Human Psychic Abilities Explained: What is Clairvoyance?

Human Psychic Abilities Explained: What is Clairvoyance?

When you look at my Website, you will see that I and my team of psychic readers all have different psychic abilities, one of which is clairvoyance. But what is clairvoyance? This post aims to provide a brief explanation of this ability, show how science may explain it (see “Human Psychic Abilities Explained by Science” below) and give a few famous historic clairvoyance examples.

So – What is Clairvoyance?

A French term pronounced /klɛːˈvɔɪəns/, clairvoyance literally means ‘clear seeing’ or ‘clear vision’. Usually defined as the ability to see things/events beyond “normal sensory input” (i.e. things/events in the past, present & future other people cannot see), it is frequently also referred to as second sight or, somewhat mistakenly (I’ll explain this in a moment…) sixth sense, ESP (extrasensory perception), “psychic” or telepathy.

In other words, clairvoyants (individuals with the gift of clairvoyance) can ‘see’ things or events that have happened in the past (known as “retrocognition), are happening (potentially far away) in the present (known as ‘remote viewing’) and/or will happen in the future (known as precognition’).

I say “and/or” here because not every clairvoyant has all these abilities (retrocognition, precognition and remote viewing). In other words, some may only experience retrocognition, others may ‘specialise’ in precognition or remote viewing and others still may have a combination of two or perhaps even all three of these abilities.

What Clairvoyance is Not

There are many myths surrounding clairvoyance (image 1), so I believe it is important to clear up some of these myths before we go any further…

Let’s begin by looking at why I referred to some of the alternative terms for clairvoyance as ‘mistaken’ earlier. I did so because:

  • Psychic abilities include not only clairvoyance but a whole list of other abilities (Image 2), so ‘being psychic’ does not necessarily mean having the gift of clairvoyance. In other words, while every clairvoyant is a psychic, not all psychics are clairvoyants.
  • Having a ‘sixth sense’ or ESP could also mean having any one of many psychic abilities
  • Telepathy is not an ability to see past, present or future events but the ability to “read people’s minds”. While there may well be clairvoyants who also have this ability, not every clairvoyant is a telepath and not every telepath is a clairvoyant.

So, what about other myths? Well, many people believe that clairvoyant ‘messages’ are always very clear, often ‘dramatic’ visions of the future that should be taken literally.

We have already determined that clairvoyance can also be the ability to see past or present event, but what about clarity? This myth is best busted by exploring how different clairvoyants experience their gift…

How Does Clairvoyance Manifest Itself?

Clairvoyance may manifest itself in several different ways. Some clairvoyants get “flashes” of sudden insight or images, others describe their experience as being like “watching a movie clip in their head”.

Sometimes these flashes or “movie clips” are indeed dramatic and turn out to be “full blown premonitions” (you know the expression: “he/she saw that one coming”) but in many cases, they are far more subtle than this.

A clairvoyant may, for example, simply see an isolated image, a number, letter, symbol or colour. In many cases, these ‘messages’ are purely symbolic and, as their meaning can be very difficult to understand, cannot be taken literally.

In such cases, experienced clairvoyants will use their intuition, the context of a reading (i.e. clients’ questions/circumstances) and any input their clients may be able to provide to interpret (clarify) the message at hand.

Famous Historic Clairvoyance Examples

Throughout history, there have been many examples of clairvoyance and all its aspects.

Some of the most famous examples of precognition, for instance, where provided by 16th Century French physician, astrologer and ‘seer’ Nostradamus, who is said to have predicted many historic events (Image 3) and 19th, 20th & 21st Century catastrophes including earthquakes, fires and floods; worldwide outbreaks of plagues and murders.

Seemingly showing significant interest in the “rise of the Antichrist” and a ‘takeover’ (by hostile Muslim groups) of Europe. Nostradamus also predicted the “end of the world”.

Then, of course, there was Abraham Lincoln, who foresaw his own assassination in dream – a premonition that came true when John Wilkes Booth shot him three days after Lincoln told his wife about the dream.

Image 4 shows a few ‘more contemporary’ examples of potential precognitive experiences.

The “Moberly-Jourdain Incident” that took place on the 10th of August 1901, on the other hand, is an excellent example of ‘retrocognition’:

Here, two academics – Eleanor Jourdain & Anne Moberly – were said to have ‘met’ the Comte de Vaudreuil, Queen Marie Antoinette and other 18th Century figures after being “overcome by great dreariness” during a visit to Versailles Place.

As Paris’ Tuileries Palace was besieged on the 10th of August 1792 (followed by the French monarchy being abolished and the imprisonment of Marie Antoinette and her husband, King Louis, in September 1792), it is commonly believed that Jourdain & Moberly had a retrocognitive clairvoyant experience allowing them to ‘witness’ a scene prior to this date.

Counting President Woodrow Wilson and composer Irving Berlin among his many prestigious ‘subjects’, American clairvoyant Edgar Cayce (who was often called the “sleeping prophet” due to his habit of answering questions during a sleep or trance-like state), on the other hand, could be regarded as an example of both retro- and precognition, as he answered questions concerning both past and future events.

Human Psychic Abilities Explained by Science

One of the ways in which science may explain clairvoyance and/or other psychic abilities is via the understanding of synaesthesia. Frequently explained as a “joining of senses”, synaesthesia is a condition that occurs when input via one sensory channel (i.e. hearing) is registered by and produces sensations via not only this channel but also by another (i.e. vision, smell, taste, etc.)

There are several different ‘types’ of synaesthesia. Depending on which type is experienced, a person may, for instance:

  • See colours, smell something or have a sensation of taste when seeing letters (associating letters with colours is known as Grapheme-colour synaesthesia) or hearing words or music (seeing colours when hearing music is known as Chromesthesia).
  • Feel other people’s pain or emotions when seeing/experiencing their pain/emotions (‘Mirror synaesthesia’)
  • Feel strong emotions when touching different materials/textures
  • See numbers or time (i.e. dates, months, etc.; known as spatio-temporal synaesthesia) in spatial arrangements (curves, straight or ‘wavy’ lines, rectangles, ovals, squares…)

While there is still much research to be done in terms of finding the causes of this condition, there are some suggestions that it may be genetic and /or linked to hyperactive neurons in the brain.

What we do know is that it:

  • May predispose someone to make links/associations between ideas that are seemingly unrelated.
  • May be influenced by language, learning/experience and the way we process thoughts and sensory input.
  • Is believed to be experienced by 5 per cent of the population and widespread among individuals of artistic (Image 5) or mathematical brilliance. Outstanding mathematicians often even experience physical pain when ‘spotting a mistake’, as do many people who are excellent at spelling.

Synaesthesia is also frequently experienced via “inner voices” (without external sensory input). This, combined with everything else we know about it, leads some scientists to believe that it may be a cause of or at least connected to psychic abilities.


While we are still somewhat at a loss as to what causes clairvoyance and other psychic abilities, we do know that it is a very real ability that allows those gifted with it to help others learn more about themselves, their past, present & future and consequently make better decisions & improve their lives.

Whether you have a specific question/problem or simply want to learn more about yourself, my team is here to give you all the answers and/or guidance you need. Why not get in touch with one of them right now?

For UK callers, the number to call me is UK 0800 999 3831, Australia 1800 558 140, Canada 1866 403 3407, USA 1855 864 9382, Eire 015 060 692, Rest of the World +44 1749 860 777.

For UK callers, the number to call a member of my team is 0800 999 8831. Australia 1800 018 367, Canada 1866 766 9422, Ireland 0150 60693, USA 1855 864 9383, ROW +44 207 111 6115.

Tony Hyland