Pendulum movements

Written by Nigel Percy

It's An Old Question

One of the questions we keep getting asked has to do with the dowser's pendulum movements.

Typically, the question is something along the lines of, ‘I asked a question but the pendulum moved in a different way. What does that mean?' This supposes that when you use your pendulum, it tends to move one way for a ‘Yes' and another way for a ‘No'. And then, suddenly, there's a new movement!

Of course, the first question you are going to ask is, ‘What does it mean?' But the SECOND you thing you should do is not a complaint aimed at the universe in general, but a question, a dowsing question, aimed at your dowsing skill in particular.

Pendulum movements: Possible reasons

It should be something along the lines of , ‘Does this new movement mean X?', where ‘X' could be any one of the following:

  • Wrong question
  • Poor question
  • Don't know
  • No answer at this time
  • You don't have the ability to deal with this information now
  • You need to rest, not dowse
  • You're not in a dowsing state
  • Interference
  • None of your business
  • Other


I'll give brief explanations of the ones I've listed above to help you understand the variety of possible ways in which you could be getting useful information.

Wrong question might mean that, for what you are dowsing about, the question actually doesn't make much sense, even though it is a well-constructed one.

Poor question probably means that the question is inadequate for what you are trying to discover.

Don't know means exactly that.

No answer now means the answer is simply not accessible now, but it might be available later on. You can dowse that as well!

You don't have the ability…. means that your present level of understanding of the topic being dowsed about is insufficient for you to be able to understand the answer.

You need to rest, not dowse, is your own body's way of telling you that you've done enough right now and it's time to step back and re-group before doing anything else.

You're not in a dowsing state means just that.

Interference could be from a variety of things. From geopathic stress affecting you, to other, more complex issues, perhaps involving other people or other forms of consciousness. This would probably be just the starting point for more dowsing to uncover the issue and deal with it.

None of your business means that your question may be unethical. You should not dowse about other people without their verbal permission.

If you get ‘Other', then that's also the start of a whole chain of dowsing to find out what is going on. But at least, you'll be on the road to finding out why your pendulum has made a new and strange movement.

Has this happened to you, suddenly the pendulum movements changed? What did you do? Why not help others and share your experiences in the comments section below?

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  1. Sue

    I’ve been taking classes from an intuitive healer. She showed us how to diagnose chakras. When anyone holds a pendulum over my chakras the pendulum can hardly be held onto. It bounces up and down. She said I’m receiving a message from the divine. But, it keeps happening day after day. Once in a great while it will swing in a circle. Am I really in touch with the divine, or do you think it’s something else?

    • Nigel Percy

      Firstly, I like to think that we are all touch with the divine. As for the pendulum motions over your chakras, that’s harder to answer. Are you saying that the same movement exists over each of the seven chakras or only one or two? Does this happen every time and, if so, is there something which could explain it, such as your emotional state, something you ate, something you are focused on or something like that? Does it happen no matter who holds the pendulum? It’s also possible that when it happens you could be above a geopathic stress zone and that is what is being picked up. If you know someone who can dowse, and dowse well, then perhaps they could help by asking questions about what is going on, starting from a blank slate and assuming nothing at all, including any relationship with the divine. Not knowing exactly what is happening makes it difficult to help much from here.
      I have never come across a situation where all the chakras respond in such a manner so I am not able to be much assistance sadly. However, if you do finally discover what it is all about, please add to these comments with the details, if that feels a good thing to do.
      One final thought. Let’s say that there is something going on with something (call it the divine or whatever). Have you experienced anything unusual physically, mentally or emotionally which might explain it to a degree either personally or in your environment?
      That’s all I can think of at the moment.

      • Sarah Stevens

        Hi back to you,

        You’ve asked many question and I genuinely feel like you would like an answer.

        Firstly, yes your emotional state does have a lot to do with it. Sometimes a person can be in a low vibration (intoxicated, depressed, upset, feeling vengeful). Without tools, our bodies react in ways that may seem strange because of environmental, emotional, destructive distress. Just like with prayers, if your possibly emotionally unstable, not much is going to happen there. Pendulum uses energy from the body. As with my pendulum there is a clear, yes, no, I dont know. If it is somehow not coroperting with a person then my practice and belief is to stop that, also to cleanse and reset intentions.
        As for dowsing the chakras. Each Chakra has its own energy. For example, your heart is much different from you mind. Your mind, example; uses negative thoughts for survival purposes whilst the heart is more gentle.
        It’s best to not dowse over someone’s chakra. Using energy from stones or crystals is much safer as the person has the control over one’s energy vs someone else. Pendulum are pretty consistent. Even if someone is using it close to their heart, the intentions stays focused. Much like our modern technology today, Alexa turns on when needed for that single purpose. It’s an amazing tool that should not be taken lightly. Not everyone will be able to pick a pendulum and dowse. Although anyone can pick up one to have basic question, answered. “is my name this” “does he/she/them like me”….
        But if someone inexperienced tries to directly speak with a higher divinity then it’s likely that it will reject that energy. It may goes in different direction, not being clear when asking. You’ll know when. And lastly, have I personally felt something unusual? No. I use it the same way I would with mediation. I really make sure to clear my energy, come from a good place within, and set my intentions. For me, my most intense divine experiences come from my dreams. That’s another topic for another time. There is a reason why it’s called the occult, the secrets. We are not all suppose to know all things. There’s a healthy difference between a scientist, doctor, nurse, pharmacist for good reason. As I stated before, not everyone should just play around with tools. It should be respected.

  2. Linda Rodenbaugh

    I have a friend that is gifted to speaking with spirits. I am going through a difficult time my pendulum says on thing but I feel she see something else. I am new at this. Also she feels that it’s going to a different realm and is concerned. I bless myself and ask for good spirits. Is there anything to be concerned about.

    • Maggie Percy

      Please do not confuse dowsing with channeling. Channeling requires proper training, or it can be dangerous. Dowsing is NOT channeling. You are NOT asking an advanced being for answers to your questions. It is focused intuition, which obviously is safe and totally different. Dowsing is a skill, and as such, to be done right requires proper technique. It’s a shame people think you can just pick up a pendulum and if you get a yes or no answer, you are dowsing. There is much more to it than that. Our course is a must for anyone who wants to learn proper dowsing technique. See the course page on this site. But first, please check out the many articles and videos on this free site to learn what dowsing is and is not, and thus decide if you really want to learn dowsing, or perhaps prefer to study channeling. Good luck!

  3. Jennifer


    I got my pendulum a few years ago and asked it what was “yes” and what was “no”. It answered. Sometimes I’d go long periods of not using it so I’d forget what the yes and no notions were, but it always went in circles.

    The other day I used it and asked again what was yes, and it sung back and forth. For no, sideways. Which to me, was really odd.

    Is this normal? Or is my pendulum trying to tell me something?



    • Nigel Percy

      I’ve found that it’s quite common to observe a change in what is a ‘yes’ and ‘no’. For me, for example, it started out as swinging in circles clockwise and anti-clockwise. The it changed to up and down or yes and side to side for no and then finally, up and down for yes but only a slight angle for no.
      The only really important thing is whether you know which is which.
      Hope that helps!

  4. Sarah S

    This did happen to me recently. I pondered it for 2 days after. My pendulum and I are very connected. I often use the crystal in meditation. There?s a clear yes, no, I don?t know, counterclockwise wise cleanse. It went in a direction that my pendulum has never used before. The first thought was, ?I shouldn?t go down that road.? But now I want to prepare myself to understanding my question deeper, as I believe I may not have been ready to accept that knowledge. Sometimes that is the answer. ?You?re not ready?. With time that answer will come to you. Being confident enough in others abilities, the answer will come when you are ready.

  5. pamela

    Recently I visited an amazing place in France. It’s the site of a meteorite hit 20 million years ago! Walking around the lake I held out my pendulum and with no questions it spun frantically (like a helicopter) with the chain touching my fingers. I took this behaviour as showing massive energy. Have you experienced this?

    A quick question…why when using my pendulum, when I clearly know ‘yes’ moving in a circular anti-clockwise motion does it sometimes move clockwise?

    • Nigel Percy

      I haven’t experienced exactly the same thing as you. However with both that experience and your question, the next step to take would be to ask questions as to what is happening or what such movements represent.

  6. Mimi

    My sister and I are very new to this. Our pendulum started to move subtly out of no where. We tried to debunk it, but we couldn’t. We asked a few questions to any potential spirits, waited for a while, and got nothing. Becuase we are new, the only thing we had was sun water to sprinkle in the room (just for something positive). As I was sprinkling the sun water, the pendulum started swinging from left to right, then clockwise. Hoping someone knows what this means, and if you have any criticism, my sister and I are very open to hear it. Thank you!

    • Nigel Percy

      Thanks for asking. Firstly, I think you should understand that dowsing is about asking questions your rational mind cannot answer and then being in the right frame of mind to receive the answers. In other words, there is a purpose to what you do. It would seem, from what you have written, that these are not the steps you went through. For example, asking spirits for answers is channeling not dowsing. Also, if you are holding the pendulum and it begins to move then it does so because you are making it move. Only very, very small movements of your arm muscles are needed to make it happen, so that you can be unaware of it and it looks like it’s happening on its own, but it isn’t.
      This website has a huge amount of information available, so please take advantage of it and browse. Amongst some of the articles I would suggest this one about the dowsing state of mind, and this one about asking good questions.
      We have written quite a few books about dowsing, which you can see at our other website, In addition, we also offer an excellent course to get you dowsing well and accurately. You can find out more about that on this page.
      I hope this helps you get a better focus on what is possible with dowsing.


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