What is a Clairvoyant?

Fortune teller looking into crystal ball, close-up
Clairvoyance is the ability to see the unseen. Bruce Ayres / Getty Images

While it's widely believed that everyone has some degree of psychic ability, this skill can take a number of different forms. For some, psychic ability manifests in the form of clairvoyance.

Clairvoyance is the ability to see things which are hidden. Sometimes used in remote viewing, clairvoyance has occasionally been credited for people finding missing children and locating lost objects. Like many psychic abilities, there is no scientific explanation for how clairvoyance works.

Anecdotally, however, there are many stories about people who believe they have used clairvoyance in a variety of ways.

Mardia is a North Carolina Pagan who has experienced a type of clairvoyance known as clairaudience, which means that rather than seeing things, she hears them. “I sometimes hear words loud and clear that tip me off that something is happening. At first, I thought I was going nuts - had my hearing checked, got evaluated for mental health problems, and so on. But the only explanation is that sometimes I hear a word - and it’s always just one or two words - that tells me about something going on. When my mother was on a cruise last year, I woke up in the middle of the night because I had heard her voice saying “flood.” I called her to make sure she was okay because you know, she was on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Everything was fine. The next day, I went to her house to feed the cats, and found that a water pipe had burst about ten minutes before I got there.”

Other forms of clairvoyance include clairsentience and claircognizance. Some believe that dreams and visions seen during meditation are also forms of clairvoyance.

Arran is a clairvoyant who practices shamanism. He claims his gifts manifest themselves in the finding of lost objects. “People call me all the time.

Where are their car keys, or the cat disappeared and is he coming back? Usually, I just know. The car keys are in the pantry next to the peanut butter, and the cat is fine because he’s holed up at the neighbor’s house and they’re feeding him. There’s no logic to it, I just know. And I’m typically right.”

Both Mardia and Arran say they have honed their psychic ability with practice. Arran offers this practical bit of advice: “Trust your intuition. If you see or hear messages and you’re starting to find that more often than not, you’re correct, then stop second-guessing yourself. Accept that you have been given a skill--or ability--to use and then use it in a way that’s beneficial to you and others.”

Blogger Amanda Linette Meder says, "Clairvoyants can often see colors, images, visions, dreams, and symbols that can help them make sense of their environment--either literally or metaphorically--either within their mind’s eye or externally with their physical eyes. Clairvoyance is a way to tap into the knowledge of our souls, and the collective knowledge of all souls of the universe--through visions and images. You, too, can receive clairvoyant images as lights, as flashes, as personal memories coming forward to illuminate a situation in need of solving in present time."

In general, many tend to discount psychic gifts--after all, we're inundated with ​the reasoning that such things aren't possible. N, if you think you may have clairvoyant abilities, you may want to test yourself now and then, and work on developing your own skills.

Other Types of Psychic Abilities

Keep in mind that clairvoyance is just one of many types of psychic abilities. There are a number of others, including empaths, mediumship, and intuition.

You may have heard the word “medium” used during discussions about psychic abilities, particularly those involving communication with the spirit world. Traditionally, a medium is someone who speaks, in one way or another, to the dead.

For some people, psychic ability manifests as psychic empathy. Empaths have the ability to sense the feelings and emotions of others, without their telling us.

Intuition is the ability to just *know* things without being told. Many intuits make excellent Tarot card readers because this skill gives them an advantage while reading cards for a client. This is sometimes referred to as clairsentience.