Every single person on the planet has psychic abilities, but most people never realize that they’re using them. As Tess Whitehurst says in her book You Are Magical, “There is almost certainly something you assume that everyone can perceive that is actually a perception that is relatively unique to you.”
For example: you may be a gifted artist. Drawing and painting come naturally to you, and you have an intuitive sense of form and color. You probably know people who claim that they “don’t have an artistic bone in their body” or “can’t even draw a stick figure,” but you can’t bring yourself to believe it. Surely, those people are just psyching themselves out, because if art comes so easily to you, everyone must be able to do it to some extent, right?
Psychic abilities are similar. You’ve probably been tapping into at least one psychic sense all your life, but it feels so normal to you that you assume everyone experiences the world this way.
Once you become aware of your innate psychic abilities, you can start to harness them. For this reason, I think it’s a good idea to become familiar with (and comfortable using!) your natural psychic gifts before you try to learn any kind of divination.
Read over the following list of common psychic senses. Does one or more of them sound familiar? Once you recognize which of these you resonate with, focus on strengthening that gift over the next couple of weeks. You’ll be amazed by how easily you’re able to tap into it once you know how!
Clairvoyance: Clear Seeing
Contrary to popular opinion, the word “clairvoyance” does not describe any and all psychic abilities. Someone with clairvoyance receives psychic messages through their sense of sight. They may see these messages with their physical eyes, or see images in their mind’s eye. Seeing auras is an example of clairvoyance in action.
You may be clairvoyant if…
- You often see flashes of light, blurred figures, or other visual phenomena that others do not see. [Note: This is NOT the same as visual hallucinations. Clairvoyants typically see things with their mind’s eye, not their physical eyes, and can differentiate between their visions and what is physically in front of them.]
- You often experience random mental images that seem to have nothing to do with what’s going on around you.
- Your meditations are primarily visual — for example, if you meditate on the element of water, you may see a bubbling fountain in your mind’s eye.
- You are a visual learner.
Ways to Strengthen Clairvoyance
- Keep a journal of the mental images you receive “out of nowhere.” Do these images mean anything to you? Do individual visions fit into a larger pattern?
- Meditate on your chakras, and visualize each chakra in your mind’s eye, starting from the root and working up to the crown. What do your chakras look like? Are the colors bright and clear, or more faded and muddy? Are some spinning faster or slower than others? How does their appearance correspond to your life? For example, a muddy or faded sacral chakra may indicate issues around sexuality.
- Do research into auras and what the different aura colors mean. Do you always seem to see or think of a certain color when you’re around a certain person? How does that color represent that person’s energy and personality? Write down your findings.
Clairaudience: Clear Hearing
Someone with clairaudience receives psychic messages through their sense of hearing. They may hear messages with their physical ears or “hear” them in their mind. A medium who hears spirits is an example of someone using clairaudience.
You may be clairaudient if…
- You sometimes “hear” things in your mind, as if someone else was talking to you from inside your head. [Note: This is NOT the same as “hearing voices” or auditory hallucinations. Clairaudients usually “hear” messages with their mind, not their physical ears, and they can distinguish between psychic messages and physical, “real world” sounds.]
- Sometimes, when you listen to music or watch a movie, a specific lyric or line of dialogue seems to jump out at you, as if it were a special message.
- Your meditations are primarily auditory — for example, if you meditate on the element of water, you may hear a babbling brook.
- You are an auditory learner.
Ways to Strengthen Clairaudience
- Keep a journal of the messages you “hear” out of nowhere. Are they consistent, forming a larger pattern? Do they all seem to be “in the same voice,” or coming from the same source? (If so, this could be a deity or spirit guide reaching out to you.)
- Do a meditation with the intention of holding a conversation with a helpful spirit guide. (If you are not comfortable working with spirits, you can set the intention of speaking to your inner self.) What does their voice sound like? Is it different from or similar to your own? Do they speak with an accent or have a unique inflection? Write down your thoughts.
- Experiment with shufflemancy. This is a modern form of divination where you put a playlist on shuffle and receive a psychic message from the song that plays first. (You can find playlists specifically made for shufflemancy online, or make your own.) How does the song make you feel? Are there certain lyrics that jump out to you? Write down your thoughts.
Clairsentience: Clear Feeling
Someone with clairsentience feels psychic messages, either through their body or through their emotions. They may feel physical sensations, like an upset stomach, or may be very sensitive to emotional energies. Intuitively picking up on someone’s emotions without needing to ask is an example of clairsentience.
You may be clairsentient if…
- You often feel physical sensations, like a hot flash or a cold chill, out of nowhere.
- You are able to feel other people’s emotions — you can always tell when someone has had a bad day, even if they’re trying to hide it.
- You can sense the “vibe” of a room as soon as you walk in. Do certain buildings feel “angry” or “sad” to you? Can you always tell the energy of a party even if you just arrived?
- Your meditations primarily focus on tactile sensations — for example, if you meditate on the element of water, you may feel waves lapping at your feet.
Ways to Strengthen Clairsentience
- Pay attention to your “gut feelings.” Do you feel a sinking sensation when thinking about something, only for it to go badly later? Do you feel a warm, fuzzy sensation thinking about something, only for it to go really well? Write down your experiences — and be honest. It’s okay if your gut feeling doesn’t always match the outcome.
- Do a pathworking meditation (this is just a type of meditation that focuses on taking a mental journey) to a forest, or a beach, or some other location that appeals to you. Try to feel as many tactile sensations as possible, as if you were really there. Feel the grass or sand under your feet, feel the wind in your hair, feel the sun on your skin. Write down your experience.
- Practice feeling the energy of a plant or crystal. Reach out and touch the plant/crystal, and try to feel it out. Does it have a calm, stable energy, or is it more bright and zingy? Try feeling a different plant/crystal and see how it feels different. Write down your experience.
Note: Some (but not all) clairsentients are also empaths, people who take on the emotions of others as if they were their own. All empaths are clairsentient, but not all clairsentient people are empaths. You may be an empath if you often find yourself matching the emotions of the people you’re around — you cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh, etc.
Claircognizance: Clear Knowing
Claircognizence is the gift of psychic knowing — people with this ability often “just know” things, even if they should have no way of knowing. They may know what someone is about to say before they say it, or know personal information about someone they just met.
You may be claircognizant if…
- You “just know” what’s going on with your friends and family, even if they haven’t told you. For example, you may suddenly feel like you need to call your sister, only to find out after you call that she just broke up with her boyfriend.
- You always know who a text is from as soon as your phone dings, or always know what song is going to play next on shuffle.
- You often know things about new people as soon as you meet them, only for them to confirm it later. Did you know your friend was a vegetarian before he told you, even though you’d never shared a meal with him?
- Your meditations often include “downloads” of information, where you feel like the answer to your question or some other revelation has just been dropped into your brain.
Ways to Strengthen Claircognizance
- Every time your phone goes off, try to guess who the message is from. Keep a tally of how often you’re right vs. wrong.
- Do a meditation with the intention of receiving the answer to a specific question. Retreat to a place of stillness and focus on your breath until the answer to the question “just comes to you.” Write down your experience.
- This is a game I used to play with my sister before I knew what claircognizance was: have a friend show you a picture of someone they know, but whom you have never met before. Focus on the picture, and see if you get any info about the person — are they a jock? Do they like rock music? What’s their personality like? Get your friend to confirm or deny the info you got from the picture, and keep a tally of how often you’re right vs. wrong.
The Other Clairs
There are two other “clair” senses that are less common, so I’m not going to talk about them at length here. Clairalience, or “clear smelling,” refers to receiving psychic messages through smell. (If you smell roses out of nowhere, with no roses in sight, you may be using clairalience.) Clairgustance, or “clear tasting,” refers to receiving psychic messages through taste. (If you taste chocolate out of nowhere, you may be using claigustance.)
In my experience, these psychic senses are less common than the ones listed above. Most people I know who have clairalience or clairgustance seem to use it as a secondary sense, in addition to a primary sense like clairvoyance or clairsentience.
You are probably using at least one of these psychic senses every day, without even knowing it. Most people have two to three “main” psychic senses, but some may regularly and easily use all of them. For example, my primary psychic senses are clairsentience and claircognizance, but I also find myself receiving messages through clairaudience fairly often. It’s rare for me to receive clairvoyant messages, but it has happened.
Once you’ve identified the psychic senses that you naturally lean towards, you can begin to develop and strengthen them.
- You Are Magical by Tess Whitehurst [Specifically the chapter, “Reading the Signs.”]
- The Fat Feminist Witch Podcast, Episode 68: “Clear Knowing”
- The Angel Code by Chantel Lysette [Specifically the section on the psychic senses.]
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