The paranormal field is growing in leaps and bounds, and investigators are not just using the good old scientific approach any more. Nowa­days, many are blending approaches to field work by using some non-traditional equipment/items. Anyone can use these items. It does not take special training or supernatural powers. It does, however, require that the investigator understands the non-traditional tools and how to read or utilize them, just like all the commonly used tools in the field.

You must trust your intuition when choosing what equipment you will use. It is the main component needed in making these tools work for you. Since using non-tradi­tional types of paranormal equipment requires so much intuition, it is best if the investigator can practice using the items in a non-paranormal situation. This will help build confidence with any of the tools mentioned in this article.

Some of these tools will come with a heavy warning, and if not used properly, could cause a problem for the investigator or the building owner where the spirits may dwell. rom dowsing rods to simple herbs, stones, and oils, any number of non-traditional items can be added to any paranormal investigator’s toolbox for communi­cating with spirits. It only takes an open mind and some intuition.

Dowsing Rods

These rods, called magic sticks, are one of the more popular ways for seeking out spirits. The rod is a Y-shaped item that is held in both hands with the Y pointing toward the person using it.

They can be made of just about anything, but mostly they are made of metal and/or wood. One of the best types of conducting rods comes from copper. Copper has magical qualities in it naturally, like being an enhanced conduc­tor of electricity and an excellent spiritual ground. The dowsing rod has the ability to detect the life force/chi or the presence of elemental energies around it by using its motion and vibration to alert the user when the energy or presence is close.

These types of rods are often combined with a wood­ handle to help absorb the energy before it transfers into the diviner’s soul.

How it basically works is the person holds the rod straight out in front of them and walks around. Before you start walking around, you must tell the rod what you are looking for, giving it specific directions as to what you hope to find. So if you’re looking for spirits/ghosts, just say, “Lead me to any spirits here.”

I do have a word of caution: Do not use these during a lightning storm or in an area where there is high voltage. Not only could you be shocked, literally, but you will get false readings.

Pendulums

Pendulums are the second most popular non-tradi¬tional paranormal investigative tool for a few reasons. One is that they are portable and can fit in your pocket. The second is that with this divining tool, you can ask yes or no questions. This is a personal way to communicate with any spirit.

Where the dowsing rod only gets you to the place spirits/ghosts may be hiding, a pendulum is a simple tool to use that can get deeper information from the souls that are present at the time. Pendulums can be made of stone, crystal, metal, wood, string, or chain.

Picking the right pendulum can take some time. It is best if one calls to your soul versus actually going out and finding one. Nevertheless, look for the one that feels good in your hands, one you feel a connection with. In this field, goose bumps are always an excellent indicator that you are either on the right track or need to heed a warn¬ing. There is no middle-of-the-road thinking with goose-bumping. It is a very black or white concept.

When you ask a question to your pendulum, ask a simple yes or no statement and give it time to answer. The answer should be in the form of a clear swing of the pendulum. If it is not, then you must ask the question in a different way.

Many diviners will use both dowsing rods and pen¬dulums. They complement each other. Most often these tools will spin around or sway back and forth or move up and down. Remember to hold your pendulum and rod still, relaxing your elbows and wrists to get a correct response. These areas of the body will collect energy, so they can become weak and give false readings if kept too tight.

To tune or season your pendulum, hold it in your hand, rub it, and visualize what you will be doing with it. This is called dedication. We want to make sure this tool understands its purpose. Hold the end of the chain or string in one hand. Then hold the other hand flat out below the pendulum part.

Quiet the movement in the string/chain and ask it to show the answer. If the answer is, “yes,” it will always spin or move the same way. Do the same process to find out what the answer “no” looks like. This will give you a good place to start for using your pendulum.

Ouija Boards and Séances

These are great tools too, but they do require a bit more knowledge about how to control what may come though the ethers during these sessions. They act as por¬tals to the spirits in the home but can also call other souls that one might not be ready to deal with.

Hollywood and malicious stories are part of creat¬ing the fear of using these tools. It is still a fact that many unexpected and out-of-control situations have happened while using these tools, even with profession¬als at the helm of the session.

When you have a person, healer, or soothsayer using these items at an investigation, they should have a protec­tion rite in place and some way to exterminate or dissemi­nate the actions happening at the scene.

Because of the risk of using these types of ways to communicate with spirits, I would suggest only using them as the last resort and finding someone skilled to accom­pany you.

Radios

Radios are often used during paranormal investiga­tion. The music can soothe or even awaken the savage beast. Some spirits are able to send messages by manipu­lating the frequency of the channels or by using the words to songs.

Often this is a way for the spirit to let you know they can hear you, and it may possibly reveal the feelings of the ghost or spirit you’re speaking to. For example, some investigators have played music that is from the era of the soul(s) they wish to contact. The desired outcome is to lure them out of the shadows with familiar songs and offer them another way to communicate with you.

Mirror Gazing

This is a tool long used to contact spirits. Mirrors are known to be portals that often can trap spirits while they are out traveling. Setting up a mirror with a low light shin­ing near the bottom of it will allow shadow spirits to be seen and shy souls to be noticed. This is a great conduit to see the image of the soul lingering in the house.

Remember, though, not to leave the mirror uncov­ered until you’re ready to use it; this will deter spirits from using it as a portal. The down point to this tool is that you must use it alone, and the spirits are not able to speak directly to you. An excellent combination would be to add the use of a pendulum or radio while mirrors gazing. This method could offer a safe and easy way to get deeper answers.

Voodoo Dolls

Also called poppets by some, Voodoo dolls are rare to see used. I use them when I feel I need extra protec­tion for exorcising unwanted spirits. This is a very contro­versial topic for some, but for me it is a powerful tool to use, especially if the investigation has opened up or found something bigger than expected.

This is one of the most important tools used in my non–traditional equipment bag. You, as the holder of the doll, must believe that you have more personal power than any spirit in any situation to be able to wield this tool. One must have true heart and deep trust in one’s self; this is an inner confidence that comes from your core being. There is not much room for error, but I do feel that a strong-willed paranormal investigator could use this tool with minimal experience.

One would need to do some research about the topic, but it is no different than using a cross, talisman, or amulet. Voodoo dolls are found in Haitian Voodoo grave­yards nailed to trees. They are used to protect and contact the spirits of loved ones in their graves. All of my dolls are anointed with certain oils and herbs that lure and bind a spirit once it enters the doll.

I hold the doll out in front of my chest, much like a crucifix might be held by a priest. These dolls warn any spirit that you mean business. The doll is a safe space for spirits to banish themselves into. I have found that some souls seem to be looking for a place to rest and, when offered a way to find complete peace, they will choose to banish themselves into a doll willingly.

If you do use the doll in any way, it is a one-time use object. It must be destroyed once used no matter what. Wrap it in a white cloth or any rag. Dig a small hole, place the poppet in it and set it ablaze (burning all of it to ash), and then cover the hole back up with earth. I suggest you say a prayer for the soul to find peace and thank Mother Earth for her assistance.

Stones, Oils, and Herbs

These are the simplest tools anyone can use. They can be used for protection, blessing, and banishing. Knowing what undertaking you want to accomplish helps you plan and pick out the best combinations for each investigation. If you would like to know more about this topic, you can read my previous columns in Paranormal Underground magazine, called Crystals and Herbol­ogy: The Mystical Etchings from a Medicyn Woman’s Grimoire.

Below I have compiled just a few of my very favorites to use at investigations.

Stones

• Obsidian is the best stone to use for banishing; this stone is known as the portal stone. One can use this pow­erful stone to open passages between worlds. It blends with the veil to help spirits move.

• Red jasper and hematite can be used together to support each other’s energy. The red jasper helps protect one from not becoming psychically drained or attacked, warding off physical and mental exhaustion. It is best used by laying the stone directly on the skin of the one you want to protect. After using the stone, it should be cleaned and stored with hematite to recharge it.

• Amber is used to change negative energy to posi­tive. It opens the channels of communication with the spirits and loved ones that have passed on. Add a quartz crystal with your amber to amplify all the positive feelings in the area, and it will aid in attracting ghost and spirits.

Herbs

Try experimenting with the many herbs available; look for ones that fit your style best. Oils

There are many types of complex oils that are mixed to accomplish more than one task at a time. You can find hoodoo oils that can be bought, or even better yet mix your own blend.

• Rosemary oil is used to protect all windows and doors from energy that is negative or that can do harm.

• White copal oil is used to anoint objects and people and to remove stagnation in corners of buildings and dwellings. It is also used to attract spirits and assist them to find their way home.

• Garlic oil can repel spirits, but combined with juni­per oil can banish spirits back to their own realm.

Learn About These Tools before Using Them

So with all these amazing tools at hand, how could one not want to multiply their tool box and push your paranormal experiences to new limits?

Most of these non-traditional tools require some knowledge, but as you practice with them, grow your in­ner confidence, and hone your intuition, you will experi­ence outcomes that are magical and useful beyond your expectations.