Pendulum dowsing is a useful skill and just about anyone can learn it. Basic dowsing gives a yes/no response to questions asked. Once you become proficient at this you may dowse in other ways. As a crystal healer a pendulum is part of my basic toolkit.
Just about any weight on the end of a string or chain can act as a pendulum. In healing I like to use my quartz crystal pendulum, which is very sensitive to energy, but to give a yes/no response any pendulum will do. Caught without a pendulum at a workshop one time I threaded a seashell on a piece of cotton- it actually made a beautiful pendulum & several people commented on it!
You can ask questions about anything, however you are likely to become less accurate when questions have too much personal importance for you. If you ask 'Does so & so love me?' your conscious mind will have an opinion and will most likely influence the answer. Likewise dowsing lottery numbers, you'll probably be pretty keen to win & so will lack the detachment needed to dowse with accuracy. There is also an ethical question mark over using dowsing for personal gain- I'll let you square this one with your own conscience!
So here's a step by step approach to dowsing for the first time:
1 First ground yourself. The simplest way is to imagine tree roots growing down from the soles of each foot rooting you firmly into the Earth.
2 Next connect to your Higher Self through your crown chakra: visualise a bright white star above your head and draw a strand of it down through your crown.
3 Now centre your energies: take your focus to your heart centre, until you feel this is where you are working from, rather from 'mission control' in the head.
You can dowse without this preparation- but you are likely to be wildly inaccurate!
4 Holding your pendulum in one hand by the chain let it swing gently in a neutral fashion. Keep your hand & arm relaxed- tensing up will prevent the pendulum swinging freely.
5 Ask a question in your mind for which you know the answer is a 'yes'. I might ask 'Is my name Lauren?' for example. Watch how the pendulum responds. The swing will probably change.
You will most likely feel very excited at this point- it looks so weird! Just remember that you really are moving the pendulum- it isn't being moved by a supernatural force- simply by small unconscious muscle movements in your arm. The pendulum is a way of you accessing the wisdom of your Higher Self through these small muscle movements.
6 Now ask a question for which you know the answer is false 'Am I called Arthur?' and again observe the swing. It will probably change.
7 Continue to ask questions for which you know the answers until you have established how the pendulum will swing to indicate a 'yes' response and how it will swing to indicate a 'no'.
8 Once you have established your 'yes' and 'no' swings you can start to ask other questions.
Whilst you are learning dowsing it is best not to ask any 'heavy weight' questions. Dowsing is not infallible, but in skilled hands it can be remarkably accurate. Even so I personally wouldn't make any really big decisions based on dowsing alone & would note my intuitive feelings and look for any other guidance to corroborate the results.
You can use your new skill for all sorts of things. For example you can check whether a foodstuff is healthy for you, if wearing a particular colour would be good for you today, whether a particular crystal, flower essence or homeopathic remedy would help you- the list is pretty endless.