When you go about your day, there’s a lot of input coming your way. Your senses help you navigate that world and know what you are interacting with. They are your key to interpreting the world around you. As they are with you from birth, it’s fairly easy to trust these senses, recognize where they fall short, and know their quirks. But when it comes to the metaphysical, it can be hard to tell what is from you and what is from something other, especially when starting out.
One of the things you hear a lot about is the concept of “developing your clair senses.” For those who need a refresher, your clair senses, or “clairs” for short, are the senses you use for interacting with the metaphysical world. The usual list is usually 4-7 items long, including some variation on the following:
- Clairvoyance – clear seeing
- Clairaudience – clear hearing
- Clairtangency – clear touch
- Clairgustance – clear taste
- Clairalience – clear smell
- Clairsentience – clear feeling
- Claircognizance – clear knowing
There’s a lot of ways people shuffle these around, but they are usually rather easy to understand. They tie easily into the five ‘normal’ senses we were taught back in school, plus one or two. I feel this list is a little lacking, however, as it misses connection with one sense in particular.
Proprioception and the Sense of Self
There’s a concept in science called “proprioception,” often called the “silent sense,” that defines in our minds where our limbs are, where our physical bodies begin and end. For an easy example of this, close your eyes. Touch your nose without looking. Tap the fingers of your left hand with the fingers on the right. Raise your leg and catch it with your hand. You know, instinctively, where your body is and how it is moving. You know where you begin and end.
Proprioception has its part to play with your other senses as well. You know how to move to touch something or follow it with your eyes. Knowing which way your head is angled helps you identify where sounds and smells are coming from. This sense aids your other senses in helping you navigate the world. You know where you are, so you know how to get information on the things around you.
One could say that the metaphysical equivalence of proprioception is claircognizance or clairsentience. However, I see a greater connection to something else: a sense of identity. And in the world of magic, the concept of knowing who and what you are and who and what you are not is one of the most important things you can determine.
Clarity of Identity
Because the metaphysical community is a deep pool to find yourself in, it’s easy to get lost. Multiple times I’ve found myself down a rabbit hole of new concepts without a point of reference. You need an anchor point in these moments, somewhere to begin from. The most obvious place? Yourself.
As I began practicing and studying metaphysical concepts, I kept a log of things I thought held truth and things I did not. Over time, this evolved into a list of things I was researching and practicing, as well as things I would not do. I started noting what it feels like when I get a moment of claircognizance, in order to separate those instances from general thoughts. I wrote down what it felt like when something metaphysical hit my defenses or tried to get my attention. As my note pile grew, so did my confidence. In this process, I was identifying what I was and how I interacted with the world. I was developing a “proprioception” of sorts for my metaphysical self.
I realized as this evolved that this sort of practice was bringing me clarity on multiple levels, and that it really could be considered a clair sense in and of itself. This sense is all about the line between what is you and what is not you, and the experience to recognize the difference. In some ways, this could be considered a step up from intuition, that gut knowing something is or is not you. But in practice, this is more of a muscle that you stretch and practice with.
So I pose the thought to you: Is there a clair sense in the realm of identity? Is this something you can practice to bring more assurance and solidarity to your life and craft? Let me know if you have questions! I’m still working on putting this concept into words, so I appreciate your feedback.