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These are the 4 categories of intuition and how to experience them

4 categories of intuition

Do you think of yourself as intuitive? The fact is, we are all intuitive. So a better question is, what kind of intuitive information do you get, and how does it come to you?

Before diving into the depths of this topic, and the categories of intuition, let’s consider some definitions.

Some Definitions

One reason intuition as a topic remains somewhat confusing is that there are no universally accepted definitions or standards of learning and understanding it. Three terms that are frequently confused in intuition are intuition, psychic ability, and mediumship.

Let’s begin by defining intuition. I abide by the principle, backed by neuroscience, that intuition is the ability to obtain knowledge without obvious sources. Intuition is also our inner guidance system, directing us to remain on track to be true to our inner wisdom. And while intuition can feel ambiguous, it does communicate via specific signals (i.e., the clairs, discussed below).

Everyone is intuitive. We are born with this ability, along with our other five senses. However, just like our other senses, some people are born with a stronger intuitive sense. As an example, think of a singer. We can all sing, but how well? And just like singing, we can all strengthen that ability with training and practice.

As our inner guidance system, intuition is at work within us, and part of us, regardless of whether we listen. So, it is part of both psychic ability and mediumship.

Psychic ability is often confused with intuition. Psychic ability is a developed intuitive skill. It entails receiving the intuitive signals, interpreting, understanding, incorporating, and, when appropriate, communicating them.

Mediumship is receiving information through others that aren’t of this world. Frequently, that can be individuals who have died, or angels and guides bringing messages.

Are You Intuitive?

Maybe you were following along until one definition left you by the wayside — mediumship, perhaps? And you thought you didn’t belong in the intuitive category anymore.

Not so fast.

We are all intuitive, as the first definition outlined. Consider the following examples.

Perhaps you’ve experienced a chill across your shoulders of foreboding and avoided turning down a road. Or maybe you had a powerful urge to reach out to a loved one and discovered there was a reason to connect. How about the last time you satisfactorily solved a troublesome issue after a long period?

Maybe you’ve had one or all of these experiences but didn’t categorize them as intuitive. Yet, they all are.

How we receive intuitive information

What about those specific signals, the clairs, that intuition speaks through?

The body perceives intuitive intelligence in specific ways, and we each receive it uniquely. We can feel it externally through our senses, physically, in our body. But we can also strongly imagine it internally through our mind’s eye. Sometimes our imagination is so vivid it is difficult to distinguish whether it is an internal or external signal. For example, you may hear a radio in your imagination and look to see if there is one playing in the next room.

  1. clairaudience: the ability to hear (e.g., hearing sounds — voices, songs, people, a set of sounds in a rhythm, etc.)

2. clairvoyance: the ability to see (e.g., having visions — sometimes like a movie)

3. clairsentience: the ability to feel, also known as empathic intuition. Different than claircognizance, which is a knowing.

4. clairgustence: the ability to taste (e.g., the thought of someone brings the taste of their favorite meal or spice — your deceased husband loved chili? And now thinking of him, you taste the tomato sauce particular to his favorite chili recipe)

5. clairsalience:  the ability to smell (e.g., smelling a deceased loved one’s perfume or favorite meal)

6. claircognizance — the ability of knowing (e.g., sometimes paired with premonition of events). The knowledge comes with no source of the knowing.

We have a predisposition towards one or more of these, but they can all be honed and developed to greater levels of aptitude. There are nuances between the clairs, and it can take time to decipher which clair you are receiving information through. For example, it is easy to confuse clairsentience and claircognizance — feeling and knowing. Yet, clairsentience is knowing through the emotions. It is empathic intuition — feeling the knowledge as if it was your own.

Observe your language to help guide you learn which clair might be dominant for you. How often do you say “I knew in my gut” and feel an accompanying thud or something similar? That would be claircognizance. Keeping a journal and following the pattern of your words and how they fit the clair can be helpful.

Can’t Ignore the Chakras!

Chakras are energy centers in the body. While commonly unseen, they connect to bundles of nerves and internal organs, as well as meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

For intuition, they perform similar to radio receivers, picking up input imperceivable via our other senses, and transmitting it through the clairs.

To develop our intuitive ability, or strengthen the accuracy of understanding we have, taking care of the chakras helps take care of the clairs.

Correspondence Between Chakras and Clairs

A quick review of the seven primary chakras first. Extensive information exists on the topic of chakras and their application to life so what follows is vastly simplified. A basic and comprehensive overview of the subject is the original Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, which remains my reference manual, along with the more advanced study Eastern Body, Western Mind by the same author.

The First Chakra, located at the base of the spine or tailbone, is the root chakra. Its associated responsibility is survival.

The Second Chakra, located below the belly button, is the sacral chakra. Its associated responsibility is creativity and relationships. Clairsentience is experienced through this chakra.

The Third Chakra, located above the naval, is the solar plexus chakra. Its associated responsibility is personal power.

Remember the phrase “I knew in my gut”? Claircognizance comes through the third chakra. Claircognizance doesn’t require feeling knowledge through your stomach, but words are revealing. It is how your body receives the information. Consider where else in your body you know if this is a clair that you work with.

The Fourth Chakra, located in the center of the chest, is the heart chakra. Its associated responsibility is compassion, love, and self-acceptance.

The heart, involved in the fourth chakra, is deeply involved in intuition and connection, and as such it is responsible for clairsentience.

The Fifth Chakra, located in the hollow of the throat, is the throat chakra. Its associated responsibility is expression.

The throat chakra’s association with expression is why it is in this chakra, that three clairs come through: clairaudiance, clairgustance, and clairsalience.

The Sixth Chakra, located in the middle of the forehead, is the third eye chakra. Its associated responsibility is intuition and discernment. Clairvoyance comes through this chakra.

The Seventh Chakra, located at the top of the head, is the crown chakra. Its associated responsibility is consciousness.

Even though each chakra has its associated responsibility, they do remain working as a system, never isolated. The word “chakra” is Sanskrit for “wheel”, and as a wheel, they all move and rotate together.

There is some overlap between the chakras for some of the clairs, or at least in our interpretation of them. For example, clairsentience is widely accepted to be received through the second chakra, responsible for relationships. Clairsentience is also received via the fourth chakra, the heart, which is responsible for connection, compassion, and empathy. Since clairsentience is empathic intuition, it makes sense that both chakras would be engaged.

The Four Categories of Intuition

So now that we know how these intuitive signals are coming to us, what do they mean?

Intuition isn’t logical. It isn’t linear. We have all this random input. It can feel overwhelming and confusing, even when we understand where it is from.

It does have its own logic but the world it operates in remains metaphorical.

Understanding the categories of intuition helps normalize the occurrence as well as know how to recognize their meaning. Knowing the categories is also helpful in knowing how to further develop your intuitive skills.

Which of the categories below do you experience most often?

  • Instinct

While instinct and intuition are different, with instinct, the message of safety is a primary goal of intuitive knowledge. These are the gut feelings that tell you to make an unplanned turn while driving, the calm voice that said not to get into the idyllic looking swimming pool, the urge not to get on a plane, etc.

Intuition is the ability to have knowledge without an obvious source. It doesn’t mean the information wasn’t there. It just wasn’t immediately apparent to our physical senses.

Instinctive reaction is our impulse to respond to intuitive information, trusting it to keep us safe. Intuition operates in various parts of the brain, with instinct originating and having control mechanisms in the brain stem.

We may not think of these messages as intuitive, but they frequently guide us throughout life. They keep us safe, as well as connected to what is important to us. When we pay attention to them, we can appreciate how valuable they are — and increase their occurrence.

  • Connection

Another form of intuition in practice is feeling connected to someone beyond the physical senses, and beyond space and time.

Perhaps you’ve reached for your phone, knowing you were getting a message from someone before the phone signaled. Or, you may have felt compelled to contact a former lost friend, to discover they were reaching out to you but had an old number.

We connect to others via heart coherence, which transcends time and space. Our connection isn’t linear or logical to our five senses, but to our intuitive senses, we connect regardless of location.

Intuition is sometimes seen as a soft skill, or for relationships only. But, in a business setting, there are endless advantages to developing intuition, connection being one of them. Connection is an aspect of social intuitive skills.

  • Inspiration

We’ve all had times when ideas flew into our mind, whether they were solutions to challenges, answers to questions, or problem solving. These brilliant ideas are intuitive in the same way creative inspiration is. They are original thoughts flowing creatively to you. It is up to you what to make of them, if anything.

They are what dreams are made into, as well as goals are crafted from, masterpieces are constructed, and art is formed.

  • Divination/Prophecy

Although the least frequent form of intuition, divination and prophecy may be the category people think of the most as “intuition”. Have you had a premonition and wondered if you were psychic? Perhaps you had a dream that came true.

We all have psychic or intuitive abilities. And having a premonition is a form of foreseeing intuitive knowledge. This information comes through our crown chakra.

At the Source

Where is all this coming from?

Although intuitive information is intangible, we pick up unseen information from the environment. What is the source of that information?

Research in intuitive physics continues, with inconclusive results. What is clear is that the neuropsychological processes of the brain continue to unfold in intuitive waves that override our understanding.

Back to You

We don’t need to understand the intuitive process to see it operate, however. We merely need to trust it. And that can be the most challenging task.

Yet, your intuition is your inner guidepost, keeping you safe and moving forward in life. By recognizing how you receive intuitive clues (i.e., which clairs are dominant), you can encourage more of them. It’s possible, indeed probable, that over time you’ll discover additional clairs activate more strongly. And there are ways you can “strength train” your clairs to experience more intuitive information.

Strength-Training the Clairs

There are countless ways to develop your intuition, starting with your intention to do so. In this article, I outline simple steps that, while simple, can be life changing.

Keep your intention and practice light-hearted. Joy encourages an open minded attitude which allows more possibility — and less self-doubt. And with trusting your intuition, there’s very little room for self-doubt.

Before focusing on the clairs, it’s essential to keep your chakras clear and balanced. Because they all work together, it will help information flow with your clairs. The techniques suggested below focus on the individual chakras and their associated clairs. To begin, the chakras should be working together well. So let’s start with an overall chakra balancing exercise.

Chakra balancing

While there are many ways to balance your chakras, there are three simplified categories: meditation, breathwork, and exercise. Let’s keep it simple. Here’s a quick and easy breathwork visualization that will clear and balance your chakras. Why? So you can hear your intuition better!

To begin, familiarize yourself with the chakra as a mental picture. Imagine circles or wheels of color sitting in place, as described earlier (i.e., red at tailbone, orange at sacrum, yellow at solar plexus, green at heart, sky blue at hollow of throat, indigo at center of forehead, and violet at crown of head).

Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor. Take three slow breaths, allowing each breath to increasingly calm yourself. Feel the breath circulate throughout your body, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. As you exhale, imagine the exhalation taking stale air and debris out of your body and discarding it into the earth as fertilizer.

With the fourth breath, imagine the air has become effervescent, as if laundry tabs have dissolved, and your breath is now cleaning the core of you, stopping at each chakra . Picture these cleansing bubbles lifting away debris from each color of each chakra. This debris may be old thoughts, beliefs, anything at all you no longer want to hold on to. As the debris is removed, the color is more vibrant.

The effervescence moves up, down, around, and sideways. And as you exhale, it exits. As you feel clearer, breathe in clear air again — non-effervescent. Inhale a minimum of three clear breaths from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. And exhale. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.

Chakra and clair exercises

Do the following exercises, and use them as starting points for your imagination. Keep a journal of your thoughts, intuitive input and progress. Have fun!

1.Strengthen your root chakra (1st) to feel more secure overall with your intuitive perceptions. Fun and games: ground yourself! Play sports — competitively, play with children — non-competitively! run.

2.Do activities that connect you with the earth.Strengthen your sacral chakra (2nd) and the accompanying clairsentience [also from 4th chakra] by spending time in water — swimming, bathing, etc. and being creative.

3.Strengthen your solar plexus chakra (3rd) and accompanying claircognizance by journal writing, hiking or walking.

4.Strengthen your heart chakra (4th) and accompanying clairsentience [also from 2nd chakra] by practicing acts of kindness, forgiveness, and love. For example, write a love or appreciation letter, give a random gift, or take time to feel compassion.

5.Strengthen your throat chakra (5th), and you benefit a powerhouse of clairs: clairaudience, clairgustance, and clairsalience. Exercises for this area include speaking up and speaking your truth, Play a game with a friend: they tell a story and omit key details that you fill in. Imagine in every detail a meal you will make in later in the week, capturing the specific scents, sensations, and tastes of the ingredients before they become the meal.

6.Strengthen your third eye chakra (6th) and accompanying clairvoyance by visualization, dream journaling, and daydreaming.

7.Strengthen your crown chakra (7th) through meditation, prayer, handstands, and cartwheels!

No Limit

There is no limit to how far you can develop your intuition. These ideas are a starting point for you to take as far as you choose. Conversely, you can use them to maintain a daily peaceful life.

Regardless of how you choose to employ your intuition, its there waiting. Enjoy!

If you’d like support further developing your ability to hear your inner wisdom, my course on intuition, How to Hear What You Know: A Course on Developing Your Intuition to Practically Guide You Through Life is online. More interested in private mentorship, or a development group? Contact me.

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