The History of Pendulums

Through science, superstitions and folklore, pendulums have a history which has managed to mystify many throughout the length of their use. It is believed they originated in ancient China around 200 B.C. when Chinese Dynasties found that by suspending a pendulum on a string, they could more easily detect earthquakes and small tremors. Similar beliefs developed elsewhere as well. The Egyptians used pendulums to help them predict the best location to plant their crop fields. Pope John XXII even issued a mandate in 1326 C.E. which to some extent outlawed pendulum use.

The Vatican said that the answers provided to pendulum users came straight from the devil himself. At this time, the act itself was considered¬†witch-craft and many innocent people were murdered in the process. Later on, Galileo Galilei saw a swinging chandelier at the Pisa Cathedral and began studying the corresponding movement, inevitably discovering the principle of isochronism, the property of pendulums which led to Christiaan Huygens inventing the first modern time-keeping device. The pendulum clock remained popular until the invention of the quartz clock in the 1930s. Through-out the pendulum’s deep history, it’s not hard to see how beliefs of the pendulum’s divination qualities developed.

What is a Pendulum?

In a simple sense, a pendulum is a weighted object which is suspended by a cord. In older times, more easily available components such as leather and wood were commonly used, but modern pendulums are often made from a large variety of materials including brass, wood, and crystal. Generally you may use any type of pendulum you like, but if attempting to divine something such as a map, it would be wise to get one with a fine point.

How Do Pendulums Work?

Two schools of thought exist regarding the use of pendulums.

Some individuals believe a pendulum to be controlled by your own subconscious and the individual may need just a bit of a push, in order to have confidence in their choices.

The second group believes that everything exists within a subtle energy field and when a pendulum is used, the universe responds to the asker’s question. Generally, to use a pendulum, hold it in your left hand (reverse if you’re left-handed) and ask a control question to see how the pendulum responds. This would be a question that you already know the answer to.

The direction in which the pendulum swings is thought to show the pendulum’s intention, and which direction is the answer to corresponding question.

Pendulums may be used in other settings as well of course, including pendulum mats.

This article was last revised on 02/28/2020.

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