Do you know my friend “Clair-“…?

For today, I thought I’d just post up a few definitional items…  I’ve noticed that whenever I look at the profile pages of readers and psychic types in local occult shops here in LA, it’s incredibly common for them to list among their attributes and abilities, terms such as “clairvoyant” and “clairaudient” and “clairsentient.”  When I was a total rookie in this realm, the only one of these terms I’d ever heard was clairvoyant, but the others had me a bit befuddled…so I thought maybe someone out there might benefit from some relevant info about these concepts…

This looks serious, but don't worry, I won't quiz you later...I'm easy like that...
This looks serious, but don’t worry, I won’t quiz you later…I’m easy like that…

So as near as I can tell, all of these words are modified by the prefix, “clair-,” which hails from the French, and means “clear.”  Therefore, something like “clairvoyance,” for example, would more or less literally translate as “clear seeing.”  In theory this is how you’d suss out meanings for all of these “clair-” words, and obviously when it comes to sensory and even extrasensory perceptions, clear would probably be preferable to unclear, right?

"Reply Hazy.  Try again later..."
“Reply hazy. Try again later…”

In practice, though, I’m not sure just saying something like “clear seeing” really captures what clairvoyance is all about.  When someone at an occult shop tells you they’re clairvoyant, what they usually seem to be saying is that they receive input from the world that most of the rest of us do not, and that this input manifests for them in some visual or visual-equivalent way.  That is, they see, or they “see,” things that we do not.  Some clairvoyants will say that they actually see things with their eyes, even though those things are not actually present in the physical sense, and even though other people and even equipment in the vicinity would not register those things…and other clairvoyants might say that they’re seeing similar not-physically-present things less with their eyes and more with their “mind’s eye.”  Either way, the idea is that they’re getting hopefully useful data from the universe to which most people would remain oblivious.

Clairvoyance: "I see you..."
Clairvoyance: “I see you…”

The rest of the “clair-” concepts work in the same fashion:

Clairaudience:  Receiving input from stimuli not physically present, with said input manifesting in aural form…i.e., the clairaudient person “hears stuff.”  This kind of input might take the form of actual speech, inarticulate voices, music, wildlife sounds, nature sounds (wind, water, thunder…), or even just static/white noise.

Clairsentience:  “Feeling stuff.”  In these cases, the clairsentient person receives physical sensations from stimuli not actually, physically present (such sensations might include warmth or cold, buzzing, tingling, “pins and needles” feelings, itches, the sensation of being poked or caressed or otherwise touched by not-present hands, and even outright pain…).

Claircognizance:  “Just knowing stuff.”  Claircognizance rounds out the Big Four of the “Clair-” abilities that seem to get most touted and referenced, and is less sense-specific than the others.  With claircognizance, the person receives input that’s not so much specific sensory phenomena coming in from non-present sources, and is also not so much phantasmic input manifesting in one’s mind’s sensory organs (again, the mind’s eye, the mind’s ears, etc.), but is rather input which simply results in knowledge that can’t otherwise be explained by what’s physically on hand.  Think of claircognizance as kind of like receiving a mysterious download about something all at once, right into one’s brain.

The handy ability of claircognizance: good work, if you can get it!
The handy ability of claircognizance: good work, if you can get it!

And there are actually other “clair-” abilities, such as clairalience (the data comes in as olfactory input — things that the receiver smells) and clairgustance (perceiving through the realm of taste, various things not physically present).

Are these things for real?  That’s one of those questions you’ll need to answer for yourself.  What do you believe?  Does your philosophy allow for such things to exist?

I will offer, though, a scenario to consider before immediately dismissing all of these abilities as fantastical nonsense, if that’s your inclination…

Imagine, if you will, that you’re walking along a crowded city sidewalk.  Dozens of people stream by in multiple directions.  Let’s say that on the block you’re currently traversing, you can see exactly 100 people (assuming you had the ability to count them all accurately, which you of course don’t, but please work with me on this for the moment…).  No way to really track them all as you meander, but assuming that’s the real headcount, there’s nothing unusual in that number of people.  But…how do you know that one of those 100 “people” flitting past…isn’t actually a ghost?  Maybe someone died on that block a while back, and their spirit never managed to move on, and now they just wander up and down that length of sidewalk, day in and day out, milling about among the living…?

See if you can pick out the ghost...
See if you can pick out the ghost…

How would you know that a single face in that crowd wasn’t actually there in the physical sense?  Maybe what you’re really seeing is 99 people and 1 restless phantom.  You could be having an actual clairvoyant experience right then and there, in broad daylight and with dozens of onlookers about, and you might not even know it.  In the absence of anything to flag that ghost-presence for you as being a ghost — for example, no one passes right through them while you happen to be watching, and you also get no accompanying sensations to chillingly mark the one member of the throng as a presence leaning in from beyond the grave — you’d almost certainly just continue on along your way, never knowing that you’d had a clairvoyant moment!  And maybe this has happened to you (or to me, or to every single one of us!) before…and will continue to happen.  Maybe you’ve had, and maybe still have, “clair-” input of your own, and so far simply haven’t recognized it for what it is!

And maybe the people who bill themselves as “clair-this” or “clair-that” are just better at recognizing such input when it comes, and have spent more time and energy cultivating these abilities…?  Just something to consider.  And meanwhile, you might pay extra-close attention to your own incoming signals for a while: it could be that not only are there really “clair-people” out there in the world…you might even be one of them!

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