What Are the Clairs?

What Are the Clairs?

May 6, 2023

The clairs, or spiritual senses, are essential to the practice of magic. Every witch relies on them to communicate with spirits, discern the energies around them, and extract information that otherwise would be behind the veil. “Clair” means “clear” in French, which is appropriate since we use clairs to reach beyond what our physical senses can tell us, getting a clearer picture of what is really happening.

When information, which is energy, enters our field, it passes through a part of us which can translate it. Stimulation in the third dimension passes through the five physical senses, and we interpret it. Stimulation in other dimensions passes through the clairs. It is either interpreted as a vision, a sound, a feeling, a sudden knowing, a smell, or a taste that we perceived but see no explanation for in the normal physical world.

The five clairs include clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairaudience (clear hearing), clairsentience (clear feeling), claircognizance (clear knowing), clairalience (clear smelling), and clairgustance (clear tasting). 


Clairvoyance is the ability to see spiritual energies, entities, or visions. It can be perceived through the physical eyes, i.e. seeing a ghost or an aura. However, it is much more common for it to come through visions by means of our imagination or dreams. This means that it will look a lot like daydreaming as you do it. The picture will not be as clear as real life, but the part you are focusing on will come in clearer, maybe even as clear as a lucid dream.

Spirits or entities can use our imagination as a tool to communicate. They can create pictures in our minds to send us information. Because they have access to the symbols we understand, they can choose them in hopes that we will interpret them correctly. 

Remember that spirits don’t actually have a physical appearance, so it is all symbolism and not meant to accurately depict something like a photo would. And if you are communicating psychically with an entity that has a physical body, it is still using your imagination and you are interpreting the energy as a picture. The picture has less to do with the reality of how that entity appears and more to do with communicating with you.


The experience of hearing words or sounds from another dimension is known as clairaudience. It can be experienced with the physical ears as a sound coming from outside the body. Most of the time it is experienced as a voice or sound in your head. 

For example, if you were to imagine your mother speaking to you, you could imagine how her voice sounds and the kinds of things she might say. But you would be contriving it entirely from your mind. In the case of clairaudience, you are having a conversation in your mind with someone else like you might in real life. For that reason, you have no idea what the spirit or entity will say next.


Clairsentience is the most commonly used clair. It is the ability to sense or feel spiritual realities. Because we are spirits, and therefore we give off energy, all humans are projecting energy to those around them. Therefore, in addition to speech and body language, we come with an aura or energy field that others can read. A person entering a room who is having a pleasant day feels immediately different than an angry or depressed person, even if their body language is telling us nothing. We have all developed this clair so we can skillfully know how to navigate our world.

Clairsentience is even more important in the spiritual realm. In a way, spirits are simpler than we are. They don’t have so many layers of ego and trauma to swim through in order to figure out who they really are. How they feel is who they are. In general, a spirit or entity with a negative intention will give that away by how they feel to you. There is no lying about that.

There is only one type of spirit I know of that can lie through their energy field: white lighters. These spirits lure you in by telling you everything you long to hear, then slowly gain your trust in order to control your behavior. They come across as full of light and love at first. But it is simple to figure out if it is a white lighter and dispel it. Just ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is there a tiny warning in your heart that something is wrong?

  2. Are they saying things that flatter your ego, but are not in line with universal truths? Like that God prefers you to other people, or that you are better than everyone else? (Contrary to the truth that all are loved unconditionally and created equal.) 

  3. When you check in with your energetic axis, does the top axis seem skewed to one side instead of directly pointing up?

If you answer yes to any of these, it is time to call in backup and ask for them to be dispelled. To learn more about dispelling problematic entities, read here.


Claircognizance is a sudden knowing. People in the metaphysical and esoteric circles sometimes call this “getting a download”. It is when one moment you didn’t have the information, and the next moment you now do. It is instant and perfect communication, where nothing is lost in translation.

These downloads can happen on levels of being that do not touch the conscious mind. Sometimes new information has been dropped, but the conscious mind does not understand what it is. It just feels or knows somehow it’s leveled up or things seem a bit brighter and easier, and it does not know what exactly transpired. Angel healings often include this phenomenon.

Clairalience & Clairgustance

These last two clairs are rarely experienced. Usually, human ghosts use them to show loved ones they are there. For instance, a grandmother who used to make a lot of apple pies might use clairgustance to have her granddaughter suddenly taste an apple pie. Or an uncle who passed away and used to love smoking cigars has his nephew suddenly smell a cigar when no one around him is smoking. 

This happened to me only once. Another witch and I were talking in the parking lot of an industrial complex. The topic was Mother Mary. Suddenly, we both smelled roses! There weren’t any flowers around for miles.

That is clairs in a nutshell. But how do you use them? Read my Opening Your Clairs article to get started!