• what is a clairvoyant

There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the topic of psychics, mediums and spiritual guides. To the uninitiated, these words can conjure up images of people in tents with crystal balls, or of hippies wearing baggy clothes.

And of course that’s sometimes true – but in other cases it couldn’t be further from the mark. Not only do spiritual practitioners differ greatly from one another in their presentation and beliefs but they also offer a wide range of different skills and services.

Take clairvoyance for example. This is an entirely different skill set from divination but very few people understand what it really encompasses. Read on and we’ll decipher precisely what the term means.

What is Clairvoyance?

Clairvoyance describes the ability to ‘see things which are hidden’. As you can already see then, this is a somewhat abstract concept and not quite as simple as ‘seeing the future’ or ‘speaking with the deceased’. Literally, the term clairvoyance translates to ‘clear vision’, which pretty much sums it up.

So what does this mean specifically? Well, like it sounds, it means that you can see things other people cannot – quite literally. It is sometimes used in remote viewing but tends to be a little less precise than that. Rather, a clairvoyant might be able to offer advice in finding lost children, or locating misplaced objects.

At the same time though, this can also sometimes mean the same as seeing the future. In this case, a clairvoyant might see something ‘hidden’ meaning they get a sense of something to come. In this case, it is described as ‘precognition’.

Alternatively, a clairvoyant might also be used in order to see into the past. In this case, they might gain insight into events that have shaped the current situation and therefore be able to use this information to guide future decision making. This is called ‘retrocognition’.

In other cases, a clairvoyant might see something in the present that can help provide clues as to the future. For instance, they might seem danger lurking around a corner and therefore decide to avoid taking certain actions.

Differentiation from Other Terms

It’s important to learn the distinction between a clairvoyant and other types of psychics. Some psychics are clairvoyants but not all – others might receive intuitive information through other means. A medium meanwhile is someone who has contact with the deceased, while divination is the practice of answering specific questions of the future, usually by employing some kind of ritual.

How Clairvoyance Works

Of course opinions vary widely regarding the legitimacy of clairvoyance, how it works and whether it works at all.

However, those who claim to have psychic powers will often describe their abilities in detail to help others to understand. One common explanation for instance is that they get a vision of the information using their ‘third eye’. The third eye is a chakra that is found on the forehead, located just between the eyebrows. Often visions will appear to be located in this spot and might be fairly vivid. We all have a third eye and it’s also what we use for remembering and visualizing.

Some people will describe visions as being very vivid and literal. Others describe it more as a sense, an intuition or a ‘nudge’. Often the vision won’t be literal but will instead be symbolic/metaphorical. Much like the language of dreams, the images might come through based on the individual’s own internal symbolic language. For instance, if someone is about to get married, you might get the sense of a ‘ring’ – the ring representing the marriage in this instance.

Clairvoyants are also associated with the use of crystal balls. While not all clairvoyants will use these aids, others find that they can be useful for getting visions. By looking into the patterns in the crystal, the user is able to make out images that can help them tap into their own intuitions.

Clairvoyance in one form or another has been practiced by many cultures and religions. Jesus’ disciples for instance were said to use Cleromancy for divination (a related ability) whereas Ancient Greek ‘Oracles’ were considered the conduits for gods on Earth with the ability to prophecies and see hidden truths. Seers meanwhile were interpreters of the signs of the gods.

Interestingly, clairvoyants in particular have been the subject of a lot of research conducted by intelligence organizations. The ability to use remote viewing or to see specific events would be of incredible value to the FBI and the military. Of course the results of these studies aren’t widely known but it is known that clairvoyants have been in the employ of these organizations in the past!

Related Terms

Even if you consider yourself something of a buff in the world of psychic abilities, there may be a few terms you’re not familiar with. For instance:


This is the ability to perceive tactile sensations to learn about events elsewhere.


As you might have guessed, this refers to a form of extra-sensory perception that is focussed on auditory abilities. In other words, it means hearing something that isn’t happening right now or within earshot.


This has nothing to do with aliens but rather refers to the ability to gain additional insight through smells.


Claircognizance skips the sensory part altogether. It simply means ‘clear knowing’. If you have ever had the experience of just knowing something is wrong, or being certain of something without really having any reason to be – then you may have experienced a little claircognizance!


This one refers to tasting – the ability to taste something without putting it in your mouth! It’s said that those who possess this ability can taste the essence from spiritual and ethereal realms.


One of the lesser-known and used terms, this is the ability to speak fluently in metaphor and symbolic language, unveiling hidden truths in the process.


So there you have it: that’s clairvoyance. This is essentially the extrasensory ability to see through space and time. There are various different forms of the ability and many related skills but generally this is what you can expect if you ever see a clairvoyant.