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11 December 2012 @ 10:24 am
YaaD Work: Class 12: Specialties: Pendulums  
This is one of the reflection papers I wrote as part of my Year and a Day (YaaD) of study with Fieldhaven Coven.

The question is drawn from the Greenhaven Tradition; the YaaD course is not published on the Greenhaven Tradition website, but is made available on a person-to-person basis. Material that is not so closely held is available at http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/

Class 12, Paper 2b (after class discussion): Choose a skill that you don’t have but would like to have. Do something to explore it – read a book, attend a workshop or lecture, take a lesson with someone more experienced, work with a kit from the craft store, etc. – and see how much you can learn. Write a one-page report on your experiences.

Note: Divination wasn't one of the skills I said I should want to learn, but since I went to the class, I was expected to write a paper on it.

Assignment submitted October 7, 2012

Writing Assignment: YaaD Class 12 - Specialties

I heard about and decided to attend what was advertised as a two-hour workshop on pendulums at a new metaphysical store in Knoxville. First impressions: the store needs more merchandise and the presenter needs more experience. She didn't introduce herself or provide any background, her presentation consisted of reading out loud the text of the handout, and the class ran about 25 minutes. There was no demonstration or hands-on time. And when I look at the sites she listed as sources, I see that her most of her presentation consisted of copying interesting paragraphs word-for-word.

Participants were given the opportunity to pick from a selection of wire-wrapped stones and have them attached to a chain to make a pendulum, so I now have an approximately teardrop-shaped piece of what I assume is quartz.

I did learn a bit about the history of pendulums:
  • They have been used in many cultures around the world. The earliest recorded use of pendulums was in Egypt, and given that Egypt was a crossroads, travelers could have spread the information to many other countries.
  • They can be made of almost anything, from "a bit of sticky rice and a human hair" to wood, metal, or gemstones.
  • Pendulums can be used for dowsing as well as for divination, and some dowsers (whether using a pendulum or another device) are reputed to be very accurate.
  • A pendulum can be used by itself (with the direction of swing indicating yes, no, or unsure) or over a layout of some sort.
  • A common folk use of pendulum divination is determining the sex and due date of unborn babies. (One participant commented that his "very Christian grandma always used a needle and thread to find out what the baby was going to be and when it would born, she was always right, and she'd have smacked [him] upside the head if [he] had told her she was doing witchcraft.")
  • Some people attribute the outcome of pendulum dowsing or divining to and "ideomotor response"; that is, the tiny muscles in the fingers responding to unconscious impressions. Others claim that it's based on electromagnetic fields.

And I learned a bit about how to use pendulums:
  • Calm the mind using whatever technique works.
  • Hold the chain between the thumb and forefinger of the dominant hand and wait for the pendulum to stop swinging. It may be helpful to rest the elbow on a table or other steady surface.
  • If not using a chart, it may be helpful to begin a session by asking, "Show me yes," "Show me no," and "Show me maybe." (Suggested by a participant.)
  • It is generally better to ask simple questions rather than complex ones, and to keep asking questions to refine the answer.
  • It is generally helpful to record the questions and answers in a journal so they can be referred to over time.

Overall, I learned a bit and am glad I went. I chatted briefly with people I didn't know, but wouldn't call it serious networking.

Sample pendulum chart pictures from workshop handout