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Understand and Develop Your Psychic Abilities
By Echo Bodine
New World LibraryCopyright © 2003 Echo L. Bodine
All rights reserved.
By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.
— Matthew 13:14
As I was writing this book, an acquaintance asked me in passing what I was working on. When I told her, she looked at me with this glazed stare and asked me, "Why on earth would anyone want to develop psychic abilities?" For a second, her question took me aback, and then I realized that she probably had no idea how often she uses her own psychic abilities to help her in her everyday life.
Each one of us has psychic abilities to one degree or another, but because they're usually so subtle, we often don't realize that's what we're using. When Mrs. Olson first told me I had these gifts, I didn't have a clue what she was talking about until she was able to explain it in terms I could understand.
Have you ever realized the answer to a question when a picture popped into your head? Has a thought ever come into your head out of nowhere, and it was the guidance you were praying for? Have you ever sensed something about a person that wasn't based on anything you consciously knew but that later turned out to be true? Have you ever experienced a smell that reminded you of a deceased loved one? Every day at least one of our psychic abilities is helping us in some way.
The Four Psychic Gifts
There are four psychic abilities: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and clairgustance. Clairvoyance is the gift of seeing. We all have an invisible third eye located in the middle of our forehead, which is sometimes referred to as the psychic eye. It's with this third eye that a clairvoyant sees information in the form of pictures, visions, or images. When we see a ghost, a spirit guide, or a deceased loved one, that's also clairvoyance.
Clairaudience is the gift of hearing, which sounds simple enough, but it can become quite confusing. When a clairaudient receives information, it comes into his or her mind as thoughts. Since these thoughts don't sound any different than one's own thoughts, the clairaudient's job is to learn, through trial and error, to distinguish between personal thoughts and incoming psychic information.
There are a variety of sources that send thoughts to us and the sources have a lot to do with the path we're on. We could be receiving information from our spirit guides, a guardian angel, deceased loved ones, or earthbound spirits. Spirits do not have voices like we do. The way they communicate with each other and with us is that they project thoughts.
There's a great line in the Steven Spielberg movie Always that describes clairaudience. The character played by Richard Dreyfuss is killed in a plane crash, and Audrey Hepburn, who plays an angel, has to explain to him that he's now a spirit guide to another character in the movie. She tells him that the way to communicate with human beings is to send thoughts to them. She says something like, "They always think it's their own thoughts, but that doesn't matter because at least they get the message." This is how our spirit guides and deceased loved ones communicate to us. They send us thoughts to give us guidance. Our souls know where the information is coming from, but we don't become conscious of the true source until we start paying more attention.
One of my favorite aspects of clairaudience is mental telepathy. This is hearing the thoughts of people who are either in your general vicinity or simply in your life. It's not uncommon for us to pick up the thoughts of people we are very connected to on a psychic level. My son, with whom I share a very strong psychic connection, can be making ribs for dinner in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I can be sitting in my office in Minneapolis thinking and smelling ribs. Or one of my best friends who lives in California can be fighting the urge to have a hot fudge sundae, and I'll get in my car and go get one. Often, thoughts will come into my mind so strongly and I won't know who or where they're coming from. Only in the last couple of years have I tried to find the sources of some of these powerful random thoughts, and it's been fun to find out just how connected I am to the people in my life.
How many times have you verbalized a thought only to have someone you're with say they were just thinking the same thing? Have you ever had the thought of someone pop into your head and then the phone rang and it was that person? Or have an image of a friend pop into your mind, and within a day or two, you run into him or her? These are simply thoughts that people are sending out. They're thinking of us, and we receive these thoughts on a psychic level without being aware of it. As we grow psychically and spiritually, we become more open to mental telepathy, and it makes life pretty fun.
The next psychic gift, clairsentience, has to do with sensing. This is more of a body feeling or sensing than actually seeing visions with your third eye or psychically hearing thoughts or voices. If someone is clairsentient, he or she has psychic radar working all the time, psychically feeling the environment as he or she goes through the day. The blue lobster we have in our aquarium at home is a good illustration of a clairsentient. He has long tentacles that reach out in front of his body that scope out the environment as he moves throughout the tank. Clairsentients have this kind of sensing going on in their bodies. They can walk into a room or a meeting and sense the mood. I believe all psychics have this gift and use it their whole life. It's how we survive living in these sensitive bodies. We go into any situation in life and send out our "feelers" because we want to know what kind of environment we're stepping into. The downside to clairsentience is that we can become psychic sponges. We can soak up too much of the environment and carry it with us. I cover this in more detail in chapter 2, where I also give some suggestions for how to create necessary boundaries and distance.
Clairgustance is the last psychic gift, and it's an odd one. It's the gift of smell. People with clairgustance have a psychic nose, which means they smell things that aren't physically present. For example, one day a client asked me about a used car she was thinking of purchasing. She wanted to know if I felt there was anything wrong with it. I got the strong smell of an overheated engine. Despite this indication of potential trouble, she purchased the car anyway, and as it turned out, she continually had a problem with the engine overheating.
The most common way that clairgustance manifests itself is when a deceased loved one comes to visit us. The person will project a smell to us (by thinking about it), such as the cologne the person used to wear, or something that will immediately bring a thought of the loved one to mind. Once I was doing a reading for a woman, and I got the strong smell of fresh baked bread. Then I had a psychic image of a woman standing on the other side, waving and smiling. She had on an apron, and I saw a picture of an oven. Again I got the smell of baked bread. I asked my client if fresh baked bread and a woman smiling and waving on the other side was significant to her, and she told me her aunt had just died and that, when she was alive, she always baked bread for people. This was simply her aunt's way of saying hello.
The other thing about clairgustance is that the smells don't last long. They're usually a quick whiff and they're gone.
Do all psychics have all these abilities? I think we all have clairsentience, but of the two main gifts, clairvoyance and clairaudience, most psychics have one or the other and some have both. The simplest way that a person can tell which abilities he or she has is by paying attention to the type of information that comes in throughout the day: Is it in the form of thoughts, pictures, sensing, or smells? I tell my beginner students that before they work on accuracy, they first have to determine which gifts they have.
How Psychic Gifts Work
One of the most widespread misunderstandings about psychic gifts is how they work. People in general assume that psychics receive information as if it were a well-written telegram; unfortunately, it doesn't work this way. Clairvoyants, for example, get their information in the form of pictures, images, or visions. Their job is to interpret the pictures accurately, and to do this they must ask questions. Often, professional psychics need help from the clients themselves to properly interpret what the pictures mean. This has led skeptics to claim that psychics don't do anything other than fish for information and then give that information back to the client. What may look like "fishing" to an observer is simply part of the psychic's effort to be as accurate as possible in his or her interpretation.
People often ask me why it is that psychic information doesn't come in clear, laid-out sentences, and all I can tell them is that I wonder about this myself. When spirits communicate to us, they keep it brief and to the point. They don't embellish. Often, information comes in like words in a crossword puzzle, and if we get one word at a time, on its own, it might not mean much at first. We patiently wait for more information to come in order to put the whole message together.
Here's an example: I had a client who had been looking at various office spaces around town to rent. She didn't know which one to rent and asked if I could help her out. I got a picture of an O. I waited for another picture, but nothing else came. I asked her if O meant anything to her. Did any of the building names start with an O? No, not that she could remember. I asked my spirit guides the question again, and I got another O. There was absolutely no other information coming, so I turned to my intuition for help, which I often do when interpreting pictures. I asked my intuition if the O was significant. The response was yes. Thinking that perhaps O meant zero, or that nothing she'd seen so far was right, I asked my intuition if the building she was supposed to rent was among the buildings she had looked at. Again I felt a yes response, so that was not the answer.
Since my client and I were both stuck and unable to interpret the O, I dropped it and moved on to other questions she wanted me to address. After getting clear answers for all of those, I went back to the O and asked again what it meant. A thought (clairaudience) came into my head that said, "Full circle." I asked my intuition if this meant she was supposed to go back to the original building she had looked at, and it gave me a strong nudge of yes. When I said this to my client, she told me that she had looked at that space several times, and she was hoping that we would confirm that she was on the right track!
I've never met a true psychic who wasn't conscientious about accuracy. No one wants to give misleading information, not to mention the fact that the psychic's reputation is at stake. No one's going to come back to a psychic who repeatedly misdiagnoses information. I know there have been times when I unintentionally gave a client misinformation simply because I misinterpreted what I was seeing.
How These Gifts Work Together
Here's an example that shows how all the psychic gifts work in unison with each other. Currently, there are two popular television shows that are hosted by very gifted psychic mediums, John Edward's Crossing Over and Beyond with James Van Praagh. Both of these men are excellent examples of how psychic abilities work together. For those of you who have never seen these shows, I'll describe how these abilities work together.
A TV psychic begins by standing in the middle of the set and waits for a strong pull (clairsentience). This pull would feel like there was an energy that suddenly ran from the psychic to the person meant to get the reading on the left side of the room. The psychic would turn in that direction to feel the connection stronger, perhaps getting an image of a male energy (clairvoyance). He or she might see the word "brother," which is clairvoyance, or the feeling of brother might come (clairsentience). Then the psychic might get a picture of an elm tree, along with an image of a mallard duck (clairvoyance). Then the name "Don" might come in as a thought (clairaudience).
If the psychic were in a private session and not on TV, he or she would have time to wait for more pictures to come and possibly put the whole message together by him- or herself. But because this is television, the producers don't want any dead-air time, so the psychic has to move quickly. Once the psychic has an adequate amount of information, he or she will start asking questions, saying something like, "I'm feeling a connection to someone on the left side of the audience. I'm feeling a brother. Who has a deceased brother with a connection to an elm tree? I'm also seeing a mallard duck. The name Don is coming to me. There's a significance to the color yellow. Does any of this mean anything to someone on the left side of the audience?"
At this point, the psychic may not know if the name Don is the deceased person or the person in the audience. As he or she waits for someone in the audience to respond, the psychic is also waiting for the deceased loved one to give more information. At the same time, the psychic knows the producers are watching the clock and also that there are other deceased loved ones waiting to get their turn to speak. In the space of thirty seconds or a minute, the psychic must interpret all the information as accurately as possible. Usually it doesn't take long before someone in the audience responds. For instance, a woman wearing a yellow blouse might raise her hand and say she has a deceased brother named Don who collected replicas of mallard ducks. The psychic, not wanting to make a mistake, will ask what might be significant about an elm tree, and the woman might say, "We lived on Elm Street." Now that the psychic knows who the message is for, he or she would go back to the deceased person to see if there is a specific message for this person. Once he or she has passed this on, or if there isn't a message, the psychic would then step back, clear the deceased person's energy, and ask for the next spirit to move forward.
As a clairvoyant who has struggled with this many times, I would love it if the information came in like a telegram. "Hello, my name is Don. My sister, Velma, is sitting on the left side of the audience in a yellow blouse. We used to live on Elm Street, and when I was living I collected mallard ducks. Please tell my sister I'm doing great, as are Mom and Dad, who are both with me. Tell her we love her." But that isn't how it comes in. Instead, the information arrives in shorthand: brother, sister, yellow, elm, ducks, happy.
I think the only way we're going to make the shift away from thinking of psychics as entertaining fortune tellers is by learning how these gifts work. My repeat clients see their readings with me as a partnership. We work together to unravel some of the goofy pictures I receive so that they can get all the information they need in order to move forward in their lives. They are not looking to be entertained or to have me prove that psychic gifts actually work. They have gotten to the stage where they want to work together with me to solve problems or heal themselves. And I really believe that's how it's supposed to be. Now let's take a look at psychics and what they're all about.CHAPTER 2
Society's attitude about psychics has changed considerably over the course of history, and I've definitely seen a big shift just in the last thirty-five years. We no longer have to meet in secret. We are not being burned at the stake. Hollywood's portrayal of the psychically gifted has evolved and become more realistic. I can rent space at our local community center to teach my psychic development classes and actually tell the landlord what the classes are about instead of making up some illusive title.
This is the good news, that there is definitely more acceptance of these gifts, but we still have a ways to go. I always tell my students that part of our job as psychics is to break down the stereotypes. Just as everybody possesses some psychic ability, professional psychics are no different from anybody else.
Contrary to popular belief, psychics are not all dark haired, dark eyed, scarf wearing, earring dangling, black cat owners who read people's minds, know when everyone's going to die, and scam people every chance they get. The majority of truly gifted psychics that I have met are hard-working, loving people. Most have a sense of humility about their gifts because they know the gifts come from God, and they therefore take the responsibility that goes along with these gifts seriously. It's been my experience that the majority of truly gifted psychics fight their abilities at first and go through a process of surrendering to them. Of all the well-known psychics today, not one of them grew up hoping to be a psychic.
Excerpted from The Gift by Echo Bodine. Copyright © 2003 Echo L. Bodine. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
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