The Clairs

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The “clairs” are our basic senses with a psychic component.  We include psychic inputs to our senses all the time without being aware of it.  After all we are animals, and animals use their psychic instincts to function at their best.  

Psychic Feeling (Emotions and Energy)

Psychic Seeing

Psychic Hearing

Psychic Smelling

Psychic Tasting

Psychic Knowing

The muscles in our body provide a useful model for thinking about all the components of the psychic sense.  Just like our physical muscles, we use our psychic “muscles” all the time without thinking about it.  Some people want to develop their muscles—psychic and physical.  To do so means paying attention to what is normally involuntary.  A body builder uses specific exercises to develop all aspects of a muscle.  For example, the deltoid muscle covers the shoulder joint, and it has three distinct parts. Body builders use different exercises to isolate the three parts of this muscle, so the overall muscle can be effectively developed and defined.  Psychic development involves a similar approach with the psychic sense.

Just like our physical muscles, there are parts to the psychic “muscle.”  These parts are the six individual “clairs.”  There is overlap in using them, but you can still isolate the parts to develop them further.  By doing so, your overall psychic sense will become stronger.  Most people primarily use one or two “clairs,” for example, clairvoyance (seeing) or clairsentience (feeling emotions or energy).  But to develop your psychic sense fully—to make your psychic muscle most effective— set aside your strongest “clairs” and give particular focus to the exercises that will develop your weakest “clairs.”


(Psychic Feeling & Energy Sensing)

Definition: (French. clair=clear and sentience=feeling)

Clairsentience refers to the ability to get information through feeling psychically, which includes both sensing feelings/emotions and energy.  Typically thought of as having to do with picking up on other people’s emotions, a particularly clairsentient person is called an “empath.”  Women are thought of as being naturally empathic.  Although this may have some basis in our biology, we encourage (and allow) females to emote.

Boys are still getting the message that it is not okay to express feelings.

Clairsentience is also involved in touch.  Psychometry is related to clairsentience in that psychic information is gained by holding an object and feeling its energy.  Energy workers are using clairsentience, particularly when they sense the energy and vibrations in a client’s body.  I was reminded of clairsentience when I saw a video on the news of a young girl at an aquatic center standing in front of a large, floor-to-ceiling tank with a seal. As the girl danced along the length of the tank, the seal simultaneously matched her movements.  They danced in unison, making the same movements at the same time.  The seal abruptly stopped when the child stopped.  This normal connection between species occurs through clairsentience—the dance of energy that connects us all.  Even the biggest skeptic of psychic abilities has most likely had the experience of entering a room and having an immediate sense of the energy in that room or of the group that has gathered there.  That’s clairsentience operating, and we human animals, just like other animals, come by this ability naturally.

Clairsentience can be used to make a connection to anything you want to read, e.g., a question, situation, person, place, animal, the future—anything!  Send your energy awareness out from your body to be present with what you want to read.  Sending out energy awareness from your body is a function of clairsentience.  You can extend your auric field, send a laser of energy from your third-eye, or use your own approach to using your clairsentient energy awareness.  

Remember to pull your energy back, clean and clear, after using clairsentient techniques.


(Psychic Seeing)

Definition: (French. clair=clear and voyance=vision)

Clairvoyance refers to the ability to be able to obtain information by seeing psychically. In my experience, clairvoyance (or clairsentience) is the way most people receive psychic information.  Some people have difficulty visualizing, and this can get in the way of accessing clairvoyant skills.  But like all the “clairs,” it can be improved with practice.

Clairvoyance occurs in three ways:

1. Seeing something psychically with the “naked” eyes

2. Seeing something with the inner eye

3. Seeing a flash of something, usually with the “naked” eye, out of the corner of an eye

Helen Gilman (1892-1985) was a psychic in Boulder, Colorado.  She was nearly blind when she read tea leaves, but despite her handicap (or maybe because of it), Helen clairvoyantly read over 80,000 people in 75 years.  People from all walks of life sought her out, including actor Douglas Fairbanks and sororities and fraternities at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Read about Helen here

Remote Viewing, which draws upon clairvoyance skills, was used to gather defense-related information from a distance in a project developed and sponsored by the CIA and the United States Air Force, under the Stargate Project.  Soviets had conducted research into the military uses of psychic abilities (see: Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder), and the United States military did not want to fall behind.  So soldiers were recruited and taught how to Remote View. Some had little or no previous interest or ability in things psychic, but they were successful, and some soldiers turned out to be psychically gifted.

The expectation that to be really psychic you must psychically see with your naked eyes (or hear with your “naked” ears) is a waste of time.  First, that’s a value common in our Western world that only values what can be seen or touched.  Second, just ask any police officer about eyewitness testimony.  (It can’t be relied upon.)  Third, do you really want your life to be interrupted by psychically seeing something with your naked eyes?

Lisa Lanyon and I taught aura painting classes, but neither of us saw auras with our “naked eyes.”  As we talked about our students’ expectations that they should see auras with their naked eyes, we both found out that, as children, we saw energy that looked like contrast on the television when it went off air in the 1960s.  We can still see these textures in and around objects, places, and people when we relax.  I think this way of seeing energy contributed to my ability to do energywork sessions with clients as a medical intuitive.  As I scanned the client’s body, I could see this kind of textured energy.  How you “see” psychically is unique to every person, and you will discover that your clairvoyance changes as you develop your overall psychic abilities.  Lisa now sometimes sees auras with her naked eyes, though she thinks this isn’t necessary to do psychic work.


(Psychic Hearing)

Definition: (French. clair=clear and audience=hearing)

Clairaudience refers to the ability to get information by hearing psychically.  Clairaudient hearing of words, music, and other sounds can occur in three ways:

1. The sound is actually heard in a person’s head

2. The sound is actually heard out loud in the room

3. A thought or idea is impressed on your mind, usually in a quick flash

Claircognizance can overlap with clairaudience—all the “clairs” overlap at some level. Some view getting a thought as the same as claircognizance.  But, typically, claircognizance comes as a direct knowing, without specific words or thoughts—you just know.

Clairaudience is not schizophrenia.  Some students and parents of psychic children have expressed concern about their hearing things—afraid this might indicate mental health problems.  Schizophrenia isn’t just about hearing things or thoughts in the head. This mental disorder involves getting directions that are not in the best interest of the person receiving them and can be detrimental to others.  Check with a mental health professional if this concerns you.

Psychic hearing can cause anxiety, particularly in childhood, when sensing spirits.  TV programs and movies add to fear of the spirit world because of the scary nature of some of the storylines.  It might be helpful to know that what is often portrayed on television or in the theater does not reflect the way spirit communication happens.  If you are feeling fear or anxiety about hearing spirits, do some inner work to discover what might be triggering this fear in you.  This can get you past anxieties and fears about psychic hearing and spirit communication.

When I first started developing my abilities, I rarely got full, complete sentences or thoughts with clairaudience.  The conscious, thinking mind wants the complete understanding.  If you always tell a person you are reading whatever you get, even if it is one or two words—more will usually come.  Resist trying to interpret psychic hearing with your conscious mind.  Say what you get, and then go back to what you got with your psychic hearing for more insights.  This will strengthen your clairaudience.

In 1990, when I started giving readings, I asked a professional psychic medium how she got names during a reading.  She replied, “Just decide you’re going to do it.”  That seemed too simplistic to actually work.  But I made the decision that the next time I did a reading, I would get a name and relevant descriptive information.

About a week later, I was reading someone I had never met, and during the session,I gave her a name and told her that she was going to do dance work with this person. She had a perplexed look on her face as she searched for that name and description in her memory but couldn’t find it.  I was doing practice readings at the time, so we just chalked it up to a miss.  But when she was getting ready to leave and looking through her purse for her keys, a shocked look came on her face.  She pulled out a small piece of paper with the name on it that I had given her.  She told me that she had just met this person, and maybe that’s why she didn’t recall her name.  The woman she had met was a dance instructor whom she’d wanted to learn from!  So if you think you can’t get clairaudient information, just decide that you can!


(Psychic smelling)

Definition: (French. clair=clear and alience=smelling)

Clairalience refers to the ability to get information by smelling psychically.  This includes being able to smell something without the odor actually being present.

Clairalience and clairgustance are typically used less often, but they can be developed like any aspect of the psychic sense.  Improving these secondary “clairs” will strengthen your primary “clairs.”  Try using either psychic smelling or tasting when you are stuck using the other “clairs.”  This may help you get past the block and, in the process, strengthen your psychic sense.

In my experience, clairalience is often associated with spirit communication.  Students and clients regularly tell me about smelling the favorite perfume or cologne of loved ones who have passed.  For a friend of mine, clairalience became a signal when someone close to her was about to die.


(Psychic tasting)

Definition: (French. clair=clear and gustance=tasting)

Clairgustance refers to the ability to get information by tasting psychically.  This includes being able to taste something without putting it in the mouth.  As with all the “clairs,” put your energy awareness with what you psychically taste, and ask it for more insights.

I really do want you to set aside your conscious, thinking, advice-giving mind and connect psychically to get information.  Every time you set aside your thinking, analytical mind and go back into the energy of what you got psychically and then ask for more psychic insights, your psychic “muscle” gets stronger.  Doing this may be slow in the beginning.  But what you get in the end is a strong psychic sense.


(Psychic knowing)

Definition: (French. clair=clear and conaissance=knowledge)

Claircognizance refers to the ability to get information just by knowing. It is the ability to know something without input from your rational mind or from observing the world around you.  Claircognizance is an immediate knowing without the use of the other “clairs.”  It just comes—you just know.  It is quicker than the other “clairs.”

Claircognizance will get stronger when you allow yourself to say whatever comes to you, without analyzing or thinking about it first.  When reading something, you just open your mouth and let it flow out as fast as you can.  Claircognizance takes a lot of guts, because you have to set aside any fear or anxiety about being wrong, or being judged, or not making sense.  You will need a strong self-esteem to use claircognizance.

Interestingly, as you take the leap and use it, your self-esteem will grow beyond what you feel is possible—even if you think you already have a strong self-esteem.