Pendulums


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Pendulums

(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.

Sources:

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.
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