A Brief History Of Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance literally means ‘clear-seeing’. Those with this gift are believed to be able perceive psychic phenomena that transcend the physical senses. Clairvoyants are often attributed with the ability to see future events, discern facts about a person from touching an object and even be the vessels for prophetic dreams or visions. As we shall see, clairvoyants are not a creation of the 21st Century.

Ancient Cultures

Throughout history, clairvoyants have been reported as prominent members of various cultures. Even in the ancient religious Hindu texts, clairvoyance is mentioned as one of the skills that can be achieved through meditation; unlike in later years, early cultures revered clairvoyants and many held important positions within the community, sometimes in the form of shamans or spiritual leaders. In the 18th Century, the Marquis de Puységur, a devotee of Mesmer, reported that patients who underwent an early form of hypnosis were reported to display “telepathic abilities, vision with the fingertips and clairvoyance.” At this time, there was a tide of interest in the Spiritualist movement and clairvoyants were initially viewed with trepidation. However, as the demand for more sensationalist entertainment grew, so too did the numbers of charlatans and frauds and, within months, clairvoyants were viewed as nothing more than parlor tricksters.

The 20th Century

However, in the early 20th Century, science had gained momentum and research was conducted into parapsychology. Perhaps the most famous experiments were undertaken by JB Rhine, who introduced tests using the now-famous Zener cards. Although few conclusions were drawn either for or against clairvoyance, testing continued well into the 1990’s, particularly in the USA, where the government researched the potential offered by ‘remote viewing’. Primarily, this phenomenon was investigated to see whether it could be used by the military as a means for covert surveillance.

In recent times, there has been resurgence in the interest in clairvoyance. Interestingly, since the economic downturn, clairvoyants have reported an increase in the number of people using their services. Could it be that, when everything else seems hopeless, people turn to a higher form of communication in order to ease their path through life?

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