Anthon St. Maarten
Clairvoyance – The Gift Of Psychic Sight
Clairvoyance is often incorrectly used as a generic term for ‘being psychic,’ and even mistakenly used to refer to other psychic concepts, for example as a slang term for mediumship — as in ‘he is one of those clairvoyants who can talk to dead people.’ Psychic seeing or clairvoyance is however a type of psychic impression. It is a psychic perception preference for ‘visual’ impressions in the form of mental imagery and inner visions.
Clairvoyance or 'psychic seeing' is the supernatural perception of energy data in the form of mental imagery, inner visions, and visual apparitions that have symbolic, metaphoric, revelatory, or prophetic significance.
This original ‘clair’ term is from French clair and Latin clarus, meaning ‘clear,’ and French voir and Latin videre, meaning ‘to see,’ and originates from 13th century Old French clerveans. Clairvoyance is thus to ‘clearly see’ or to have ‘clear vision.’
There are many synonyms and alternative terms for this psychic preference, including ‘second sight,’ astral or etheric vision, cryptesthesia, the ‘eyes of the soul,’ the ‘mind’s eye,’ shadow sight, the third eye, remote viewing, and so on.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream ~ Numbers 12:6
Definitions of clairvoyance in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and psi research papers generally tend to be also ill-conceived, or simply outmoded. For example, Webster’s dictionary defines clairvoyance as the ‘power of perceiving things beyond the natural range of the senses,’ and as ‘keen intuitive understanding.’ Collins describes it as ‘quick, intuitive knowledge of things and people,’ and ‘to know about future events, or to be able to communicate with dead people.’
The Parapsychological Association defines clairvoyance as ‘paranormal acquisition of information concerning an object or contemporary physical event; in contrast to telepathy, the information is assumed to derive directly from an external physical source (such as a concealed photograph) and not from the mind of another person.’ Vocabulary.com simply describes it as ‘a magical kind of intuition,’ with which one ‘could attempt to predict which team will win the Superbowl.’
One seldom finds an accurate description of the everyday clairvoyant’s authentic experiences in mainstream definitions, and therefore they are not much use to the sensible psychic and medium. True clairvoyance is in fact the supernatural perception of energy data as mental imagery, inner visions, and visual apparitions that have symbolic, metaphoric, revelatory, or prophetic significance.
The clairvoyant’s typical perceptions are much like ordinary visualizations, imaginings, daydreams, and visual memories. A practical way to demonstrate the experience is to close your eyes for a few moments and think back to an early childhood memory. As you recall this event, observe what is happening in the scene you are remembering. Where are you? Who is with you? What are you doing? What is happening? What can you detect around you? This is essentially how a clairvoyant psychic or medium perceives a visual psychic impression.
Some of my clairvoyant impressions are best described as ‘vivid flashes,’ like standing in darkness with a strobe light flashing only once. These mental flashes are inanimate, ‘frozen’ imagery suspended in time, without any movement or change. Most of my clairvoyant visions are however animated, like a daydream, or a ‘mental movie.’
These visual impressions typically consist of subjective psychic symbols the clairvoyant acquires over time, and it is mostly based on our personal memories and life experiences. Psi researcher Charles Tart calls this memory-mediated psi, or an ‘awareness of memory images,’ similar to ordinary visual memories of something seen before. I therefore ‘see’ things from my own frame of reference, or from my own visual ‘memory bank.’
However, not everything I see is familiar. Some clairvoyant impressions are entirely novel or unfamiliar sights. For example, I might see an unknown location, such as a beach or the interior of a home that I have never personally visited before. Such a vision will be composed of visual memories of things I have seen before at other beaches, or in other homes, either in person or in photos, pictures, films, and so on.
Clairvoyant impressions also range from realistic visual impressions of ordinary objects, people, places, and events, to unfamiliar, abstract, sometimes bizarre visions similar to the imagery one might perceive in a strange dream. However, no matter what the clairvoyant ‘sees,’ these visual impressions are always significant, meaningful, and never random.
What clairvoyants ‘see’ differ significantly, as these impressions are highly subjective, intrinsic, and ineffable. We typically develop our own 'vocabulary' or personal set of clairvoyant symbols that may include realistic visual impressions, as well as archetypal or symbolic imagery. In fact, the best clairvoyants are not necessarily those who are the most gifted as ‘seers,’ but instead those most skilled at understanding, interpreting, and relaying what they see.
For example, seeing in my mind’s eye someone wearing a ‘white laboratory coat’ for me symbolizes the person being a medical or healthcare professional. The ‘white coat’ symbol is however not based on a particular memory to which I can trace it back; it is just a random mental image I acquired at some point in my life, probably in my childhood. However, if I ‘see’ the white coat in combination with memory flashbacks from when I was a psychology student, I then also know the person is probably a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
How did I develop these seemingly random clairvoyant symbols? Well, mostly by trial and error, but sometimes I simply have a claircognitive ‘knowing.’ The first time a ‘white coat’ came up in a psychic reading many years ago, the client confirmed she was indeed a medical doctor. So, this way I added another ‘psychic symbol’ to my collection of clairvoyant imagery. So, every time I now perceive this mental image, I know what it signifies.
He could foretell whats’ever was, By consequence to come to pass. As Death of Great Men, Alterations, Diseases, Battels, Inundations. All this without th’ Eclipse of Sun, Or dreadful Comet, he hath done By inward Light, a way as good ~ Samuel Butler
Memory-mediated visions are therefore mostly a ‘recall’ of events from my own life experiences, but I also perceive memory impressions of movie scenes and television shows, for example, as well as artworks, book covers, and so on. For this reason, it is important for psychics and mediums to expand their channeling potential by having an adventurous attitude towards life, as well as a keen interest in new experiences and expanding their general knowledge. The more life experience a psychic or medium acquires on a variety of subjects and interests, the more rich, sophisticated, and meaningful their channeling symbolism will be.
A question developing psychics and mediums often ask is how to distinguish an actual clairvoyant impression from one’s own imagination. A simple way to determine if you are truly seeing something that is clairvoyantly significant, or whether you are just imagining it, is to attempt to change the image or scene in your mind.
For example, if you are seeing a dog with a teddy bear, imagine replacing the bear with a doll or a stuffed penguin. Or, if you are seeing a red rose, try to change its color to yellow or pink. True clairvoyant impressions can usually not be adjusted or altered in this way. Fortunately, the inclination to doubt one’s own psychic perceptions usually disappears in time, once the psychic or medium becomes more practiced, skilled, and confident.
THE PHOTOREALISM MYTH
Do clairvoyants see detailed, ‘photorealistic’ impressions of actual people, places, and events they have never seen before? For example, can I see with 100% real-life accuracy the interior of your home, while I have never been to your house? Some claim they do, but that is not my experience.
To my knowledge such exact, detailed ‘photocopy’ visions of actual people, events and places have also never been demonstrated in scientific experiments. For example, decades of extensive remote viewing research show an average accuracy of only 75% across three major psi laboratories, namely SRI, PEAR and Mobius. Note, this success rate of 75% does not imply the remote viewer is able to describe every minute, photorealistic detail of the actual target. A viewer will not, for example, describe it as:
I see an old castle in Scotland. It is located one mile to the north of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, off the west coast. There is a sign at the entrance clearly displaying the name: Dunvegan Castle. It is built on an elevated, rocky hilltop overlooking an inlet on the eastern shore of Loch Dunvegan. It is surrounded by five acres of formal gardens.
This is not how remote viewers ‘see.’ Instead, a viewer might describe the target as:
I see a tall structure built out of stones. Maybe an old castle, or a fort? It seems elevated, maybe on top of a mountain or hill. It has an ancient, ‘retro’ feeling. There is a large body of water, could be a lake, or a natural bay, and it seems like there are mountains in the distance. There’s also some sort of greenery, maybe a large garden, or even a forest.
The highly subjective nature of clairvoyance is further confirmed by the increased success rate remote viewing studies show for so-called free response remote viewing, in which viewers freely describe their subjective perception of a target, compared to ‘forced choice’ experiments, in which subjects must choose from a specific set of possibilities.
In a 1989 experiment, the US Department of Defense asked a remote viewer to investigate Libya’s military response to its criticism of chemical weapons. The remote viewer saw a ship named ‘Patua’ or ‘Potua’ arriving in Tripoli to transport chemicals to a Libyan port. The vision later proved accurate. A ship did arrive in Tripoli to load unknown cargo and then did transport it to a Libyan port. However, the ship’s name was ‘Batato.’
Early psi scholar Edward William Cox observes that a clairvoyant description is rarely, or never exactly what the actual object looks like, and that clairvoyance is in fact not very ‘clear sight.’
It is more or less wanting in definite outline, like objects seen in a fog, suggesting that the perspective faculty, whatever it may be, is exercised through more or less obstacle. The objects do not preserve their relative proportion of size or colour in the impression they make upon the mind of the patient. Whatever the perspective faculty may be, it is certainly not so powerful, nor so clear as the sense of sight. Small and unimportant things are often perceived when more prominent objects are unnoticed. Moreover, the faculty seems to be subject to continuous variation during the few minutes of its exercise, as if interrupted frequently by passing clouds.
Clairvoyant perceptions tend to be ineffable, ambiguous, disjointed, intangible, even ‘foggy.’ For example, I might not see an entire beach or a complete house in a 360-degree vision, but instead only a small area, even just the corner of a room, like a ‘close-up.’ And these impressions will mostly be based on my own visual memories.
It is therefore pointless to ask a clairvoyant exactly what a particular object, person, or place looks like (or even worse, to amuse you with silly descriptions of what your new house, boyfriend, or prom dress will look like). The best a true clairvoyant can typically offer is a description of their subjective mental impression regarding an object, person, or place, because we do not see the actual, real-life people, places, or things — we only see people, places, and things that ‘look like’ or ‘seem like.’
For example, I once foresaw a client meeting ‘a man wearing a blue shirt.’ But that was all I saw. I only perceived part of the torso of a man ‘wearing a blue shirt,’ not the actual shirt, nor the real-life person wearing it. I cannot even confirm if the particular shade of blue I saw in my vision was the actual color of the shirt he wore when they finally did meet. However, at their meeting he was indeed wearing a ‘blue shirt,’ and in time he became a significant person in her life.
Paradoxically, I can usually ‘see’ what a stranger ‘looks like’ when I speak to them on the phone for the first time, but I do not actually see them. Instead, I have a mental impression of their general appearance. It is like meeting a stranger who looks like someone you know, but you cannot exactly remember who, or when a friend describes a stranger to you by referencing a look-alike celebrity. Which actor might play that person? Well, as a clairvoyant, I can see ‘who would play them.’ It is like forensic police sketches of perpetrators — those ‘mugshots’ are never exactly what the person looks like in real life, but they are usually a fairly accurate representation.
There was an awkward moment in a mediumship reading some years ago, when I had to tell the client that her deceased grandmother says her new husband, “the one who looks like the actor Antonio Banderas,” is a much nicer man than the previous one she married…whom granny apparently never cared for very much! The client laughed and confirmed her new husband does indeed look like the actor. What I ‘saw’ was a visual memory of Banderas in the film Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991). Why this particular film? Well, it was the first film featuring Banderas I ever saw, so this is how I will usually think of him when someone mentions his name, for example.
Psychic perception always follows a ‘path of least resistance’ and therefore the most accessible personal memories and life references will typically become the basis for one’s psychic impressions. Madonna’s movie is the most obvious and convenient visual memory I personally have of Banderas, and therefore my mind went with that.
Interestingly, I have also had some odd clairvoyant experiences, where I envisioned a stranger’s facial features with uncanny accuracy, but I might get their hair color wrong, for example, because I perceived their natural hair color…instead of the dyed version from the salon.
TYPES OF CLAIRVOYANCE
Types of clairvoyant perception is diverse and wide-ranging, and some of the the more prevalent formats include:
Also known as subjective,introspective, or memory-mediated clairvoyance, intrapersonal clairvoyance is the most common clairvoyant preference for most psychics and mediums. It is to see one’s own memories, or to see things originating from the self.
It is the perception of mental imagery or visual memories based on the clairvoyant’s own life experiences and personal history. For example, when I see my grandmother in a mediumship channeling, then I know I am perceiving information relating to the client’s grandmother.
Clairvoyant impressions generally signify something that is meaningful or validating for the client, but it is not an actual image or vision of something or someone in the person’s life. Instead, it is a visual representation or simulation based on something or someone in the clairvoyant’s life.
Transpersonal clairvoyance is essentially visual impressions perceived ‘through the eyes of another person’ or other sentient beings, including animals and discarnate spirit entities. Transpersonal means to venture beyond the personal level of the psyche, or to transcend the personal. It goes beyond the individual.
For example, I recently had the unpleasant task of having to describe to a frantic mother some of the events that occurred in the final hours of her missing son’s life. I essentially ‘saw it through his eyes.’ Note, I was not seeing him or his actual experiences, I was instead seeing myself in similar scenarios doing similar things, which was tragically confirmed later when his body was found.
Chronological clairvoyance, also known as clairvoyance in time, is to see ‘beyond time,’ or to see events of the past, present, and future. These visual impressions can be of current or recent events; events relating to the distant past, such as past lives or previous incarnations; as well as prophetic visions of the future. A Stanford Research Institute study found that remote viewers can indeed predict the future by perceiving a target in advance before it is later randomly selected.
Parapsychologist Whately Carington conducted a series of telepathy experiments using a technique called ‘drawing-reproduction,’ in which participants must attempt to replicate line drawings they have not yet seen. They are required to ‘guess’ the content of a target-drawing and then apply their perceived impressions to reproduce the drawing. Results show that subjects are indeed able to perceive a future impression of a drawing and thus predict its contents in the present.
Distant clairvoyance, remote clairvoyance, traveling clairvoyance, or remote viewing, is to see things that are distant, far removed, or beyond ordinary observation. It is traditionally known as astral projection or astral vision, meaning to ‘leave the body and journey to remote locations or destinations to see what transpires there.’ Charles Leadbeater describes it as the capacity “to see scenes or events removed from the seer in space, either too far distant for ordinary observation or concealed by intermediate objects.”
Remote viewing is a well-known technical application of distant clairvoyance that emerged in the 1960’s and was further developed for the United States military’s Stargate Project. Researchers found that the distance between the viewer and the target does not impact the quality of a remote viewing. In other words, clairvoyant impression is nonlocal.
Extraocular clairvoyance, also known as revelatory vision, veridical perception, and X-ray clairvoyance, is to perceive things that are ‘hidden’ or concealed. The extraocular clairvoyant can read messages sealed in envelopes, describe objects packaged in boxes, or even see inside closed drawers and cupboards.
The term originates from a phenomenon called extraocular image cited in psi experiments conducted with children in China in the 1980’s. The subjects were able to recognize hidden images on flashcards and words sealed in envelopes by psychometric touch alone.
Extraocular clairvoyance is also associated with out-of-body experiences, known as astral projection. These perceptions include ‘seeing’ around corners, on top of high shelves, or behind closed doors. A much-cited example is an experiment featuring a subject known only as ‘Miss Z.’ Researcher Charles Tart randomly selected a printed, five-digit number and placed it on a high shelf in a laboratory room, out of Z’s reach, while she lay sleeping on a bed in the room. She later reported an out-of-body experience, during which she was able to read the secret number and later report it accurately.
Medical clairvoyance is to see ‘inside’ the human body, typically to diagnose disease. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes, for example, the case of an Australian doctor who could walk down a street and randomly diagnose a person walking in front of him. He could see relationships between their various internal organs and if they were functioning correctly.
A more recent example is the so-called ‘X-ray Girl,’ Natalya Nikolayevna Demkina, known simply as Natasha. She is reportedly able to view organs, tissues and cells in order to diagnose disease and injuries.
Spirit or supernatural clairvoyance, apparitional sighting or paranormal clairvoyance is a visual perception of spirit apparitions and discarnate beings, including ghosts, shadow people, Marian apparitions (visions of the Virgin Mary), as well as doppelgänger phenomena (seeing look-alikes or ‘doubles’ of living or deceased persons).
The legacy of psychic artist Coral Polge is a good example of recorded spirit clairvoyance. She captured her clairvoyant visions of spirit entities in her sketches and paintings. She first began drawing spirit guides and discarnate beings, but in time she discovered she could also draw highly accurate likenesses of the deceased. Many of her ‘spirit portraits’ were later verified by old photographs of the people she had drawn.
A phenomenon closely related to spirit clairvoyance is death bed visions, which some people experience in the final hours of their life. Parapsychologist William Barrett vividly describes such a clairvoyant experience.
Suddenly she looked eagerly towards one part of the room, a radiant smile illuminating her whole countenance. ‘Oh, lovely, lovely,’ she said…I asked, ‘What is lovely?’ ‘What I see,’ she replied in low, intense tones. ‘What do you see?’ ‘Lovely brightness — wonderful beings.’ Then — seeming to focus her attention more intently on one place for a moment — she exclaimed, almost with a kind of joyous cry, ‘Why it is father! Oh, he is so glad I am coming; he is so glad.
Dreams are no doubt the most common and universal form of clairvoyant perception all people experience. The famous clairvoyant Edgar Cayce strongly believed that dreams are a window into the subconscious mind, and by recalling and examining our dreams we may gain better insight on a variety of matters.
Dreams are of course not only clairvoyant in nature, as they generally also feature clairaudient, clairempathic, clairsomatic, and even clairintuitive content. However, most dreams are primarily visual and therefore the overriding aspect is usually what is ‘seen.’
Louisa Rhine, wife and colleague of J. B. Rhine, collected more than 10,000 case studies of psychic phenomena. Her work became one of the most comprehensive collections of anecdotal evidence for the existence of psi phenomena. From her data she concludes 65% of all psychic experiences occur within dreams. Parapsychologist Gerhard Sannwald also finds in his studies a considerable proportion of spontaneous psychic phenomena tend to manifest in dreams.
Dreaming is the most prevalent clairvoyant experience for most people because it is the easiest way for anyone to access a discrete altered state of consciousness that is conducive to psychic perception. A meta-analysis of dream studies conducted from 1966 to 2016, shows the dream state to be “particularly conducive to psi because the field of consciousness is reduced,” and also that it strongly resembles the state elicited in Ganzfeld experiments, as stimulation from the senses is considerably reduced or even completely blocked. “Like the Ganzfeld state, the dream state may enable any ‘psi signal’ the best possible chance of being detected above sensory noise.”
Everyone experiences psychic dreams, but in my experience clairvoyant psychics and mediums tend to have more vivid and frequent psychic dreams, and typically not for our own benefit. Psychics and mediums often dream on behalf of others and some of us use dreamwork productively in our practice.
Excerpt from The Sensible Psychic: A Leading-Edge Guide To True Psychic Perception.
© 2022 Anthon St. Maarten
 Clairvoyance. (2010). Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Clairvoyance. (2019). Penguin Random House LLC. and HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. CollinsDictionary.com  Clairvoyance. (2021). Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. HarperCollins Publishers. CollinsDictionary.com.  Clairvoyance. (2015). Glossary of Psi. The Parapsychological Association. Parapsych.org.  Clairvoyance (2021). Vocabulary.com  Tart, C. T. (1978). Psi Functioning And Altered States Of Consciousness: A Perspective. The Parapsychology Foundation.  Schwartz, S. (2017). Remote Viewing. Psi Encyclopedia. The Society for Psychical Research.  Clairvoyance. (2021). Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Encyclopedia.com.  May, E. et.al. Advances In Remote-Viewing Analysis. The Journal of Parapsychology.  Carington, W.W. (1940-45). Experiments In The Paranormal Cognition Of Drawings. Proceedings Of The Society For Psychical Research.  Carrington, H. (1920) Your Psychic Powers and How To Develop Them.  Leadbeater, C.W. (1903). Clairvoyance. Second Edition. Theosophical Publishing Society.  Mumford, M. D. et al. (1995). An Evaluation Of Remote Viewing: Research And Applications. The American Institutes For Research.  Charman, R. (2017). Extraocular Image (China). Psi Encyclopedia. The Society for Psychical Research.  Alvarado, C. S. (2015). Out-of-Body Experience (OBE). Psi Encyclopedia. The Society for Psychical Research.  Doyle, A.C. (1926) The History of Spiritualism. Doran.  Wehrstein, K.M. (2018). Natasha Demkina. Psi Encyclopedia. The Society for Psychical Research.  Barrett, W. F. (1926). Deathbed Visions. Methuen & Co.  Edgar Cayce. (2020). New World Encyclopedia. NewWorldEncyclopedia.org.  Rhine, L.E. (1981). The Invisible Picture: A Study of Psychic Experiences. McFarland.  Sannwald, G. (1963). On the psychology of spontaneous paranormal phenomena. International Journal of Parapsychology.  Storm, L. et.al. (2017). On The Correspondence Between Dream Content And Target Material Under Laboratory Conditions: A Meta-Analysis Of Dream-ESP Studies, 1966-2016. International Journal of Dream Research.
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.