The Everyday Lore Project

25 September 2020 – Dowsing

25 September 2020 – Dowsing

Sitting down to write this tonight was like pulling teeth. Even now I’m tempted just give bullet points. Anyhow, tonight I trained my pendulum (not a euphemism). When the dowsing craze swept my secondary school in the late 80s, I don’t remember doing anything so formal. All we did was park ourselves on the playing field and ask if we were going to snog such and such. But no, the correct thing to do when one wants to dowse is to show your pendulum who’s boss. Just call me the Barbara Woodhouse of the swinging world. Or perhaps on second thoughts, don’t.

I found my pendulum in an old jewellery box a couple of months ago. I think I used to wear it but I have no memory of even seeing it before. But it was perfect, well balanced and symmetrical. So it did for this experiment. The craic is you can use a pendulum to divine all manner of things. It can answer questions, it can find things and it can even tell you when you’re playing silly buggers. 

First, according to one source, you have to cleanse your pendulum by exposing it to sunlight. So it’s been hanging from my blinds for two days near the bees. Given the infrequency of the sun at the moment, I thought I should leave it up for a bit. Second, you have to infuse it with your energy. So I set my timer and sat, eyes closed, pendulum clasped, until the cat leapt on my lap and then it became a half human half purring infusion.

Next you have to politely ask your pendulum to show you its responses to yes, no, search and daft question. I had to do this a couple of times as I kept losing concentration, something to do with the fatberg rumbling on my lap. But eventually, yes revealed itself as widdershins, no as sunwise, daft question as swinging to and from me, and search refused to play until I asked it to search for something then it swung in that direction. So now I had my base line, I could start asking questions.

That bit was fun. And really interesting. Sometimes I’d ask a series of questions and the pendulum would circle one way and then reverse. I’m under no illusion that I was holding the thong immobile, but I was still impressed when it did actually show me where to find something I thought I’d lost. 

To finish I asked it a specific question about something coming up which is touch and go. From previous experiments, I’ve found it’s advisable to ask something measurable. And I’ve tucked the answer up my sleeve for safe keeping, so we shall see. 

Star-wise, two out the front and five out the back tonight. Although I have a suspicion I might have included Venus in my count. 


Struthers, J. (2007) The Psychic’s Bible, London, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

2 comments on “25 September 2020 – Dowsing”

  1. Glorious Barbara says:

    How exactly did you hold your thong, then?

    1. Possibly a tad wobbly, it being the end of a very long week and the cat on my lap!

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