During the past 150 years there has been many names for this, however, the average person knows them as this: clairsentience (meaning clear sensing or emotional layer sensing), clairvoyance (meaning clear seeing as with the Third Eye), clairaudience (meaning clear hearing), and claircognizance (meaning clear knowingness).
Below is a description of each of the four "clairs":
Clairsentience is often called being empathic, meaning that their level of sensing another’s personal feelings, and/or situation goes beyond just sympathy for that person, as they can actually feel the other person’s feelings, picking up on their emotional state quite easily. This includes when the person you are picking up on is in tears, it is very easy to have tears suddenly well up in your own eyes, making you feel the exact emotional state that the person you are in tune with is feeling. Clairsentience is a warm feeling when you are in tune properly, as the Holy Spirit Vibration resounds quite well within your Heart Chakra and that is where the link to the emotional layer is, so keep that in mind when accessing through your Heart Chakra--not to overload it with “deep tuning in”. By that I mean don’t allow yourself to go deeply into the other person’s Auric Field, as if becoming “one with the Spirit” that will cost you plenty in terms of growth, too, as the Guide senses this as a kind of lack of self esteem on your part as well as a lack of emotional security and maturity and will not allow further higher levels for you to access, until you learn to balance the overall “linking to Spirit” skill.
Clairvoyance, which is the usage of the Third Eye and that, has been used in throughout written and unwritten history. Ancient names and biblical references for clairvoyance was called “Seer” or having Second Sight, seeing visions, “discernment of Spirits”. (See article on Biblical Proof of Psychic Gifts for verses). Nowadays the loose term “psychic” can apply to the word clairvoyance, however, if you realize that the word “psychic” just means literally “of the Soul” than anything “of the Soul” is applicable to the term psychic. Clairvoyance is using the ability of the Third Eye directly so that you can visually witness what is shown you, and notice that I use the term "witness'? You are watching a visual event, and it is not your mind making it all up. You are seeing something happening, with your Third Eye, the majority of it being through your Spirit inside your body's two eyes watching. You see, you have your Spirit Body inside your Physical Body, and when the two are working in conjunction with each other, then the Third Eye is also doing it's job. It is the mind's eye. When you open up your Third Eye, and it does feel much like a view widening out in all directions, (even behind you) with a full 360 degree vision, and you are then able to see what you are supposed to see in the Spirit world.
Clairvoyance is wonderful in terms of the average person, as so many nowadays are clairvoyant and need to address this particular issue with each vibration rate increase. Many who didn't see them prior are now seeing, as well as easily sensing when there is a Spirit nearby. Tickling-Energy feeling, a cool rush going past you, even though there is no window open and you don’t feel the air move, is how to describe the sensation. Also a kind of secondary level Energy which is sensing the touch of a Spirit person’s hand, or feel like your head was touched in some way, as the Spirit can swirl their hands up above the person’s Crown of Life Chakra. Spirit Chills are when a darker and more negative-type Spirit comes by you and causes you to feel this instant chill surrounding your own body and it feels like the inside temperature of your own body has dropped much. That is when the Spirit tries to come next to your own physical body and you feel this drop of temperature inside. It usually makes your shoulders “clutch” or you suddenly raise your shoulders as a natural reaction to this. This should be noted when this happens as that is not right, and should be immediately blessed and released with this Spirit and sent out into the Light, asking for God’s instant Angelic protection. Clairvoyance also includes actually witnessing the Spirit, first usually just through the peripheral vision of a new psychic--you know the feeling of seeing someone out of the corner of your eye, but then when you look straight on, the person just isn’t there.
Clairvoyance I feel is one of the least understood of the Chakra-related sensing abilities. Least understood in terms of realizing just how possible it is for a person to be psychic and not realizing it. So often people have Spirit contact yet dismiss those subtle fluctuations of their bodies' sensing capabilities. You can get into a habit of dismissing these lesser sensory feelings, as they are often subtle, and then bypass the ability of psychic sensing. It helps much to keep that in mind when you are trying to increase your psychic capabilities. Try to sense everything, every little fluctuation, every little nuance there with all the basic senses when you are linking to Spirit.
In the last decade there has been much more written about clairvoyance which is very helpful now. It makes it so much easier for those of a skeptical mind to cross-reference and compare reputable author's accounts of first-hand experience, so you can justify and verify all this. So many newly awakened psychics have had to learn through trial and error of how to use this ability wisely. If you can take advantage of your local library or bookstore's variety of books out there now, you, too, will have a strong advantage by studying first, and practicing second if you so desire.
Clairaudience is the ability to contact Spirits directly as you can hear “voices” inside your own mind. It is much like hearing your own thoughts, but that these words are from someone else via Telepathy. Clairaudience gives with it direct contact plus the sensing ability to distinguish the person, so if you are hearing your deceased Mother for example, you would actually hear her tonal quality of her voice, although it would be heard in a much different way. You would be hearing her voice by way of your Spirit’s ears, which then transfers into your physical ears. This is why it sounds different, more subdued and softer. You also are able to sense the energy from the Spirit. So with example of sensing the voice of your deceased Mother, you could feel the vibration of “maternal energy” emanating from her which would confirm it was truly her. When this is occurring, the combination of the two abilities of clairsentience and clairaudience is happening.
When giving a stranger a reading with clairaudience working properly, you would be able to fine-tune this gift to sense the vibration radiating from that Spirit person as far as “relationship to the Readee”. You would sense the vibration of the person being above, at, or below the person generation-wise first, followed by the feeling of the relationship to that person. For example, for a grandfather or father you would feel the generation level of the Spirit, as in above, followed by a paternal feeling for the person being read. As you can imagine, this ability is a kind of level reached that when the two “clairs” are added together, (clairsentience and clairaudience) they both work in conjunction with each other to influence the sensing ability, hence the deeper level to sense relationship. So when you join together both gifts, then the ability increases and you are capable of giving pertinent information concerning relationship to the Readee. With the relationship of grandfather present, it does have a little more distant feeling of the paternal feeling, as in softer or lesser feeling, and again that is subtle, so it does help to pay attention to the little nuances there with sensing with the two abilities combined.
Claircognizance translates to "clear knowingness" and I want to mention this first as it strongly represents that feeling of 'you just KNOW it, no one tells you this, you just KNOW it!" That is how it makes you feel, as there are no words spoken, your whole body confirms this with the meaningful message of the information just there. This directly comes from God through the Holy Spirit Energy and transfers down through your Crown of Life Chakra (7th Chakra) and it is instantly given you so that it is there right inside your mind instantly. You can use this wonderful gift and it truly is a gift for another's benefit which will aid them depending upon the importance of the information. Sometimes it is a kind of warning, other times it is a future prophecy of things that develop and show up on the person's Akashic Record and then is transmitted into the mind of the claircognizant person about the situation. It is allowed to happen, this claircognizance, when a person is willing to aid other people, and the Lord gives His blessing and approval so that the claircognizance will be used for the aid of others. Often it is such, and the other people gain much by having a friend or relative who is claircognizant, and it does much good to listen to those gifted people. As it truthfully doesn't seem to work all that much for one's own benefit, you need to recognize this and try to deal with that aspect of it.
When claircognizance is combined with the other three "clairs" then it does work in conjunction with all the seven chakras inside the body and it all develops into Divine Guidance, which is the upper level vibration.
It is just known, plus other things as well, so the person can be told exactly what they Need to Know. You see, with this gift comes the information, plus the "how to fix" information as well. The claircognizant person is given the information solely for the purpose of warning, aiding, and correcting the current situation so that prevention or correction as needed occurs.
Having these four "clairs" working in conjunction with each other is what is desired and should be considered when using your spiritual gifts. Even if you have not had all four working simultaneously yet, don't dismiss the possibility! These are wonderful abilities and having a common-sense approach in using these gifts can do so much for others.
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