Intuitive. Sensitive. Perceptive. Are these words people use to describe you? Maybe you’ve always worried you’re a bit too emotional — you feel deeply, and you let your gut instinct guide you. Well, not only is there nothing wrong with being an empath, but it might also mean you’re clairsentient… you know, if you believe in that sort of thing. Like many things in life (especially the intangible ones like the theory of Indigo children and astrology), there exists quite a bit of debate on the topic of clairsentience. What is it even? Is it real?
We can fill in the blanks of the former, but you’re going to have to draw your conclusion about the latter on your own. But suffice it to say if you’re a highly emotional being, you’ll probably want to stick around to see what this whole clairsentient stuff is all about.
What is clairsentience?
The term “clairsentience” comes from the late 17th-century French words clair, meaning “clear,” and sentience, meaning “feeling.” In spiritual and metaphysical circles, it’s what you might call an intuitive gift or a “psychic center.” Still a little fuzzy? In her book Wheels of Light, Dr. Anodea Judith says, “Clairsentience is the ability to sense other people’s emotions.” It’s the ability to sense the past, present, or future physical and emotional states of others without the standard five senses — smell, vision, touch, hearing, and taste.
What’s the difference between clairsentients and other “feelers”?
Listen, this is heady stuff. It’s totally understandable to be a little confused. We could very easily fall down a rabbit hole trying to explain the different types of intuitive personalities out in-depth, but we’ll refrain. Rather, we’ll stick with a quick summation.
Let’s start with a term most of us have heard: empath. An empath is someone who senses and feels the emotions and energies of other people, animals, and beings. This sounds similar to a clairsentient, right? As it turns out, clairsentients tend to be empaths. By definition, though, they’re empaths whose intuitions reach a higher level.
Clairvoyants “see” things; claircognizants “know” things; clairaudients “hear” things; and clairsentients “feel” things.
What is an empath?
An empath is oft described by experts as an extremely sensitive person who feels deeply and takes on the emotional energies of the person or animal around them. Both the good and the bad. Writing on her website, psychiatrist Dr. Judith Orloff describes them as “angst-sucking sponges,” people who can’t help but take on the emotional baggage of those around them.
Orloff explains: “Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers.”
What are some signs of clairsentience?
A great way to look at clairsentience is to consider author Glennon Doyle Melton’s analogy of the canary in the coal mine. In the early 1900s, coal miners began bringing canaries into the coal mines as a precautionary measure. Why? Sentient beings, canaries are more sensitive to toxins in the environment around them. Although the miners couldn’t see or smell or hear carbon monoxide build-ups, they would be alerted to it when the canaries stopped singing. Melton uses this analogy to describe the way empaths are able to sense and feel energies that most people can’t — and it works especially well for clairsentients.
With that said, signs of clairsentience include (but aren’t limited to):
- You get overwhelmed in crowds.
- You often use phrases like “I feel,” or “I sense that…”
- Quiet time in nature reinvigorates you.
- You feel anxiety when handling older items.
- Your gut is your guide.
- You’re a great listener because you empathize with others so well.
- You often get “goosies” or chills for no reason.
- People may label you as “over-sensitive” or “too emotional.”
- You can easily read between the lines.
- You sometimes feel uncomfortable or even physically ill around dark energy.
Is clairsentience real?
Eh, it depends on who you ask. In a 2014 study, vision scientist Piers Howe suggested that sixth senses like clairsentience aren’t rooted in psychic ability at all. “People can sense things that they believe they cannot see,” he said. “But this isn’t anything magical or a sixth sense; this can be explained in terms of known visual processing.” Ultimately, whether or not clairsentience is real is only important in terms of whether it’s real or not to you.
How can you develop clairsentience?
So, you’ve read everything above and have a sneaking suspicion you may be clairsentient. Well, that’s a great place to start — by listening to your inner voice. According to astrologists and psychic mediums, developing your clairsentient abilities is all about fine-tuning your relationship with your intuition. You must be open to “hearing” what it tells you. Start practicing this every day by trusting your gut when you feel it nudging you to do (or not do) something. Over time, your intuitive communication skills could evolve into clairsentience.
What are some quotes that will resonate with clairsentients?
If you’re clairsentient, the following full-of-feeling quotes will likely ring true:
“Empaths are absorbers, not observers. When you just observe, you are no longer an empath but just a sympath.” — Monika Chhetri
“To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness; it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is the society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” — Anthon St. Maarten
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” — Stephen Chbosky
“Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it’s accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another’s eyes or heart.” — Sue Monk Kidd
“The soul itself is the center of all that we have come to call ‘psychic.’ The word itself translates literally to mean “of the soul.” When we embrace our psychic potential, we embrace our soul’s potential.”― Kim Chestney
“When it comes to making the right moves at the right time, your dance partner is life itself or what can be referred to as your destiny. The more you pay attention and practice intuitive decision-making skills, the better you will become at sensing the unique rhythm of your life.” ― Paul O’Brien
“Our feelings are the wings of our intuition.” ― Jodi Livon
“Learn to hear your inner voice, be led by your heart and never stop giving back – this way you shall always walk the right path and shall never be walking alone.” ― Aleksej Metelko
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