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Excerpted from The Gift by Echo Bodine. Copyright © 2003 by Echo Bodine. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Often, professional psychics need help from the clients themselves to properly interpret what the pictures mean."

  Echo Bodine, The Gift, Part 3


Clairgustance is the last psychic gift, and itís an odd one. Itís the gift of smell. People with clairgustance have a psychic nose, which means they smell things that arenít physically present. For example, one day a client asked me about a used car she was thinking of purchasing. She wanted to know if I felt there was anything wrong with it. I got the strong smell of an overheated engine. Despite this indication of potential trouble, she purchased the car anyway, and as it turned out, she continually had a problem with the engine overheating.

The most common way that clairgustance manifests itself is when a deceased loved one comes to visit us. The person will project a smell to us (by thinking about it), such as the cologne the person used to wear, or something that will immediately bring a thought of the loved one to mind. Once I was doing a reading for a woman, and I got the strong smell of fresh baked bread. Then I had a psychic image of a woman standing on the other side, waving and smiling. She had on an apron, and I saw a picture of an oven. Again I got the smell of baked bread. I asked my client if fresh baked bread and a woman smiling and waving on the other side was significant to her, and she told me her aunt had just died and that, when she was alive, she always baked bread for people. This was simply her auntís way of saying hello.

The other thing about clairgustance is that the smells donít last long. Theyíre usually a quick whiff and theyíre gone.

Do all psychics have all these abilities? I think we all have clairsentience, but of the two main gifts, clairvoyance and clairaudience, most psychics have one or the other and some have both. The simplest way that a person can tell which abilities he or she has is by paying attention to the type of information that comes in throughout the day: Is it in the form of thoughts, pictures, sensing, or smells? I tell my beginner students that before they work on accuracy, they first have to determine which gifts they have.

How Psychic Gifts Work

One of the most widespread misunderstandings about psychic gifts is how they work. People in general assume that psychics receive information as if it were a well-written telegram; unfortunately, it doesnít work this way. Clairvoyants, for example, get their information in the form of pictures, images, or visions. Their job is to interpret the pictures accurately, and to do this they must ask questions. Often, professional psychics need help from the clients themselves to properly interpret what the pictures mean. This has led skeptics to claim that psychics donít do anything other than fish for information and then give that information back to the client. What may look like "fishing" to an observer is simply part of the psychicís effort to be as accurate as possible in his or her interpretation.

People often ask me why it is that psychic information doesnít come in clear, laid-out sentences, and all I can tell them is that I wonder about this myself. When spirits communicate to us, they keep it brief and to the point. They donít embellish. Often, information comes in like words in a crossword puzzle, and if we get one word at a time, on its own, it might not mean much at first. We patiently wait for more information to come in order to put the whole message together.

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