|Edgar Cayce was known for his ability to tell the future by placing himself in a trance-like state. He is most recognized for his work in metaphysical healing.|
Edgar Cayce was born on a small farm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on March 18, 1877. At a very young age, Edgar’s mother noticed that he could see and hear things that no one else could. Edgar’s earliest encounters with ghosts and spirits were of his late grandfather who was killed in a horse accident when he was only four. Edgar could also see auras (bands of colored light believed to be bio-chemical energy fields given off by living beings). He claimed to hear and see angels and ghosts and had the unusual ability to sleep on his school books and retain the information inside them. From the time he realized his ability to see, hear and communicate with the dead was paranormal, he struggled with the aspect of how religion quantified and portrayed his gifts and the circumstances he had while dealing with the supernatural.
In 1893, Edgar quit school to work on his grandmother’s farm. He struggled for several years to keep steady employment, working in several book and general stores. By 1900, Cayce was working as a salesman for the Woodmen of the World Insurance Company. During that time he caught a severe case of laryngitis which debilitated his speech almost completely. Cayce was forced to gain employment in another trade due to his inability to speak. He was offered a apprenticeship with a local photographer in Hopkinsville named, W.R. Bowles. He accepted the job and excelled quickly in learning how to use photographic equipment.
In 1901, Cayce met a traveling hypnotist named, “Hart”. He heard about Cayce’s condition while preforming at the local opera house and offered to treat his laryngitis with hypnosis. Edgar accepted the offer and went to see him. Hart conducted a series procedures to induce a trance-like state over Cayce and while under hypnosis, Cayce’s voice returned to normal. However, when he woke up, his voice was again effected by the laryngitis. Hart left Hopkinsville before he could finish his work with Edgar Cayce but Cayce was intrigued by the hypnotist’s ability to cure his laryngitis and sought out a local Osteopath named, Al Layne. Cayce described his ailment to Layne who suggested that continuing the hypnosis treatment may help cure the mysterious condition.
Edgar Cayce laid down on the couch in Layne’s office and folded his arms across his chest. Layne began hypnosis and Edgar fell into a deep, trance-like state. While under hypnosis, Edgar would often refer to himself as another person. This third person communication seemed as if some other person or “entity”, as Edgar referred to it, was speaking through him, much like a medium who can channel spiritual energy through themselves. The entity would speak to Layne and tell him how to treat Cayce's condition. Once he was awake, Mr. Layne followed the instructions given to him and Edgar’s laryngitis did eventually disappear, completely curing him of the condition.
After a series of hypnotic sessions with Edgar Cayce, Mr. Layne asked about other illnesses and conditions that may be cured through the knowledge that was somehow psychically locked in Edgar’s mind. The following year, Edgar began working with people and giving them regular, “readings”.
Local newspapers and other media flocked to meet him and speak with him about his abilities. One of his most noted patients at the time was a 6 year old girl named Aime Dietrich. She was stricken with a mysterious brain issue that caused her to have convulsions and seizures. The condition had been treated by several doctors and nothing was helping. The young girl’s family had taken her to Al Layne with the hopes that Edgar Cayce would be able to provide them with the information they needed in order to find a cure.
Edgar worked with Mr. Layne who took down the instructions given by Cayce’s entity while in a trance. The entity said that Aime’s condition was caused by congestion at the base of the brain and treatment was started immediately to correct it. For several weeks, Edgar and Mr. Layne meet for follow up information regarding Aime’s condition and she was subsequently cured of the condition all together.
Over the years, Edgar Cayce continued to give psychic readings. He worked for several photography studios in Kentucky and Alabama and moved to Alabama permanently in 1909. Several articles were written about Edgar Cayce’s psychic readings and many doctors studied his unnatural ability to diagnose and treat illnesses and other conditions. Edgar’s wife, Gertrude, contracted tuberculosis in 1911 and was able to fully recover from the otherwise deadly disease because of Edgar’s readings.
The Cayce family moved to Selma, Alabama in 1913, where Edgar continued to work as a photographer and give readings. When his controversial methods of holistic healing came under attack by doctors, he opened a hospital and institute for study in Virginia Beach, Virginia called Atlantic University. Unfortunately the school was closed February 28, 1931 due to lack of funding, but Cayce continued his psychic readings and metaphysical work for more than a decade after.
Cayce died on January 3, 1945 and upon his death, he gave his last reading for himself. In his lifetime, over 14,000 recorded and unrecorded readings were documented. Numerous studies of his ability to communicate with spiritual beings, interrupt energy signatures as auras, channel energy through mediumship, predict future events, and of course, diagnose illnesses through hypnosis, were conducted by scientist and doctors from all over the world.
Edgar Cayce left a legacy that exists today because of his unusual sensitivity to the supernatural world around him. Numerous biographies about his life, his work and his holistic healing techniques have been written, making Edgar Cayce one of the most documented and studied psychics of the 20th century.