Edgar Cayce Biography

Edgar Cayce was an American self-proclaimed clairvoyant. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family, personal life, career, and achievements.

Edgar Cayce
Quick Facts

Birthday: March 18, 1877

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Edgar Cayce American Men

Died At Age: 67

Sun Sign: Pisces

Born Country: United States

Born in: Christian County, Kentucky, United States

Famous as: Clairvoyant

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Gertrude Evans

father: Leslie B. Cayce

mother: Carrie Cayce

children: Edgar Evans (b. 1918), Hugh Lynn (b. 1907), Milton Porter (b. 1911)

Died on: January 3, 1945

place of death: Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States

Cause of Death: Stroke

U.S. State: Kentucky

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Edgar Cayce was an American self-proclaimed clairvoyant. It is reported that he had conducted more than 22,000 sessions by going into a trance. During these sessions, he provided answers, called readings, to questions on metaphysics, medicine, finance, and many such topics. His ability was noticed when he was a child. However, its full potential was realized in his adulthood. He preferred to serve the impoverished and ailing with his unique gift. As he gained popularity, he was sought by many for commercial gains. However, he tried his best to keep away from it. Nevertheless, due to his poverty, he reluctantly offered his readings to sustain himself. His unorthodox methods and claims served as fodder to controversies and attracted a lot of criticism.

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Edgar Cayce
Childhood & Early Life
  • Cayce was born on March 18, 1877, to Carrie Elizabeth and Leslie Burr Cayce.
  • As a child, he was academically weak. However, once, he was found laying his head on a book and sleeping, after which he grasped the lessons faster. Similarly, he learned from other books and became a bright student until he discontinued school in ninth grade.
  • It is believed that he could see his late grandfather while playing and angels while reading the ‘Bible.’ He read the ‘Bible’ regularly in his childhood.
  • He had once hurt his spine while playing but cured it while in a trance.
  • He shocked his townspeople when he rode a highly disobedient mule.
  • He finished his ninth grade and started looking for jobs after his family moved to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1893.
  • He started selling insurance for the ‘Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society’ in 1900.
  • He lost his voice due to severe laryngitis, which he partially cured with the help of hypnotists Hart and Dr. Quackenboss. He was then totally cured by Al Layne. Whenever it relapsed, Layne came to his rescue.
  • Cayce changed his profession to photography and later joined a bookshop. Along with Layne, he started his reading sessions.
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Practice
  • Cayce and Layne started working together and initially offered free treatments to the public. Later, in 1902, while Cayce worked with a bookshop and stayed in a boarding house at Bowling Green, he and Layne met secretly and practiced. However, Layne revealed this to Cayce’s housemates, including a magistrate who was also a journalist. Soon, the authorities compelled Layne to shut down his practice.
  • He invented the popular card game ‘Pit.’
  • He left for Franklin to earn a qualification in osteopathy
  • While Cayce and his cousin started a new photographic studio, he co-operated with a committee of doctors to study the procedure while he was reading. However, following a violent incident, he refused to continue.
  • This studio was destroyed in the fires of 1906 and 1907, rendering him bankrupt. In the latter part of 1907, he attained tremendous diagnostic feats, which helped him clear his debts by 1909. He joined the firm named ‘H.P. Tresslar Photography.’
  • Between late 1910 and 1912, he worked along with homeopath Wesley H. Ketchum from Hopkinsville.
  • During this period, doctors had given up on his wife, Gertrude, who was severely ill with tuberculosis. However, his readings helped her overcome her disease miraculously.
  • By 1912, he realized that Ketchum had misused his readings for financial gains. Hence, he broke the partnership and rejoined ‘Tresslar.’
  • However, he continued reading in Selma, Alabama. With his soaring popularity, his volume of work grew. His wife and his eldest son, Hugh Lynn, assisted him.
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  • His fame caught the attention of the people with interests in business, gambling, and treasure hunt. Despite his need for money, Cayce declined such offers. Nevertheless, due to his financial issues, he reluctantly yielded later, only to be left disgruntled and fatigued. Hence, he decided to utilize his blessing only to serve the less privileged and sickly
  • Arthur Lammers, a well-to-do printer and student of metaphysics, approached Cayce to conduct readings on metaphysical topics such as past lives, reincarnation, religious beliefs, dreams, coincidence (synchronicity), intuition, karma, the akashic records, astrology, and soul mates.
  • Later, upon Lammers’s insistence, he moved to Dayton, Ohio, and pursued reading. However, as Lammers’s finances dwindled, they could not continue the plan.
  • At this juncture, he started to render health-centered readings. The treatment included electrotherapy, exposure to ultraviolet light, a prescribed diet, massage sessions, gemstones, reduced mental stress, and relaxation in the sand on the beach. He also decided to validate his procedure by the ‘American Medical Association’ with support from authorized medical practitioners.
  • According to Cayce, during one of his sessions in 1925, he was directed by a voice to move to Virginia Beach, Virginia, because he believed that crystals in the sand had better medicinal properties.
  • In Virginia, he received support from Morton Blumenthal, a stock trader working in the stock exchange in New York. Blumenthal bought a house for them in Virginia Beach.
  • On May 6, 1927, they established the ‘Association of National Investigations’ in the state of Virginia to manage the construction of a hospital and conduct research on the readings.
  • The facility was inaugurated on October 11, 1928. The following day, the first patient was admitted.
  • The treatment involved a variety of therapies, including, salt packs, poultices, hot compresses, color healing, magnetism, vibrator treatment, massage sessions, osteopathic manipulation, dental treatments, colonics, enemas, antiseptics, inhalants, homeopathic treatments, and mud baths.
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  • The ingredients used were oils, salts, herbs, iodine, witch hazel, magnesia, bismuth, alcohol, castoria, lactated pepsin, turpentine, charcoal, animated ash, soda, cream of tartar, aconite, laudanum, camphor, and gold solution. These were prescribed for overcoming conditions that caused indigestion and absorption of necessary nutrients from the suggested diet.
  • The treatment gained popularity, and the demand for it increased.
  • On September 22, 1930, Blumenthal, along with Dr. Moseley Brown, who had joined the association in 1928, opened a research university pioneering on psychic studies. However, on February 26, 1931, Blumenthal backed out of the project, which ultimately resulted in the university’s closure.
  • He returned to metaphysical, philosophical, religious, and spiritual readings, which have been documented in several books.
  • A group of 61 people met the Cayces on June 6, 1931, and decided to form a new organization called the ‘Association for Research and Enlightenment’ to support his work. The organization was incorporated in July 1931. Hugh Lynn helmed the affairs of the establishment
  • The association agreed that only two readings would be conducted daily and held study groups to understand the readings. It also published a monthly bulletin on the progress of the work.
  • Cayce partnered with a reputed chemist named Dr. Sunker A Bisley (Shankar Abaji Bhise), known for using psychic studies to make medicines, and created ‘Atomidine’ in 1931. It was an improved version of the existing absorbable form of iodine.
  • A year later, the association’s first congress was held. The congress included talks by experts of metaphysics and psychic studies. Cayce held public readings during the event.
  • The members of the association raised funds to build an office, a library, and a vault attached to Cayce’s house in the early 1940s. By then, the association had a strength of around 600 members from various religions and different parts of the world. The members were from different belief systems, such as the ‘Theosophical Society.’ It became a platform for propagating unity among the diverse religious communities and faiths.
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  • The first edition of his biography, titled ‘There is a River’ and authored by Thomas Sugrue, was published in March 1943. He became known across the U.S. after the article ‘Miracle Man of Virginia Beach’ was printed in the magazine ‘Coronet.’
  • As World War II progressed, both his sons began serving the military. Soon, Cayce and his wife put in extra time and efforts to run their operations. The number of readings increased from two per day to eight. The workload took a toll on his health.
  • He collapsed due to excessive strain in August 1944. Following this, he moved to the mountains of Virginia to rest in obedience to a reading. It is claimed that he had made around 22,000 readings in his lifetime.
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Criticism
  • Cayce’s unconventional methods of healing invited criticism by Olav Hammer, Robert Todd Carroll, Martin Gardner, Michael Shermer, and other such critics.
  • Similarly, traditional Christians opposed his views on reincarnation.
  • He is alleged to have been inspired by Carl Jung, P.D. Ouspensky, and Helena Blavatsky.
  • Some of his claims, such as the evolution of life on Earth; polygenism; the existence of aliens, Atlantis, and 12-foot tall giants; and the destruction of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, created controversies.
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Family, Personal Life, & Death
  • On March 14, 1897, Cayce was engaged to Gertrude Evans. They got married on June 17, 1903.
  • They had three children: Hugh Lynn, Milton Porter, and Edgar Evans. Milton passed away within 2 months of his birth.
  • Cayce suffered a stroke in September 1944 and passed away on January 3, 1945. ‘Riverside Cemetery’ in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, is his final resting place.
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Legacy
  • Cayce had celebrity clients such as Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Alva Edison, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin.
  • His life and works have been captured in Gina Cerminara's books 'Many Mansions' and ‘The World Within' and in Brian Weiss's book 'Many Lives Many Masters.'
  • His sons published the book 'The Outer Limits of Edgar Cayce's Power.'
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Edgar Cayce Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/edgar-cayce-1288.php
Last Updated
- November 27, 2019

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