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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(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
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The third chapter about research includes table turning, William Crookes, some of the early work of members of the Society for Psychical Research, the ideas of Frederic WH.
Psychical research was qualitative in nature much like the field sciences of botany and zoology involving the careful collection of data, systematic comparison, and in the case of psychical research eliminating the possibility of natural causes, mistaken perception, delusion and fraud.
It is not until Girl's psychical, physical and sexual maturity in her late teens and early twenties that she learns how to wield her sex for the purposes of empowerment--she uses sex to "feel no more pain" (70).
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.
Despite minimal characterization this narrative material is of profound psychical meaning for the spectator, possibly on an unconscious level, due to arousing extreme anxiety; e.g., a son killing his father.
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." (Cicma, Raja, 2012, pg.
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.
The act of reconstructing past psychical life, of changing the arrow of time from a forward to a retrospective direction, is the main premise of penitence.
is primarily the result of a psychical process of identity construction and only secondarily a matter of historical literary development" (1).
Gp91phox NADPH oxidase acts on the hypothalamus-pituitary gland system by psychical stresses, such as a gravidities, UV exposure, and the oxidase induced the increase in GH secretion.
In the process, The Better Story proposes an exciting definition of queer affect as the set of psychical traces left behind by proscribed emotions imperfectly repressed by dominant narratives of postcolonial resistance.