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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Simply put, a pendulum is an object hanging by a cord attached to a fixed point that may be released to swing freely in space as gravity and inertia allow. The pendulum consists of a weight on the end of the string or cord which swings back and forth with a high degree of regularity. Pendulums are most commonly seen through their use in clocks.

The pendulum became a religious device when it was adopted for various FORTUNE TELLING purposes. Of course, its most popular use as a divinatory device is largely secular—namely, as a means of dowsing for water or other substances found in the earth. Pendulums often replace the forked sticks used by many dowsers. They have also been used for medical diagnoses (radiesthesia).

The theory behind the use of the pendulum assumes that the person using it is already sensitive to the object of the divination, and that the pendulum amplifies that sensitivity and that its movements make visible what would otherwise be invisible. In the nineteenth century, the pendulum was introduced into Spiritualism. It was believed that the spirits moved the pendulum in response to questions put to them and caused the pendulum to move in certain prearranged ways to give the answer. Commonly, answers will be limited to yes or no answers.

In the twentieth century, some people have emerged who claim that they can read the pendulum in sophisticated ways and draw from it more complicated answers than simple yes-or-no responses. It may be used for map dowsing, for instance. Pendulums, maintain some, can also point the way to desired objects by swinging them over a map, or they can provide medical data by swinging them over the picture of a person, or offer information useful in solving crimes.

Pendulums used for divination are among the items most vehemently attacked by skeptics who emphasize the lack of controlled experiments backing up the claims of those who use them in psychic contexts. In this case, the simplicity and verifiable nature of the pendulum make them ideal for experiments, while the same characteristics make them appealing to treasure hunters and those favoring alternative medical treatments.


Bentov, Itzhak, Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1988.
Hitchings, Francis. Pendulum: The Psi Connection. London: Fontana, 1977.
Olson, Dale W. Pendulum Bridge to Infinite Knowing: Beginning through Advanced Instructions. Eugene, OR: Crystalline Pub., 1996.
Webster, Richard. Pendulum Magic for Beginners: Power to Achieve All Goals. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2002.
References in classic literature ?
Was it probable that the bandage crossed my bosom in the track of the pendulum? Dreading to find my faint, and, as it seemed, in last hope frustrated, I so far elevated my head as to obtain a distinct view of my breast.
The measured movement of the pendulum disturbed them not at all.
But the stroke of the pendulum already pressed upon my bosom.
Contract Award for: Wave pendulum: This is a system of pendulums made up of 17 identical bobs suspended equally spaced on a collinear way having of different lengths causing differential periodic times.
The pendulum hardness test of a coating applied to a test panel can be carried out in accordance with the test methods using either the Persoz or Konig pendulums as described in ASTM D 4366, BS 3900 E5, DIN 53157, ISO 1522 or NF T30-016.
Kim, "Robust control for rotational inverted pendulums using output feedback sliding mode controller and disturbance observer," KSME International Journal, vol.
Sun, "Dynamics and motion control of a two pendulums driven spherical robot," in Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE/RSJ 2010 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '10), pp.
All of the pendulums were made by the same lab technician using the design suggested by Hilgers, (19) and it was verified by the lead researcher (figures 1 and 2).
Supplied complete with 2 Pendulums and 2 Check-weight.
I swooped one of the pendulums up between my fingers and made sure I stayed deathly still - to my horror, it began to vibrate.
Pendulums typically swing back and forth as a result of gravity and the rotation of the Earth.
"Pendulums of Euphoria" is her first collection of poetry, but not her first venture into literature, having a previously published novel under her belt.