Troubleshooting Pendulum Problems

If you're doing everything right, but you still get funky, contradictory, or unclear responses from your pendulum, don't be discouraged. Below are specific things to look at to help you get to the root of the matter.

First have a look at our Tips for Successful Pendulum Use page. If you still have trouble getting your pendulum to cooperate, here's a list to help you troubleshoot the problem:

  1. Is the pendulum properly programmed for yes/no answers? Are you consistent in the way you use or read the "yes", "no", and "maybe" signals? If not, reprogram the pendulum's yes/no/maybe signals and try again. Consistent programming is the number one thing that you can do to facilitate clear answers.
  2. Is your question clearly stated? Can your question be answered with a simple yes or no? Try rephrasing the question. Be succinct and specific. If you need to, break it down into several questions rather than one big question. Remember - don't use the words "should" or "supposed to" in your questions. See the Tips page for more information about phrasing.
  3. What is your current mind-set? Are you emotional, distracted or tired? Is this the right time to ask this (these) question(s)? If it isn't the right time, try again later.
  4. Did you specify the source? Remember - at the beginning of each pendulum session, you need specify the source of your pendulum's answers.
  5. Are you grounded?
  6. What is your posture? If seated, are your feet flat on the floor? Are your legs uncrossed? Can you place your elbow on a table? Try modifying the angle of your wrist.
  7. Are you physically comfortable? Do you feel balanced? Can you shift your weight or stance so that you are? 
  8. Are you hydrated? If you're thirsty, then you're dehydrated. Drink a glass of water.
  9. What's your body's polarity? Are you in harmony with the earth's magnetic field (polarity)?
  10. Does the energy in your pendulum need to be cleansed? Pendulums made with natural stones and crystals absorb the energy around them and can hold on to that energy for a long time. In most cases the energy stored in your pendulum is beneficial, but if there's a buildup of negativity or old energy in the stones, it can interfere with the pendulum's effectiveness. I recommend you cleanse a pendulum before using it the first time and then periodically after that. (In fact it's a good idea to cleanse the energy in all of your healing stones and crystals.)
  11. What's going on in your environment? Are there energies present that may be interfering or influencing? Can you cleanse these energies with a visualized white shower of light or with a smudge stick? If not, can you relocate?
  12. Are you too still? If so, loosen up. If the pendulum is stock-still, or completely unresponsive - try shrugging your shoulders. Let natural momentum take over and allow the pendulum to move in response to the shoulder shrug. The swing that occurs will evolve into a signal if you give it time.
  13. Is the pendulum's chain the correct length for you? This will vary from person to person and you may need to experiment with your pendulum to find out what the optimal length is for you. If your pendulum's chain is too long, the pendulum may respond too slowly for your liking. If this is the case, try grasping it further down the chain (instead of at the very top). If it's too short (say, less than 3 inches), the pendulum can be too wiggly and fast - making it hard to read the signals. If that's the case you'll want to try a pendulum with a longer chain. Even the difference of an inch can change a pendulum's responsiveness and your ability to read its signals.

General Limitations

  1. Are you trying to predict the future? While you can use your pendulum to predict the future, it will read the future as it is only at the moment you inquire about it. Predicting future events is one of the most difficult tasks you can ask of your pendulum. The future is not written in stone. It is in flux and everything we do at this moment affects what comes later. So yes, you can predict the future, but the future may change before the predicted outcome arrives. You can ask on Monday about events that are to occur on Tuesday and your pendulum might get it exactly right, but something (even just asking the question) may modify the result between the time you made your inquiry and the time of the event, rendering the prediction worthless. Pendulums are well suited to reading "what is" and much less adept at reading "what will be".
  2. Do you have permission to inquire? Some people are surprised to learn that a pendulum does not provide free access into the hearts or minds of other people. To gain access to the inner life of another person, you must have their permission, and even then, results can be unpredictable. The person may say they give their permission, but in fact may unknowingly (or secretly) withhold it. This is especially true in matters of the heart. Here's an example: Instead of asking your pendulum, "Does Johnny truly love me?", ask it, "Am I correct to believe Johnny when he says that he truly loves me?". This may seem like a subtle distinction, but it may get you two different answers. If you always ask the question with yourself at the center, permission is granted (by you).
  3. Is this a good pendulum? Sometimes it's simply the tool that is the obstacle. You can verify this by trying a different pendulum to see if you get different results. The following questions are for you to answer (if you can), without using the pendulum. By the way, if you got your pendulum from AYP, the answer to the following questions is yes on all three.
    • Do you know if your pendulum was created or obtained with integrity?
    • Are the materials in the pendulum safe¬† (is it nickle, lead and/or cadmium free)?
    • Is the weight-stone physically balanced?

Lastly, pendulums made with base metals (also called "pot metal") can be problematic. If you are using a hand-me-down pendulum or one of unknown origin and you've tried everything you can to resolve the problem but you're still getting skewed results, it may be time to retire the trouble-maker and start fresh with a new pendulum.

Important NOTICE: This information is copyrighted by Eva Browning, 2009-2018. Feel free to print out for personal use or to share with a study group. If you want to reprint or republish these instructions - in whole or in part - you must first obtain my written consent. If you would like to link to this page, no permission needed.