Hanging Maiden Complete

I’ve been working on the Erigone pendulum oracle I talked about before. I believe I’ve got the rhyme and method hammered out pretty well, although of course there may be later refinements (like some kind of coda to the rhyme, although I’m not sure it’s necessary, since you should stop once you received an indicator). I’ll need to practice with it more to get a better sense of how it works out in reality. No substitute for experience.

As I mentioned previously, pendulum divination is best done by someone other than the querent, as it’s too easily influenced by the person holding the line. Before attempting to use a pendulum for divination, you should practice with it quite a bit. Establishing a spin, maintaining it, changing directions by thinking of a direction shift rather than consciously moving your hand to change it. If micromovements of your hand control the swing, then it’s easier for the less conscious and more symbol-oriented parts of your mind to direct it, giving you better and truer answers.

The divination does not begin with the querent asking their question aloud. Instead, the diviner sets the pendulum going in a clockwise direction, while chanting the rhyme. The querent can chant along if they know it, too. The chant should be recite sing-song and rhythmically, like a nursery or counting rhyme. You’ll find your own pattern for it as your practice.

The line on which the pendulum either goes into a flat swing or stops completely (depending on the preference of the diviner) indicates the topic. (You can stop the chant at that point.) This may be a surprise to the querent, and they should stop to consider for a moment if they are asking the right questions, or if perhaps the situation they want to know about may have a very different dimension. If they mean to ask about their job, and the pendulum stops on a line about pregnancy and childbirth, then things may be about to change very suddenly! Perhaps they or their partner will become pregnant, and they may need to seek new job opportunities because of it, or perhaps their boss will, and they’ll be promoted while the boss is out for maternity leave. That’s a positive line. Or there could just be a party. Use binary questions to find out more.

Once the topic has been established, the querent may ask aloud questions they have about it. Now it’s time to play hot-and-cold, as the pendulum gives only yes/no and either/or answers from here on out. The diviner should get a spin going again, then let the pendulum go to a flat swing. A forward-and-back swing is affirmative, a side-to-side negative. For either/or questions, assign an axis to each choice. If it settles into a diagonal flat swing, that’s a maybe or neither. If the pendulum reverses direction and spins in circles the other way, that means the question is entirely wrong, pick another one (this should be quite rare).

The rhyme:

Erigone
Whisper to me
Little doll
Tell me all
What does my future hold?
Birth, Death, Heaven’s Dome
Love, Hearth, House and Home
Wealth, Riches, Money, Fame
Strife, Conflict, Trouble, Blame
Sickness, Hurt, Accident
Health, Healing, Improvement
Fate, Chance, Change and Choice
Power, Sway, Sounding Voice
Lack, Want, Famine and Need
Growth, Increase, Planted Seed
Bearing, Children, Celebration
School, Study, Education
Job, Work, or Profession
Friends, Help, Wishes and Dreams
Fears, Worries, Nightmares, Schemes

Now, here’s what those lines mean:

Erigone
Whisper to me
Little doll
Tell me all
What does my future hold?

Invocation

Birth, Death, Heaven’s Dome
Anything of this world; anything under the sky, from birth to death. This establishes the realms that the divination covers. Despite the hanging maiden and chthonic symbolism, this is not a good method to use for questions about the afterlife or about specifically divine matters. You could, in theory, write a new rhyme for inquiries about the Underworld or the gods, but truly I think there are methods better suited to that.

Love, Hearth, House and Home
Family, romance, love in all forms, hospitality, guests, physical home.

Wealth, Riches, Money, Fame
The acquisition or retention of money, possessions, nonphysical types of wealth, and fame.

Strife, Conflict, Trouble, Blame
Arguments, fights, contests, lawsuits, social clashes, political fights.

Sickness, Hurt, Accident
Short or longterm illness, disease, injury, any accident that hurts someone, physicians.

Health, Healing, Improvement
Healing, good health, recovery, remission.

Fate, Chance, Change and Choice
Things that you have no control over, but also choices that you make that may have unforseen consequences. Things getting away from you. A notice that the gods have some purpose for what you’re experiencing, although what you can learn about what that might be is probably limited, at least with this pendulum. A warning that the choice in front of you is going to have far-reaching effects that you can’t see.

Power, Sway, Sounding Voice
Political or social power or influence; authority.

Lack, Want, Famine and Need
Losing money, possessions or property, a sudden need for money, damage to physical possessions and property (which may be the cause of the sudden need for money), not having enough of whatever you need, sometimes including nonphysical things.

Growth, Increase, Planted Seed
Additions to your household by means other than birth, personal or familial growth, plant growth, animal fertility, new ideas.

Bearing, Children, Celebration
Pregnancy, childbirth, things pertaining to children, reasons to celebrate. Pregnancy and childbirth may or may not be yours or your partner’s, but may simply indicate that they are relevant to whatever you’re asking about. Might also cover prevention or ending of pregnancy, when this is a good or necessary thing. Adoption may fall under either this line or the previous one, depending. Fostering will fall under the previous.

School, Study, Education
Not just formal schooling, but any kind of intense learning, including religious study or self-directed learning. Good time to study something you’ve always meant to, like a new language or programming or ceramics. Whatever. Go take that class or pick up that book.

Job, Work, or Profession
Anything related to your job, professional advancement or problems, job hunting, etc. May be referring to an ongoing situation or to a sudden change in it.

Friends, Help, Wishes and Dreams
Things you want, aide from others is getting it, sometimes from unexpected sources.

Fears, Worries, Nightmares, Schemes
Things you’re afraid of happening, people plotting against you in ways petty or serious.

Like any divinatory art, this will take practice to get good at.

You may find that, as you practice this, the rhyme changes over time. This is perfectly natural, like any tradition or piece of folklore. Especially since this is meant to follow a pattern of children’s rhymes and games, which definitely shift and mutate frequently. If you come up with a particularly good one, let me know.

If there’s an interest, I could produce some Hanging Maiden pendula for sale, handmade. Remember, though, that my sculpting skills are fairly crude, and the doll will come out looking like a kid made it. On the other hand, she’ll have quite a nice handspun hemp noose to hang from. You can also make your own, using any small, dense doll and a bit of string, as I said before. (Thinking about it, things like gaming figurines or Lego minifigs would work, too, on a line of appropriate weight. If you do that, though, make sure your figure is human-shaped and distinctly female or androgynous, not apparently male.) You don’t have to have a dedicated one, either, but can grab any doll and string and use them, then drop them back in a toybox. Again, this is modeled on children’s games, and that’s generally how they operate.