How to Use Tarot to Enhance Pendulum Readings

by Victoria Wheeler

How to Use Tarot to Enhance Pendulum Readings

No, you didn’t read that backwards.

Most seers do it the opposite way—they use pendulums to enhance tarot readings. Conversely, today we’ll explore the benefits and some of the possible methods of using tarot to enhance pendulum readings.

Before we get too deep into combined techniques and advantages, let’s begin by briefly discussing what tarot cards and pendulums are and how readings generally work with them individually.

What Are Tarot Cards?

Tarot decks contain 78 cards split into two categories. Twenty-two cards belong to the Major Arcana, and 56 cards make up the Minor Arcana. Each card has a specific meaning, symbolism, and representation.

The Major Arcana are figures typically labeled 0 through 21 and represent life’s major lessons and spirituality.

The Minor Arcana contains 56 cards split into four suits: Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Each suit has numbers 1 through 10 and four court cards: King, Queen, Kight, and Page.

The Minor Arcana cards represent the trials of our day-to-day lives.

When receiving a tarot reading, your reader may ask you to shuffle or cut the deck before proceeding to pull one or more cards.

Your reader will interpret the cards based on their meanings and use their intuition to relate the cards to your personal life and situations you may be experiencing.

What Are Pendulums?

A pendulum is a small weight hanging from the end of a length of thread, chain, or cord. It could be as simple as a wedding ring or paperclip on a piece of thread, or it could be as fancy as a beautiful, expensive crystal hanging from the end of a decorated chain.

The basic idea is that the reader keeps their arm and hand perfectly still while holding the pendulum and focuses on a question. The pendulum will begin to swing, indicating an answer.

Each direction the pendulum can swing is a predetermined answer, such as yes, no, I don’t know, or I don’t want to answer.

There are a few schools of thought on the number of directions that a pendulum can swing to answer questions. The basic movements are forwards and backward, left to right, clockwise circles, and counter-clockwise circles.

Some people also include both diagonal directions; others exclude them because they feel the diagonals are not clear without a chart and therefore do not feel secure in the answers they receive from the pendulum with diagonals.

Pendulum Readings

A reader can perform pendulum readings with just a pendulum alone or use pendulum charts to receive more specific answers.

Performing readings with a pendulum alone limits possible responses from the pendulum severely; there are only four to six responses (depending on the pendulum programming) that can be received.

Limited responses are not necessarily a bad thing; it’s the nature of pendulum readings. The downside to pendulum readings is that the answers are limited. The upside is that the answers are more likely to be direct yes-no responses, unlike most other types of readings.

However, after receiving a direct answer to your question, you may desire more detail. Pendulum charts can help reveal additional information if used strategically.

What is A Pendulum Chart?

A pendulum chart is a cloth or paper with written responses (usually more than yes-no answers). It has an apex point where you’re to hold the pendulum still and ask your questions. The pendulum will swing towards one of the predetermined answers on the chart.

Pendulum charts are typically half-circles broken up into wedges. For example:

Pendulum Chart

The circle at the bottom is where you hold the pendulum still and focus on your question. It will begin to swing towards one of the answers, depending on what you asked.

There are many kinds of pendulum charts that answer questions about health, herbalism, careers, relationships, etc. However, as you can see, the responses are still limited to what can fit on a chart.

Using Tarot to Enhance Pendulum Readings

If you desire an enhanced reading about the pendulum’s answer to a particular question, tarot is the perfect way to expound upon that answer and get more details about the response.

Tarot is not limited to four to six responses or charts. There are 78 cards with tons of meaning packed into each one, and it often only takes a one-card draw or three-card spread to answer many questions.

One Card Draw

This is as simple as it sounds. A one-card draw is when a tarot reader pulls only one card to conduct the entire reading.

A one-card draw is particularly useful if the answer you’re seeking is a to a who, what, when, where—type question.

The pendulum has already confirmed the first part. Now you need to know:

  • Who is going to do it
  • What is causing this to happen
  • When it’s going to happen
  • Where it’s going to happen
  • Etc.

These are all the types of questions that one tarot card can easily answer.

Three Card Spread

To conduct a three-card spread, a tarot reader pulls three cards and interprets them together to answer the question.

Three card spreads are infinitely useful because a reader can interpret them in so many ways depending on the question.

Three-card spreads can answer absolutely any question, but from the client’s perspective, they’re great at digging into the why and how—type questions.

A three-card spread could be beneficial to you if the pendulum has already confirmed the yes-no portion of your question, and now you need to know:

  • Why this is happening
  • How it’s going to happen
  • Etc.

Using Spreads to Offer Clarity and Guidance

Because pendulum readings offer yes-no answers, they are incredibly blunt; and people often ask important and sensitive life questions like infidelity in their marriage, losing a job or house, the death of a loved one, etc.

People may receive very difficult information in a very direct way during pendulum readings. After the pendulum reading, a reader can use certain tarot spreads to offer clarity and guidance to a client who has just received bad news.

Three-card spreads can be useful for guidance and clarity, also, as there are many specific three-card spreads designed for this purpose. Instead of interpreting the cards together as a group, each card has an individual interpretation on its own.

For example, in a Past, Present, Future spread, the first card pulled is interpreted for the past, the second for the present, and the third for the future.

Some other spreads that could offer clarity and guidance include:

  • The Situation, The Obstacle, Advice
  • Where You Stand, Your Aspirations, How to Get There
  • The Problem, The Cause, The Solution
  • What You Want, What They Want, Where the Relationship is Going
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Advice
  • What Will Help You, What Will Hinder You, Your Untapped Potential
  • The Situation, Action, The Outcome
  • What You Can Change, What You Can’t Change, What You Don’t Know
  • What You Think, What You Feel, What You Do
  • You, The Other Person, The Relationship

This is just a small selection of spreads; there are thousands more, and readers create their own every day.

Combined Readings

You can make the most out of a pendulum reading by using tarot to enhance it.

By doing this, you will gain a more in-depth understanding of the pendulum’s straightforward answers and perhaps receive clarity and some advice from the tarot cards.

Find a pendulum reader who also reads tarot to experience this unique reading for yourself. You’ll surely appreciate the benefits once you’ve experienced this type of reading firsthand.



Victoria is an eclectic witch based in the Midwest who stays actively involved in the online pagan community. When she’s not writing, you can find her offering guidance to less experienced witches and moderating large witchcraft groups and forums. Follow her adventures on Twitter at @witch_imightbe

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