While I was growing up, my parents built a cabin in the Colorado mountains—in South Park to be exact (yes, that South Park). When it came time to have the well drilled, the contractor asked if we had witched the well yet? What? What magic is this, I wondered. The driller provided us with dousing rods and gave us instructions.
The dousing rods were made out of clothes hangers, straightened into an “L” shape. We gripped the short end of the hangers, one hanger in each of my hands, with the long end pointing straight ahead. He told me to walk down the hill…and holy-cow! In about ten paces, the metal rods turned in my hands and crossed each other. Then my mom had to try, then my dad. No matter what direction we started from, when we got to “that” spot on the hill, the rods would cross. I tried to hold them so tight in my hands they wouldn't twist, but they always did.
The well contractor took into account the terrain, but drilled the well very close to where we had “witched” the well. Oh, yeah... I was hooked on paranormal.
Dousing rods, divining rods, and pendulums, work on the same principle. Something, or someone, from somewhere is providing information through the medium of a rod or a pendulum. Another theory is that our own “higher self” is controlling the divining rod and providing the requested information from our higher knowledge. Either way, when dousing for water with rods, the question is already given: where is the underground water?
A pendulum can be used, much like an Ouija board, to divine a number of different questions. To make a pendulum, all you need is a long string or chain, with a weight or bob on one end. A necklace and pendant would work just as well as the expensive, mystical pendulums you can purchase on-line.
In my Hunter stories, Hunter uses a pendulum made from his father's pocket-watch chain, an arrowhead from his grandfather and a rose quarts from his grandmother. All the items have special meaning to Hunter, and give his pendulum special qualities. Hunter uses his pendulum with maps to locate wanted fugitives for bounties or missing people.
There are any number of websites with instructions to make a pendulum and a pendulum board, or to attune a pendulum to your own specific vibrations. Rumor has it, a pendulum can be used to find missing objects, answer questions about the future, and predict the sex of your next child.
There are a hoard of websites that will teach you, convert you, and beguile you with information about divining, dousing and pendulums. As with everything, proceed with caution and with the understanding that they are all trying to sell you something. You don't need any of the fancy stuff to just have fun with a pendulum or dousing rods. And they aren't scary – unless you write it that way.