The pendulum is widely used for dowsing. You can use any pendant, or a heavy key, or a crystal, or a commercially sold pendulum, on a chain about 3" long. If you are able to attend a Dowsers' meeting they sell very functional ones of metal or wood at a very reasonable price.
I prefer to consider my pendulum as a tool, similar to my magical tools, so I've use a crystal on a chain for years. I consecrated it with the four elements (my choice, not necessary). At the last Dowsers' meeting I also purchased a small metal pendulum to carry with me. What you use, and how you use it, is your choice, and all work.
Once you choose your pendulum, begin working with it. You need to determine the direction it will move when you ask questions. Hold the pendulum so that it hangs straight down. Don't move it yourself. Ask, 'What is the movement for YES?' and wait until the pendulum moves. Not everyone gets the same movement. When you know what it is, ask, 'What is the movement for NO?' and again, wait until the pendulum moves. Before you dowse/use the pendulum for anything, ask these questions, "May I?.... Can I?.... Should I?" ay I means: Do I have appropriate permission? Can I means: Do I have the ability to successfully dowse in this area and am I ready? Should I means: Considering all aspects related to this situation would it be appropriate, proper and suitable to dowse in this area?
As with anything else we do, ethics are important! Never use the pendulum to control or manipulate. Only use it for positive purposes. Practice with the pendulum until you feel confident with the answers. Questions need to be simple, direct, and not confusing. For example, if you ask, 'Does my car need gas?' the pendulum will say YES - even if the tank is full, because your car needs gas to run. The pendulum is very literal, so phrase your questions carefully. practice will help with this.
If you would like an in-depth detailed description of how to dowse with the pendulum, and explanation of why it works, go to: http:/www.discoverit.com/at/asd/robin.htm. This site has an excellent course on dowsing with a pendulum, written by a member of the American Society of Dowsers.
(To contact Patchwork Quilt, email Donata Ahern at firstname.lastname@example.org)