Book Review – The Creative Pendulum: Keys to Unlock Your Innovative Spirit by Joan Rose Staffen

Book Review
The Creative Pendulum:
Keys to Unlock Your Innovative Spirit
by Joan Rose Staffen
Published by Weiser Books
June 1, 2022
288 pages



I know I’m showing my age here, but back in the day, there was a commercial for breath mints with the tagline, “two – two – two mints in one!”

I kept thinking of this slogan when I was reading The Creative Pendulum: Keys to Unlock Your Innovative Spirit by Joan Rose Staffen, published earlier this year by Weiser Books. It’s two – two – two books in one! It’s a book about how to use a pendulum and how to be a more creative person – even if you never thought of yourself as creative or artistic or in anyway innovative. This is the book that will help you release all the demons that are holding you back from being the virtuoso that you were meant to be.

I have used pendulums since I was in my early twenties but they were homemade ones of crystal buttons and embroidery floss. I didn’t receive my first “commercial” pendulum until 2015 – now I have several beautiful pendulums. Generally, I use a pendulum in several ways – when I need a quick “yes/no” answer to some question I may have – or in conjunction with the Tarot or Lenormand – I spread the cards out, face down, and then let the pendulum pick the cards to be read. I do this quite often. I find the pendulum to be very accurate.

I have also always thought of myself as an artist and a writer – in fact, I have been getting published since I was fifteen years old – I have also sung in rock’n’roll and country bands – I was also a professional dancer for over ten years. I currently maintain several blogs on WordPress and Blogger – my life has always been dominated by the creative arts. Like many artists, I often suffer from creative blocks. Being bipolar doesn’t help. When I am manic, I create almost around the clock but when I am in the midst of a depression, it’s like my creative flow has been stopped up by barrier the size of the Hoover Dam – I know that my creativity is there – but it’s not going anywhere – certainly it’s not getting to where it’s supposed to be. When I’m like this, I spend a lot of time watching movies and old TV shows trying to jumpstart my brain into some kind of creative activity but I know that I just have to wait for the depression to lift and for my manic energy to return.

Joan Rose Staffen has been working with these kinds of creative energies for many years. Her website, has a complete list of links to her history in this field. You can order her books, check out her paintings, sign up for workshops, find out how to get psychic healing or simply contact her with the click of your mouse. She also has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. She’s definitely a twenty-first century healer.

After reading this book thoroughly, I am undecided as to whether it’s more of a book of divination or a how-to book for artists and writers. Although there are plenty of prompts for using your pendulum, there are even more ideas for igniting your inventive imagination, getting your creations promoted and marketed and sold – even if you may have only thought of yourself as an amateur. The entire book is filled with charts, exercises, quotes from working artists, affirmations and so much more. If you want to be a published writer or want to get your artwork sold, this is definitely the book for you – it has every last good idea for the creative person to use to get their work out into the world and noticed.

There’s so much in this book that I really can’t talk about everything, because that would make this review too long and too involved. I will just point out a few things I found especially interesting.

I really loved the charts. There are thirty-three of them, all gathered in the appendix in the back of the book. The first one you will use will be the Yes/No chart, to see if your pendulum needs clearing.

I’ve been using a pendulum for many years but I had never heard of clearing a pendulum. I got out the pendulum I use most often and hung it over the chart and asked a “yes/no” question (a really obvious yes/no question, no ambiguity whatsoever). The pendulum moved in a clockwise direction – so it did not need clearing. Honestly, this amazed me because I really did think it would need clearing, since I’d had it for several years and used it all the time but I was happy to find out that it didn’t need clearing. Maybe the fact that I used it all the time was the reason that it didn’t need clearing.

As you read through the book, you will use every other chart in the book. It’s rather interesting to see how the pendulum always picks what is always true – for instance, take the Chart 18, the Literary Arts Chart.

Asking yourself, “What do I love to read?”, let the pendulum swing to where it will. In my case, it swung first to biographies but then to novels, which was very informative, because I love both biographies and novels but what I really like are historical novels about famous people so I figured that’s what the pendulum was saying.

Staffen does not only cover every aspect of how to increase your creative output but also how to increase the audience for your creativity using social media. Many people decry the influence of social media on today’s culture but the fact is, this is the world in which we live and the artist who doesn’t use social media to promote their work is usually not selling their work. On page 138, she lists some interesting facts about social media – for instance, the internet in general has 4.54 billion users (Staffan, 138) which is a whole lot of people! I know that my main blog, has followers from all around the world and I follow other bloggers from all around the world – some of my favorite bloggers are from Vietnam, Hungary, Germany and Italy.

Another chart I found interesting was Chart 8, the Distractions Chart.

If you suffer from writer’s block like I do, you will be distracted by all kinds of things – housework, family, friends, the internet, TV, shopping, video games, yard work, drugs and alcohol, crisis – she lists nineteen different distractions – I am very sure that you can change this chart to reflect your own life. For instance, she has drugs and alcohol as separate entities – in my world, I would have them as one. Also, I don’t play video games – I never have – but I play solitaire games on my phone – there’s several stupid card games that can draw me in (no pun intended) for several hours as I watch some old TV show or movie – instead of writing.

But when I used my pendulum with this chart, the distraction that the pendulum pointed to – most definitely – was noise. Now, it’s true that I have noise issues. I moved out of the city of Buffalo because of the noise and I loved living in the city – I loved being close to shopping, being able to walk everywhere, having more than one bus route nearby and all my friends living close by. But where I live now is so very quiet. The only thing I hear are the barking of my neighbors’ dogs.

I think the noise issue is the noise in my own head – because I’m bipolar – and sometimes I just can’t turn that noise off. So even in a quiet place like where I’m living now – noise can be an issue. This is where daily meditation is helpful. Learning to deal with all the noisiness in my own head and calming myself down so I can work with what I’ve got in there. My problem is that I’ve got too many ideas and too many stories – I have to settle myself down so I can actually finish a project. Right now I’m working on several writing and art projects – with the house and the gardens and a grandchild on the way – I would say that I’m fairly distracted all the time. Honestly, it’s amazing that I get anything done at all!

Whether you are simply a creative person or you have a pendulum, The Creative Pendulum: Keys to Unlock Your Innovative Spirit, by Joan Rose Staffen is a fabulous book – I would say that it’s a must-have book for every and all artists and writers. I would also say that it is unnecessary to have a pendulum to use this book – there’s so much information in here that doesn’t pertain to using a pendulum – but using a pendulum with this book will only enhance your learning experience and help you grow into a stronger and more focused artist. I can’t recommend this book enough. Find it at your local library; order it from your favorite online bookstore; or buy it at your local mom and pop bookshop. It’s a great book!

Find out more about the author at


The Creative Pendulum on Amazon


About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan but she gets along with a few of the masculine deities. She loves to cook and she is a Bills fan.

She blogs at She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.