In the first article on the Wisdom of the Body I talked about ideomotor signalling in the body and how a pendulum can be used to access these signals. So now, we’ll explore how to use a pendulum.

You can use any small weight on a piece of string, cord or chain. The weight can be just about anything you can tie to a string, though something symmetrical is usually preferred, so it doesn’t wobble erratically. You want something that has weight, but that is not so heavy that your arm gets tired. A necklace with a weighted pendant will work. You can also tie a washer onto a piece of string. One of the simplest pendulums is a paper clip attached to a piece of thread, though the paper clip is a little on the light side.

Hold your pendulum with the string between the thumb and first finger. Rest your elbow on a table or against your body so your arm will not tire. For an average sized pendulum allow between 3 and 6 inches of string between your fingers and the weight. Wrap any extra string around the other fingers. This position allows free movement of the pendulum. Experiment with the movement. Swing it around with your hand. If it’s too fast and erratic, you can lengthen the string. If it responds too slowly, shorten it. With practice, you’ll find a length that feels comfortable to you.

Pendulum use starts with the weight moving in a neutral position, one that doesn’t have any meaning. For now, a diagonal movement will be neutral, though it doesn’t matter which movement is chosen. Swing the pendulum in the direction of one of the diagonals and rest your mind on this movement so that it keeps swinging this way. Say to yourself either aloud or in your mind, “Neutral position.”

Enjoy this movement for a minute or so. As you watch the movement of the pendulum, your breathing can relax and your awareness may shift into a light trance. This simple movement can be relaxing and meditative. You can allow your mind to begin shifting out of conscious dominance into a more receptive frame of mind. It takes a very slight effort to keep the pendulum oscillating in this neutral position. There are muscles involved, but with practice, you can turn those muscles over to your unconscious.

Your awareness can shift to a more passive mode. You might imagine you are watching a pendulum being held in someone else’s hand.If it slows down altogether and stops, then give it more energy. You do want enough movement to be easily recognizable. From this position you can begin exploring “yes” and “no” responses.

Close your eyes while holding the pendulum and allowing it to swing.

Bring to mind a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed and safe. Allow the feeling of that safe, comfortable place to return to your awareness. Remember what you sensed when you were there. Let all those positive feelings come back into your body. Enjoy them.

When you have a strong physical sense of this comfortable place, then say to yourself, “Yes.” This is a place where your whole being says, “Yes.” Your conscious and unconscious agree. Say and feel, “Yes,” throughout your whole body and mind. Now, gently open your eyes while keeping the feeling of “Yes” in your body. In fact, as you open your eyes, imagine the feeling of “Yes” and the word “Yes” are more important than what you see with your eyes.

Then with a soft gaze, watch the pendulum and allow your feelings to be your primary focus. Be aware how it’s moving. Enjoy the movement. The way the pendulum is moving is connected to your feeling of “Yes.” As you watch it, say, “Yes” in your mind. Since every muscle in your body resonates with the yes place you imagine, the way it is moving is your “Yes” response right now.

However your pendulum is moving, enjoy it. As you watch it, notice how it focuses your conscious mind. Continue thinking, “Yes” in your mind every once in a while. Continue remembering the feeling of your “Yes” place. You may feel your conscious mind partially controlling these movements. When you’re learning to access your unconscious, the conscious mind may be involved. If you enjoy its movement and allow it move through you, it will gradually become a more natural, automatic process..

If your pendulum is still or moving very slightly, then it might be helpful to make a stronger connection to your positive feelings. It actually takes effort to be completely still, so you may actually be holding yourself back. Let yourself breathe. Let the sense of your “Yes” place flow through you. The “Yes” feeling can move in your body as you become alive with it. Your hand or arm may move. That’s fine. Allow it. Don’t resist your feelings. In order to feel good and comfortable you have to let go a little. Letting go isn’t always about being still. Sometimes it’s an active process.

Once you recognize a “Yes” movement in your pendulum allow it to go back to neutral. Just change the movement consciously by moving your hand until it’s swinging in the diagonal position again. If your “Yes” feeling was a diagonal, then pick a different movement for your neutral position, perhaps the other diagonal. Make the pendulum swing in that neutral position and say, “Neutral” in your mind.

Once you’re back in neutral, then close your eyes. Remember a place or a situation that you don’t like. Remember the experience with all your senses. Again, take your time to really feel it. When you feel it strongly in your body, say to yourself, “No. This is my No feeling.” Repeat the word in your mind and body as you feel the “No” feeling. Then again, gradually open your eyes, while holding the feeling in your mind and body and passively observe the pendulum. Passively watch the feeling that has manifested in your pendulum. Enjoy the clear communication of your unconscious saying, “No,” and repeat that “No” to yourself.

If you want a stronger response, say and feel “No” louder inside yourself. Remember, sometimes it’s important to say “No” to protect yourself, or to stand your ground. It might be helpful to remember a time when you said “No” in a personally empowered way. You can also ask yourself a question where you know the answer is “No.” “Do I live in Bangkok?” (Assuming you don’t...) Then say “No” to yourself with confidence.

If you had difficulty getting a response with your pendulum, it may help to tell yourself, “It’s OK to relax and let go just to see what happens.” If you feel your conscious mind is partially controlling the pendulum, that’s OK. You can initiate the process consciously and learn how it feels. With practice, you can have a more reliable connection to your unconscious.

Also, for many people the “No” response is very small or sometimes nonexistent. Many of us haven’t learned how to say, “No” from a place of personal strength. If you have small “No” response, tell yourself, “It’s OK to say no!” Saying “No” is a healthy way to take care of yourself. Another reason you may have a still response to “No,” is because that’s how you say “No.” You may get still or freeze. If this happens to you, then encourage yourself to fully express your “No.” Again, remind yourself it is important to say No. No movement may be an accurate “No” response from your pendulum.

Once you have established basic “Yes” and “No” responses with your pendulum, you can ask yourself a question and see how your unconscious responds. Set your pendulum swinging in the neutral position. Then ask a “Yes” or “No” question to which you will get some feedback in the near future. For example, you could ask, “Do I have mail today?” or “Is (a friend) home now?” Then let go of the question, relax, stay passive, and observe any changes that manifest in your pendulum. Take your time. Watch and enjoy the movement.

Be curious, relaxed and open. When you see it begin to change, give it time, and watch the movement again as if it were someone else hand holding it. When you’ve received an answer, write it down. Then go get your feedback. Call that person or check your mail. Feedback is important.

This article is excerpted from the book: A Joyful Intuition by Patrick Marsolek

Author's Bio: 

Patrick Marsolek has been lecturing and teaching practical, hands-on classes using these intuitive tools to individuals from all walks of life. He has shown businesses, individuals and families how to use these proven techniques effectively and compassionately and how to access untapped resources for growth and effectiveness for over 15 years. He is a practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist, the author of "A Joyful Intuition" and “Transform Yourself: A self-hypnosis manual,” as well as a series of self-empowerment audio recordings.