• Kathleen Phalen

Definitions of the Weird Terminology From the Metaphysical Community

Who is who?

Do you ever get confused with all the jargon floating around in the spiritual and metaphysical communities? The terms that define anyone from an empath to highly sensitive persons (HSPs) or a starseed to a lightworker. What’s with all the new focus and hype about the Meyers Briggs personality type INFJ? And why is an indigo a blanket term for the higher evolved kids being born onto the planet today, even though they are said to be crystal children or rainbow children? And who are the first wave indigos?  


Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) - This is the term was coined by Dr. Elaine Aarons in the 90’s from her research of HSP. Dr. Aarons is the first person to research the trait as she is HSP herself. At the time of the first printing of The Highly Sensitive Person, Aarons estimated that 15%- 20% of the population qualifies as such. Her definition was someone whose central nervous system was overactive causing them to feel easily overwhelmed by too much stimuli in their environment, causing them to feel easily overwhelmed and needing to retreat by themselves in order to recharge. Essentially, Dr. Aaron is suggesting the HSP owes their sensitivity to their nervous system. Dr. Aarons authored a self-test, asking questions like “are you bothered by certain fabrics on your skin? Do you need to walk away from violent movies or TV shows? Are you profoundly moved by music or the arts? Do you have a rich inner life? To take the HSP self test, click here: Self Test for HSP . In order to be considered a HSP, one needs to have 14 of the 25 traits listed. I have given this test to many while working as a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor and roughly 98% of the time my clients are HSP.


Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) – Another term coined by Dr. Elaine Aarons describing the children that grow up to be HSP. She goes to great effort to stress there is nothing “wrong or nothing that needs to be fixed” on either of these populations, just that they have different traits than their non-sensitive counterparts. The underlying emotional trigger tends to be anxiety. According to Maureen Healy, a HSC specialist who mentors kids, one-on-one, “The higher the sensitivity the higher the intelligence in HSC. They are all extremely gifted, but not necessarily valued in our society.” Part of the reason HSC don’t fit in to the current paradigm of classroom learning is their need to take their time to complete tasks. Many of them are perfectionists and they may stall and put off starting a project, or not turn work in that isn’t to their standards. My HSC refused to participate in dissecting a cow’s eyeball with my consent. Standardized tests can cause extreme anxiety and manifest itself in the form of stomach aches, headaches or even vomiting and unexplained rashes. Click here to take the self-test if you have a child whom you feel is Highly Sensitive HSC Test.


Empath- All Empaths are Highly Sensitive but not all HSP are Empaths. The major difference between an Empath and a HSP is psychic phenomena, highly developed intuition, and overall spiritual connection to things like, the earth, animals, the plant world, or emotions. Empaths are said to be naturally giving, spiritually open, they make good listeners and are thus the “go-to” for many of their friends. In addition they tend to absorb everybody’s feelings, and are highly attuned to other people’s moods. Many are introverted and need time alone and limit their time out in the world. Empaths are highly intuitive and this is how they experience their world. Empaths are driven by what are largely unconscious intuitive connections. Empaths are susceptible to massive amounts of energy, as they are very much like sponges, soaking up the energy around them, mostly from unknown sources.


Therefore, the majority of what they sense cannot be easily understood or verified, and thus can create massive internal conflict. Furthermore, many empaths complain about exhaustion, illness, overwhelm depression or anxiety. Many are said to suffer as they go through stages of self-discovery and self-development in learning what makes them the way they are. It may correlate to a spiritual awakening that includes depression, anxiety and panic attacks to complete empowerment.


Dr. Judith Orloff M.D. is a self-proclaimed empath and a psychiatrist. She has written extensively about empaths and how they can protect themselves from unwanted energies of others and how to set boundaries to keep their energy intact. Take the self-test to see if you are an Empath according to Orloff’s website Empath Self Test.


Now that we got the differences between a HSP and an empath settled, let’s move on to some of other commonly used terms. Earlier, I stated that empaths tend to experience extra-sensory or psychic phenomena. Some of these spiritual gifts include “the clairs”. Clair is a French word for clear and they describe the chosen and preferred way to sense energy and to translate it. They are as follows:


Clairaudient- Clear hearing. This means that an Empath reads energy or gets messages through their auditory system, hearing a voice speaking in your ear describing a person, situation or problem.


Clairsentient- Clear feeling. This describes the phenomena of feeling what other people are feeling. Their way of reading energy through feelings.


Clairknostic -Clear knowing. This method is said to be the hardest to trust when one first becomes aware of this gift. There is simply just a knowing about a situation. The information just appears in the mind by way of just knowing what is happening.


Clairvoyance- Clear Vision. Being able to see what is happening in the mind’s eye. With the two eyes closed, they see or read energy by getting visions within the third eye.


Animal Communicator- a person who has the ability to communicate with animals through symbols, pictures and images. I coach empaths to harness their spiritual gifts and come into alignment with their true calling. One of my students/client, is a very skilled animal communicator. If you are interested in her services at very, very reasonable rates (well below market value in my opinion) please contact me through here so you and your pet can have a deeper bond and understanding of each other.


Medium- All mediums are psychic but not all psychics are mediums. A medium is someone with the gift to communicate with spirits who have passed over and can deliver messages to their loved ones.


Channeler- A channeler is a person who, in a deep state of meditation, can move out of the way for another being to take over their body and speak through them. Some examples of channelers are Bashar, Abraham-Hicks or Lasarius.


Light-worker- this is a term that has been thrown around in the metaphysical community to describe someone who is here on the planet at this time to help usher in the new age of Aquarius by doing good deeds or working in a capacity that serves humanity.


Starseed- It is used to describe a person who is here on some special mission from a far away star system. They are thought to be here as “light-workers” and are here to help us transform and evolve as humans through their selfless giving and tireless workings of good deeds. Personally, I feel that if one of us is just here visiting this galaxy then all of us are.


INFJ – INFJ is one of Myers–Brigg’s sixteen personality types. They are believed to be creative; combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion. INFJs use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. People with the INFJ personality type enjoy finding activities to help by way of healing. This quality makes them excellent counselors and advisors.


INFJ’s are said to be insightful. Both HSP as well as Empaths are said to be able to tell when someone is lying to them. INFJ’s, by the same token can also see through dishonesty and disingenuous motives. INFJs see how people and events are connected, and are able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter. Many HSP and Empaths fall into this personality type. To discover yours, visit Meyer Briggs Test .


Fall into any of these? What do you think? Are we missing any or is there any type you’d like us to research further? Let us know, and submit your comments below <3

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