There are many different types of psychic abilities, or gifts if you prefer that term. Your individual ability provides you with a means of receiving messages from your intuition, higher self, God, angels, the Universe or whomever you believe these messages come from (we’ll save that discussion for another day.) One “gift” is not better than another. Each ability is special and provides the receiver a way to get messages that will help then to live a better life, or help others to live a better life. You may receive messages through a vision, a thought, a sound, a scent, or some other way. Here we will break down the several different types of psychic abilities.

In my previous article “No You Are NOT Crazy, You Are Psychic” I touched on some of types of psychic abilities, but here I will provide more specific details and some examples of these gifts in action. As previously mentioned, in the last article, the terms for psychic gifts can seem a bit daunting, even frightening, to some people. Please don’t let terminology upset you. These words are just a way of conveying meaning, much like the gifts they describe. The four most recognized psychic abilities are clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and claircognizance. The prefix clair basically means clear, so clairvoyance means “clear seeing,” clairaudience means “clear hearing,” clairsentience means “clear feeling,” and claircognizance means “clear knowing.” Some less recognized psychic abilities are: clairsient, clairangency, clairtangent, and clairgustance.

"Eye" by Tomas Fano New York Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Eye” by Tomas Fano New York Metropolitan Museum of Art | Source


Just like the name implies, clairvoyance is “clear seeing.” This means that an individual with clairvoyance can “see” the messages that they receive. This can happen in different ways, such as a vision, a dream, a picture in their mind, or even “seeing” things as if they were standing right in front of them.

Messages can be very specific or complex, and this may depend upon the individual or the specific message. Some people get very clear messages. You may see a stop sign and a particular road, then you know not to go that way, or to stop someone else from going that direction. I know someone who sees words like “leave” or “stay.”

My visions are not that simple. Personally, I see something, and then I typically have to interpret it. For example, I will often see images of animals. Animals have been recognized as spiritual totems with specific meanings for generations. If I see a particular animal, I look up the totem meaning. This typically will give me the message that I am supposed to get. These messages could be complicated or simple. A vision of a rose could mean love, or the vision or running water may mean to purify.

Here is an example of a complex vision and how I broke it down. One complicated vision that I had recently was a scarecrow, standing in front of a doorway to a large building. He was looking across at a factory that was emitting pollution into a beautiful sunset. Talk about complicated! So I determined, from a resource that I typically use, that the scarecrow represents depression. In the vision the scarecrow was upset about the factory emitting pollution. The factory and the pollution represented something large and harmful that I could not control. He was standing at a doorway to a business but he would not go in; this represented a work opportunity. The vision also showed a sunset, meaning that time was running out. So with a bit of research, and meditation, I determined that this message meant that I was depressed over things that were too large for me to fix, and this was stopping me from making work decisions that had to be handled before I ran out of time. The vision itself came to me in a flash, but the interpretation took a bit of time and soul searching. But you can clearly see that the message was an important revelation from for me. Messages are given to you for a reason, and almost always are good advice to follow.



As clairvoyance is clear seeing, clairaudience is clear hearing. This means that you will hear messages. It may be a literal message, like “yes” or “no,” or something more cryptic that you will need to figure out, like a song, a voice, or a word. Someone very close to me hears songs. Often he doesn’t even realize it until he starts humming or singing along. The song coveys the message, either through the lyrics, such as if you her a specific line in a song, or the title, maybe you hear the entire song and the song title itself is the message. For those of us who are not clairaudient, this happens a lot in dreams. Did you ever wake up singing a song to yourself? And I don’t mean one that you woke up to with your clock radio/mp3 alarm clock? Think of what that song means to you, or what that particular line of the song means to you.

Clairsentience versus Empath

People who are clairsentient have feelings that provide them with information. Have you ever walked into a room where someone was just fighting, and you can feel the tension? Have you walked into an empty hospital room and felt sad or pain? The phone may ring and you feel anxious, or even happy, before you even know who the caller is. These are examples of clairsentience.

Now there is some confusion between clairsentients and empaths, so let’s address that. They are similar in that both involve feeling. An empath can feel what others are feeling. Clairsentients can do this as well, but their feelings go beyond just feeling what others are feeling. They can feel the energy of places, things, and situations. An empath does not feel the energy of things, they feel the energy of people. An empath can feel pain from your headache. If you are an empath, you may notice that you get sad, happy, angry, or excited for seemingly no reason, but then you find out that someone in close proximity is having these feelings. It took me a very long time to realize that I was an empath. I used to work in healthcare. I was always in pain and always sick. I had every test I could think of, but I was perfectly healthy. Finally, I realized that it was other people’s pain and sickness that I was feeling.

Of course you can have many different types of psychic gifts together, or separately. Someone can be an empath and also be clairsentient. Only you can tell how you receive messages.

Mind-body Dichotomy by Stefan Kuhn and Anders Jorgensen


I have to admit that this is my favorite gift. I know, I shouldn’t pick favorites, but this one makes my life pretty easy. Claircognizance is clear knowing, and just like the name implies it is knowing things. And who doesn’t want to know things? When I first started to do readings for others this was my “go to” gift. Someone would ask me a question, and I would just know that answer. I have known people with this gift who are impossible to beat at games, like hangman or other simple games with words or short answers. Are you one of those people who ace multiple choice tests without knowing the content? You just know the answer.

This is how it works for me: imaging that you learned something a long time ago, like in school as a child, and someone asks you, and you just remember. To me that is what claircognizance feels like, like retrieving a memory. For me there is no analysis needed, no cryptic images or sounds to interpret, you just know what you know. Now that does not mean that you have the answers to everything, but you do have answers. And admittedly, this works better for me when I am helping others than with answers for myself. You can ask me a questions, and often I can answer it, but if I ask myself a question the answer either doesn’t come or the response is very vague. I am more likely to get a vision or a word than a clear message for myself, although it is not completely impossible, especially when I am in a good place emotionally.

Less Familiar Gifts

The previous gifts are the most recognized and familiar forms of psychic messages, but there are others.

Clairsient is receiving messages through scent, such as smelling a particular perfume or food that sends a message.

Clairtangency is receiving messages through touch, this is also known as psychometry. A good example of psychometry is going to a flea market, picking up something that belonged to someone else, and getting a message or feeling from it. I hate flea markets and antique stores for just this reason, although this can happen with new items as well. Say the factory worker who packaged your product was angry or sad, you can sometimes feel those things as well, if the feelings are strong enough. Have you gone to a restaurant and eaten a delicious meal that made you really angry? Perhaps the cook was angry and that energy went into the food. Energy is stored in items, and clairtangents can feel it.

Another psychic ability is clairgustance, which is receiving messages through taste. I admit that I have never experienced this, but I read of an example. Someone was trying to determine cause of death for an individual, and he tasted a bitter substance in his mouth. It was then found that the victim had been poisoned.


The last psychic ability that I will describe is mediumship. Mediumship is the ability to communicate with the dead. Many people find this a frightening proposition, but I can assure you that it typically is not. The dead are just people, like you and I, they just happen to be on a different plane. People are people, dead or alive. Would you be afraid to talk to a live person? Of course not, so why be afraid to talk to a dead person? Death is not contagious.

When I talk to the dead I do not always see them. Sometimes I can see them with my mind’s eye, although sometimes I really do see them with my eyes. If I actually see them, they will either be transparent, like a photo that is fading, or as a shadow without specific features. I am sure that other people see them in different ways as well, I just wanted to share my own experiences. I know that there are people who see the dead as fully formed and as clear as any live person standing before you.

Usually, I am not frightened by the dead, but like anyone, if you are distracted and someone shows up unexpectedly it can startle you. In reality, most dead people do not wish you any harm. Many just want validation that you can see them. Some may have a message for you or for someone else. That said, just like there are good and bad live people, there are good and bad dead people. If it is someone that you do not know, be careful just as you would with any stranger. This brings me to the next touchy subject: channeling. Channeling is allowing someone who has died to enter your body, typically for the purpose of speaking through you. Personally, I am not a fan of channeling and never do so. This is giving your body up to someone else, and I would advise that you proceed very cautiously before you consider such an action. Possessions do not only happen in the movies. A spirit can enter your body and refuse to leave. I will admit that, at this time, I am not an expert on channeling. There are some people that do it and find it very rewarding. I would just advise extreme caution and thorough research before attempting it.

"Dreaming of Forever 2" by Lisa Wray 2008

So I Have an Ability, Now What?

So we have discussed several different types of abilities. Now you may be wondering where to go from here.

Messages are communications designed to help you in some way, but for the communication to be understood sometimes there is some legwork involved. Like I mentioned previously, messages are not always clear. Sometimes you will get a vision of something and have no idea what it means. I know, because I have been there. The first time that I had a vision, I was completely confused. After a lot of research and personal experience, I found that I needed a key to unlock my messages. That is not a metaphor. I mean a key as in the key of a map, something that gives meaning to figures on the map.

I have several keys to help me decipher my messages. No doubt you will have your own. Your guides, or whomever you believe the messages come from, would not send you a message that you could not figure out. I like to do dream analysis, and I go to a site online regularly to help with that. So the items in my visions can often be explained there. I mentioned animal totems, they are widely recognized and often easy to interpret. I like to do cartomancy, which is a type of fortune telling done with playing cards. I have a specific book that provides meaning for each of the cards which acts as a springboard for my intuition. Of course there will be plenty of times when you can figure a message out easily without help, but it is nice to know that when you get confused the Universe will provide you with assistance.

So now you received your messages and learned how to interpret them, the rest is up to you. You can use these messages to help you make life decisions, to help others, or you can ignore them. It is totally your choice. I have found that my messages lead me in strange directions sometimes, but usually for good reason, even if I can’t see that reason right away. I wish you the best of luck with your own psychic abilities!