Is Psychic Ability Inherited?

Hi Anna,

“Often I see the most famous psychics describe themselves as “third generation” intuitives so it seems like abilities like these are often inherited. Can those of us who don’t have gifts like these in the family still develop psychically?”

~ Eva

Hi Eva,

I have seen people attribute their intuitive capabilities to their gifted great-grandmother/mother but I don’t think that this is usually the main reason for the person’s gift.

Here are some common reasons a person ends up psychically gifted:

1. Life Path

Some people carry the archetype of the intuitive within their soul profile (you can find out more about archetypes in my courses or in an Akashic Record Reading.) Carrying the archetype of the intuitive means that the person’s soul has decided that it will come through with a strong connection to the spirit realm – perhaps this person will use their intuition in the capacity of professional intuitive or coach. These people will certainly have a headstart in developing their intuition.

2. Upbringing

I have noticed that the offspring of many well-known intuitives end up going down a similar path and I believe this is because these children will have been raised to connect with their intuitive side.

Personally I was not raised to be intuitive or spiritual. I was raised to love gardens and I’ve often thought that gardening is “in my blood”. My grandmother ran a garden centre and my great-grandfather was a prize-winning grower. As a child I had my own garden and was taught all the names of the plants. However, I am not sure that there is a gene for being interested in gardening – instead this is something I most probably picked up from my environment as a child, and the same happens for those raised in spiritually open environments. Put a person in a very favourable environment for developing a particular skill, and it often results in developing that skill.

There is a darker aspect to upbringing that can contribute to the development of psychic ability, in that children raised in abusive or neglectful environments often end up psychic.

This is because the child requires extra parenting and learns to receive it from spiritual sources. The child will also learn to dissociate (i.e. exit the body energetically) during traumas or abuse and regularly leaving one’s body in this way over time will result in developing a sensitivity to the planes that lie beyond the physical. (As an aside, this can also result in a problem with grounding.)

3. Education

On the other hand, you do not have to undergo traumas or be born into a spiritually open family to develop your abilities.

They can be awakened with the right training (and by right training I mean doing the right things in the right order.)

I have trained plenty of people psychically who did not consider themselves to be intuitive before they started. The reason for this is because we are all born with the potential for a connection with our Higher self, Spirit Guides, and angels. It isn’t about genetics – it’s about the fact that we are souls in physical bodies and we will ideally go through life connected to our spirit.

4. Genetics

I recently learned about the intriguing concept of epigenetics – the idea that some genes might be turned on and off by one’s environment. So, if one eats well and exercises, this may alter one’s DNA to prevent the chronic diseases that the person would otherwise be predisposed towards.

Is there a gene for psychic ability?

I don’t know. But my guess is that if there is, this gene would be subject to influence by one’s environment, including one’s upbringing, spiritual practices and training (or lack thereof) in this area.

What do you think?

Do you have strong intuition? Where do you think it comes from?

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Rhonda Starr

    Hi Anna, I definitely believe that abilities run in families. My fiance is a 4th generation (that is as far as we can trace it) intuitive and I am a generational Shaman. My grandfather was a Hopi Chief and Shaman and my grandmother was a Medicine Woman. My mother and sister have similar abilities but are not open to their inherited gifts because of strong religious conditioning. I had to break free from that in order to really become “myself” again. This didn’t happen until almost 30 years of age, but I’m so glad I opened up to my spiritual side. Most of the intuitives that we are friends with are also several generations into their gifts. I do know one thing. A person can be born with a gift and if they aren’t raised in what you call a “spiritually open” environment, it is still there per se, but it will be greatly repressed, as in my mom and sister’s case. Thanks for an awesome blog, Anna!

  2. Anna

    Hi Rhonda, thanks for sharing your experiences with this!

  3. Christie Arnold

    Hi Anna! Great post. I agree with everything you said. I think we all have the ability to use these extra senses. I believe more people are waking up to the ability to sense the energy around them and see beyond this dimension for a reason. But I do also think you can inherit genes that make you more likely to be a medium, healer, manifest etc..for life purpose reasons. My family has a long history of people with very strong gifts, and most were not raised in an environment conducive to it. But, again, I think it is there in all of us and we are moving towards a world with more “activated people.”. :). Love your site. Thank you.

  4. Peter

    About epigenetics: a good author writing about it is Dr Bruce Lipton.

    It’s a very liberating concept, because it means you’re not controlled by your genes. 🙂

  5. Cate

    I think it absolutely is inherited and then your environment allows you to embrace or reject the feelings. Both of my grandmothers have told me that they have visions in dreams and have spoken to the dead. In my case it may skip a generation but I do believe it is inherited.

  6. Sheena

    Hi Anna,
    Im just curious if you think it’s possible blood type plays a part? I am A- and would consider myself an empath. My son is 6 years old, also A- and hes extremely sensitive as well. I have a hunch that maybe people with the RH”negative” may be more sensitive to their environment therefore are naturally more psychic…what do you think?

  7. David


    Right things in right order! Right, or as we non-Brits might exclaim, Right On!
    ( meant as a humorous observation on your exclamation). Now, onto the business at hand!!!

    Once again, an informative and delightful newsletter, splendid!

    I suspect environment plays a role in the acquisition of skills, psychic or otherwise, for the reasons stated in your newsletter. My mother was always interested in psychic topics, UFO’s, and ET life. I was an easy ‘sell’ for these topics, and I felt within myself their legitimacy quite naturally – no inculcation required. We were quite compatible on those topics.

    Gene influence was once thought to be ironclad in many respects, and I’ve noted how that stance has evolved over the decades as more insight has been had regarding genetics. The ‘plasticity’ of our individual genetic template is the ascendant thinking presently, and it seems closer to the reality of the matter, though our understanding continues to progress.

    I look forward to your next communique on topics intuitive!

  8. Jasmine

    Hi Anna
    How right you are about the link of the darker aspect and psychic ability. I should know. Prefer to leave it at that.
    My abilities vary – sometimes it is telepathic, sometimes clairvoyant. Recently, they are attached to current events in a clairsentient kinda way. I wake up some mornings and get a feeling of dread. On listening to the news, there will be a tragic event, either at an international or national level . For example, the feeling of doom I felt today was connected to the incident today involving a Jordanian pilot. Was I tapping into everyone’s consciousness about the event?
    And then there are some days when I awake calm and peaceful. On checking the news, there will be an announcement of someone making a recovery from an awful accident or disease.
    All your articles are inspiring. Thank you.

  9. ashley

    Yes I think I inherted intuitive abilities my son also have them we are both very connected to the world of spirit we can’t sleep at night because we know and sense them

  10. Ophélie

    Hi Anna,:-)

    I think we all have that skill but for some people it is still dormant, ans I also see so many people not even being aware that they are very intuitive in fact. Intuition is very often describe as being a gift that only certain people have, I hear that often because I am very intuitive but it is because, like you say, I have choosen that archetype. People get some sort of complex for being around me, even so I try to tell them that they also are intuitive. And in family I am the only one, so my environement did not play a role in me being intuitive, I mostly felt strange because I’ve always percieved things in life in a different way.
    Thanks for that article! 🙂

  11. Susan K

    Good Morning Anna,

    “Is Psychic Ability Inherited?” –good question!

    In my family, all six of us to one degree or another,
    are intuitive, but for the most part, they tend to
    brush off their abilities. “Oh, surely, that can’t be!”
    to “I must have imagined it!” My family has a nickname for me: “Oh, ‘There She Goes Again Susan’ when I share
    a psychic insight or paranormal incident. 😉
    I agree with what you said about individuals who
    were exposed to abuse or trauma and that they learn to
    disassociate. My own word for that was “compartmentalize”. It made things bearable. And yes,
    those experiences made me more attuned to the sight unseen. It gave me the ability to ‘read’ or scan people and situations, and, the patterns, more readily.
    I tend to think that before family members incarnate,
    they decide which soul group would be most beneficial for their individual growth.
    I’d also like to add that many of my family members
    have also had experiences with ufo’s..(mine are ongoing); I’ve read
    that these experiences tend to run in family
    groups too.

    Anna, thank you for a great article! 🙂

  12. Jennifer J. Slachtovsky

    I believe myself to be intuitive and “psychic”, the thing of it is if I speak out about my intuitive insights I am usually either wrong or I am stopped literally and physically from helping someone or helping myself, for a while I thought I was nuts but then I realized that maybe it’s just not my job, I was given the gift of knowing remembering big universal truths etc but I am not allowed to use it to later the course of time for what ever reason. If I keep my epiphanies to myself of if I ask permission to help I am occasionally allowed to do so, but this goes to your point Anna, I was grew up in an abusive (verbal and physical) and later in life the father of my beautiful sons for 4 years beat me, used my sons as ran some to keep me captive in my home and essentially his prisoner, I developed pstd and a severe anxiety disorder which got much worse (I was born with the anxiety but it was elevated to new ) I believe that my intuition my connection to the other side actually saved my life and I believe I was allowed to choose to “remember” before my birth that we are all connected within and without our physical bodies. This knowledge this gift, this extra but of help how ever frustrating and difficult to realize and understand here on the earth very literally saved my life, more than once. “Psychic but Sain” Lol I’m your poster child Anna, great article thank you.

  13. Raymond

    I never knew if anyone in my family was psychic mainly because things like that would never be talked about in my family. But when I was about 7 years old I had a period of time that I hated having to go to bed at night. I was terribly afraid of the dark. So much so that I usually ended uo getting a whipping because I cried so much. That happened every night for months until it just suddenly stopped. When I was about 30 I read a book by Whitley Strieber about alien abductions and his story hit a nerve that gave me an aha moment. But it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I tried something suggested to me. I asked my guides to give me a dream to show me what I needed to know. As soon as I was about to drop off to sleep I had a dream that I will never forget. I saw myself as a little boy playing in the dirt whith my toy grader when suddenly I felt myself being pulled upward. I ontinued to look down and saw myself still playing but I felt myself rising higher and higher until I noticed something diretly above me. It was a big metal ring that I was being pulled into. I was being abducted. I never saw what happend to me after that thankfully but whatever it was left me with psychic abilities.

  14. Gail

    To add to your article, I sense that souls wanting to bring forth their intuitive expression will choose environments with the potential to support or allow that to develop further. In this way, inheritance is less about an ability being passed down and more about the soul choice to come into this life with souls that align with the desired experience originally intended.

  15. Anna

    Hi Sheena,

    I’m not an expert on blood types, but I have heard that people with type A blood tend to be on the sensitive side. Perhaps this is all linked to one’s life purpose and lessons.

  16. Anna

    Thank you to everyone for contributing your interesting experiences and opinions on this topic!

    Gail – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

  17. Cheryl

    Great post Anna. I have been through much trauma in my life and I believe that in the truama a gift was always given. Sometimes a psychic ability. Sometimes an gift of more patience or love for people.

  18. Valerie

    I truly believe that we are all born with this ability its just that may be some of us choose to use it and some don’t and that’s OK. It took me 50 years before I decided to connect with my ability.I remember as a child I always knew things or saw things before they happened, I didn’t understand at the time. Then when I got married and had 2 children I started to have the dreams and visions again and I still did not tap into this as I had no one to talk to. In my 50’s is when I started to have the dreams and visions again and that is when I decided to do something about it…best thing I ever did and never to late…

  19. Kat

    Psychic ability runs in my family, but not everyone uses it, and the degree varies. In my family, an unpleasant upbringing has stunted the abilities of myself, and most likely my siblings, except one sibling whose abilities are so strong it it always there even though he tries to shut it out. I believe when you’re not in an emotionally healthy place in life that some of these abilities are subdued. For me, when I became more emotionally stable in my life, things were going smoothly, and I was less stressed, things started happening more often. When I was really in a place where I was happy and could focus, my abilities began to blossom rapidly, far beyond anything I thought I was capable of. That’s where I stumbled on your page and I’m glad I did! Thanks.

  20. Kelley

    Anna, It was a great blessing that your Mother taught you to garden as working the earth helps to ground us and pulls out all stress energies. I have to agree with your comment of children from abusive homes becoming psychic. I am that child, I learned early to use intuition to try to stay off the “radar.” I also learned not to fear the unseen as most of the attention I received was from them. At this time I seem to be dealing with my own memories and I hope to move past that time in my life soon.

  21. Anthon St Maarten

    I really enjoyed your blog post and found it very informative! I also believe psychic ability is a combination of both nature and nurture, as is the case with any other talents or genetic predispositions we may be born with. What this means is that psychics are born with a latent hereditary or genetic capacity, but their ability is further developed by their upbringing, their childhood environment, education and life experiences. It is my view we are all born with varying degrees of intuitive or metaphysical ability, the same way we are all born with an aptitude for playing music, creating art, doing math or participating in sports. We can all learn to develop our innate abilities; it does not necessarily mean we will all excel at it. Most of us can learn to play the piano, or draw pictures, or play basketball and soccer. Some of us will even learn to do these things extremely well, but not all of us have the kind of talent that can be nurtured for us to become the next Ludwig van Beethoven or Pablo Picasso.

  22. Chrissy

    Hi Anna,

    Growing up was hard for me from a young age of 5 years old anytime I saw or felt things that no other of my siblings did, my Mum would tell me not to talk that way, so I learnt to repress my gifts. This went on from 5 years until my Mum passed when I was aged 38 years old. Years later and now in my 50s I learnt I am a natural born EMPATH/PSYCHIC/MEDIUM and never ever developed myself. If you know about Empaths you will know we don’t like groups. I have all the trait of a full blown empath.

    My Mum was psychic, my Grandma, and my only daughter, so it defiantly runs in families.

    My question to you please or any other person who can help me is: Is it real that all my life spirit world have been working with me/hence psychic repression? I understand one only comes out of this by asking questions and it takes time.
    I would only get messages through the night, but believe me when I say this ,they all came true. Since knowing now who I am years down the line things have changed some what in the way I receive messages, they come in the day time now, but from time to time they do come through the night, but not as much.

    I dont like mediating, I tried it and feel its not for me, although I am a Reiki Practitioner and do self healing on myself and love my ME time at home, so I suppose in one way its my way of mediating.

    I understand my CNS is different to others and this is one reason why spirit world or souls reach me. I must say at this moment in time where I live I am not at peace but feel I was put in this situation to learn about myself and others. I was abused from aged 5 years for many years. Mentally and psychically ,but happy to say now I have started to love myself and got all those energy vampires out of my life.

    I would appreciate your reply and any suggestions that would assist me on my way to believe in myself more.


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