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what is the difference between a psychic and a medium

What is the difference between a psychic and a medium? Does it matter?

Psychics, Mediums, and Empaths, Oh My! Let’s remember the Clairvoyants too. With so many terms and titles floating about, it takes some research to understand what’s what when exploring intuitive gifts, abilities, or services. 

Why does this matter? Having a clear understanding of these terms allows you to recognize these gifts within yourself that you may wish to develop. It will also enable you to make sure that if you seek professional services through a Psychic, Medium, or Empath, you select the right one to meet your needs.

Hello, my dear friends! Sunshine here, the pink-haired Psychic Medium, sharing another bit of bloggery to delight your mind and soul. Today we’re discussing the differences between Psychics, Mediums, and many more intuitive titles so you can confidently explore these abilities –and the professionals who offer them.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Is a Psychic the same thing as a Medium? 

A Psychic is not the same as a Medium. To best tackle this question, we need to know what a Psychic and Medium are. I wrote a fair bit about this in a previous blog, What is a Psychic Medium? Are Psychic Mediums Real? You can check that out for a deeper look, but the basics are simple.

Psychics are individuals who’ve developed their perceptive abilities to observe and work with subtle information undetectable by the primary five senses. 

Examples of this would be:

  • Seeing things through inner sight that physical sight wouldn’t notice. 
  • Hearing sounds from within your mind’s ear that no one else hears. 
  • Having sensations and impressions arise with no external cause. 

These are their psychic abilities, also known as The Claires, and they allow Psychics to access the information they otherwise wouldn’t know.

Mediums, on the other hand, use their intuitive abilities to bridge the gap between the living and the dead. These can be past loved ones, spirit guides, angels, entities, deities, anybody you may want, may work with that it’s like across the veil. 

Examples of this could be:

  • Connecting with a lost loved one for messages of closure and healing for the still-living relative. 
  • Seeking insight from a deity to access information otherwise unknown. 
  • Calling for a Spirit Guide or Helper to assist you on a task.

These are mediumship skills. They’re used to reach through the veil that separates our ordinary reality from that beyond and connect and communicate with spirits on the other side. 

So, what is a Psychic Medium?

Bringing both sets of skills together creates the definition of a Psychic Medium, someone who can use their psychic abilities and mediumship skills to see and communicate with spirits on the other side of the energetic veil separating our physical reality from non-physical reality.

Pretty straightforward, right? But what about Psychics and Clairvoyants? Surely there’s a vast difference there.

What is the difference between a Psychic and a Clairvoyant?

There is none. If you are a Clairvoyant, you are a Psychic. Clairvoyance is best understood not as a title but as an ability and is one of our inner senses. These inner senses match each primary physical sense. Each of your five senses relates to a different psychic ability known as “the Claires”.  

  • Clairvoyance; the ability to see within your mind — like your visual imagination.
  • Clairaudience; the ability to hear in your mind — like remembering your favorite song.
  • Clairsentience; the ability to feel in your mind — often experienced as aches, pains, or chills.
  • Clairalience; Is the ability to smell in your mind — experience a non-physical fragrance.
  • Clairgustance; the ability to taste in your mind — experience an impression of flavor.

There’s one more Claire that’s most commonly tied to our intuition. 

  • Claircognizance; the ability to know something with certainty in your mind — without logical explanation.

If you feel more powerful in one sense over another, you may choose to take that term as a title, but there is no difference between a Psychic and a Clairvoyant aside from a person’s preference in terms. 

What is the difference between a Clairvoyant and a Medium?

As discussed earlier in the section about Psychics and Mediums, the difference between a Clairvoyant (which is a psychic ability) and a Medium isn’t that drastic but is present. 

Are you using your Clairvoyance to see spirits on the other side, or are you using your clairvoyant abilities for other purposes to see future scenes or situations, like how things would happen? 

The difference between a Clairvoyant and a Medium is how you use your clairvoyant abilities. The two are similar because a Medium very often has Clairvoyance. A Medium often chooses to use its psychic ability of sight to see spirits; that’s how they can describe what they see. 

However, a Medium can also choose to connect with spirits through any of their other psychic senses. For example, they may hear the inner voice of the spirit they’re communicating with. They may allow the spirit to create sensations in their body to convey messages. They may taste flavors, and smell smells. 

So, in short, a Clairvoyant SEES what is hidden, and the Medium uses that skill to SEE spirits.

What is the difference between an Empath and a Psychic?

Another question often asked is the difference between an Empath and a Psychic; this one is similar to Clairvoyance v. Psychic. You have to understand that an Empath is an individual who can feel another individual’s energy. An Empath can feel the power of another person, and that energy of that other person is very often in response to some type of emotion they’re feeling. 

That ability to feel someone else’s energy is constantly tapping into the power, the psychic ability or Claire, that we call Clairsentience. It’s that literal, tangible ability to feel, witness, and experience our own auric/energetic body or that of another through empathic sensing. So a Psychic IS an Empath whose ability to feel the energy is their most dominant trait/ability used.

Empathic sensing is done in the presence of a person, or if you’re strong enough remotely, you can feel another person’s energy over a distance –even over time. 

Understanding the differences in many of these terms merely requires understanding psychic abilities. If we do not clearly understand how psychic abilities work and how the Claire’s shows up, then we’re not going to realize that we’re using our psychic abilities, which is why our empathic nature tends to be so strong. 

If you identify as an Empath, there is a high probability you’re using more of your psychic abilities than you realize.

Now you know the difference between Psychics, Mediums, Empaths, and more!

In Summary, whether you’re calling yourself a Psychic Witch, a Spiritual Empath, or a Psychic Medium, those are just different titles for the same thing. Much like the terms for many other guides of the unseen, the language used is interchangeable. 

There may be distinct titles that lend a difference in preference, skills used, or affiliation, but it’s a different title for the same abilities. For example, a Spiritual Advisor could be a Spiritual Intuitive, and a Priest could be a Pastor. A Witch could be a Priestess, and a Seer could be a Psychic. And ALL of them can be Empaths, Clairvoyants, and Mediums!

Pretty neat, isn’t it? I’d love to know if you recognized any of yourself in these terms and abilities; drop a note in the comments and share!

You can find more about Sunshine and her offerings on her website. https://www.sunshinereadings.com/category/spirituality/



P.S. Sad that you missed out on joining Sunshine’s magickal membership? Then we have fab news: you can still register through this link! This subscription gives members personalized access to Sunshine as well as weekly live workshops and seminars designed to awaken your own magickal gifts. This is the place to be for anyone ready to become a badass witch.

 “Only when we know our own darkness can we sit in the darkness with others.”

Sunshine is a Psychic Medium, Soul Healer, Spiritual Advisor, Shadow Worker, Eclectic Witch, Practiced Magician, Recovering Alcoholic and founder of Sunshine Readings. Her passion is helping others learn how to step into their shadows so they can uncover their magickal gifts needed to remove any energetic blocks to their soul’s enlightenment. You can find more about Sunshine and her offerings on her website.

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