Before each session, the pendulum should be blessed in whatever way you feel comfortable with, from stating that only higher beings (or whatever being you wish to contact) may influence the pendulum, to smudging (burning incense) and other purification techniques. The pendulum may also be purified after the session, to remove any residue the spirit may have left behind which may influence the next session.
The pendulum handle or chain should be held loosely
between the thumb and first finger, and if the circle (see diagram below)
is used, the bob should be held approximately 1 inch above the paper.
You can also use it without the circle, and just specify (or let the pendulum
specify) which direction means what.
Always program the pendulum at the beginning of the session before asking your questions. "Show me yes" Should cause it to swing in one direction; "Show me No" should cause it to swing in a different direction. It is also good to tell it to "Go to center" or "Stop" between questions, so that the swing of the pendulum won't be influenced by the last question's response. Once programmed, ask the pendulum if it wishes to work with you. Ask a few trial questions to make sure its working properly. ("Is my name (your name)?" v.s. "Is my name Superman?")
It is important that questions be phrased clearly, so that no misinterpretation can be made. This goes for all divination techniques. "Is it going to rain?" is unclear. "Is it going to rain in Los Angeles today?" is much more apt to get a correct response. If, after several questions, the pendulum starts swinging in random directions, ask it if it wishes to continue the session. If not, put the pendulum away and try again another time.