Clairvoyant literally means “Clear Seeing” although today it is seen as a branch of visual divination covering the areas of prediction, remote viewing and looking into other levels of existence such as the Astral plane. Clairvoyants or ‘seers’ have been used by individuals and official governments since the earliest times. One of the most famous was the Pythia at Delphi, in Greece, the oracle of Apollo (who replaced the earlier Earth Dragon) and who became the official seer for Croesus. Croesus was a classical Greek king who came to the throne in 560 BCE. She passed his test of being able to tell what he was doing at the exact time the king’s messenger asked her.
The messenger was one of seven sent to psychics in seven different sacred sites throughout Greece to ask the same question at the same time, but only her answer was correct. The king was making a lamb and tortoise stew, the most unlikely thing he could think of to do, to test the accuracy of the seers. Impressed by this example of what we today would call Remote Viewing, Croesus made her his official Oracle. After some successes he asked what would be the outcome if he attacked the Persian Empire. The reply was that “A great Empire will be destroyed”, so he attacked. The Empire that was destroyed turned out to be his, thus showing that you should always check with more than one source of information, and also ask for clarification on ambiguous prophecies.
Delphi shut down in 393 AD, when the emperor of the time ordered all Pagan Temples to close and prophets disappeared from official use under the rise of Christianity. However this international theocracy only reached as far as the outer walls of major towns and cities and individuals using divination and other forms of clairvoyance thrived in the smaller habitations and areas out of official reach.
In modern times it has been recognised by most Pagans that clairvoyance is a natural skill that people can learn to use by practicing with a tool or system right for them. These systems range in use from the symbolic – cards, Runes and Ogham for example. - to direct perception via visions or pictures seen in fires (Pyromancy), crystals, water, ink blots or even tea leaves. Sticking to the literal ‘seeing’ translation of clairvoyance here are some of the ways to enhance your abilities.
The use of fire for divination was once very popular but has now fallen into disuse thanks to the decline of the use of fire for heating and cooking. The most effective way is to look into the embers and observe the pictures that form there. Naturally for the answer to a particular question you can build a special fire as part of a ritual dedicated to a particular Deity, or as a way of asking the fire Salamanders for help. Such fires were called Balefires or Need-fires and were particularly used by the Celts at festival times such as Beltane and Samhain. Pagans who live by the sea in modern times make vision fires out of driftwood using the symbology of the ocean as the unconscious and/or Source of All, and the extra energy imparted by immersion in the sea is supposed to give greater clarity. Pyromancy can also be done with candles by dripping wax from the burning candle into a bowl of cold water and then examining the shape the wax makes as it cools
Perhaps the most well-known tool for inducing clairvoyant visions. The Fortune Teller/Gypsy bent over her crystal ball is the first thing many people think of when you talk about clairvoyance. There is some discussion amongst the users of crystal gazers as to the best sort to use; Clear or rutilated, different types for different uses such as Rose Quartz for love divination or Malachite for wealth. Each has its adherents and detractors, but this sort of debate tends to overlook that the crystal ball is a tool for the mind rather than a specialised instrument in its’ own right
Traditional Gypsy fortune-tellers favour an oval crystal ball about the size of a large hens’ egg that will fit snugly in the palm of the hand. This makes it easy to carry in a pocket or ‘Putsi’ (neck pouch) and convenient for ‘on the spot’ or inconspicuous readings. This can be of amethyst, rock crystal or even black glass but rock crystal is the most popular as it is believed to be most sensitive to the life energies of the person using it and/or the person having the reading.
Traditional reading is done by cupping the crystal ball in the hand, or hands, and look steadily into it, or slightly beyond it. In a little while you should experience your eyes wandering or defocusing slightly. At the same time the focused concentration on the crystal ball can start to induce a state of altered consciousness and your field of vision –or maybe just the crystal – will start to become misty. From here a number of things can happen, lots of beginners see still pictures followed by ‘flashes’, almost like short film clips or rhythmically pulsing patterns. This is usually caused by the brain going from waking beta brainwave activity to the more holistic alpha or theta levels that accompany psychic skills.
Persisting in your efforts generally results in full fledged visions or moving pictures either within the crystal or in your minds’ eye. They can start off being mundane, such as snippets of things you have seen during the day, but then lead on to the classical remote viewing or clairvoyant visions of the past and potential future of the person you are reading for.
In the beginning the mundane nature of the visions may surprise you, but they can be very accurate. I remember my first experience at crystal gazing under the guidance of a Witch friend who ran a Pagan shop. Because the lighting in the shop needed to be good rather than use a clear crystal I used a one that was not completely clear so that I could look into it almost like a “Magic Eye” poster and use the Rorschach –like effect to stimulate visions by balancing both sides of the brain. Once I had passed though some of the stages mentioned above I saw a ‘flash’ of my friend, who I shared a car with to go to Ninjutsu training, opening a large metal sliding door which then fell on her.
I did consider contacting her to check the accuracy of the vision, but decided it was just too simple to take seriously. It was only three days later when I picked her up on the way to training that I noticed she was moving as though she was in pain. When I asked what had happened she said that a metal sliding door had fallen on her at work the day before! Not only had my vision been correct, but the event at that time was in the potential future. To this day I wonder what would have happened if I’d called her; would she have been more cautions about opening sliding metal doors? Would she have thought that I had somehow caused the event to happen? This sort of experience raises lots of questions about fixed and mutable events and helps you to explore the connections underpinning reality
These can be anything from old glass watch or clock faces painted black and set concave-style in a black background, to specially constructed alchemical devices made to exacting specifications and ‘loaded’ with Elemental or Etheric energies. In Mexico in the 1970’s flat oval pieces of obsidian were popular. They are used in the same way as the crystal ball.
In Celtic times pools, springs, rivers, and streams, were all considered gateways to the Otherworld and used as clairvoyant enhancers. These were particularly popular for use in contacting nature spirits and aspects of the Divine. Again used in ways similar to the crystal ball, but surrounded by more ritual to evoke a specific contact
Tasseomancy, to give it its’ technical title, is such a well-known fortune telling system it was even mentioned in a Harry Potter book! Here symbols are used as the gateway to clairvoyant vision combined with the changing focus of the eyes as they travel around and up and down the cup to evoke the contemplative state of mind that leads to clairvoyance
These are the most popular ways of stimulating a persons’ clairvoyant skills, and are used in many Pagan paths, sometimes with local variations but always with the same underlying principles. Only practice will show which one works best for you so if you want to develop this skill try the systems above and see what happens. The best way to do this is in a ritual setting with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Also remember to protect yourself from psychic ‘nasties’ by casting a protective circle or invoking a guardian presence.