When I was a nurse working in labor and delivery, I worked with this one nurse's aid, Connie, who was older than Moses and looked liked it, too. Connie had the uncanny ability of being able to predict whether the baby to be born would be a boy or girl.

Now, you need to remember, these were the days before the joys of modern medicine allowed us to be peeping Tom's at the unborn's private parts. After having worked with her three years, she finally trusted me enough to tell me how see did it.

"There are a couple of ways," Connie said. The first way to predict the sex of an unborn child, was to look at the woman's belly, and if it was shaped like a basketball, it would be a girl; shaped like a football, and it would be a boy.

The second way, which was used before the woman was obviously pregnant, was by use of the pendulum. This is how she taught me:

You take the woman's wedding ring, and string it through a string. Holding the string so that the ring is just above the woman's inner wrist, you "still" the ring so that it doesn't move. Soon, the ring will begin to move, either round and round or back and forth. Round and round is a girl, so Connie taught me, back and forth, it's a boy. You can even predict future children this way, she said, by waiting and watching - when you've reached the end, the motion will stop. Supposedly, this works for men as well.

Well, we tried it on me, I strung my wedding ring through a string, held it over my wrist, and stilled it. The first motion was clear..... round and round - a girl! Well I already had a girl, who at the time was four. Then the motion stopped, and went back and forth. The next one will be a boy! The motion stopped again, and went round and round. Another girl! Then, just as Connie had predicted, the motion ceased all together.

That was 10 years ago, I'm divorced now, and if I'm going to have two more children, I'd wish they'd hurry on along because I'm getting old!

That was my first introduction to the use of pendulums. The use of pendulums for divination purposes have been around since the dawn of time. Dowsing, or the use of divining sticks to find water or minerals underground, is a form of pendulum. The most common pendulum you'll find now, looks kind of like a plumber's bob on the end of a short chain.

What are pendulums used for? Pendulums are used in many ways; the most often are to find minerals and water; to find simple "yes" or "no" answers to specific questions; or to determine sex of a child. In essence, a pendulum is simply a tool used to open up your own intuitive thinking. They were used extensively during Cleopatra's time, and were used even by certain Marines during the Vietnam war to help find underground mines and tunnels. French physicians used them to help diagnose illnesses, a practice referred to as "radiesthia."

How do they work? Honestly, no one really knows for sure how they work. It is a fact that all things give off energetic radiation and/or magnetic energy. The theory is, the pendulum picks up these vibrations and responds to them, acting as a communication device between the unseen/subconcious and the seen/conscious.

Where can I find one? It seems pendulums are everywhere these days, from new age shops to nature shops. They are simple enough to make yourself, however. All you need is a weight - such as a needle, a wedding ring, or a bead or stone; and something to suspend the weight with, such as a string or chain. I made my own using a large Venetian glass bead, about 9 inches of chain, bead wire and needle nose plyers.

How do I use it once I have one? If you bought it, it's a good idea to cleanse the pendulum by whichever method you choose - usually smudging, sprinkling it with spring water, or exposure to moonlight.

Some experts recommend you "tell" the pendulum which direction is "yes" and which is "no," but that's not how I was taught. I was taught to simply hold the pendulum, stop the movement with your hand, and "ASK" it to show you - which movement means "yes"... and which movement means "no." If the movement is unclear, you ask the pendulum to be more obvious.

Oddly enough, it does work. After you still the pendulum, and ask what is yes, it will begin to move, seemingly on it's own, either round and round, or back and forth. You can practice this daily until you're confident in the answers it gives you. You can even "test" the pendulum - asking it questions which you know are true or false; or having someone hide a small item under a cloth and having another cloth with nothing under it and "dowsing" for which one has the item. By doing these things, you'll be able to know the accuracy of your pendulum divination tool, and with practice you can expect at least a 90% accuracy.

The more specific a question you ask the pendulum, the better it is. If you ask, for instance, "Is it going to rain tommorrow?" - chances are good the answer will be yes - somewhere, sometime tommorrow, it will rain. If you ask, "Will it rain tommorrow at our gathering?" you get a better chance of an accurate reading.

Pendulums are also helpfull in determining your true feelings on a matter, deciding on a time to perform a spell, and determining other people's feelings and their motives.

Probably the most unique way of using the pendulum I've seen so far, has been to decide which bills to pay when it's a "skinny" paycheck month! She simply put her bills all on the table, held the pendulum over each one in it's turn, and asked if this was a bill that HAD to be paid this month.

So you see, divination tools can be used not only to answer esoteric questions, but mundane ones as well. The only limits are your imagination.

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