List of Psychic Abilities: 21 Powers Explained

Updated July 9, 2021
Soothsayer doing palmistry

Many people believe everyone is at least a little psychic. Are you? How would you know if you were? One of the best ways to recognize psychic abilities is to learn about each. This list of psychic abilities shows some of the most common ways people receive and experience psychic energy.


All humans have some form of intuition; it's a developed instinct that alerts you to certain types of information. Many people call it a "gut feeling" or a "hunch." Intuition arises without you really thinking about or reasoning through something--you just know.


Clairaudience means "clear hearing." It is a form of psychic ability when you hear psychic information either in your mind or with your ears. This may be words, phrases, or sounds such as music, crying, ringing in the ears, or other auditory phenomenon with no known physical source.


Claircognizance is also known as clear knowing or clear recognition. If you're claircognizant, you sometimes know things without having any previous knowledge about the topic, as if information is suddenly downloaded into your brain.


Clairvoyance also means "clear seeing." If you are clairvoyant, you may notice visual phenomena, either with your physical eyes or in your mind's eye. You may see images that look like a slide show, colors, waves of energy, or even moving pictures like a film.

Seeing the future


Clairsentience means clear sensing, and it's the ability to feel or perceive energy with the senses. For example, if you walk into a haunted location and the hair stands up on your arms or you get goosebumps, this could be a manifestation of clairsentience. Other signs might be things such as changes in ear pressure, feeling like someone is touching you, or noticing similar sensations.

Clairgustance and Clairolfaction

These are psychic senses of taste and smell. People with these psychic gifts receive psychic information through the sense of taste or smell. For example, they may smell roses to indicate love or taste blood to indicate a violent death.


People with empathic abilities are able to feel another person's emotions as well as their physical pains. The ability is involuntary, but you can learn to control how you react to these often confusing feelings that don't belong to you.

ESP Abilities (Extrasensory Perception)

Perhaps one of the best known paranormal powers is ESP (extrasensory perception) that's often called the sixth sense. ESP is the ability to perceive things that others might not. ESP is grouped with other psychic abilities, such as telepathy and clairvoyance.

Astral Projection

The voluntary ability to project your conscious awareness outside of your physical body is called astral projection. The involuntary projection is often called out-of-body experience (OBE). It might occur at-will in meditation or during dreams.

Aura Reading

An aura reader has the ability to perceive a person's energy colors that are commonly called auras. If you can see colors around people, or if people "feel" like they're a certain color to you, then you may be able to read auras.


Mediums use various forms of psychic sensing to communicate with spirits; either spirits of people who are no longer living or paranormal entities such as spirit guides.

Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is a form of writing that is driven from your higher self or from an entity outside of yourself. It doesn't come from the conscious mind. Instead, the writing is generated from the channeling of spirits and comes through you, not from you.


Channeling uses mediumship for communication with a disembodied spirit. If you channel, the information comes through you, not from you. You can share this information in various ways including automatic writing, movement, talking, singing, painting, and other forms of expression.


Divination is a practice used to find answers to questions by observation of various natural signs; some are given by the spirit world. There are many forms of divination you can use, such as tarot cards, tea leaves, crystal balls, pendulums, Ouija boards, bibliomancy, scrying, and many other tools.


Precognition as the ability to see future events or have prior knowledge of an event. This is often done through the use of other psychic abilities, such as ESP or clairvoyance. So if you have precognition, you may have dreams that come true, or you may experience flashes of sensing events that later occur.


Retrocognition is the ability to know about past events you haven't heard about previously or experienced. For example, you may walk into a house you've never been in before and know about the people who lived there in the past.


Someone with psychometry can touch an object and glean information from it. If you have psychometric abilities, you can pick up information, impressions, events, thoughts, and even visions of a place or object that you touch.

Medical Intuition

Medical intuition allows someone with psychic abilities to understand someone's physical ailments using psychic abilities. For instance, you may see someone and know they need to go see their doctor for a problem with the lungs. Many people with medical intuition go into the energy healing arts where they can put the intuition to good use.

Reiki healing


Someone with telepathy can know what's on someone else's mind. That is, people who are telepathic are "mind readers." For instance, twins often have a telepathic link and can communicate without words.

Animal Communication

Some psychics inherently understand animals and know what they want, need, and think. These are often called pet psychics. Some can establish two-way communication with all animals so the animals understand them as well.


Psychokinesis is also called PK or telekinesis. A psychic with PK abilities can control physical matter with the mind, such as bending spoons or causing items to move seemingly on their own.

Explore a List of Psychic Abilities

Chances are, everyone has at least one of the abilities on this list (intuition), and some may have many more abilities. So if you're someone who seems to receive information from non-physical sources, you just may be psychic.

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List of Psychic Abilities: 21 Powers Explained