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Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce (March 18, 1877 - 1945) was a self-proclaimed psychic. Born near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, he was raised on a farm, and as a young man became a photographer in Selma, Alabama. Perhaps he is most known for his psychic abilities. As a young boy he stunned his parents by being able to sleep on a school book (or any book) and then know the complete contents—cover to cover!

In 1910 Dr. Wesley Ketchum submitted an article to the American Society of Clinical Research mentioning Cayce's abilities. With the publication of an October 9, 1910 New York Times article Illiterate Man Becomes A Doctor When Hypnotized, Cayce's career as a psychic and healer began in earnest. People began to visit him at his house in Kentucky, including Dr. Hugo Münsterberg, a professor from Harvard University who investigated Cayce to determine if he was a fraud, or not-- the results were supportive.

Some of his demonstrated abilities included:

  • healing people of sickness and other ailments
  • prophesying future events
  • communicating with the dead
  • providing advice on special healing diets

To achieve the state of mind by which he used these amazing abilities, Cayce practiced a simple daily regimen of resting on a couch with his eyes closed, but then soon after would fall into a sleep state, much like a trance. Once in that state he could reply calmly to questions asked by those present in the room. This daily sleep session was called a "reading". Over a period of 43 years 14,000 of his readings were witnessed, numbered, and recorded by an assistant (at first his wife) who wrote down on paper what he said.

The subject matter of many Cayce readings would later become commonly known practices of the New Age movement.

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