Metagnomy is a form of supernatural cognition, now generally referred to as “extrasensory perception” by parapsychologists.


Derived from the Greek meta- ('beside') and gnomonia ('interpretation')


Although this term was employed by the French psychical researcher Dr. Eugen Osty, it seems to have been originally coined by the researcher Emile Boirac (1851-1917) in his book L' Avenir des Sciences Psychiques (Paris, 1917), and was ascribed in Dr. Osty's work Supernatural Faculties in Man (London, 1923).


Metagnomy is cognition of the present obtained through means other than sensory, while the latter relates to the future. Metagnomy itself is of two types: clairvoyance and telepathy.


Two of the most famous metagnomists are Andrew Jackson Davis (1826-1910), who was known by the nickname The Poughkeepsie Seer. Although quite uninstructed, it was said that he was able to discourse fluently upon medical, psychological, and general subjects. In November 1845, while clairvoyant, he dictated to the Rev. William Fishbough, in New York, his first work, The Principles of Nature, her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind. He in turn directly influenced self-proclaimed psychic Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) who adopted “trance diagnosis” and similar activities with few modifications from Davis's example.

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