In this post I explore what intuition is, including the differences between intuitive abilities and psychic abilities, because many people do not know what intuition is exactly, and how it differs from psychic abilities.

What is Intuition?

You know those moments when you get a feeling in your gut that someone is not trustworthy? Or a little insight about someone else’s life – for example, you know that your friend is going to get the job that she’s about to go to an interview for? That would be your intuition.

One intuitive insight that sticks out in my memory for some reason was a scenario at work about 18 months ago – it was when I was teaching English and French in a language school in Spain.

On Thursdays I only taught English, but that day as I was going out the door I knew I had to take my French grammar book with me. I wasn’t going to teach French that day and I rarely used my French grammar book anyway, even on the days I taught French, so it appeared to be pointless. But I heeded my intuitive voice and took it anyway.

Then in the afternoon one of my French students came in unexpectedly and wanted a photocopy from my French grammar book. Ta-da, I could produce one because I had it with me, because I knew I’d need it that day. Although I didn’t know what for.

I hesitated to include that story in this article because it’s kind of mundane. I didn’t find my life purpose through this intuitive insight or get guided towards buried treasure. It was a fairly small event and wasn’t too impactful, but it made my day and my student’s go more smoothly and that’s about it. Plus the intuitive insight made me feel provided for, and looked after. It was nice to have!

So, intuition can be little insights which help you with the little things – such as making your day go more smoothly, saving you time, energy or money here and there. But it doesn’t have to be small – larger insights can also help you with the big things of life, such as prevent you from investing a great deal in something (such as a major project) which will come to a dead end. Intuitive insight usually comes to you in the moment, as you need it, just like the example above of my French grammar book.

The Difference between Intuitive Gifts and Psychic Gifts

A key component of intuition is that it comes to you and through you, usually spontaneously. In order for that to happen, you must be open and you must notice intuition. On the other hand, when we talk about developing psychic ability, we’re talking more about you going ‘out there’ energetically to receive information from your Higher self or Spirit Guides.

For intuition, we often talk about feelings, impressions and a sense of knowing and all of these come through the intuitive ‘vehicles’ of clairsentience and claircognizance. (Claircognizance is an insight that just pops up spontaneously in your brain, perhaps unrelated to anything you were thinking about. Clairsentience can be a gut feeling, or a strong, meaningful emotion which speaks to you.)

So, as a general rule, an intuitive tends to use mostly clairsentience and claircognizance, whereas if someone calls herself a psychic, it’s more likely that she’ll use three or four intuitive vehicles – clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and claircognizance. I have also noticed that those psychics who mostly use clairvoyance and clairaudience usually refer to themselves as psychics, not as intuitives.

I believe that for most people, intuitive ability is easier to develop than psychic ability, because it comes primarily through claircognizance and clairsentience and most people are naturally claircognizant and clairsentient. On the other hand, clairvoyance and clairaudience seem to be additional ‘specialties’ that you can have as an intuitive, as fewer people are naturally clairaudient and very few people are naturally clairvoyant.