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The pendulum is perhaps the most versatile and convenient of all dowsing tools, and this leads to it's great popularity amongst dowsers of all ages and abilities. It is of great importance to understand that dowsing is an inner process, a conversation between the rational and intuitive self, the left and right sides of the brain working synergistically. Any dowsing tool is thus a passive witness to this process - something that our physical body can use to bring its deep, unspoken awareness of the All to the conscious awareness of the alert mind.

Terry Ross, author of "The Divining Mind" asserts that the ultimate goal of all dowsers is to "go deviceless" - to dowse without the aid of any tools at all.This is the equivalent of riding a horse bare-back, without harness or saddle, whip or spurs, and is indeed a desirable and graceful state - to have one's intuitive awareness developed and awake at all times - an integrated and completely natural part of who we are and how we relate to the world. However, the focus and discipline that comes from learning to use tools in a competent and reliable fashion helps to train the inner dowser and make familiar the doors and pathways between the worlds, offering also a degree of protection and orientation along the way - a touchstone when charting unfamiliar territory.

A pendulum is, quite simply, any weight or object that can be made to freely swing.

Whilst this can include key rings, necklaces and a host of domestic and office items, most pendulum users prefer a symmetrically weighted object, centrally suspended from a light chain or cord.

The nature of the dowsing tool itself is of no intrinsic consequence. Having said this, as with the tool of any craftsperson, dowsers develop very particular preferences of weight, cord length and material, many choosing pendulums of crystal, brass or copper, or items of personal significance with which they have a close bond such as a wedding ring or special talisman.

Choose a pendulum that is appealing to your sense of aesthetic, that feels comfortable to hold and that swings freely and symmetrically when held between forefinger and thumb.

There are various systems for using a pendulum. Be aware that there is no right or wrong way to use dowsing tools. When learning to dowse we are simply programming "software" into our dowsing computer and can choose any program that suits and pleases us. If you already have a system that works for you, use that. If not, try the following:


Preparing to Dowse

Sit comfortably, back upright, feet on the ground shoulder width apart.

Hold the cord of your pendulum between thumb and forefinger, and have these fingers pointing downward (see photo above). The cord should be around two to three inches in length.

The Search Position

The neutral or search position is achieved by setting the pendulum into a "to & fro" swing or oscillation, towards and away from your body, in the midline over the space between your knees.

Yes and No

Next, maintaining the neutral swing, hold the pendulum over the knee on the dominant side of your body (generally the right side for those who are right handed, and the left side for those that are left handed).

As you do this, ask to be shown a clear signal to indicate "yes".

This may be any alteration in the swing, and typically is found to be a rotational swing in a clockwise direction.

Next, take the still-swinging pendulum back to the midline and allow it to return to the neutral or search "to & fro" swing.

Now move the pendulum over your non-dominant knee and ask to be shown a clear signal to indicate "no".

Again this may be any alteration in the swinging motion of your pendulum, and typically is found to be a rotational swing in the opposite direction from your "yes" signal.

If you find that you spontaneously get clear signals for "yes" and "no", go with those - congratulations !

If you found that no signals emerged on their own and that the pendulum remains in it's neutral to & fro swing when over one or both knees, simply choose your yes and no signals and "program them in" by making your pendulum swing in the way you choose whilst over the appropriate knee.

This is not cheating - you are merely establishing a symbolic language to use between mind and body, and once it is familiar it will become automatic and serve you long and well.

If you do have to choose and program your signals, I encourage you to use a full circular clockwise rotation for "yes" and a full circular anticlockwise rotation for "no".

"Yes but" and "No but"

It is helpful to have "half signals" - incompletely developed "yes" and "no" signals to indicate a weak response and suggest that more questions need to be asked to achieve clarity.

It is also helpful to have a "misleading question - stop and rethink" signal - this can help to let you know if you are on the wrong track and save you confusion and fruitless questioning.

Practice Makes Perfect�/FONT>

If pendulum dowsing is new to you, you are likely to find that sustained and patient practice is required before your responses come swiftly, easily and reliably.

We are after all learning a new skill and a new language, and although it is not an apparently complicated one, it is a new sensory-motor skill and requires repetition to become an integrated part of who we are.

I suggest that for the next two weeks you find two or three minutes each day to sit quietly and practice getting your dowsing responses, moving from side to side from the neutral position through your "yes but" and "no but" signals to your fully developed "yes" and "no" signals over your knees, and also practicing your "wrong question" signal.