SAMPLE is a small specimen of the object sought and can be almost anything under the sun, such as copper, gold, silver, tin, zinc, clay, salt, lime, water, milk, food, hens’ eggs, feathers, plants, leaves, artificial manures, human blood, saliva, colours, etc., etc., but whatever it may be it is always advisable to put a clean piece of paper between it and your table because some of its influence may be left in the table after the sample has been removed. Samples may be quite small, such as a ring, bunch of keys, handful of earth, and so on.


Although I have carried out tests at all hours of the day, I cannot say that I have found any difference between one time and another; but some authorities on the subject suggest 7 a.m. to 1 1 a.m., 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 1 1 p.m. as the best times. I have also read that immediately after a shower of rain, provided that there is no thunder about, should be good, as the air has been cleared of any suspended particles of dust. On the other hand, some think that a cloudy day is preferable to a clear one. All these suggestions may be all very well in their own way but I feel that if we waited for the perfect climatic conditions to coincide with the right time of day we might spend most of our time waiting. With the exception of thundery conditions, which is logically sound, I suggest that little heed is paid to the foregoing as there are so many influences which might affect us and it is quite impossible to pick on any one as the culprit. While on the subject of time I suggest that, in the early stages at any rate, you do not try to do too much without a break. Ten minutes on a test should be sufficient, followed by a rest of twenty minutes, otherwise you will find that the pendulum becomes sluggish in its movements and poor results obtained. That is my experience at any rate and I give it for what it is worth.


Auto-suggestion is Radiesthesia’s worst enemy, and you will find that, unless you are very careful, the pendulum will do what you want it to, or perhaps what you think it ought to do. You will no doubt meet people who will tell you that Radiesthesia is autosuggestion, pure and simple, and nothing else: a somewhat sweeping statement, but nevertheless it has a particle of truth in it, inasmuch that the “idea of the movement creates the movement”.

To prove this is a comparatively simple matter. Draw a circle on a piece of paper — a half-crown piece will do if you haven t a pair of compasses handy — and then add two diameters at right angles to each other so that you have a design like a wheel with four spokes. Hold your pendulum over the centre of the circle and impress on yourself that it should gyrate round the circumference of the circle, which it will do almost at once. Start again, but this time “will” your pendulum to swing along one of the diameters; again you will find that it will obey. For further and conclusive proof, while the pendulum is gyrating round the circumference of your circle, close your eyes for a few seconds. When you open them again you will find that the gyrations have ceased, which shows that it was auto-suggestion and of no objective significance in regard to the circle. Try this once or twice but don’t let it depress you in any way. Now place some object on your table, for example a bunch of keys. Your pendulum will gyrate clockwise. When it is gyrating strongly, close your eyes and even “will” it to stop. You will find that although it may slow down slightly it will not stop; the reaction is a true one and not auto-suggestion.


The only adjustment to the pendulum is the length of the string between the operator’s hand and the pendulum itself. Henry de France lays great stress on the importance of exact adjustment, so much so in fact, that he had his string on a short piece of stick so that he could wind it up or let it out at will until perfection was attained. On the other hand W. H. Trinder seems to find one-and-a-half inches of string suitable for all ordinary purposes, so it would appear that no hard and fast rule can be laid down. Personally I find that I use from four to six inches, according to the material under test and the pendulum I am using.


In the paragraph on “Polarity” I have assumed that the operator is right-handed, which, of course, need not be the case. If you are truly left-handed then your left hand will be positive and your right negative. In order to make certain of this carry out the same experiment and you will find that the pendulum will gyrate clockwise or positively over you left hand and anti-clockwise or negatively over your right hand.