Psychics Through The Agesposted : 3/17/2013
Psychics have been around for thousands of years, frequently as respected leaders of religious practices. It’s easy to see how this came about. From the dawn of time, human beings have sought to understand the universe and our place in it. Even cave dwellers searched for meaning in mysterious events and often looked to the sky for answers. There they saw stars and noted their movements in relation to phenomena on earth. They also used art to tell stories, preserved on cave walls, about upcoming hunts or clan skirmishes. They incorporated into their art depictions of future success meant to influence or predict the actual outcome.
Cultures around the world have left records of their belief in divination, the mystic connection to the “Divine” that brings visions about the future. The ancient Greeks consulted oracles, Hindus and Egyptians consulted the stars, and even the Bible refers to prophets, and the symbolism of dreams. It is difficult to find a culture that has not developed a system to foretell the future or which has not looked to shamans and mystics to draw on wisdom from the unseen world to guide their followers in this one.
The rise of science during the Renaissance undermined belief in the psychic arts to some extent, but despite the widespread adoption of the “scientific method” as the preferred means to explain phenomena, science could not eradicate the psychic “arts,” and psychics and their supporters continued largely as before.
The 1800s saw the founding of the Theosophical Society by Helena Blavatsky, a Russian writer and world traveler, who brought her extensive knowledge of Eastern religions to the West. She claimed to be psychic and held séances – group sessions in which a “medium” contacts the spirits of people who have died and imparts messages to their loved ones. Her abilities were praised by some, but others denounced her as a fraud. Whether or not she was truly psychic, her Society introduced thousands to the realm of the supernatural, and laid the groundwork for a later resurgence in interest in the mystical arts.
Born in the early 20th century, Edgar Cayce was an acclaimed psychic (and devout Christian) who helped cure people suffering from illnesses and disabilities by analyzing their past lives. His skill was as a “channel” who accessed information during trances that shed light on a person’s current circumstances. His success rate established him as a legitimate and gifted psychic, and his Association for Research and Enlightenment flourishes today with adherents around the world.
The 1960s ushered in an era that encouraged exploration of foreign, exotic, and non-Western beliefs. Among those was a revived interest in telepathy, clairvoyance, and astrology. “The Age of Aquarius” was more than a popular song; its lyrics were based on the signs of the zodiac (astrological star signs) and referred to the close of the Piscean Age governed by the sign of Pisces for two thousand years, and the beginning of a new age of “peace and understanding” in the year 2000 as a result of the ascendancy of the sign of Aquarius.
Today, discussions of and belief in psychics have become so common, it’s an accepted (mostly) part of popular culture. Police departments have occasionally utilized psychics during investigations into missing people. Nancy Reagan was reputed to have consulted regularly with her astrologist during President Reagan’s tenure in the White House (for which, it must be admitted, she was widely criticized). John Edward is a popular psychic/medium who has his own TV show, and tours widely to bring his readings to large audiences. He has his supporters and detractors, but remains popular as an author and medium.
From the “sibyls” of the past (Mediterranean female prophets first mentioned in the 5th Century BC) to “The Ghost Whisperer” of today, psychics continue to fascinate, repel, and mystify audiences with their solemn predictions or compassionate problem-solving with help from beyond.