Who is Edgar Cayce? This Kentucky native was a mystic, psychic and philanthropist, among other things. Referred to as “The Sleeping Prophet,” he is often credited with developing modern holistic medicine and revolutionary new ideas in the field of spirituality.
Born in 1877 on a farm near in Beverly, just outside of Hopkinsville, Edgar Cayce
appeared to have psychic abilities starting at an early age. He claimed to have spoken regularly with his grandfather’s spirit and claimed that his imaginary friends were actually spirits.
As he grew up, Cayce learned to enhance and focus his uncanny talent. He would lay down and enter a sleep-like trance, in which he would answer questions ranging from the origins of the universe to medical cures for ailments. These trances were said to tap into his unconscious mind, which held information that the normal human mind could not access. Following these trance-like states, Cayce had no recollection of what he had said during his psychic readings..
Eventually, he started a practice as a professional psychic who regularly gave readings to customers.
Despite his unique skill, Cayce was a devout Christian who read the Bible every year and taught Sunday school. He regularly refused to use his psychic abilities to make money for people, and was unsuccessful the very few times he tried. He preferred to use his gift to help the poor and sick find cures for their ailments.
In 1931, Cayce founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment, a nonprofit dedicated to exploring enlightenment, spirituality, psychic development and more. Today, the A.R.E. has thousands of members worldwide.
In a widely-read 1943 article in Coronet entitled “Miracle Man of Virginia Beach,” Cayce said he could not refuse readings for people who felt they truly needed his help. The article’s popularity resulted in an influx of requests for readings from people all over the country. Cayce genuinely wanted to help these people, and began giving more readings. Cayce claimed that the readings were physically and emotionally draining, and the increased volume took a toll on his health. Cayce foresaw his own death--he died of a stroke January 3, 1945 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville.
Though many are skeptical of Cayce’s actual psychic powers, the truth remains that he played an influential part in the development of spiritual and holistic medicine. For more information, read Thomas Sugrue’s biography of Cayce, entitled The Story of Edgar Cayce: There is a River. The book details the mystic’s life and his astounding gift. For those seeking an immersive spiritual experience, Hopkinsville
hosts an annual “Edgar Cayce Hometown Seminar,” which features lectures, demonstrations and discussions about the spiritual world Cayce pioneered.