Edgar Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American psycic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1877 to farming parents. He was a devout Christian and a member of the Followers of Christ. He had to stop school before he could enter the 9th grade due to financial difficulties encountered by his family. He was able to channel his psychic abilities by putting himself in a self-induced trance.
Cayce first discovered his ability when he was struck by laryngitis during his 20’s which resulted in his inability to speak. Unable to work, he moved in with his parents for almost a year. Soon after recovering, he decided to take up photography since this occupation allowed him to conserve his voice. He apprenticed at the photography studio of W.R. Bowles in Hopkinsville.
A stage hypnotist by the name of “Hart – The Laugh Man” came to Hopkinsville and offered Cayce treatment for his laryngitis. Cayce accepted and the experiment happened live in front of an audience. Amazingly, Cayce’s voice returned to normal while during hypnosis, however it disappeared upon waking up. Hart tried posthypnotic suggestions but was unsuccessful.
Hart had other appointments in different cities so he could not continue with Cayce’s treatment. Local hypnotist Al Layne offered to cure Cayce instead. He asked Cayce to describe the nature of his ailment and cure while in a hypnotic state. After 20 minutes, Cayce declared himself to be cured and his voice returned to normal. According to the readings, Cayce suffered from relapses but was cured using the same method. After several treatments, the cure was deemed to be permanent.
Layne had read of hypnotic treatments similar to Cayce’s. He was keen to explore the idea and convinced Cayce to offer his trance healing to the public. Reports of Cayce’s work soon gained favor and his healing abilities soon appeared in newspapers.
Edgar Cayce has been referred to as a psychic, clairvoyant, seer, and a prophet. He started his readings lying down and entering a trance like state at the request of a subject. He would then be given the subject’s questions and the reading would proceed. The questions would usually center on health and personal problems but later on, they included past lives, business advice and dream interpretations.
After emerging from a trance after a reading, Cayce would remark that he could not remember what he said. This according to him is because the unconscious mind has access to information the conscious mind cannot.
Cayce was frequently asked to interpret dreams but he did not support Sigmund Freud’s theories on dream interpretation. He stated that dreams had many levels and can be interpreted in different ways depending on the dreamer. Dreams he said were personal and that interpretation of the dream itself can only be done by the dreamer since these dreams hold significant meanings known only to the dreamer. According to Cayce, to correctly interpret a dream, it has to make sense to the dreamer first.
Today, supporters of Cayce’s psychic abilities and healing methods preserve his work through the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) which Cayce founded in 1931. The organization aims to explore subjects such as holistic health, ancient mysteries, personal spirituality, dreams and dream interpretation. Their headquarters is located at Virginia Beach, Virginia where they continue to help change lives for the better through the use of Cayce’s ideas and information found through his readings.