How Being Psychic Works
It depends on what your dominant clair is and how the spirit in question prefers to communicate.
“What does channeling feel like? Do you hear the spirits’ voices? Are you able to see them? How do you know that the ideas (if they communicate with thought) are really them and not something made up unconsciously by your mind?”
You can hear spirits’ voices if you are clairaudient, although most clairaudience comes in words and phrases, not usually full on sentences. It’s not like talking to someone on the phone.
Typically if you DO hear voices, they are not external (external clairaudience is pretty rare), they are typically in your head and many times can sound like your own voice, or one that is gender-neutral. If you’ve ever heard what spirit voices sound like on a spirit box or in EVPs – a lot of times they sound like that in my head, depending on who is doing the talking.
Some people can see spirits, others cannot, and how you see a spirit can vary as well. Most people see them in their mind’s eye (a.k.a. the imagination). A rare few may see them physically manifested in front of them, but most of the time that depends more on the spirit itself than the person they are communicating with.
Many spirits communicate in pictures, so you don’t necessarily look at the spirit itself, but rather the image that it’s showing to you, and that image appears in the mind’s eye as well. Most of the time, this is also paired with entire concepts (just the idea, not in actual words) that are sort of downloaded with the visuals.
You know that they aren’t something made up by your mind because when you are thinking, you have a train of thought – you actively participate in creating those thoughts. When things just pop into your head unrelated to what you are thinking about, you can easily identify them. They’re also particularly identifiable if it’s information that you didn’t already know.
When it comes to having a conversation with spirit, you have to go more with what you feel. There is a subtle physical sensation that comes with intuition – generally it manifests as a feeling in your gut (solar plexus) or a tug around the chest area (heart chakra). I also tend to feel it in my brow chakra.
If I had to put that feeling into a visual… it would be like looking into a room full of junk and seeing the one thing you are looking for sort of light up – the feeling of recognition that you feel when you find the thing you are looking for.
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Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.