I read a book a couple of years ago called Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer. She opens the book with a chapter about how her daughter’s instrument was stolen and she called a professional dowser, though she didn’t believe in such things, to help her find it. And guess what happens. 🙂 Pendulums work along the same kind of lines as dowsing and, after reading that, I thought maybe there is something to this.
There used to be holistic shop (it has since closed) in my town that I liked to pop in for “fringe” books that libraries don’t purchase (but I love!) and, one day, the owner had a huge collection of pendulums for sale. I picked one up, not knowing anything about it beyond what I had read in that book, and it has sat on my meditation table for months, just looking mysterious and interesting. Then, last week, I saw this book and was so excited to finally have some instructions!
Photo from shamanschool.com
First of all, some background info: (Divination practices) most directly related to pendulum use fall under the general category of sortilege- the casting of lots. The word ‘sortilege’ comes from the Latin word sors, which means lots, and the title Sortilegus was given to the person who was the reader or the diviner via means of this process. Broadly, the practice involved (and still involves) holding an object or group of objects in the hand or hands while imbuing them with the question for which an answer is sought, then casting them through the air. It was believed that the answers were ‘in the air’, and that, as the lots moved through it, they became impregnated with the answer, causing them to fall in a certain pattern. The answer is then divined from the pattern made by the objects in their landing positions. The movements of the pendulum are derived from the same source.” pg 11
Image from http://www.harmony000.org
What is divination anyway?: “Divination lifts up and beyond the normal. Divination is all a question of moving the self into a deeper consciousness, a totality of awareness, of discovering messages and information as we seek, passing between the mind of the great architect of the universe and the mind of man. Divination is a state; it is not a technique. But, you can use techniques to develop your ability to be in that state.” pg 15 I’ve always used meditation for that.
I thought that the authors took the use of pendulums a bit too far in this part where they advised bringing your pendulum with you wherever you go ‘just in case’: “Carrying your answers with you- Pendulum work is extremely useful in your everyday life, whether at home or abroad. For instance, at the local market or the supermarket, if you can’t decide which grocery to put in your basket, use your pendulum. You can also use it for yourself, for those times when you’re wondering ‘Is this product good for me?’ Maybe, maybe not. It’s helpful to be informed. Before purchasing anything, you can check.” pg 56. Intriguing idea, but I just can’t see myself doing that. Should I recommend THIS book to that patron or THAT book?
Image from consortiumlibrary.org
How the human body connects to the spirit like a pendulum: “Just as the pendulum connects into this (spirit) flow, so we, too, connect in physically. In past times, there was a consciousness of the fluid flow from the brain. Initially, it was equated with palmistry. Napoleon, for example, always had his palmist with him. He- among many others at that time- was convinced of the belief that the brain directed fluid (spirit) flow down through the top of the head, along the arm, and over the top of the wrist, hand and fingertips, and that it even created the lines on the palms of the newborn child. This was revered as a map of the child’s future. It has also been shown that a hand that is paralysed becomes void of any lines.” pg 68 I didn’t know any of that.
I was disappointed to discover that there are some minor binding errors in this book. It has half a dozen or so blank pages in the middle.
I’m not entirely convinced about this pendulum thing, but, for total novices like me, How to Use a Pendulum for Dowsing and Divination is a good place to start.
Thanks for reading!