Edgar Cayce was a simple man but far from ordinary. He was a loving husband and father and enjoyed his garden. He was skilled at photography, taught Sunday school and was one of the most remarkable psychics of all time. From the time he was a child, he wanted to use these abilities to help children and others.
He was born in 1877 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and showed his psychic abilities from a very early age. He would talk to his deceased grandfather and play with children he claimed were also deceased. One of the most amazing things he did as a child that made people think he was strange was memorize the contents of a book by sleeping on it. His schooling stopped when he completed the ninth grade because his parents couldn’t afford to educate him further. This was considered enough education for a working class boy at the time.
Cayce spent more than 40 years of his adult life going into a trance and answering questions as diverse as how to treat arthritis and how were the Great Pyramids of Egypt built. He used to lie down and fold his hands over his stomach and relax. It is because of this trance, he was called the Sleeping Prophet. When he spoke from the trance, the information he gave were called Readings.
He is also credited as the founder of holistic health because most of his readings dealt with the treatment of illnesses. Some of the successful treatments he gave are still used today.
Cayce made it a point to read the Bible once every year, which he did until his death. He was a member of the Disciples of Christ and helped recruit missionaries. He said he spoke with angels, saw auras around people and heard the voices of deceased people. It was during this period that he began to fervently hoped these psychic abilities were a spiritual blessing.
He worked with his father, in 1900, selling insurance, but this was stopped when he developed laryngitis that resulted in his inability to speak. He lived, unable to speak, with his parents and eventually took up photography because it was a profession he could do without much talking. He became an apprentice and developed into a talented photographer. He married Gertrude Evans in 1903, and they had three children.
In 1901, Cayce meet a man named Hart who was a traveling entertainer using hypnotism. He offered to cure Cayce’s chronic laryngitis through hypnotism and Cayce agreed to try. It was done onstage as part of the act, and his voice returned while he was hypnotized, but when he woke up, his voice was gone again.
He continued his treatments with Al Layne, a hypnotist who offered to help Cayce restore his voice. He described his condition while in the trance and Layne said it was due to psychological paralysis. His treatment was to increase blood flow to the voice box. This seemed to work for a while, and every time there was a relapse, Layne did the same treatment, and eventually Cayce was completely cured.
Layne asked Cayce to diagnose Layne’s own ailments and suggest a cure while he was in a trance. Cayce did so, and Layne was cured. This is when Layne suggested Cayce offer his services to the general public. Cayce was hesitant, but finally agreed on the condition that the readings be free. He began with the local people and was so successful, the news spread far and wide. Cayce said he didn’t need the individual to be present at the time of the reading, so many people sent letters asking for help. Cayce soon became world famous. He always worked with a hypnotist and eventually replaced Layne with Cayce’s wife and eldest son.
He had so many requests he needed to work at it full time. He asked for voluntary donations, so he could support his family, and developed the fast-paced card game based on stock trading named Pit that was manufactured and sold for raising money for other projects.
Some of the requests were from people wanting to use his abilities to get rich on the outcome of horse races, the stock market and other commercial endeavors. Cayce did this for a while, but it made him feel distraught, tired and unsatisfied. Also, the results for this type of question were no better than chance would give. He decided to only use his abilities for sick and distressed people.
A student of metaphysics, Arthur Lammers, convinced Cayce to delve into philosophical subjects including religions, reincarnation, astrology and other subjects. Lammers was convinced that Cayce validated many of Lammers beliefs, but Cayce wasn’t so sure. This is when Cayce choose only to do readings about health issues. He prescribed remedies such as ultraviolet light, massage, electrotherapy, diet, relaxation and gemstones. The American Medical Association started questioning his advice, so Cayce decided to get the help of licensed medical practitioners.
His reading instructed him to move to Virginia Beach, Virginia where the sands were healing. His hospital there was funded by a New York stockbroker who made a fortune in the stock market on Cayce’s readings. However, Cayce failed to predict the Great Depression and the crash of the stock market at this time although he did predict the 1929 crash in 1924. Most of his clients didn’t heed his warning. His backer withdrew funding at that time and the hospital closed. During this time, he focused on spiritual readings, and it is from this time of his life that he is called the Father of the New Age even though that title wasn’t coined until years after his death.
Some friends asked him if it were possible for them to also be psychic. This question forms the basis for his philosophical teachings. While in his trance, he told a group of people, called a Study Group, that the purpose of life is not to become a psychic but to become more spiritual and loving. It is during this time his readings focused on past life relationships, soul mates, developing intuition, karma, the Akashi records, astrology and many other subjects that are popular today. Cayce said it was only after hearing about these subjects after he woke up that he began studying them.
He was doing eight readings per day because he had so many requests. During his readings he was told to slow down and not do so many readings or it would kill him. He complied and only did two a day. He had a stroke in 1945 and died at the age of 67. He is buried in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Cayce always asked people to test his suggestions, and only use them if they led to a better life. He never heard his own readings and couldn’t remember what he said when he woke up. He is called a prophet, mystic and seer with the ability to astral project, read the Book of Life and see auras. Though many of his predictions and prescriptions were correct, others weren’t, but enough were correct that he had, and still has, a wide following.
Cayce founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Some of his most famous predictions that came true were:
- Fall of communism in the Soviet Union
- The Stock Market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression
- The rise and fall of Adolf Hitler
- Return to Israel of the Jews
- Alliance of the Soviet Union and the United States which happened during World War II
- His own death
Edgar Cayce was a humble man, always questioning himself, who had extraordinary abilities. He never profited from his gift, read the Bible every day and did his best to help the people who asked for his help.