The following is adapted from a chapter in “Occult Dangers Explained Safely” by Doug Harris and is available from Reachout Trust.
On the Mystical World Wide Web we read the following concerning the history of the pendulum.
“Dowsing is reported to date back approximately 7000 years but origins are still unknown. It is accepted, however, that the Egyptians used images of forked rods in some of their artwork as did the Ancient Chinese kings. In Europe, it was known for dowsing to be used in the Middle Ages to find coal deposits. Since this time people have dowsed for everything from lost objects to missing people, some of them are reported to be very accurate although the scientific community as a whole have yet to decide if they support or refute this ability. Some people earn money by advising mining companies before they carry out test drilling/core sample.”
This is the type of practice that people conclude is innocent fun, and that there can be no connection between the needle on a bit of string and the occult.
Further investigation shows that things are not as clear as all that. For instance, one course on learning how to use the pendulum gives as an example of the benefits the ability to receive information from spirit guides. (Interlink, Kansas State, USA.) Another example is that in the history of the development of the Ouija board Gruss tells us,
“Fourth-century Byzantine historian Ammianus Marcellinus records one of the earliest detailed accounts of divination, which used a pendulum and a dish engraved with the alphabet.” – The Ouija Board, Edmund Gruss, p.9.
The Encyclopaedia of the Occult also informs us that divination is,
“The method of obtaining knowledge of the unknown or the future by means of omens… The derivation of the word supposes a direct message from the gods to the diviner… The methods of divination are many and various, and strangely enough in their variety are confined to no one corner of the globe.” – Spence, pp.125/126.
The following information is found on the Psitronics Visions Inc web site and again gives some interesting insights into the history and practice of the pendulum.
“Since ancient times diviners and oracles have been highly honored for their psychic ability to predict the future. Their messages were perceived to be given by divine inspiration, usually through the response of certain objects. (ie pendulums) The renowned Greek Oracles at Delphi maintained a strong influence over the people for centuries, even changing the direction of history… The power of divining unknown for future information is a natural ability we all have. By using an instrument or tool as an indicating device we can directly access information held in the subconscious mind… The success of divining for information is largely dependent upon three things; the skill of the seeker, the sensitivity of the tools used, and how the request is made. Divining skill is achieved by practice, patience and learning to disassociate… Disassociate by using the psychic breath. (focus your awareness between your eyes, take a deep breath and step backward into your head, focusing inward, letting go of the conscious mind controller as you exhale.) Usually three breaths is enough; one breath will do it when you become skilled. When your conscious mind-chatter stills, and you feel yourself expand, you are in your psychic-subconscious space.”
In the light of the above, we conclude that this is not a harmless practice. At best, it is delving into our unknown psyche and allowing the swing of an object to decide major decisions in our life. At worst, we are being instructed by evil supernatural powers. Either way it is a road to avoid because the former can bring us into the bondage of superstitions and the latter into the bondage of evil spirits.
The dowsing rod also comes into this category. Many feel it is a harmless activity and that the power to move the rod to find water, minerals etc., in the ground is latent within man. The history of the subject does not give cause for such confidence.
“This ancient diving rod was a form of rhabdomancy or divination by means of little pieces of stick. In Germany it was known as the “wishing-rod” and was used just as fortune tellers use cards, coffee or tea-grounds at the present day… As to theory for these movements… A modern scientist gives his opinion that very possibly it is due to a faculty in the “dowser” akin to that possessed by a medium: “some transcendental perceptive power unconsciously possessed by certain persons, a faculty analogous to what is called clairvoyance.” – Spence, p.128.
This connection is further established by a Pendulum Divining Kit called the Oracle that can be purchased over the Internet for just $49.95. The advertisement shows seven possible combinations of the same rod and the different descriptions show clearly the connection between all forms of pendulum swinging and dowsing. Below we give a selection of these descriptions.
“The Spring Pendulum. The most energy-sensitive divining device in the world today. So little movement of the arm is required, it almost operates by telekinesis. Gives direct access to the subconscious mind and the common consciousness. Uses: predict stock market; lottery; resolve relationship questions; diagnose health problems; make decisions affecting your life. Mini L-Rod. Handy for directional dowsing, water, maps, pipes, minerals, locating lost articles, percentages, entity detection, etc. Wand Pendulum. Highly sensitive chain pendulum for divining, dowsing, map dowsing, yes/no answers, lottery numbers, financial info, entity detection, etc.”