JH writes: “I cant find much on the topic but am curious if the pendulum wives tale (tie a ring on a string) to predict baby gender falls into a superstition/new age category to be avoided? I tried this recently and have found it to be very accurate on multiple occasions. If there is any validity to the results I’d like to believe there is a God given explanation that is scientifically based (even if yet discovered). . . .”
JH continues: “We know things like guardian angels are outside the realm of human perception so it would seem plausible in my mind that there could be something natural/God given going on to explain the outcomes. I definitely believe that new age/occult practices should be as avoided at all costs. Did I inadvertently cross into this path or can a wives tale like this be harmless and in fun?”
This is a great question.
The use of a pendulum to predict anything – whether it be a baby’s gender or the outcome of a tennis match – is founded in divination. We are specifically told in the Catechism that “all forms of divination are to be rejected” (No. 2116) whether they involve recourse to Satan, conjuring up the dead, “or other practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future.” When we use a pendulum to predict a baby’s gender, we are using it to “unveil the future.”
Although many people see this practice as little more than a game to be played at a baby shower, this email reveals how quickly it can become much more. Notice how several successful outcomes from the practice caused the writer to believe in it. This is precisely what Satan wants to do. We all know that there’s a 50-50 chance that the pendulum will reveal the correct gender, and every time it does, and a person attributes that correct reading to the pendulum, they have already begun to believe in divination, which means they have turned (albeit unknowingly) toward the “source” of the power behind it – Satan.
In the case of this writer, the evil one suggested that the power might come from God or His angels, or maybe even science, obviously to lull her into complacency about using a pendulum to unveil the future. However, she was sensitive enough to the movement of the Holy Spirit to question this and seek an answer.
God would never be a party to any form of divination because, as He says in Deuteronomy 18:10, anyone who practices it is “an abomination” to Him.
This email is a good example of how subtly Satan works, always appearing to be innocent and “just fun” while leading people into places that they have no intention of going (i.e., Ouija boards, Harry Potter books, horoscopes, etc.).
If you really want to know the gender of a baby, get an ultrasound. Otherwise, let God decide and be grateful for whatever gender He chooses.
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