Pendulums: How To Use The Tool To Guide Your Decision Making

If you're fascinated with the world of astrology, oracle cards, and crystals, there's another divination tool you could be utilizing to navigate your spiritual path: the pendulum. It's especially helpful if you have a harder time making decisions, whether it's about where to eat lunch or whether or not to move across the country. Big choice or small, sometimes putting fate into the hands of something other than your overthinking mind can help you arrive at the right decision — sort of like flipping a coin. And that's the purpose of the pendulum.


Typically consisting of a crystal or another small, weighted object on the end of a chain or string, a pendulum is thought to help you access your own intuition. You can find these spiritual tools at most metaphysical shops, or you can easily craft one yourself with household objects. Here's a closer look at how to use the gentle swaying of a pendulum to guide your decision-making process.

Getting to know your pendulum

While many people in today's world might not recognize pendulums, these spiritual tools have been providing seekers with direction for centuries. But as with any tool, you'll want to get to know your way around the one you're planning to use. Once you've bought or made your own pendulum, it's time to build a relationship with it. Maybe you have a healing rose quartz crystal pendulum, which is symbolic of the heart. In this case, you could visualize your heart chakra providing you with the answer to your question when you use your pendulum.


Or maybe you're planning to use a pendulum made of clear quartz or selenite to help clear the stagnant energy of a space — much like sage or incense — as this is another use for the tool besides helping the holder arrive at a decision. The swaying of the pendulum is what you'll be studying and seeking to understand, whichever reason you choose to utilize the tool. Think of the pendulum as a tactile representation of your internal truth and guidance, and get comfortable with it and how it feels to you before even worrying about how to interpret its movements.

How to read the pendulum

Once you've familiarized yourself with the energy of your pendulum, it's time to establish a language with it. At the very least, you'll want to determine which directions or movements symbolize "yes," "no," or a neutral option. Side to side could be the movement to affirm a positive, while back and forth could represent a negative, and a circular motion could indicate neither. Some say the tool works as a type of channel to connect us to our innate wisdom or higher consciousness, so don't be surprised if the movements you come to understand as a "yes" or a "no" don't line up perfectly with another person's pendulum experiences — your intuition is unique to you, after all.


Start by testing a few simple facts with your pendulum to see how it responds and if it answers accurately. As you establish a connection with the tool, you'll be able to better discern its answers and also understand when it's not ready to give you a clear and direct response quite yet. Eventually, you will be more in tune with the tool, and you'll be able to jump from simple questions to far more complex ones.

Choosing a question

Once you understand the language of your pendulum, you can meditate on your bigger questions. Yes-or-no questions will likely give you a more straightforward answer, but you could also ask if your intuition about a given situation is accurate or if you should wait for more clarity. No matter what you ask, try not to use the pendulum when you're in a rush, but rather when you have time to center yourself and be receptive in a calm manner. You could also integrate the pendulum into your regular meditation time, asking a question after breathwork or guided meditations.


Remember, the pendulum is working in sync with your energy, and it's possible that as you reflect on your question, the answer may shift as your true desire becomes clearer. This isn't to say you should doubt the guidance tool, but pay attention to what it's revealing in regard to the development around your circumstances or wishes.

Grounding yourself and staying patient

Of course, reading your pendulum takes practice, so don't worry if you don't always understand the movements you're seeing or the answer doesn't make sense. When you ask your pendulum for guidance, try to keep a receptive mindset and heart — and keep your fingers as still as possible so as not to sway the tool one way or another. As you continue working with the pendulum, you'll likely find that its movements may be more intense when there's urgency to a situation and more casual for lighter topics.


The pendulum is thought to be an extension of the psychic self, so the more you can ground and center yourself before using the guidance tool, the more accurate your answers are expected to be. You could try earthing beforehand or even using the pendulum outside in a calm, quiet area where you won't be disturbed and can tap into the healing powers of nature. If your pendulum doesn't seem to be moving at all, stay patient and exercise your trust in the tool. Focus on your breath and allow the pendulum to align with your energy.

Cleansing after use

Once you're finished using your pendulum, it's wise to cleanse it after the session, particularly if your pendulum is a crystal and stores energy. That way, you'll ensure your pendulum is clear and fresh for its next use. There are many ways to cleanse an item of stagnant energy, so choose whichever route intuitively feels right for you. You could wash it with water, leave it in the sunlight, place it by a window on a full moon, let it sit in soil for a while, or burn sage in your home — though keep in mind to check which of these methods are safe for the material of your pendulum to avoid causing damage to it.


Once you've cleansed it, wrap it in a special cloth or store it in a small, velvet bag for safekeeping until you need it again. You could opt to carry the pendulum with you in a purse or backpack in case you need some extra guidance on a decision while out in the world. Even just knowing the tool is there if necessary can bring ease and calm if you tend to feel overwhelmed by choices.