A clairvoyant definition in a dictionary might be something like this:
However, any real psychic would think that this definition is inaccurate and overgeneralized. Take the word, 'normal'.
Psychics realize that clairvoyant powers are completely normal and available to anyone that chooses to exercise them. A 'normal' range includes anything from a clever guess that the sun will rise tomorrow, to accurate predictions about events centuries ahead.
Nothing is really 'beyond' the range of your psychic senses.
A dictionary clairvoyant definition is also vague on exactly which type of psychic sense is involved in clairvoyance. A clairvoyant receives visual impressions. These pictures are how a psychic's mind 'translates' information. Not every psychic is predominantly clairvoyant, but it is the most prevalent psychic gift. Most people have clairvoyance to some extent. Clairvoyance is literally clear-seeing or clarity of vision.
The word 'clarity' is something of a contemporary buzzword. The meaning here is very literal indeed. The psychic probably has no idea why they are seeing what they are seeing. Clarity does not mean greater understanding, in this case.
There are several distinct types of Sight within the clairvoyant definition:
These are clear images that are received by your mind, BUT not by your actual eyes. This is a very common type of clairvoyance.
Many psychics believe these pictures are impressed upon you by an outside source. Others think that your mind is accessing a part of you that is not 'normally' available.
These images may or may not have any existence outside of the mind of the psychic.
These are distinct images that are seen by your eyes, BUT not anyone else's. They are invisible to the rest of the world. Do they really exist? Yes, of course they do; it is just that the individual psychic happens to be in perfect resonance with the object, while no one else around is.
As you can imagine, this gift (as the dominant one) is fairly rare. More often it occurs infrequently, unpredictably and fortuitously.
It also does not last very long; it may occur only once in a lifetime. But the impression it makes never goes away, and its effects are considerable.
This type of clairvoyance is similar to the previous one, in that it shows a psychic the actual real state of things- just not one that non-psychics can perceive.
The x-ray clairvoyant definition is of someone who can see through physical matter.
Psychic healers use this type of clairvoyance to diagnose illnesses, and observe the healing and decaying functions.
This is a state which is self-induced (usually by hypnosis) where the psychic gives up most of their consciousness in order to receive images. These images can be recalled (or accessed) later when consciousness returns.
In some cases, control of the body is given to a spirit presence, so that information can be conveyed to others immediately. Many mediums operate this way.
This clairvoyant definition is of someone who sends or receives images. It is further divided into 'direct' and 'indirect' uses. 'Direct' is when the only mind involved is the psychic's. 'Indirect' is when another mind (incarnate or discarnate) is sending or receiving.
Here is an example of direct telepathic clairvoyance:
A psychic receives images that were sent by herself, some time in the past or the future.
This is a very common type of clairvoyance, even among those who do not use (or are not aware they use) psychic powers. It simply means that the objects, people or events that are seen in dreams have not been seen by the person in their waking moments.
These pictures may or may not exist for other people.
There are several explanations for why clairvoyance happens:
This theory holds that for every physical sense organ (in this case, eyes) there is a corresponding spiritual sense organ. So when we see clairvoyantly, we are receiving images from our spiritual eye.
These spiritual organs function on the spirit plane of activity. The idea is that sometimes these separate planes of existence merge, while generally they mostly parallel each other.
This theory holds that a completely outside force is what causes all clairvoyance. A 'spirit' impresses images on the psychic's mind telepathically.
Also according to this theory, there are no independent, individual psychic powers. These are only possible through spirit aid.
This theory holds that psychics create their own thought-forms at the locality (in time and space) which we want to observe. Then, the psychic sees with the thought-form's eyes rather than with their own.
Presumably this is done unconsciously; no one claims to be doing it with deliberate intent.
This theory holds that we perceive all these things ourselves, with no outside help. The way we do this is by projecting some part of ourselves into distant (time, space or both) scenes.
This would seem to require at least a partial dividing of the mind/spirit from the body. This division is not permanent, however, or it would result in death. There is a channel of communication between the mind/spirit and the body which remains intact during a clairvoyant event.
Many psychic tools are designed with a clairvoyant definition in mind. For example any tool (speculum) used for scrying:
The first thing to understand is that there are no magic powers within the crystal. The 'magic' is all you. This is an inner mental process. You use an absolutely plain, smooth, featureless object as a backdrop through which the images of your imagination take shape.
It does not even have to be made of crystal. It is good to use a surface that is familiar to you, but one that you do not associate with any other tasks. As with any psychic work, it is important to create an environment that helps your psychic feelings.
However, crystal balls are expensive, and while their artistic beauty can help to create the atmosphere you want, simpler objects can do as well. A plain glass ball also works. Keep it covered, and do not let anyone but you touch it. (This goes for all tools you use for psychic work.)
This is simply a black concave glass disk, usually 4-6 inches in diameter. It is slightly hard-to-find, so, here is an alternative. It requires a little work by you, though. (This actually increases the likelihood of successful clairvoyance.)
Get a clock with a glass face, remove it, and spray paint it with black enamel (on the convex side). Either find a stand for it (a piece of wood) or place it on a piece of velvet.
By investing some time and care in getting your speculum ready, you are demonstrating (to yourself) respect for the scrying process. This will help set the mood for your success.
The easiest speculum of all to create is this last one. Get a small bowl, one that is plain (without designs) and can be reserved for scrying only. Fill it with water, and add enough drops of ink to darken the water.
One thing that is not included (and shouldn't be) in a clairvoyant definition is any implication of 'dark' magic. The emphasis here on using black items is simply that they are less likely to pick up any random reflections.