draw this energy so it won’t be ok either!

Perform a banishing spell, take a bath, meditate… balance your body and mind first. There’s no use knowing how to use a pendulum if your energy is low or unstable.

Divining crystal

Besides knowing how to use a pendulum made of crystal or wood, it’s nice to learn a bit more about crystals themselves. Crystals have been used as a divining tool for centuries in our history. A great example that I love to share is using Obsidian Mirrors for scrying and seeing the future, as the Aztecs and Mayans used to do. Regardless of the type of crystal, all of them can be used for divination purposes. In the end, it’ll be your connection with the crystal that will help you – or not – to boost its features.

I love pendulums made of different kinds of crystals. In the picture below you can see some of my current pendulums. I say current because sometimes they break during the usage – or you simply find them broken on your table. I used to have a gorgeous Obsidian Pendulum (yes, you probably noticed already that I love Obsidian), but it broke at the beginning of 2022.

An obsidian mirror used for scrying
An obsidian mirror used for scrying

5 Best crystals for pendulums

With that in mind, I’ll show you the 5 best crystals for pendulums that will help you to start in case you have no preference yet:

5 best crystals for pendulums - Infographic - Santuário Lunar
5 best crystals for pendulums – Infographic – Santuário Lunar


Now you know how to use a pendulum for decision making, finding lost objects, answering yes or no questions, and also for discovering letters, numbers, colors, names, time, etc. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and on social media.

Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below.

You can also support me on my Ko-Fi page.

Photo of author

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