This Types of Psychic Abilities list s a MUST have (like those shoes on your Christmas list) cheat sheet of all the common and uncommon psychic abilities. It’s like SparkNotes, but way better!
So if you’ve been wondering if what you’re experiencing is a psychic breakthrough or if it’s just last night’s tacos, look no further.
The 4 Types of Psychic Abilities
At the heart of it, there are four main types of psychic abilities (we’ll also call these intuitive abilities throughout this post).
Each of these abilities works in a different way, but tells the same message.
For instance, if I wanted to let you know I was baking cookies (chocolate chip, of course), I could:
- Send you a text
- Call your cell phone
- Open my front door and let the smell float over to your house
- DM you a picture on Instagram
All of those ways to communicate would almost guarantee you rushing to my kitchen, but they deliver the message differently.
That’s how psychic abilities work, too!
Each intuitive ability gets the “message” through, but in different ways.
So, without any further ado, the four major types of psychic abilities are:
- Clairvoyance: Clear seeing
- Clairsentience: Clear feeling
- Clairaudience: Clear hearing
- Claircognizance: Clear knowing
Cool fact: In case you’re wondering, the repeated word prefix ‘clair-’ is from the French ‘clair(e)’ and means ‘clear’.
As you explore these types of psychic abilities, you may realize that you have ALL of these abilities or just one or two.
Either way, no worries. With practice, it’s easy to develop all of your psychic gifts!
1. Clairvoyance – clear seeing
Clairvoyance is typically what people think of when they picture a psychic. It’s the ability to see psychic visions.
Shows like That’s So Raven and Psych made psychic visions popular and mainstream. Because of these shows and old documentaries, people often picture a psychic waving their hands around a crystal ball and seeing into the future.
So of all the abilities, this one is the most popular and most misunderstood.
The best way to describe clairvoyance is to imagine watching a movie play in your head. These movies could be obvious or have no context at all, depending on the situation.
And, contrary to dramatic TV shows and movies, clairvoyance is subtle.
In fact, some visions don’t show clear visions at all! You may just see a color, object, symbol, or concept.
Of course on the flip side, your visions could be not so subtle and lead you to say things like: UGH that’s exactly what I saw coming.
Tip: Third eye, psychic eye, and psychic visions are all phrases that you might hear associated with clairvoyance.
- Signs You’re a Clairvoyant Psychic
- 4 Exercises to Develop Clairvoyance
- How to Trust Your Clairvoyance in Spite of Doubt
2. Clairsentience – clear feeling
Have you ever interacted with someone and just felt what they were feeling?
Or sensed the energy when you walked into a room?
Clairsentience is the ability to receive intuitive information via feelings, emotions, or physical sensations.
For example… say a client comes to me for a psychic reading. She is emotionally drained and frustrated. She says her job is “driving her nuts” but can’t figure out why.
Come to find out, her company is going through a major change and everyone is anxious about it.
Someone with clairsentience in that situation would feel those anxious emotions of their co-workers ALL DAY.
So of course her work was leaving her feeling exhausted, anxious, and overwhelmed!
Those with clairsentience pick up on all kinds of energies and feelings around them.
In fact, after spending time with friends and partners, they usually need to take some time alone to decompress. Watching the news or tragic realistic movies may also be super difficult.
Clairsentients are also like human lie detectors — they just seem to know what the person’s true intentions are.
Tip: empath, intuitive empath, or spiritual empath are other phrases that you may hear associated with clairsentience.
- Beginner’s Guide to Clairsentience (seriously, everything you want to know)
- 6 Ways to Develop Clairsentience
- 12 Signs that You’re Clairsentient (especially #5!)
P.S. If you think you’re a clairsentient psychic, I highly encourage you to read the post Psychic Self Defense — How to Not Get Drained While Doing Energy Work.
3. Clairaudience – clear hearing
Don’t get me wrong, all types of psychic abilities are wonderful, but clairaudience is a fav of mine!
It’s the ability to receive intuitive messages without using your physical ears!
Basically just as clairsentience is inner seeing, clairaudience is inner hearing. (i.e. you hear the messages, sounds, etc. in your head.)
Someone with clairaudience may hear sudden instructions, messages, or ideas in their head like, “call mom”, “go right”, or “check the garage door”.
Most times, this voice will be in your own tone of voice (so don’t think of this sense like “hearing voices”). In addition to voices, a clairaudient psychic or medium may hear things that others can not, like sounds or music.
Spiritual mediums are often clairaudient and can hear words, phrases, names and messages from those who have passed on.
In fact, one of my favorite memories is when I was doing a reading for a client and distinctly heard the message, “Say hi to Bobo!”. It turns out that Bobo was the family pet.
Tip: Psychic hearing means the same thing as clairaudience.
- Clairaudience – Understanding and Developing it Like a Pro!
- 11 Signs You Might be Clairaudient
- 5 Exercises for Developing Clairaudience
- How to Know You’re Having a Clairaudient Experience
4. Claircognizance – clear knowing
Some people refer to this sense as a “gut feeling”. It’s the ability to just know something without logic or facts.
If you’ve ever known that you should avoid your new neighbor, take a different route to work, not take that drink or call someone up, you’ve experienced some inner knowing!
At the time, you probably didn’t know why you were having those feelings. Your friends may have made fun of you or you may have thought you were being silly, but something was telling you that you were right.
These claircognizant feelings can be very strong and come in the form of intuitive thoughts that pop into your head at random.
(yes, I’ve told this story a million times, but it’s such a fab claircognizant story that it’s worth telling for the 1,000,001 time!)
My husband had an experience with claircognizance that saved him and his friends.
He and three other colleagues were passengers driving down the highway when he suddenly KNEW they all needed to buckle up. There was no doubt about it, so he instructed everyone in the car to put their seat-belts on NOW!
There was no logical reason for this to suddenly pop in his mind, but mid-confusion, they were rear ended at top speed!
Luckily, everyone listened. There were minor injuries, but thankfully, no one lost their life, which, by the looks of the vehicle they were in, could have happened!
Psychic Ability Examples
As I said, my husband received a claircognizant message that saved him and his co-workers.
Here’s the thing, though: He could have received that intuitive message in another way.
- He could have had a vision of an accident flash in his mind’s eye. (clairvoyance)
- Or, he could have heard the impact or squealing tires or heard the impact before it happened. (clairaudience)
- He could have sensed that they were going to be in an accident. (clairsentience)
Those methods would have delivered the same psychic information, but in a different manner. And that’s the bottom line when it comes to psychic abilities.
2 Types of Psychic Abilities That No One Talks About
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these less common types of psychic abilities!
While they’re pretty awesome, they typically don’t stand on their own (someone who experiences them likely also experiences one of the main abilities above).
Clairalience – clear smelling
Have you ever gotten a whiff of your mom’s favorite perfume, even though she’s nowhere near?
Or maybe smelled the pot roast you had when your husband proposed to you, even though you’re at work on a Tuesday morning? (Only to get home and discovered that he surprised you with pot roast!)
Clairalience is the ability to smell things outside the normal range of smell.
For instance my sister-in-law often smells cigar smoke which she associates with her father who passed away. Whenever she gets a whiff of a cigar, she feels comforted knowing that her father is around.
Clairgustance – clear tasting
Well, you’ve heard it all now! Clairgustance is (as you may have guessed) inner tasting.
Those with this ability can taste without putting food into their mouth. (If only I could survive on this method, I’d still fit into my skinny jeans from the ’90s!)
Most often this ability shows up when a medium is doing a reading. If the Spirit they’re connecting with loved cheesecake, it’s possible the psychic will get the taste of cheesecake!
With a little practice and patience, anyone can learn how to tap into and strengthen their psychic abilities. Yes, even you!
The next step is to discover which of the above psychic gifts you have. Just read through this post (it’s super long, but oh-so-good) and by the end of it, you’ll know EXACTLY which intuitive abilities you have!
And of course, if you’re feeling unsure, you can always talk to a psychic. In fact, I got many readings when I was on my psychic journey! It was so nice to chat with someone who knew what I was going through and that understood the types of psychic abilities. :)