Exploring the psychic world
with Hay House authors

Definitions for psychics and mediums

Hay House, working with our top mediums and psychics, has produced this website to help spread useful and direct information about the often misunderstood world of parapsychology. We have many definitions of key terms in the world of psychics and mediums below, as well as a series of more in-depth articles on the topics that matter most.

What is the difference between psychics and mediums?

A psychic is a more general term for anyone with extra-sensory perception (ESP, the ability to see beyond the physical realm). Mediums are a specific group of psychics who are able to contact those who have passed to the next life.

What is trance mediumship?

Trance mediumship is the process whereby a channel’s consciousness is under deep control by spirit. Typically, the channel will not recall the process of channeling and their speech patterns will be altered. Many trance mediums are assisted by spirit guides.

What is channeling? What is a channel?

Channeling is the process whereby a psychic receives information from outside the physical realm and expresses this knowledge as though they were the spirit in person. Channeled knowledge comes from many different sources, including the departed, extraterrestrial consciousness, multi-dimensional group consciousness and spirit guides on a variety of planes.

What are séances?

Séances are opportunities for those who are interested in demonstrations of mediumistic ability to come together, either to witness the skills of an individual medium or to share in the strength possible when many intentions to contact the spirit realm combine.

What is precognition? What are premonitions?

Precognition is the ability to experience knowledge of future events through psychic means. Precognition can be experienced in a variety of ways by a psychic, including clairvoyance or by a warning from a departed loved one.

What is clairvoyance?

Clairvoyance is a general term for psychic ability in which one can sense events, people, places or sensations outside of the physical realm. Literally meaning ‘clear sight’, there are many ways in which a psychic – either through natural gift or training – can use clairvoyance to sense departed spirits or undiscovered knowledge in this realm. More specifically, clairvoyance refers to the ability to see psychic phenomena. Some common instances of clairvoyance include: visualization of chakras or auras, premonitions of future events or by seeing the presence of spirit.

What is clairaudience?

Clairaudience is the ability to inwardly ‘hear’ psychic messages in order to sense the presence of spirit. This is the basis for trance mediumship and channeling.

What is clairsentience?

Clairsentience is the ability to physically feel the presence of psychic phenomenon. Classically, this can be through shivers, goosebumps or ‘hairs on the back of your neck’. Clairsentients might also experience the sensation of being watched.

What is psychometry?

Psychometry, sometimes known as psychoscopy, is the process whereby a psychic gains information about the owner of an object through touching it. This process can be performed either for a living or deceased owner.

What is clairalience?

Clairalience is the ability to sense psychic presence through the sense of smell. Many mediums report lingering smells from the departed in areas that were associated with them, long after the possibility that the smell would naturally remain.

What is telekinesis?

Telekinesis (sometimes known as psychokinesis) is the ability to control the physical world using only the power of the mind. Some of the most commonly described instances of telekinesis involve bending cutlery.

What is telepathy?

Telepathy is the ability to transmit information between people through extra-sensory means.

What are out-of-body experiences?

Out-of-body experiences take a variety of forms, but all involve the experience of projection of one’s consciousness outside the physical body. During an out-of-body experience, a psychic may experience places and knowledge that are not otherwise accessible to them, receive premonitions of future events or enter spiritual planes including the afterlife.

What is remote viewing? 

Remote viewing is the ability to gather information or impressions of objects or people away from their physical presence. This can be of great benefit in instances where someone is held against their will in an unknown location or when a psychic seeks a specific object of importance.

What are auras?

Auras are visual manifestations of spiritual energy. There are many different interpretations of their meaning, but sensing their presence is associated with increased psychic ability.