Clairaudience or 'psychic hearing’ is a psychic perception preference for auditory mental impressions that are perceived by clairaudient psychics and mediums as the 'inner hearing’ of voices, music, and sounds.
The term clairaudience derives from French clair meaning ‘clear,’ and Old French audience meaning ‘act or state of hearing,’ or ‘action or condition of listening,’ as well as Latin audentia ‘hearing, listening.’ Clairaudience is to ‘clearly hear’ or ‘clear hearing.’
The American Psychological Association defines clairaudience as the ability “to hear voices or sounds beyond the normal range of hearing, including supposed messages from spirit guides or the dead. This may involve messages heard from, or attuned to an ‘inner voice’ or voices separate from thought. It is the auditory equivalent of clairvoyance.”
Psychics and mediums generally experience clairaudience as an ‘inner voice’ or an ‘inner hearing’ of voices, music, and other auditory-type mental impressions. Some hear their own voice, while some hear the voices of spirit entities or discarnate beings. Some also hear certain sounds, including whistling, buzzing, or ringing sounds.
I hear a voice you cannot hear, which says I must not stay; I see a hand you cannot see, which beckons me away. ~ Thomas Tickell
A practical way to simulate the experience of clairaudience is to silently count from one to ten in your mind, or to recall the lyrics of your favorite song. How you mentally 'hear' the numbers or words in your mind is essentially how psychics and mediums experience clairaudient psychic impressions. It can be described as 'audible thinking.' It is like a hit song stuck in your head, or when you think you ‘heard’ someone say your name in passing, only to discover that there is no one there.
A clairaudient impression I often experience is to ‘hear’ popular songs during mediumship readings, which usually serves as an afterlife validation for the client. For example, one day I heard two classic songs from the late 50s or early 60s that my dad used to listen to when I was a kid. At first, I thought it might be his energy I was resonating with, but eventually it became clear this was related to someone else. Those two songs annoyingly remained stuck on repeat in my mind. To make the matter worse, I don't know much of the lyrics of these songs, only the ‘catchy’ parts. So, that was all I heard all day…in a weird mash-up…over, and over, and over again.
Put your head on my shoulder…baaaay...beeeeh…Oh Carol, I am but a fool…darling, I love you…
It became evident that evening that the ‘maddening mash-up’ came courtesy of a client's deceased grandfather. The client was too young to know the two classic ballads (by singer Paul Anka), but she could however confirm that her aunt, who happens to be named Carol (grandpa’s daughter) had been going through a really tough time. Aunt Carol was therefore being reassured that her dad was looking out for her from the other side.
Psi researcher Ernesto Bozzano reports various cases of clairaudient ‘music’ perception, namely as a feature of deathbed experiences (including music heard in the room where no source was observed); music perceived telepathically; music in hauntings; music unrelated to death contexts; music heard on deathbeds, and music heard after a death. In one case the ‘hearing of music’ was related to an apparition:
I felt utterly terrified, and called out at once, “Did you see that?” and at the same time Miss Z. T. exclaimed, “Did you hear that?” Then, I said, instantly, “I saw an angel fly through the room,” and she said, “I heard an angel singing.
There are several famous accounts of clairaudients, including religious prophets and historic figures. The Biblical prophet Ezekiel, for example, saw a clairvoyant vision and heard a voice speaking to him in Ezekiel 1:28.
Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
In I Kings 19:12–13 the prophet Elijah heard the voice of God as a gentle whisper.
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?
One of the most renowned clairaudients was Joan of Arc, known as 'The Maid of Orléans.' She led the French army in several successful battles. Joan heard the voices of saints and attributed her military decisions and victories to these direct messages from Heaven. Sadly, she was burned at the stake in 1431 for the crime of heresy. Her auditory perceptions remain an ongoing topic of interest, but have unfortunately been attributed by many scholars to all manner of medical ailments and pathological causes, including schizophrenia, epilepsy, and tuberculosis.
A recent study finds the average age that spiritualist mediums first have a clairaudient experience is 21.7 years, but most experience it either before the age of twenty, or around the age of forty. Furthermore, as many as 44.6% of the subjects report having daily clairaudient experiences, and 65.1% of these clairaudient experiences occur within the medium’s mind, while 31.7% experience it both internally and externally, and 3.2% report is as purely external experiences.
According to researcher Adam Powell these findings further suggest people are more likely to become interested in psychic or ‘paranormal’ phenomena as a consequence of some unusual ‘sensory’ experience, instead of the other way round.
I believe it was sent me from God. When I heard it for the third time, I recognized that it was the Voice of an Angel. This Voice has always guarded me well, and I have always understood it ~ Joan of Arc
For our participants, the tenets of Spiritualism seem to make sense of both extraordinary childhood experiences as well as the frequent auditory phenomena they experience as practicing mediums. But all of those experiences may result more from having certain tendencies or early abilities than from simply believing in the possibility of contacting the dead if one tries hard enough.
If you are curious to experience what clairaudient mediums hear when they perceive ‘spirit voices,’ I recommend listening to recordings of electronic voice phenomena (EVP), a research technique popularized in the 1970’s by parapsychologist Konstantīns Raudive. EVP are unexplained voices and sounds captured in audio recordings. The sounds are brief, usually just one word, or a short phrase.  The first time I heard an EVP recording, I immediately recognized the tonal quality of the sounds. I remember being excited having discovered a way I could demonstrate to other people what I sometimes ‘hear.’
Clairaudient perception of spirit voices can be especially overwhelming for novice mediums who do not understand what it is they are experiencing. In my childhood, hearing such ‘voices’ used to be very traumatizing and confusing. I kept it a secret, until well into adulthood, because it is something that is generally frowned upon, and often associated with mental illness or even with 'demonic forces’ or ‘spirit possession.’ Fortunately, as a psychology student I came to realize that what I was hearing was quite different from a mentally disordered patient having a conversation with his refrigerator!
If clairaudients are truly ‘psychotic,’ or prone to ‘hallucinations,’ then our auditory perceptions should cause us much personal distress and psychological suffering, instead of bringing so much healing, confirmation, and validation to our clients. If clairaudience is indeed a form of psychosis, it would have been impossible for me to function or lead a ‘normal’ life, instead of it being such a positive blessing to so many people. I would also not have developed the good control I have over my clairaudient ability. As a practicing psychic medium, I only 'hear' when I work, and only when I work — apart from a few rare instances, when spirit simply cannot wait!
Researcher Peter Moseley finds mediums tend to report “unusual auditory experiences which are positive, start early in life, and which they are often able to control. Understanding how these develop is important because it could help us understand more about distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices too.”
Psychiatrist Ralph Hoffman argues the ‘hearing of voices’ is known to occur in states of religious or creative inspiration, and are not necessarily signs of mental illness. Hoffman cites the example of the renowned mystical poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who one day heard the ‘crystalline voice of an angel carried by the ocean wind.’ This profound experience inspired the writing of Rilke's famous work Duino Elegies.
© 2022 Anthon St. Maarten
 Clairaudience. (2021). Dictionary Of Psychology. American Psychological Association. Dictionary.apa.org
 Alvarado, C. S. (2017). Ernesto Bozzano's ‘Psychic Phenomena At The Moment Of Death.’ Psi Encyclopedia. The Society For Psychical Research.
 Sidgwick, H. et.al. (1894). Report On The Census Of Hallucinations. Proceedings Of The Society For Psychical Research.
 Powell, A.J. & Moseley, P. (2020) When Spirits Speak: Absorption, Attribution, And Identity Among Spiritualists Who Report ‘Clairaudient’ Voice Experiences. Mental Health, Religion & Culture.
 Vince, M. (2021). What Can Science Tell Us About Mediums Who Hear Voices? Medicalnewstoday.com.
 Raudive, K. (1971). Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication With The Dead. Taplinger Publishing Co
 Scientists Shed Light On How And Why Some People Report “Hearing The Dead.” (2021). Taylor & Francis Group. TaylorandFrancisgroup.com
 Hoffman, R. (2003). Auditory Hallucinations: What's It Like Hearing Voices? HealthyPlace.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthon St. Maarten is a psychic medium and destiny coach with a global clientele of thought leaders, business executives, celebrities, politicians, academics, and luminaries in the arts and sciences in more than thirty countries spanning five continents.
He is also a metaphysics teacher, psychic development coach, podcaster, and spiritual blogger. Anthon is a hereditary psychic medium in professional practice since 2004 and a liberal arts post-graduate with a major in psychology.
Anthon publishes the spiritual life design blog, The S Word, and is the author of Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny and The Sensible Psychic: A Leading-Edge Guide To True Psychic Perception.