Everyone is intuitive and can sense things that go beyond the rational mind. Many people find it hard to access this intelligence because they’re either too busy or don’t know how to tune in. The good news is that tapping into your intuition is a learnable skill. We have six types of intuition that correspond to our five senses. Learning which type you prefer and developing them will help your intuitive abilities to blossom. (Estimated reading time: 7-8 minutes)
“Intuition is the whisper of the soul.”— Jiddu Krishnamurti
Everyone has the gift of intuition – that knowingness about things that have not happened yet. You may have experienced it as an overwhelming feeling of something not being right or a premonition that you’ve stumbled upon a great opportunity.
Whether you’re a believer or skeptic, the chances are high that you’ve had some sort of gut reaction where you received a subtle sensation or a flash of insight that apparently came out of nowhere.
Our intuition is innate and part of the rich faculty of the human mind. Not harnessing this power would be a mistake as we’ll miss out on vital information that can get us ahead.
Intuition is a subconscious process, and scientists have revealed that 95-99% of thinking is based on the programming of our subconscious minds. This brain activity beyond our conscious awareness influences most of our actions, decisions, behaviors, and emotions.
When you intentionally identify and develop your extrasensory abilities, you open the door to powerful guidance that helps you manifest a meaningful and impactful life.
We have different types of intuition that correspond to our five senses, and we tend to gravitate towards one of two of them when we’re intuiting. Learning which type you prefer and tapping into it will lead to the blossoming of your intuitive abilities.
Our Spidey sense: where does intuition come from
My earliest memory of intuition is watching cartoons where I saw Spiderman get tingling sensations every time he detected danger. Like other kids, I thought that it was another super-power that came along with his web-slinging prowess.
After being bitten by a radioactive, magical spider, Peter Parker gained this amazing power that gave him a heightened awareness of his surroundings and allowed him to navigate places when he was disoriented and couldn’t see or hear.
It turns out that there’s some truth to the instinctive capacities of spiders. Despite having four eyes, they don’t have good eyesight, so they must rely on another mechanism to survive: the long, thin hairs on their bodies called trichobothria. Each strand of hair is attached to nerve cells, making them far more sensitive than regular hair.
This hyperawareness allows spiders to detect the faint sounds and vibrations of predators and small insects moving up to 3 meters away. Bats are another creature with a special ability. In addition to being able to taste, smell, and hear, they have a remarkable ability for echolocation that allows them to maneuver in complete darkness.
Nature’s intelligence created these adaptive features in spiders and bats to help them survive in their environments. Humans are no different. In our case, we have been endowed with a sixth sense that allows us to tune into subtle energies when we’re open and willing.
Intuition is derived from the Latin word “intuenor” which means “to see”. Intuition is essentially our minds’ way of seeing solutions and insights that would otherwise stay hidden below the surface of reality.
Influential books like Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ and Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ have suggested that we act intuitively based on earlier experiences of intensive thinking. Consequently, these insights may appear fast and effortless, as if appearing out of thin air.
Spiritual and new-age gurus see intuition as divine wisdom coming from a higher plane of existence. It’s channeled guidance from the Source of all creation. Like a mother hen tending to her chicks, it prods us in a direction that is the most beneficial for our growth and evolution.
No matter what you believe about the origin of intuition, you need to be perceptive enough to pick up on it. The best way to do that is by entering a state where you allow it to emanate and flow throughout your body without any blocks.
Prediction or projections: distinguishing intuition from fear-based neediness
Before we can receive authentic, intuitive impressions, we must know how it differs from wishful thinking. Because of its ethereal and vague nature, it’s easy to mix the two up.
To validate their hunches, some people rely on external tools like psychic predictions, tarot cards, and horoscope readings to confirm if there’s truth to their projections of a desired future.
While I believe that these tools can be a great way to incite intuitive insights and discussions, they won’t be useful if we come from a place of fear and desperation. If we do, our impressions become self-fulfilling prophecies, or we fuel a fantasy that has no substance.
How can you tell it’s your intuition talking and not fear? Let’s look at a classic scenario in dating. You’re waiting around for the person to call you back after what seemed like a successful first date. As the hours roll by, you find yourself becoming increasingly anxious and clingy.
In the middle of the day, you get a flash of them dating other people and ignoring your texts. If you find yourself mired in fear as you receive these mental images, you can be sure that your prophecies are fear-based. Anxiety and cravings are dead giveaways of unbalanced energy.
Real intuition comes from a calm and mindful state that isn’t tainted with emotional charge and an ego-oriented agenda. It feels effortless, quick, and often happens with little voluntary control. Your body and mind feel balanced, open, and detached as you receive messages.
To become open receivers of intuitive guidance, we must deal with the root of our fears and calm our minds by shifting our approach and mindset.
Interpreting guidance: become a channel for intuition using your senses
Intuitive thinking involves immersing ourselves in reality without the use of rational thought or words. This way of perceiving reality goes against what we’re typically taught.
Even if we are aware of our intuitive abilities, it’s a challenge to channel them. We’re busier than ever while trying to balance our careers, relationships, and health. In this frazzled state, it becomes a Herculean task for us to hear our inner counsel.
The good news is that tapping into your intuition is a learnable skill, and like any skill, the more you practice using it, the better you become at applying it. When you do this, you’ll receive images and impressions from the mind in a literal or symbolic way for you to interpret.
Like radio waves, spiritual insight floats in the spaces around us. It’s just a matter of learning how to tune in and interpret them. To do that, you’ll need to determine the dominant sense through which you receive mental impressions and how you connect to higher realms.
These six types of intuition (or “clair senses” as they’re often called) correspond with our senses of seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, and tasting. Learn about each one of them and how you can develop the ones that are strongest for you.
The most famous and rarest of the senses (often called the “psychic sense”) gives people intuitive abilities for premonition. Someone with this ability can see things clearly either around them (think repeating numbers) or within them in the form of visions or vivid dreams.
How to develop it: Keep a journal to sketch out images you receive and write about any dreams and premonitions you have. Consider using tools like tarot and oracle cards to get more clarity. Meditating regularly slows down the rational mind and makes space for these intuitive visions to manifest.
Clairaudience – clear hearing/being able to pick up information through the ears
This is the ability to receive intuitive guidance through subtle voices we hear in our heads. Clairaudient people may have heard their higher self say things like “don’t go” or “trust and proceed,” which consequently led them down the right path. Some say that they can even hear angels and spirit guides communicating with them. In addition to voices, we can hear sounds, words, and music that are significant to us.
How to develop it: The key to improving your clairaudience abilities is to become a better listener and tune into the sounds around you. Go to a quiet place where you can relax and focus to see what you pick up. Listening to different types of music can strengthen your ability to detect subtle differences in sounds.
Claircognizance – clear knowing/having a sense of knowing about people and events
If you often have ideas and answers that come out of the blue, there’s a strong chance that you are claircognizant. You might even be able to understand things that you don’t know much about. This ability often requires great trust because there’s usually no logical explanation for why we suddenly “know” something. Many business leaders, scientists, and doctors who typically deal with rational matters have this sense of knowing that guides them to make great decisions and discoveries.
How to develop it: Because these insights can often be fleeting, it’s important to document them before they dissipate. The practice of automatic writing is a great way to channel your hunches onto paper and give them form. People with this ability tend to be sharp-witted, so communicating their thoughts with others can be another way to solidify their intuition.
Clairsentience – clear feeling/detecting information through the body
A person with a strong sense of clairsentience can pick up on energies in their surroundings through the sensations they experience in their body. If you’ve ever experienced chills or goosebumps, that could be your intuition alerting you about something or someone you should pay attention to. People with this ability can also pick up on other people’s feelings and energy (a classic empath trait).
How to develop it: Keeping a journal to record your feelings is a great way to understand and keep track of the many ways that your body speaks to you. Getting in touch with your body through yoga, bodywork, and massage will strengthen your connection. Because you can easily pick up other people’s energy, it’s essential to protect your personal space and create boundaries when you encounter negative people who drain your energy.
Clairalience – clear smelling/intuiting information based on your sense of smell
Clairalience gives you the capacity to smell your way into a situation. People with this ability have a strong sense of smell – certain scents instantly connect them with memories, and they may be drawn to work that requires smelling, such as a perfumer or a florist. Clairalience means that you notice smells in their air like cologne and cigarette smoke when there’s no logical explanation for where it’s coming from.
How to develop it: Strengthen your clairalience by developing your sense of smell. Expose yourself to more smells and notice the differences. Meditate on smells and try imagining smells into a room and see how it makes you feel. Practice picking up on people’s moods based on their scent or the perfume that they are wearing.
Clairgustance – clear tasting/intuiting from your sense of taste
A person who is clairgustant can taste something without anything entering their mouth. If you have this intuitive sense, you can taste the energies of all kinds of things, including trees, flowers, animals, foods, and even inanimate things like thoughts and emotions. For instance, getting a taste of your deceased grandmother’s apple pie could be a sign of her spirit communicating with you. Mediums tend to use their sense to figure out how people have passed away.
How to develop it: Remember tastes from your childhood and notice what feelings it brings up. Develop your sense of taste by paying attention to the smells that food brings and the emotions you experience when consuming them. Experiment with different cuisines and savor each bite as you find ways to describe the taste of the food you’re eating.
Your intuitive abilities are a vast and untapped resource that you can harness to improve your life and the lives of others. Embracing your extrasensory intuitive abilities and the unique ways you receive guidance will strengthen your connection to the world and all the abundance it offers.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Out of the 6 types of intuition, which two are your strongest? How do you plan to develop these senses?
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