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a. outside the possibilities defined by natural laws, as mental telepathy
b. (of a person) sensitive to forces not recognized by natural laws
2. mental as opposed to physical; psychogenic
3. Bridge (of a bid) based on less strength than would normally be required to make the bid
4. a person who is sensitive to parapsychological forces or influences


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

From the Greek psychiokos meaning “soul,” psychic, as an adjective, means an attunement of mind and body with subtle vibrations. The word as a noun is also applied to a person who is a sensitive; susceptible to spiritual influences. Camille Flammarion (1842–1925) was the first to use the word in France. E. W. Cox (d. 1879) was the first to use it in England.

A psychic picks up knowledge clairvoyantly, clairaudiently, clairsentiently, while fully conscious or, occasionally, in trance. He or she differs from a Spiritualist medium in that the latter receives information from the spirit world while the psychic gets the information purely through his or her own sensitivity. In other words, a psychic operates solely on the earth plane while a medium connects between the earth plane and the higher ethereal plane.

Much of the information received by a psychic may be obtained through extrasensory perception. The psychic may attune to another person to the point where they are able to “read” that person’s thoughts and get the information directly from them. However, many times the psychic will pick up information which is totally unknown to the person they are reading.

Psychics are also able to receive information from inanimate objects, such as handwriting, letters, and jewelry. This is termed psychometry. Many people claim to be psychic because they have occasional flashes of paranormal knowledge. Although no psychics seem to have a 100 percent success rate, many do have a very high percentage of success.

Often a psychic will need a “trigger” to spark the psychic knowledge. This may be in the form of tarot cards, a pendulum, or a crystal ball, for example. Others need no more than a few moments of concentration. Most people have the latent ability, which can be brought out through a strict regimen of exercises and constant practice. Some people seem to be born with the psychic facility, and from childhood demonstrate their abilities. A few, such as Peter Hurkos, seem to acquire an amazing degree of psychic ability after an illness or an accident of some sort, or a physical trauma often involving a blow to the head.


Buckland, Raymond: The Fortune–Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2004
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen: Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991
Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
References in periodicals archive ?
Psychical research, therefore, could do no more than produce anomalous cases which could not be accounted for by normal science.
For someone who has had "absolutely zero supernatural experiences", Spall found a number of striking personal connections to the story along the way - including the fact that his mum "started a PhD in Victorian psychical research but didn't finish it".
He was a psychical researcher, which means that his area of expertise lies within the scientific approach to the study of supernatural, spiritual, hauntings and mediums.
The high performance handball, apart from the remarkable physical abilities, "implies also, psychical and mental skills, abilities that belong with a strong will and morality, like intelligence, strong motivation for victory, tenacity, resoluteness, fair-play, self-control, etc.
The study is quantitative, retrospective and the data has been taken from the involuntarily committed patients, according to the law of mental health and of the people with psychical disorders, Law 487/2002.
Blevins's psychoanalytical approach, of course, is indebted to Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence, and Blevins recognises that "Bloom's ideas regarding the psychical origins of literary creation are the foundation of the current study" (3).
A gravidities was again noticed to be a big psychical stress.
In its performative acknowledgment of an inherent and universal psychical vulnerability, Noni's (anti-) heroic act is then suggestively compared to Freud's act of writing Moses and Monotheism at the historical moment of European anti-Semitism's apotheosis.
Each of the six chapters discusses a late Victorian author or authors along with key psychological and psychical developments in order to highlight a specific aspect of the anxiety produced by attempts to exorcise or contain the supernatural.
Among the topics are folk psychology and its implications for cognitive science, perception and action in East and West, neural nets from Hartley and Hebb to Hinton, a biographical introduction to James Sully's Studies of Childhood, relations between psychical research and academic psychology in Britain during the inter-war period, and the other woman.
For example, psychical research, spiritualism, somnambulism, philosophy and psychology all feature prominently in the scientific content used to put forward the book's argument even though these modes of investigation are not traditionally thought of as either brain science, neurology or rigid biological determinism in any straightforward sense.
The psychical fight occurred after Aubry showed up at the couple's house on Thanksgiving and got into an argument with Martinez.