The Maniacal Rantings of the Urban Crone

Bear witness to the rantings of the Urban Crone as she emparts her wisdom in her own rather quirky way.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What is a blog, really?

What is a blog?

A blog, in the simplest of terms, is a web page where an individual, or group of individuals, voice their opinion. Anyone can create a blog through any number of free sites, like this one, They do not do any sort of background check as to a person’s identity or credentials as far as the subject they are speaking on. In the case of individual blogs, like mine, there is no second or third party checking facts, or editing grammar or spelling (to my own often amused chagrin). It is just a person behind a keyboard writing their opinion on a topic.

It is hard to tell these days what is and isn’t a blog. When an individual quotes sources and includes facts, or what looks like facts, in what they write, it can often be perceived, or even be presented as a credible new article. This can sometimes be the case, if the author did their due diligence, and the information can be corroborated with other sources. In journalism, the standard (at least when I took journalism in college) is that your information should generally be able to be corroborated by three independent sources. That criteria seems to have slipped by the wayside in some cases.

With blogs that present information on Spirituality and Witchcraft, there really isn’t much in the way of criteria. In the best cases, these blogs present information as experienced by the author. These authors also understand that not everyone experiences things in the same way, and will generally try and present things in such a way where the reader can explore and interpret the information in a way that will best fit their own experience. Absolutes in blogs like these should be looked at with caution (unless it is common sense, like safety precautions). In blogs like these, the reader is relying on the integrity of the writer as to whether their information and experience are authentic.

Integrity also plays a crucial role in personal blogs. Personal blogs are those that are written to share individual experiences. They can be everything from travel diaries to actual personal diaries. These are written from the point of view of the author, as they see, experience and understand the subject of their blog post. These posts are colored by the perception and integrity of the author. There is no neutral third party standing over the author’s shoulder calling them out on a lie, or reminding them that a situation did not happen as they are writing it. It really comes down to the integrity of the author themselves. These blog posts can be entertaining, and even useful as the outside observer can often see lessons even the author misses, but should be taken with a grain of salt rather than the gospel truth.

The internet has become loaded down with blogs offering their own brands of truth and opinions. Whether it is a personal blog, a how-to blog, or a blog presented as a news article, it is important to look at the source, the motivation of the author in writing the piece, and the integrity of the author themselves. If they have written pieces in the past that have proven to be false, or at least questionable, or if the integrity of the author themselves has come under question on numerous occasions, the blog itself may not be what it is presented as. It is the reader’s responsibility to look at these things, especially if they are choosing to share the blog.

Too many opinion pieces are presented as real news articles. Too many personal blogs are shared as facts. We live in an incredible age of nonstop information, not all of which is true. It is our job to be informed readers not to take an author’s words as whole cloth truth, but to critically think for ourselves, looking at other sources and searching for the real truth within the words. In a world where anyone with internet access can now create a blog and write whatever they choose, posting it out there to the universe at large, this becomes that much more important.
By the way, this is an opinion piece, in case it wasn't clear, written by me after seeing several blogs posted as new articles, and several personal blogs posted as facts. Even if you see it on my blog, take the time to do the critical thinking for yourself. Knowledge is power. 

L. Sherman

The Urban Crone

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pendulum 101 & beyond

   Pendulums are one of the most simple, versatile and portable tools of divination today. In this workshop, we will look at what pendulums are, what they are made of and how to choose one. We will look at several ways to cleanse and program your pendulum so that they respond to you. Finally, we will have some fun by looking at the uses of Pendulums, including the use of Pendulum Boards. But, first just a tiny bit of history and background info.
   What is a Pendulum? Pendulums are, quite simply, weighted objects suspended on a chain or a length of cord. The cord or chain needs to be only about 6-8” long, enough for you to hold it comfortably, for the pendulum to be able to swing freely, and for you to be able to see the movement of the pendulum as interpreting this is how these objects are used for divination.
   Pendulum Divination, also known as radiesthesia, dowsing, or rhabdomancy, is divination by utilizing the pendulum's sensitivity to the subtle vibrational energies of the universe, as well as the unconscious and subconscious mind. There are numerous theories as to where these vibrations originate.
    One of the theories is the vibrations are from your spirit guides who act as channels for divining information. The belief is that the pendulum allows spirit guides to communicate, becoming a sacred tool to create a bridge between you and those who wait on the other side to assist your life journey.
   Another common belief is that the pendulum acts as a bridge to your subconscious mind, an intuitive connection to your higher self that harbors great wisdom and insight. Often times, we already know the answers we are seeking. We can hear the little voice in the back of our minds trying to tell us or show us, but, sometimes, we need a tool to bring that answer to the forefront where we can’t deny it. A pendulumn acts much like Tarot in this respect.
   There are also those of us who believe in the Intelligent Design theory of the universe, that a Divine entity of some sort created the universe and laid out a cosmic pattern for all things. We are all connected to the cosmic pattern of the Universe. Our unconscious minds can see how that pattern progresses into the future and, given a proper tool to work with (pendulum, Tarot, etc…), can give us a conscious indication as to what comes next in that pattern. Whatever your belief may be as to how pendulums work, they have an interesting history.
   Even though there is no distinct beginning in the history of pendulums as tools of divination, it can be traced back over 5,000 years to the ancient Orient. Some of the earliest pendulums created were made of porcelain balls affixed with a metal tip, and decorated much like the vases and other forms of artwork from this time period. The Chinese supposedly used pendulums to determine where evil spirits were hiding to chase them from the home.
   Pendulum divination/dowsing became very popular in the Middle Ages and was a favored practice of divination through to the early nineteenth century. A French priest, AbbĂ© Mermet employed the use of pendulum divination very successfully during the early 1900s. He located water, minerals and even missing people using a pendulumn and maps. The Vatican hired him to locate several lost treasures. This was especially significant since Pope John XXII banned the use of pendulums during the 1320s, declaring the answers were coming directly from the devil.
   Its popularity faded out for a period of time, perhaps due to the rise of cartomancy (Tarot and Oracle in the form of the Lenormand), but then there was a great renewal of interest in the twentieth century. In 1933, the British Society of Dowsers was formed. It is even rumored that British Intelligence used pendulums to predict Hilter's next move. There are also rumors of marines during the Vietnam War using pendulums to ferret out underground tunnels and land mines. There are many other interesting stories about pendulums throughout history. Let us move forward to the pendulums themselves.

I.             The Pendulums:

A.   Materials they are made of:

1.   Wood

a)   Usually rounded and look something like a finial from a piece of furniture, a spindle or even a dreidel.

b)   Sometimes has a metal point or tip. Make sure you know what the metal tip is made of as certain metals can ground energy and make divination harder with these tools.

2.   Glass

a)   The earliest forms of pendulums were porcelain bobs of a sort with metal tips, decorated with Asian designs.

b)   Tend to be the shape of an inverse tear drop.

c)    Loop tends to be fragile

d)   Lead crystal pendulums are glass with lead mixed in to give it weight and the prismic appearance. This is important to note since lead can ground energies and make divination harder with these tools.

e)   These can also have a metal point or tip. Make sure you know what the metal tip is made of as certain metals can ground energy and make divination harder with these tools

3.   Metal

a)   Usually made of brass, pewter, sterling silver plate, or, in rare cases, silver or gold.

b)   Solid pieces can be very heavy.

c)    Also available hollow with lids so that you can put things inside them, like taglocks.

4.   Gem Stone

a)   Can come in a variety of different stones.

b)   Also comes in a variety of different shapes like inverted pyramids, diamond, teardrop or multi-pointed stars called merkaba.

5.   Miscellaneous objects:

a)   Keys make great pendulums. Your house key can answer question regarding your home and home life. Car keys can tell us where we may be going in life.

b)   Any weighty object that can be hung by a chain or cord can be used as a pendulum. The more the object pertains to the question, the better your responses.

B.   Choosing a Pendulum:

1.   The Harry Potter effect (pendulum chooses you):

a)   You are drawn to the pendulum hanging/ instant attraction.

b)   You touch a pendulum and you can feel its vibration.

c)    You just pick it up because you think it looks cool. Nothing wrong with that. You can then fill it with your own energy and make it your own.

2.   Leashes

a)      Leash is the term I will use for what the pendulum hangs on.

b)      Your pendulum’s leash will usually be a chain or cording of some sort.

c)      It should be neither too long nor too short. Your hand should be a comfortable distance apart so that the pendulum swings freely but you still can have a good grasp on the leash. You also need to be able to see what you are doing. 6”-8” is usually the preferred length.

3.   Giving Pendulums as gifts:

a)      Pendulums do make nice gifts.

b)      Consider what types of gem stones the person likes

c)      When in doubt, go with clear quartz crystal. They are the most energetically versatile, and almost everyone responds to it.

d)      Also, choose a standard, rounded shape with a clear point. This is the easiest for people to work with.

II.          Cleansing and Programming:

A.   Cleansing:

1.   Because Pendulums, like many objects, tend to pick up energy from their surroundings, as well as retaining energy from extended use, it is important to cleanse them often.

2.   This can be accomplished by:

a)   Allowing your pendulum to spend several hours in direct sun or moon light.

b)   Giving your pendulum a little bath in salt water that has been places in a shallow dish. Some stones, metals and woods may react badly to salt water so please keep that in mind as this may not be an ideal method for your pendulum. DO NOT PUT THE LEASH IN THE WATER!! 

c)    Meditation with your pendulum.

1)   Sit in a comfortable position with your pendulum in your hands in your lap.

2)   Bring yourself to a relaxed state.

3)   Imagine that your pendulum begins to expand around you until it feels as though it is a room that is surrounding you, with large, beautiful windows.

4)   Now, imagine that this room is sort of foggy. Open the windows to clear the air.

5)   Your pendulum is now cleansed.

B.   Programming:

1.   Programming refers to placing some of your own energy into the pendulum so that:

a)   It is more responsive to you. By doing this, you are connecting yourself to your pendulum, which will promote a deeper understanding of what it is trying to tell you.

1)   Cleanse your pendulum first.

2)   Sit in a comfortable position with your pendulum in your power hand.

3)   Feel your energy moving from your center, up your body, down your arm and into your pendulum.

4)   You will know when you are done when your pendulum “feels full” either by weight or like it is sort of humming.

b)   Programming your pendulum for a specific purpose (love, money, lost objects, etc.)

1)   Cleanse your pendulum first.

2)   Sit in a comfortable position with your pendulum in your power hand.

3)   Think about what you need your pendulum to do for you.

4)   Take the energy from those thoughts and gather them into a ball.

5)   Feel that ball roll down your arm, through your power hand and into your pendulum.

6)   Your pendulum will either be sort of buzzing with this energy or feel weightier.

Note: you can use these meditative techniques to cleanse and program almost any object.

III.       Learning The Lingo

A.   Every Pendulum speaks their language. The key is for you to learn how to understand what it is saying to you.

1.   Begin by asking the pendulum a series of 6 simple yes or no questions (3 yes, 3 no) that you know the answer to.

2.   Document the movement of the pendulum for the yes questions, and the movement of the pendulum for the no questions.

3.   This establishes your base line as to what your pendulum is trying to say to you.

4.   Now, ask your pendulum 3 yes or no question that you don’t know the answer to. Make one of them really vague.

5.   Note the reaction of your pendulum.

6.   Cleanse your pendulum and repeat this process again with a different set of questions. This will give you a definitive set of guidelines as to how your pendulum responds to you.

B.   Questioning your Pendulum:

1.  Once you have learned to communicate with your pendulum, continue to keep your questions simple until you become more comfortable using it.

     2.  Once you build a relationship with your pendulum, you can move onto more complicated uses (listed below).

3.  Make sure that you are focusing your intent on your question. If you have something else on your mind while asking your question, you may not get a clear answer to your question.

C.   The When Factor:

1.  Divination is time sensitive. If you ask a question without a specific time frame, the answer you will receive will apply to your current situation.

     D. Answers are not set in stone:

1.  The answers you receive correlate directly to you current life pattern. If you receive an answer for your question, and then significantly alter your life pattern, this can render your answer obsolete.

IV.        Uses:

Now that you can understand what your pendulum is saying to you and you have gotten comfortable working with it, it is time to put it to use.

1.   Yes or No questions are the simplest, most common use.  Just make sure you are actually phrasing your questions in a way that can be answered “yes” or “no”.

2.   Making choices between small lists (like 3 or 4 things) of options.

a)   Draw a circle, taking into consideration the diameter of the swing of your pendulum. If it is too large, your pendulum may not be able to “reach” all the answers, and, therefore, not giving you the correct choice.

b)   Section the circle out into the number of choices you have.

c)    Write one choice in each section.

d)   Now, hold the pendulum in your power hand and use the programming mediation to focus your intent into the pendulum.

e)   Hold the pendulum over the circle and ask it which the best choice is for you (or something similar).

3.   Location, location, location

a)   Real estate: finding somewhere to live

1)   Print out a small map of the area you are thinking about living. Google Earth, Mapquest or similar search sites work well for this.

2)   Program your pendulum for your purpose.

3)   Hold the pendulum over the small map and watch where it is drawn to.

4)   You can print a map of a broad area and then another map that focuses on the area the pendulum indicated, repeating the process until you get a good idea of an area you would like to start in.

b)   Lost objects

1.    Program your pendulum for this purpose.

2.    Draw a map of the room you think it is in.

3.    Hold the pendulum over the map and watch how it reacts.

4.    You can also walk around the area and play a game of hot and cold if you are in tune with your pendulum. Steady your pendulum and walk slowly from area to area, watching for a reaction to a specific spot.

5.    You can also use the exercise discussed in this section under #2, making a pie chart of the different rooms of your house, even adding in your car if you are not sure.

6.    You can also make a pie chart of different places it may be, like work, home, car, boyfriend/girlfriends place, parent’s place, etc…

c)    Miscellaneous uses:

1.    Finding out the sex of a baby before it is born: This used to be a popular baby shower game, before sonograms, where the mother’s wedding band would be suspended on a string. It depended upon which old wives tale you ascribed to as to what the sex would be (round in a circle for a girl and back and forth for a boy).

2.    Determining the date of a future event: focus your intent on the event. Use one of those small pocket calendars to establish the month, and then a larger one to establish the date.

3.    Confirming a change in environmental energy. This can be used in conjunction with Feng Shui. Use the pendulum to establish where there might be an issue with then energy in your space by steadying the pendulum then walking slowly around your space (clockwise!). Look for reactions from your pendulum. You may even feel some sort of tingling from the pendulum. This may give you an indication as to blockage in the flow of energy.

4.    Pendulums can be used to balance Chakras in two ways:

The first is by using a chart that displays the Chakras, similar to this one:

    Steady the Pendulum and then ask it which Chakra needs to be balanced. Once you can determine which Chakra is out of balance, use whatever method you would normally use to bring it back to balance. The pendulum will usually show you the most out of balance Chakra first, and then progress from there.
   The second method requires some help from someone else. You would lie flat (or have the other person lie flat) and then hold the pendulum over each Chakra. Ask the pendulum if that particular Chakra is in balance. If it is not, utilize whatever method are comfortable with to bring it back into balance.
   There are those who use special pendulums to actually balance the Chakras. These are usually made with gem stones that correlate to the specific Chakras. The pendulum is steadied over the Chakra, and then allowed to move on its own. The person will then imagine the color field of the Chakra and imagine it glowing and coming back into the balance. This will actually be visually seen by the steadying of the pendulum hanging over the Chakra. This method takes a great deal of training and practice to become competent, but it is another use of the pendulum.

5.    Can be used as a complementary aid to help in diagnosing health problems by holding the pendulum over the body and using a sort of hot or cold method, or in creating a chart similar to the one above listing different systems of the body (nervous, digestive, etc…) or the body organs themselves. This should never take the place of actual health care!!

6.     Can be used to signify what area of life is out of balance. This can be done by creating a pie graph with different aspects of life or the different astrological houses similar to the chart below:

              d)   Pendulum Boards

1.    A pendulum board is similar to an Ouija or spirit board. An example would be:

2.    It generally consists of letters and number set up in a way that is conducive to the diameter of the pendulum’s swing.

3.    It can also have other symbols, such as Runes, Oghams, Astrological symbols, etc.

4.    A pendulum board should be cleansed between uses by setting it for several hours in the sun or moonlight. This will prevent residual energy from your previous session affecting your answers.

5.    When using pendulum boards:

a)   Prepare your pendulum (cleansing, programing, etc.) as if you are asking a yes or no question.

b)   Keep your questions simple enough to where is can be answered with the minimal amount of letters or words.

c)    Do not overexert your board. If you start asking your board a million questions at once or very complex questions, it will pretty much freak out and start just giving you static. Like any divinatory tool, it requires proper care.

I have a few final words about Pendulums. You should spend time with your pendulum if you really would like good, solid communication with it.  Make it a nice pouch so that you can carry it in your pocket, or wear it as a necklace. These helps your pendulum tune in and adjust to your frequency, your own personal vibrational energy. By getting your pendulum on the same wave length, so to speak, you are going to help create a clear communication link between you and your pendulum.

I hope you enjoyed this workshop and I hope you have a fun and informative future with your pendulum.


The Urban Crone

Laurie Sherman