This article walks you through how to develop your intuition using the 5 “clairs”.
I offer specific suggestions on how to develop each clair, or intuitive channel, so you can connect powerfully to your intuition.
What is intuition?
Let’s start by defining this term.
Intuition is often talked about in spiritual and healing circles.
Typically, it stands for the ability to perceive sensory and extrasensory input that might not be perceptible in ordinary ways.
Your intuition is your inner guidance system and inner compass. It alerts you to danger and also makes it possible to connect to something “bigger” than yourself – to Divine Source.
Your intuition isn’t located in one specific place of the body, but you might experience it most strongly through the third eye, heart, or crown chakra.
It’s important not to create a false separation between your intuition and your body. In fact, your body is the vehicle through which your intuition speaks to you.
When you feel butterflies in your stomach, a feeling of tightness in the chest, or a sense of deep peace and knowing, these are all different ways in which your intuition communicates with you.
How do you lose touch with your intuition?
In our modern, fast-paced, externally oriented culture, it can be really easy to disconnect from your intuition.
When you begin listening to external voices and suppressing your own desires, needs, and feelings, your intuition can recede into the background until you can’t hear it anymore.
These external voices might include messages from your culture, society, family, schooling, or religion. These are voices that attempt to impose themselves on you and tell you how you should and shouldn’t live your life.
These voices can alter your perception and make it difficult to listen to your own inner voice.
Re-awakening your intuition and being able to hear it clearly requires you to release all of these external shoulds and shouldn’ts, all of the noisy voices from without.
You must return to a deep place of stillness and silence within yourself.
How to develop your intuition through the 5 clairs
It’s also possible to develop or deepen your intuition through what I call the 5 clairs.
These are 5 different intuitive channels that can be opened up to receive divine messages from Source, your spirit guides, and your own inner guidance system.
Clair #1: Clairvoyance
Let’s start with the most well-known clair: clairvoyance.
This is clear seeing.
Clairvoyance can happen both internally and externally.
External clairvoyance happens when your eyes are open. You might see something out of the corner of your eye, typically a flash of light, an orb, or the outlines of an aura.
You can also experience clairvoyance when you see a specific scene in a movie or show and it immediately clicks with you on a gut level because it provides an answer to a question you’ve been asking.
Internal clairvoyance happens when your eyes are closed. You might see something in a dream, during a meditation or shamanic journey, or while working with a modality like the Akashic Records.
One of the most important ways to deepen your clairvoyance is to open up to all kinds of clairvoyant experiences, both when you’re deep in meditation with your eyes closed and when you’re moving through your day with your eyes open.
Keep in mind that clairvoyance doesn’t require you to see coherent, full, vivid images and scenes (though this can happen, of course!). You might receive images or visuals in a fragmented, quick, or disjointed way. This information is still valid and meaningful.
Working on opening and balancing your third eye can help to strengthen your clairvoyant ability. I highly recommend this meditation to work on your third eye.
The Practice: Visual Evocation
*This practice was inspired by an exercise in the book What We May Be by Piero Ferrucci.
Close your eyes and visualize the following images.
Try to hold each image in your mind’s eye for 1-2 minutes before moving on to the next.
If you get distracted, simply return to the image you’re focusing on as soon as you can.
- A pen slowly writing your name on a blank paper
- The number 7
- A golden triangle
- A cat drinking water from a bowl
- A tree with its leaves swaying in the breeze
This exercise can help you develop your focus and attention while training your imagination.
Don’t be discouraged if it’s challenging to focus on these images at first. They might appear fuzzy or disjointed or might jump around. This is ok, and just a sign that your visualization skills need a bit more discipline.
Consciously training yourself in this way can help you open up your third eye and deepen your clairvoyance.
Clair #2: Clairsentience
This is clear feeling.
Clairsentience mostly happens as an internal process. It’s related to your intuitive feelings and emotions.
Getting an intuitive nudge, a sense of “I feel this but I don’t know how I feel this”, is a form of clairsentience.
You might also experience this intuitive channel when you pick up on dense, heavy, or uncomfortable energy in a room.
The same is true of the opposite: clairsentience is at work when you feel peaceful, welcoming, or warm energy radiating from a person or place.
Clairsentience also involves touch, taste, and smell – the “ordinary” human senses.
You might feel a prickly sensation, the hairs on your arms standing up, a specific temperature (cold, warm, frozen, fiery hot), or even smell a particular scent (a rose, your grandmother’s perfume, a heavy metallic scent, etc).
You might also taste a particular flavor that reminds you of something you’ve eaten in the past.
All of these sensations can be pieces of information related to a question or issue you’ve been asking about.
Special note for empaths & highly sensitive people: clairsentience can show up for you as the ability to deeply perceive and take on other people’s feelings and sensations. In these cases, it’s important to be mindfully aware of which feelings and sensations are yours, and which belong to someone outside of yourself.
The Practice: Tactile, Olfactory, and Taste Evocation
For tactile evocation, use your visualization skills to focus on the sensations of touch. For example, visualize and feel that you are:
- Shaking someone’s hand
- Squeezing a stress ball in your hand
- Petting a soft bunny
- Lightly running your hand over the bark of a tree
- Holding an ice cube (might also trigger physical sensations related to temperature)
For olfactory evocation, shift your focus and imagination to the sense of smell. Imagine that you’re smelling:
- an herb (rosemary, mint, oregano, etc — choose one)
- your favorite flower
- fresh linen scent
- warm chocolate chip cookies
For taste evocation, use the same process to evoke the sense of taste. Imagine yourself tasting and experiencing the texture of:
- vanilla frozen yogurt
- a peanut butter sandwich
- hot chocolate
- your favorite soup
Clair #3: Clairaudience
This is clear hearing.
Like clairvoyance, clairaudience can happen internally or externally.
External clairaudience happens when you hear a song on the radio that answers an important question for you. You might also overhear someone else saying something (a word or phrase) that really hits you.
During sessions with clients, I’m sometimes amazed at how clairaudience manifests itself. I’ve had instances of fire alarms going off, hearing trucks backing up, a client’s shower curtain & rod tumbling down (with a loud crash!), and the sound of water dripping from a leak in the ceiling. All of these external noises and sounds were punctuating important pieces of information and symbolic insights during each session.
Internal clairaudience happens when you “hear” messages or words being spoken to you from within. These might come from your own inner guidance or from your spirit guides.
When working with the Akashic Records, I often perceive the Records’ high-pitched energy frequency through my clairaudience. This can also happen with other forms of spiritual journeying, meditation, and other divine tools that connect you to Divine Source directly.
The Practice: Auditory Evocation
As with the previous exercises, this practice can help you awaken and deepen your auditory perception.
Close your eyes and imagine that you can hear:
- a soft voice calling your name
- rain tapping against a window
- waves breaking on the shore
- the sounds of a busy intersection or street
- high heels clicking on a marble floor
Clair #4: Claircognizance
This is clear knowing.
To activate claircognizance, it’s really important to pay attention to your insights.
This clair isn’t about seeing, tasting, feeling, or smelling anything in particular. It’s about a deep sense of certain, clear knowing in the present moment.
This is a kind of inner knowing that goes beyond the rational mind, overthinking, analyzing, or rationalizing. It’s a knowing that arises from your heart, not your head or ego mind.
This can show up as a clear and strong presence within you saying YES or saying NO. It can also feel like a download of information or a flash of insight that helps you see things from a new perspective.
With this kind of knowing, all hesitation and doubt fall away. There’s no confusion because the information comes directly from Source. It feels clear, transparent, certain, and deeply true.
You might feel some emotions when you have a flash of claircognizance. If you feel relief, certainty, hope, and brilliant clarity to such a degree that you begin to weep (from joy!), this is a strong sign that your claircognizance has been awakened.
An important note on trust: claircognizance often requires a lot of trust. This is especially true if the information you receive is clear, simple, easy, and feels somewhat obvious. Your head or ego might want to confuse or trick you into thinking it should be “harder” than this. That you must work harder to get valid information. Remember that this isn’t the case! Information that comes through with ease, clarity, and effortlessness is absolutely valid. Trust it.
The Practice: Dropping into Your Heart
For claircognizance, rather than trying to evoke any sensory feeling or sensation, the practice is to drop into your heart.
If you’ve had difficulty doing this in the past or just don’t know how to go about it, I invite you to listen to my podcast episode on this here: When you can’t get out of your head
I offer a specific practice for dropping into your heart towards the end of the episode.
Clair #5: Clairpretend
I teach this 5th clair to my Akashic Records students as a way to release resistance.
This clair requires you to use playfulness, curiosity, and openness to develop your intuition.
It can also serve as a bridge or gateway to activate the other clairs.
Clairpretend is a useful way to access the other clairs listed here when you feel blocked or insecure. For example, this can happen if you’re giving a reading or working with a client. Stage fright can make it challenging to stay centered enough to really hear and tune in to your other intuitive channels.
Clairpretend is a valid way to work because when we pretend, we let go of control, “shoulds”, and ego mind. Think of pretending as play, just as when you dressed up as a child and joyfully pretended to be a pirate, or a princess, or a butterfly.
To awaken your clairpretend, ask yourself: “If I pretended to know the answer right now, what would it be?”
Then you can close your eyes, release all expectations, and notice what comes through.
Remember to play, experiment with this, and keep it light.
Other “if” questions to activate clairpretend include:
- If I could see an image right now, what would it be?
- If I could hear a sound right now, what would it be?
- If I was counseling a dear friend about this, what would I say?
- If I knew how to release this resistance right now, what would I do?
- If this issue was really clear to me and I opened up to receive guidance about it, what would I know?
Here, the practice is to play with these questions as you open up to the infinite, expansive nature of the Universe. Clairpretend requires you to let go of control and surrender to whatever’s showing up in the present moment.
To work with me on how to develop your intuition one-on-one, you can schedule a discovery call here.
I hope these practices will help you open all of your intuitive channels and keep you connected to divine guidance when you need it!