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Clairsentience – The Gift of Sensing

Visit PsychicAccess.comIf you ever host a dinner party for a group of psychic mediums, and you need a good conversation piece, clairsentience is one of those topics that is sure to get the party started!

The gift of clairsentience is a complex concept that is sometimes misunderstood, despite the fact that it is an ability shared by most psychics, mediums and highly sensitive people. Clairsentience is often also the first psychic ability to surface in gifted children.

Clairsentience is a very general term, and therefore not easy to define, because it covers a much wider range of psychic experiences, compared to, for example, clairvoyance (seeing) or clairaudience (hearing).

Clairsentience means clear feeling or psychic somatosensation, and it refers to a variety of ‘sensing’ and ‘feeling’ experiences, including  psychological traits, ‘gut feelings’, physical sensations, paranormal occurrences and even medical symptoms. For this reason you may find that the experiences reported by one clairsentient will differ greatly from that of another.

It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You’re not alone – Marilyn Monroe

Furthermore, clairsentience is also confused with some of the other, lesser-known psychic abilities, such as clairescence (smelling) and claircognizance (knowing). Although these psychic abilities may manifest along with the gift of clairsentience, they are not one and the same thing.

Most psychics and mediums have a combination of extra-sensory abilities which, apart from the sensing or somatosensation, may include clairvoyance (vision or seeing), clairaudience (audition or hearing), clairolfaction (olfaction or smelling), clairgustance (gustation or tasting), claircognizance (knowing). Additionally, some experts also prefer to identify two “sub-senses” within the realm of clairsentience, namely clairempathy (emotion or feeling),  and clairtangency (tactition or touching).

To clarify what clairsentience really is, it is best to define the different types or categories of clairsentient experiences:

Prophetic or Precognitive Clairsentience

Prophetic clairsentience is closely associated with precognition and intuition. This form of clairsentience manifests as ‘hunches’, ‘gut feelings’ or premonitions. The clairsentient experiences an inner knowing or intuitive feeling, without any apparent reason or any verifiable facts.

What sets it apart from claircognizance, is that this ‘knowing’ is accompanied by some form of sentience, namely feelings or physical sensations.

Claircognizance, in contrast, is the possession of intrinsic knowledge without an accompanying feeling or sensation. It is the ability to know something spontaneously, without any physical explanation why you know it. You simply know something, like you would know which way to turn on the hot water tap in your bathroom.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched …but are felt in the heart – Helen Keller

A typical example of prophetic clairsentience is something most people can relate to, namely the ‘twitch’ or ‘knotted’ feeling you get at the pit of your stomach when you have a foreboding that something good or bad is going to happen.

Some of my personal experiences include a feeling of being pushed forward or held back, which usually means that in the near future there will be positive movement forward in a specific situation, or that it will be delayed.  I also feel physical sensations of heat or cold, which is an indication for me that something will indeed happen or not happen.

When I have ominous forebodings, they are often accompanied by ‘chills’, nausea, or a feeling of heaviness in my limbs, while positive premonitions are sometimes accompanied by lightheadedness or ‘goose bumps’.

Clairempathy or Emotive Clairsentience

This phenomenon is also known as feeler clairsentience or empathic ability. It refers to the ability to sense or experience the feelings and emotions of other people. Some clairsentients also experience this with animals, and even with plants.

Empaths have this innate ability to sense emotional energy vibrations and feel what others feel –  simply by being near people or being in a ‘highly charged’ environment. Empaths sometimes have no idea where these sudden feelings are coming from, or why they feel affected. For this reason many empaths avoid crowded, noisy places and emotionally toxic environments.

I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love – Mahatma Gandhi

The psychic empath has the ability to be directly and consciously in tune with someone’s emotional state, to the point of physically feeling the emotions of the other person. This is also known as clairempathy, and it involves a much deeper knowing and direct experiencing of another person’s feelings, thoughts and personality traits, without any prior knowledge of the person, their background or their circumstances.

When I connect with a client during a psychic reading, I immediately know how they feel and what their state of mind is. In my youth I used to be an energy sponge on legs, absorbing a lot of negativity around me. I had constant mood swings, I was overwhelmed by cruel and unkind vibrations, and I could never understand why I felt compelled to avoid public places.

Fortunately, I discovered the truth about my empathic nature, and learned ways to shield myself and stay in alignment with Source energy. These days I still allow other’s feelings and energy vibrations to penetrate.  But I only allow the bare minimum to filter through, just enough for me to do my work.

Clairtangency (Psychometry)

Clairtangency is the gift of ‘clear touching’. Also known as ‘psychometry’, it is the process of reading energy imprints or sensing vibrations that are attached to or emanating from an object, such as a piece of clothing, jewelry or a photograph.

Psychics and mediums, who work in the field of criminal investigation, often use their gift of clairtangency to access the feelings, thoughts or physical location of the person connected to such an object. Clairtangents typically use the palms of their hands to read objects.

Psychometric reading is also done on physical locations, such as reading the energy residue inside a building or on a piece of land.

Somatic or Physical Clairsentience

Somatic clairsentience is the sensing of physical symptoms. It can be very uncomfortable and even disturbing, especially for people who do not know how to control or interpret these sensations. Somatic clairsentients experience aches, pains, discomfort and other medically-related symptoms. This is a rare gift that is very useful in the work of some medical intuitives and energy healers.

Somatic clairsentience is often enhanced by physically touching the person. Experienced clairsentients usually only feel these symptoms for a brief moment, long enough to take note of it and use it in their work.

As a child I had many unpleasant experiences of a somatic nature, and I often felt sick or uncomfortable in the presence of people who were ill or diseased.

One of my most vivid memories is an experience I had at a pantomime performance, when I was a young boy. I sat next to a girl who was about my age and she had a broken arm in a cast. I will never forget the discomfort I felt for the duration of that show, as well as the numb, aching pain I felt in my arm for days afterwards!

I had no idea why I felt these things; to avoid it I consciously began to block these sensations out, which caused me to lose much of my original ability by the time I reached adulthood.

Paranormal or Spiritual Clairsentience

This is one of the more intriguing forms of clairsentience, which involves physical sensations of a paranormal nature. These sensations are typically experienced by psychic mediums when sensing or communicating with non-physical beings or spiritual entities.

Typical examples include:

  • ‘tickling’ sensations in different areas of the body, especially the face and hands
  • pressure on the crown of the head
  • ‘chills’ or ‘goose bumps’
  • sensations of being touched
  • temperature changes or cool breezes
  • hair ‘standing on end’, especially on the back of the neck
  • physical trauma or blows to the body (very rare)
  • emotions, thoughts, memories and physical sensations

Something I often experience is the sensation of pressure on the top of my head, also known as the area of the crown chakra. I experience this daily when I communicate with my angels and spirit guides, and also when I make contact with other psychics or very spiritual individuals, who have a high energy vibration.

I sometimes also experience pressure or ‘movement’ in the other chakra areas, especially when I do psychic readings. And when I feel a dramatic drop in temperature in the room, I usually know that the energy or ‘spirit’ of a deceased person is coming through with a message for someone.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Anthon was interviewed on the subject of the ‘Clair Senses’ by Psychic Viewpoint on Psychic Access Talk Radio during two broadcasts on August 11, 2011 and October 27, 2011. To listen to the archive recordings visit Anthon’s guest page at Psychic Access Talk Radio.

About The Author: Anthon St Maarten

Anthon St Maarten is an international psychic medium, intuitive consultant and destiny coach. He has been consulting professionally as psychic medium since 2004 and has since established himself as a trusted advisor to many people all over the world. He is also a sought-after inspirational speaker, metaphysics teacher, radio personality, spiritual author and blogger, with a special interest in New Thought spirituality, metaphysics, parapsychology, mediumship and psychic phenomena. He is best known for his bestselling practical spirituality book Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny You can get a psychic reading from Anthon at

34 Responses to Clairsentience – The Gift of Sensing

  • There is obviously far more to know about it than I expected. I like to stress that you have made some good points in your posting.

  • Thanks for your kind feedback Candy 🙂

  • That’s a very interesting article. I’m into meditation and I’ve often felt as if some spirit was touching my fingers, head or back when I was sitting on the bus or somewhere quiet. Never had a name for it before. Even as I was about to write this, I had a feeling of something pressing against the upper part of the left side of my back. It’s interesting. Makes me feel spiritually connected somehow.

  • It is certainly not your imagination Kim. Next time it happens, ask who it is who is around you. The answer will definitely surprise you. You are more intuitive than you realize, and it is wonderful to know that you have found another answer to guide you along your path. Have fun! 😉

    Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings – Allison DuBois

  • Hello, I have experiences a number of the aforementioned gifts since childhood. I would be very grateful if you could connect me with someone who can help me better understand my gifts. Thanks so much for this article!!!

  • Thank you for your feedback Angel. There are some good books and psychic development courses available these days. I recommend you research resources that are available in your area, but be very selective in your choices. Personally, I believe that private meditation is the best way to work on your own development. Just 15 minutes a day to start with will already make a remarkable difference. At the end of the day it is my conviction that Spirit, combined with your inner guidance system, remains the best teacher. Not only will you be guided in your meditation and your dreams, but you will also be guided towards people and books that is most suited you your unique needs at this time. Most of all, enjoy the experience 🙂

  • its great to to read about what ive feelings, sensations and energies and sometimes the pressure on the top of my head is of like a nail is inbeded.having this gives me better understanding of my gifts. thanks

  • I really appreciated this article because it helped me to know there are people who do understand what its like. I would like to find a good source to help me be able to tune into this gift whenever I want. I find this gift is around usually to warn me, but its very clear, and loving, and gentle in how it tells me. Do you know of any really good sources to develope this skill?

    • Thanks for a comprehensive discussion of the many types of clairsentience, most of which I experience yet was never able to differentiate. I’m wondering if this goes hand-in-hand with synesthesia for others or if it is an entirely different phenomena.
  • I dont know if this blog is active or not & I’ve never left a note on an unfamiliar blogging site but I am hoping you read & respond if possible. My sister was killed & the day she died, the entire day, I couldnt look at her. I was filled with nausea, dread, anxiety, horror. I couldnt lift my eyes above her waist, it was impossible. I vomited, walked in circles, basically felt crazy. Hours later, the coroner was at the door & before he could speak I felt all the anxiety drain from me. I was calm again, in control. Help me understand this, if you can. It had happened before & has happened since. But that day was the most awful of my life. Thank you so much.

  • Hi Susan,

    This blog is definitely active. If you go to the main page you will notice that we publish a new entry every single day of the year.

    I would love to help, but this would not the appropriate forum to do that. You are most welcome to contact me directly for a reading at

    You can also have a look at this information page, which you may find helpful:
    However, please consult with you physician before following any of the advice offered.

    Take care! 🙂

  • I saw this and I saw that maybe I could talk to “someone like me”. As far as I know I am the only person in my family with this “gift”. I have no idead where it came from but ever since I can remember I’ve had it. I have been called an empath. I’ve heard and read about clairsentience, to try and put a name with this ability. I rarley see spirits except for out of the corner of my eye, rarely head on. I can feel people’s enery. Especially if it’s a strong emotion like anger, I get overwhelmed with sensation. When a spirit is in the room I can feel them , like they are standing behind me, I get tingles on the back of my shoulders. The closer they get, they stronger it gets. I have on spirit in my home that seems aware of this and he chases me, because his energy isn’t always pleasant and sometimes he gets so close I can’t stand it. So I retreat to my room, he knows not to come in there. I have hightened intuition. I hae strong gut feelings, many of which have gotten me out of trouble. I have Deja Vu ALL THE TIME. I have random thoughts and through out the day I see them happen. Like I’ll think of a song and it comes on the that same day. And its a song you don’t hear often on the radio. You can’t plan that right?

    And going back to the intuition, when I was carrying my child, I knew before I found out, I was carrying a little girl. And I was right. My cousin said she thought she was having a boy, and she wanted a boy. I told her before she found out that it was a girl and it was.

    My last thing to say on here is, I wonder if my daughter will get this gift from me. I don’t know. I’m sorry about the long paragraph. I just never get to talk to someone about this. I keep it to myself most of the time because people tend to thing you’re out of your mind because they can’t feel the things you do or have any other abilities, so if it doesn’t happen to them, its not real.

    Let me know what you think and thank you for your time.

  • Trisha, you are not the only person experiencing the things you mention. There are many of us, so know that you are not alone and you are not imagining things. The best advice I can offer is from my personal experience. The best thing you can do is to embrace your true nature and begin to apply it towards the greater good. The moment I did that my whole life changed for the better.

    The first step is to read as much as you can and educate yourself. Knowledge is power, and as your understanding of yourself increases the more you will be able to share your gift with others. However, be careful about who you discuss this with, as many people do not understand, and some can be very judgmental. In time you will increasingly connect with people who you can relate to and who will understand and accept you, as you grow in awareness and understanding.

    Don’t try to resist your experiences. Embrace it and just go with the flow. Learn to trust your true nature and it will take you where you need to go.

    A good book I would like to recommend for you at this stage in your development is Psychic Protection: Creating Positive Energies for People and Places by William Bloom.

    Have fun 🙂

  • thank you SO very much with this site and your CLEAR definitions. I was just recently told that I was clairsentient…and…I really did not understand the WORD, the woman who is helping me described it some…however…doing some research and now I have an Ah-HA moment on my whole LIFE!!! Thank you for helping me understand what I just thought was “quarky” me…blessings to you for your work.

  • Glad to be of service terrilynn. Keep reading. Knowledge is power. Take care 🙂

  • Thank you very much for getting back to me. I will embrace it 🙂

  • I just don’t really have anyone to really talk to about it.

  • It is very refreshing to find this site with such great information. I’ve felt my whole life an intuition for things & I usually follow my gut feelings on things because when I don’t, the result is always bad… In the past couple of years I’ve been able to feel the presence of spirits when they’re near, usually by getting chills, goosebumps, or a feeling of lightness throughout my entire body. I’ve had some scary occurrences as well, feelings of being paralyzed, unable to breathe, racing heartbeat… It’s a very bad feeling. I’ve recently developed a new “skill” which is noticing different scents in a room while no one else can smell these. I’ve tried asking questions to these spirits but have never had any success communicating with them & would like to know more about this. Also, both of my sisters are extremely sensitive to spirits as well, but unfortunately speaking out about it had bad results for them & they’ve both been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. It makes me feel as though I’ll never be able to use my abilities. Does anyone have any similar experiences?

  • I’m very much in need of guidance but I don’t know how to label my experiences, I don’t know what it is or what the right term would be….. On several occasions, I’ve come into physical contact with a person–shook a hand, touched a shoulder–and was overwhelmed by feelings, usually of despair and sadness. As if those were my *own* feelings. Once, I gave money to a homeless man, a man who I had often seen during my commute; he shook my hand and thanked me, and I was overwhelmed with what I can only describe as “a feeling of sickness.” As if I were sick. Could hardly make it home, and then collapsed on the floor crying when I did. Didn’t see him after that for three weeks, and when I next saw him, he told me he had been in the hospital. Another time, moving in a line at a coffee shop, I simply brushed the skirt of a very young toddler, held by her father, and suddenly experienced a sensation that I can only describe as “an explosion of light” in my head and I was suffused with a feeling of well-being and happiness. It took my breathe away. What is this? What can I read to help?

  • Sherry, there are two other articles I wrote that may be of interest to and will help to clarify your experiences. The first is Clairempathy – Being A Psychic Surrogate ( and the other is Empathy Is Not A Psychic Ability ( You can also find more blog posts on this subject in this catergory: Empath ( Best wishes 🙂

  • I found this article very interesting.. I found I related to all the bullet points in the first section of points and a lot of the second set. I have always judged things in life differently and most by how i feel. Someone I met recently read one of my blogs and said she thought it might be the Clairsentience so here I am doing some research. Thank you for the info, certainly eye opening… I also had my daughter who is 16 read thru it and she related to most of it too.. very interesting!

  • Hey, thanks so much for this post. It’s really helping.
    I am sort of confused about something. Sometimes, when I look at my own eyes in the mirror, I feel like my eyes aren’t mine. It’s like they belong to someone else. Also sometimes I think I am a somatic. When people got injured – even on the TVs – I could actually ‘feel’ them. It’s really annoying, especially when one second you were just having the time of your life and the next second you were trying hard not to wince.
    Deja vu also happens to me all the time. I look at people – deja vu. I listen to a song in my bedroom – deja vu. Reading a book in a classroom – deja vu. It’s all really scary, since I’m still fourteen and all, so can you please help me?
    Thank you very much for all your help.

  • Roberta,

    Your experiences suggest the possibility that you may be a psychic medium. Your abilities will unfold and develop naturally as you grow older, so you can just relax and go with the flow. It is however important that you begin to educate yourself as much as possible by reading about it and also to develop a daily routine of meditation and self-care exercises. I suggest you Google the following terms for more information:

    * Psychic Medium definition
    * Empath
    * Mediumship
    * Physical Mediumship
    * Psychomanteum
    * Psychic Protection exercises
    * Extra sensory perception (ESP)

    Also have a look at these books and DVDs that may be helpful.

    Teen Psychic: Exploring Your Intuitive Spiritual Powers by Julie Tallard Johnson

    Psychic Protection: Creating Positive Energies For People And Places by William Bloom

    Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal DVD

    Don’t be scared to ask an adult who you trust for help and guidance should you maybe find that you feel overwhelmed or uncertain. You are going to do just fine!

    Take good care of yourself,

    Anthon 🙂

  • I have found my way here through a series of events and reading this article has opened a floodgate of questions. Each comment above seems specific to the person and with each comment being so different, I feel compelled to ask my own. If you don’t mind the imposition I would like to give a little detail on where I am coming from. Since the time I was born I have been told my imagination is overactive. I would sing to plants and was convinced I could commune with animals (left alone I still would). Not always though, I go through phases in my life when creatures from goats, lizards, birds, dogs through to bugs flock around me in a way I can only describe of trying to tell me something. I often ask them, what are you trying to say. I have been in places, mostly pre-loved items like books or jewelry fairs where I am overwhelmed by emotion and need to leave or fight to stop myself asking another person if I can help them. I have dreams that are so vivid, that when I was younger it would take hours to convince myself it wasn’t real. I often NEED to be alone to feel like I can put myself back together yet my employment has always been in “people” helping positions because this seems to be my thing. I am the person you want in an emergency situation because I can talk a person down or around and calm any situation, it is only hours after that I am even aware of what I have seen or experienced which is why I am great in the moment. I can also do the opposite when I am not careful and cause emotional hurricanes. Over the years I have been approached by as many as 8 strangers needing to tell me things, like “you are not steering your own ship” and you need to tell your spirits that you are ok, or the time I was effected most of all was a clairvoyant asked me to see her for free (I was managing an event and she was part of the guests who cornered me and gave me her card begging for me to call her) and then told me when I was with her that she was finding it difficult to sit with me because she was overwhlemed by the energies I brought with me. There was another experienced that I feel protective about for unknown reasons but a lady asked me to imagine my soul and allow it to come home.. please understand that what I am telling you is so different from my day to day life that I wonder what it is about. When I am alone random things happen in my house, yes the standard lights, tea-towels moving and doors slamming.. I am now 35 and have started looking for an explanation for why I feel like my natural empathy and enthusiasm seems to be “turned off” with things I would have once been hurt by or really excited about that I now just cruise past, yet on a windy day or when a storm feels like it is coming I need to be outside with my palms upfaced and that is when I feel that excitement I used to. I feel energised and in tune with myself and the world for just that time. Other than those moments, most times I am feeling drained and tired and often look in the mirror without being able to see me anymore. What do you think? Growing up and just needing a change or is there more here? I can’t decide which path will help me most. I am not depressed and not desperate, I just feel like I am “missing’ something. Am I looking in the wrong direction?

  • Natalee, your set of questions cover a range of subjects and issues that is far too complex to address here in detail. The experiences you mention are not as unusual as it may seem to you and can actually be very uplifting to you and useful to others once they are better understood and harnessed. There is no simple answer to all your questions above, but none of them are unusual or bizarre. I recommend that you find a reliable spiritual advisor or energy healer in your area for guidance and advice. Also, read as much as you can. Specifically search for online articles and books about subjects like “spiritual awakening”; “ascension symptoms”; “higher self”; “lightworkers”; “empath”; “intuition”; “animal communication”. Books published by Hay House are highly recommended. There are also several readers at who will be able to assist you. Read their profiles and watch their videos to select the best person for your needs. May the energy of the Divine Self inspire you and the Light of the Soul direct you! 🙂

  • Thank you for this! Being a self-proclaimed people person as well as an extrovert, having the give off clairsentience can be EXHAUSTING! If anyone else feels this way, try frankincense Oil. And thank you for this article. The more I learn about myself, the more comfortable I feel in my skin. I also can smell things that aren’t there (which can be annoying!) Sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s a spirit – or a message. Any thoughts on this? I also fell other people’s pain (I can’t watch Doctor shows where they show everything – it physically hurts me!) Bright light also is annoying – especially at night when I am relaxing. Wow, I sound so high maintenance, don’t I?

  • Thank you for your feedback Karen, I am pleased to know that you found the information useful. I have written another article about “psychic smell” which you can read here: 🙂

  • Thank you for this article. Every since I have been a little girl I have struggled to put a word to what I experience quite frequently. I do not “see” spirits, or “hear” them. I “feel” there presence. The way I explain this to others is almost as if I closed my eyes and felt there presence in the room. Since I have had this ability since I was 4, it has developed into where i can tell if a spirit is connected to a person, I can sense its emotion, the stronger the spirit, the more I can feel. My family have always explained it as that I am ‘sensitive’ and my great-grandmother a full-blooded black-foot indian had the same ability. I have always wanted to know the correct term of what this is, so again, thank-you, thank-you, thankyou! god bless, mary

  • I am a precognitive clairsentience, the others aren’t that strong for me… We all have this energy bubble called an aura, but energy bubble sounds cooler, anyway i can sense movement when people are in my energy bubble zone. If it’s a guy or gal, which way they turn if they take a different path then I do. I’m trying to make my energy expand, so I can not only sense the movement better, stronger, and faster, but to sense it from a longer range. I know this will be done with meditation and dedication (he he) so I’ll work on it.

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