They are commonly used in divination be seers and midwifes to predict the sex of a child, with healing modalities to help one visualize chakra energy flows, to answer yes or no questions, and “dowsing”. There are multiple ways to dowse. Some may include holding a pendulum over a chart or map to answer questions. Through out history they have been used to find things like water, gold, disease or other unseen items. This was done by holding a pendulum and asking the pendulum to swing in the direction of the lost item. They are also used as a focus item for healing,warding, clearing energies, meditation or hypnotism.
The oldest recorded pendulum use references to a time eight thousand years ago. The use of pendulums was recorded in ancient cave drawings of dowsing in Algeria. Research also shows that Chinese emperors used pendulums to predict the future. It is said that Moses used one to discover water hidden in a rock. Pendulums have fallen in and out of favor over the years. At times were even outlawed and feared.
A Pendulum swings by working in concert with human energy and the natural world around you. Mystics and Spiritists may claim that spirit or source moves the pendulum, others may suggest it is the energy flow of source. Science will tell us that our subconscious and the nerve endings in our hands will cause the movement. The mind is an extremely powerful tool. I have found through practice that our conscious and subconscious can and will effect the movement of a pendulum. With practice anyone can learn to use one effectively. It is not uncommon for a beginner to get only slight movement while another person equally as still in hand has a pendulum swinging in large swift and graceful circles. What is important is not how much a pendulum swings but how you interpret your own pendulum and its movement.
No matter what your beliefs or understanding a pendulum can be a beautiful and enjoyable metaphysical tool.