When we think of witchcraft, we typically think of women stirring potions over smokey cauldrons in the night. Indeed, that image of witchcraft has become as popular as the idea of Halloween over the years, growing and shaping into its own narrative. While it is true witchcraft is about spells and potions and nature, there is a deeper side to witchcraft, a metaphysical side. This is the story of a Christian prophet and the lessons he taught humanity.
Edgar Cayce was born in 1877 near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. From all accounts, he was a kind boy, however loved to play with the “little folk” as well as have conversations with his deceased grandfather. He also was not the most scholarly pupil. One day when his father was making him study for a test, he beat Cayce to get him to spell the answers properly. Cayce, in his fear, said a beautiful angel appeared to him and told him to sleep, and that “they” would help give him the answers. He turned to his father and asked to sleep for a while and rest, that he would try again later. When his father returned, he saw Cayce asleep with his head on the book. When he woke Cayce up, Cayce didn’t just spell everything correctly, indeed in his sleep he seemed to have absorbed the knowledge of the entire book (which prompted another beating as his father assumed at that point that Cayce was messing with him earlier).
It was then learned that Cayce had the ability to enter a trancelike deep sleep state, one where he was able to communicate with an “Entity”. Cayce would enter a sleep like state and the entity would speak through him, once even curing Cayce of his own illness saying “we control the body”. This entity had a wide variety of gifts that he would work through Cayce during his trance state. Everything from premonitions of the future, the ability to diagnose and heal injuries, gaining knowledge of the astral realm, reincarnation, the akashic records, the knowledge of the Atlanteans, and even the ability to see into the past. While these are all gifts most would love to have, the one he was most well known for was the gift of diagnosing and curing any illness or injury.
When people throw the word “prophet” around we tend to think of charlatans and gifters, con men and snake skin peddlers. The interesting thing about Edgar Cayce is that for most of his life, he refused to take any money for the readings. Indeed, most of the time, Cayce had to be coerced into taking even tokens of gratitude, and for most of his life lived a lower income economic class, shying away from the public and publicity that his gifts brought him. As a devout Christian and Sunday school teacher, most of what he stated in a trance went completely against church doctrine, and became the most troubling part of his gifts. During one specific trance, Cayce said the below, and upon reading it was deeply troubled that words such as this came out of his mouth as it was believed the Entity was using him to confirm the doctrine of reincarnation existing.
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”In this we see the plan of development of those individuals set upon this plane, meaning the ability to enter again into the presence of the Creator and become a full part of that creation.
Insofar as this entity is concerned, this is the third appearance on this plane, and before this one, as the monk. We see glimpses in the life of the entity now as were shown in the monk, in this mode of living. The body is only the vehicle ever of that spirit and soul that waft through all times and ever remain the same”
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Cayce would pursue a career in photography, one where he was actually quite good. He also created a board game called Pit or Board of Trade that is still sold and played today. However, no matter how much he wished to live an ordinary life with his wife and children, his gifts would continually prevent this from happening. He was hounded incessantly by businessmen looking to turn a profit, scientists looking to prove he was a fraud, and normal everyday people looking to find something more in this life. He was also constantly asked for medical diagnosis and cures, to the point that the medical diagnosing became the major focus of his readings.
After decades of saying no, Cayce finally accepted help with a business man to assist in giving readings to individuals and have them studied. Cayce only had two requirements, the first is that he would never charge for a reading, the second being that actual doctors monitored these individuals and monitored the cures he gave to them. Cayce had never studied medicine and had a 9th grade education, as such he would not understand the cures as he prescribed them when he awoke, and as he once said “one dead patient is all it takes to become a murderer”. Regardless of this, the requests for readings boomed, eventually getting him clients such as Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin. His readings inspired the locals and, with the help of celebrities and other businessmen, went on to found and open the Association of National Investigations, a foundation that would eventually open a university and a hospital where the sick and injured can come and get healed with one of Cayce’s cures. It was also a place of investigation, as many of the healing cures prescribed by the Entity to the sick were very similar, so the scientists would test these cures and see what made them different, if they worked, and if there was a perfect cure for all diseased. It was this line of thought, as well as the information given front the entity, that eventually lead to a mass produced medicine, Atomidine, an absorbable form of iodine.
During the start of America’s involvement in World War II in 1943 his surviving son was sent to fight in the war, which sent Cayce into a deep depression. In an effort to overcome his anxiety, grief, and loneliness, Cayce ended up increasing the amount of readings he would do a day, from 2 in the beginning up to 8. He was advised not to do this by multiple parties, including his wife, for the readings were emotionally and physically taxing, yet Cayce felt that if he could contribute to help the soldiers and families in World War II then that is a sacrifice he was willing to make. Indeed, even during the readings, the entity would speak through him and chastise him for reading too many people and that it would be the death of him.
From June 1943 to June 1944, 1,385 readings were taken. By August of 1944 Cayce collapsed from the simple strain and toll these readings took for, being 67 years old, he was no longer a young man. In an effort to find the cause of the strain, Cayce went into a trance like state where the Entity stated this was due to being overworked and for doing too many readings, and that the only cure was rest until he was healed, or until he died. In September of 1944 Cayce suffered a stroke and passed away on January 3rd of 1945. He is currently buried in the cemetery of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, near his childhood home.
During his life Cayce made a massive impact on the world, and not simply with helping to heal and cure so many. He founded “Group 1”, a group of others who would continue to explore the bounds of the universe and the metaphysical, and that they would still be studied over 100 years later for what they taught and learned. He would continually travel and give lessons and seminars on his readings. He would be the inspiration for the Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment (C.A.R.E) who would work endlessly to transcribe and save every single reading he ever gave. During his life it is estimated over 22,000 readings were given, for everything from reincarnation to healing to prophecy, however only 14,000 were recorded during his life. These have been uploaded and are available to read for members of C.A.R.E.
Since Cayce passed, the entity has not appeared to another person and no claims have been made to have had communication with it.
Edgar Cayce helped bring light to this world through his healing, and helped those around him to study the world. He changed the very notion and fabric of the Christian Mysticism movement and helped show that generosity grants its own rewards, for while he never profited from his gifts, his name and legacy have lived on.
“This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn’t behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us. This is a universal law, and until one begins to make application of same, one may not go very far in spiritual or soul development.”
Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment