iFate Questions & Answers

What Exactly Is a Clairvoyant?

Clairvoyance definition

Short Answer

Clairvoyance is a broad term for any psychic or extrasensory feeling, awareness or precognition. The term "clairvoyant" comes from the French words meaning "clear sight".

The term clairvoyant is a broad term referencing the natural skill or ability to perceive things which are beyond the range of normal human senses. Typically associated with psychic ability, extrasensory perception or the occult, clairvoyant abilities defy scientific explanation.

There are many different specialized types of clairvoyance, these include clairsentience, clairaudience, claircognizance, premonitions, remote viewing, telesthesia, telepathy, and many others.

The term clairvoyant may be used as a noun or an adjective:

  • Clairvoyant (noun) – A person possessing special awareness or perception which extends beyond normal human senses, such as a psychic.
  • Clairvoyant (adjective) – A term used to describe any extra-sensory awareness, insight or precognition of future events typically involving psychic ability, parapsychology or occult practices.

The term clairvoyant originates from the French words for “clear sight” or “clear vision”.  (“Clair” means clear, and “voyant” means sight).

Prior to the 19th century, the term clairvoyant could be used to describe any eerily accurate predictions, foreknowledge, deduction or blind guesses. Starting in the 19th century however, the term clairvoyance and the concept of “clear seeing” was used almost exclusively to refer to psychic gifts, and parapsychological or occult phenomena.

While the term clairvoyant is relatively modern, the concept is an ancient one:

Judeo-Christian writings, Greek mythology, pagan religions and other ancient lore are filled with saints, seers, oracles and other clairvoyant people who possessed the ability to “see” that which could not be seen with their physical eyes or their five senses.

Some notable examples of clairvoyants throughout history are Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi, the Oracle of Dione, the evangelist Columba of Iona, and of course Jesus Christ himself.

In contemporary usage, the term clairvoyance is often associated with fortune tellers, professional psychics and with divinatory practices including tarot reading, rune casting and other psychic readings.

NOTE: When it comes to psychic readings, it should be noted that not all clairvoyants require physical tools such as tarot cards, candles or pendulums. Many clairvoyants use nothing but their minds. Other clairvoyant readers do however make use of tarot, runes, crystal balls or other traditional means to focus their natural intuitive abilities and psychic energies.


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