Pendulum Doesn’t Move


Written by Nigel Percy


When The Dowsing Pendulum Doesn't Move

This is a common problem for beginner dowsers. They have purchased a nice dowsing pendulum but then, when they ask a question and hold it, nothing happens! The pendulum doesn’t move. Is the pendulum broken or are they doing something wrong or does dowsing simply not work? These are the typical sorts of things which go through their minds at such a time.

But, fear not for help is at hand.

The main problem is that new dowsers tend to think, consciously or not, that their brand new pendulum is much more magical than it really is. They tend to think that the real power of dowsing is in the tool, not in themselves. This leads them to think that, if they simply dangle the pendulum straight down from their fingers, it will move in some mystical fashion whenever they ask a question.

The truth, however, is that the real power of dowsing lies in the dowser, never the tool. It is the tool which reacts to the dowser’s movements. By itself, it does nothing. Therefore, if you hold a pendulum motionless from your fingertips, it will take a long time to move because it needs a bigger ‘push’ from the dowser to get it moving.

It will also need a big ‘push’ if the pendulum is dangling from a long chain. The longer the chain is the more slowly it will react. Remember: a long chain means a long time to respond and a slow movement when it does. Think of a grandfather clock. The long pendulum doesn’t whizz from side to side, but is slow and stately.

Therefore, a shorter chain will mean a faster response and a quicker movement.

But there is still one element missing to fully resolve the problem.

Why start with a pendulum which is motionless? It makes far more sense to have the pendulum moving to begin with. That way it will move much more quickly to indicate a response.

In order for this to work, you have to know which are your movements for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ so that you can have the pendulum swinging in a way which is neither of those. Let’s call that the ‘neutral’ swing: neither one thing nor the other. Suppose your ‘yes’ was to and fro and your ‘no’ was side to side, then a circular motion would be a good ‘neutral’ swing. Adjust it to what makes sense for you.

One other thing about having a short chain and a moving pendulum to begin with is that this is far less tiring for your arm than having a long chain and waiting for any movement to happen.

So, what you need to do if your pendulum doesn’t move is to shorten the chain length to maybe two inches or so, and have it moving as you ask your question.

Has something like this ever happened to you? How did you overcome it? Let us know in the comments section below



  1. Jorge Rivas

    Thanks for the article, Nigel. It was very informative as usual. I’ve been dowsing for many years. When I use a pendulum I always start with a diagonal (neutral) motion. My problem is that even with a “jump start,” I will often not get a response using a pendulum, i.e, the pendulum will freeze. The same holds true for hand dowsing–my fingers will freeze up. I believe it has to do with energy fluctuations or interferences to which I am sensitive. I have found that, by far, the best, most accurate, reliable dowsing tool is the L-rod. To date, I have not had any such problems with the L-rods. They seem to resonate with me better than other tools. Hope this helps.

    • Nigel Percy

      Yes, everyone will find that one tool works better for them. The trick is finding it, of course. If pendulums aren’t your thing, then try l-rods. But everyone will be able to dowse without a device at all. There are so many variations that one or more will work. Just another example of how dowsing is really something which anyone can do…

      • Eliza

        What is a L rod? Thanks

        • Nigel Percy

          It is an L-shaped rod, which can be made from various metals. Some of them can be very fancy with handles or adjustable pivot points or very plain. If you enter “l rod” (without the quotes) in the search box, you will find there are numerous articles on this site (some with videos) on this subject.

  2. CK

    This was very helpful working much better now, thank you

    • Nigel Percy


  3. Jorge Rivas

    Thanks for the update. You’re absolutely right! The power is in the dowser, not the tool. Frozen tools are no longer a problem for me. Through meditation, acupressure to open the “third eye,” natural hypnosis, etc., I get consistent readings. Dowsing works beautifully on medical issues (myself & family). However, I have problems getting accurate readings on the trustworthiness of people, etc. We have been scammed by people who dowsed okay. What am I doing wrong?

    • Nigel Percy

      First, glad that dowsing tools are working well for you. Secondly, my guess is that it is to do with the question. It can be tricky asking exactly what you want in such situations and then there’s the added issue of emotional involvement. You prefer one answer over another and that can tilt it. And for those reading this answer later, if you’re dowsing about people who interact with you and you want to know if that’s going to turn out well or not from your point of view, then it’s about you and you don’t need permission.

  4. KHall

    Wow, this is some good stuff! I am new to dowsing and dealing with these same issues! Great questions too. Thank you for posting!!

    • Nigel Percy

      Glad you like it!


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