Edgar Cayce holds an interesting place in American history. The concepts that he helped to bring into the mainstream remain relevant and it can be argued that Cayce was ahead of his time. He's considered to be one of the world's first clairvoyants and Cayce is also credited with bringing the powers of hypnosis to public attention.
Cayce possessed the unique ability to answer questions about a variety of topics while in a trance and is thought of as the father of holistic healing. During the 20th century, he was the most documented psychic of the era. He did not live during the New Age movement, but many New Age principles are found in his teachings and he is seen as the founder of the New Age belief system.
He was born in 1877 in a small town named Beverly, located to the south of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to farmers Leslie and Carrie Cayce. Cayce was one of six children the Cayces birthed. At the age of 20, Edgar was engaged to his eventual wife, Gertrude Evans. They would marry in 1903 after a six year engagement.
The couple had three children of their own, Hugh Lynn, Milton Porter, and Edgar Evans. Cayce dropped out of school in the 9th grade and abandoned his family's farm in order to begin his pursuit of alternate forms of employment. It is during this period that the Association for Research and Enlightenment believes that Cayce begin to show psychic abilities.
Cayce experienced a severe case of laryngitis that robbed him of his ability to speak in 1900. He became a photographer, until a local hypnotist discovered Cayce could speak while in a trance state. He could also offer advice to those who were in need while in this state and became world famous as people came from far and wide to seek out his counsel.
Cayce also spent sigificant amounts of time in Selma, Alabama and Virginia Beach, Virginia, struggling with his conscience as people offered him larger and larger amounts of money for his readings. During the Great Depression, he began to focus on spiritual teachings.
In 1943, he became famous when a well known magazine, called Coronet, did a profile on him, detailing his grueling schedule of delivering eight readings per day. He came under a great deal of scrutiny from several outside factions, who claimed there was no substantial evidence to support his abilities. Due to his unorthodox religious teachings, many traditional Christians found fault in his messages.
Though he did become a celebrity in his later years, he shied away from the limelight, believing his work to be more important than achieving fame and fortune. Cayce passed away in Virginia Beach during 1945, at the age of 67.