Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet

By James Calemine

“In every person of whatever station look not for things to criticize, but for something you adore in your Creator.” –Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on March 18, 1877. Cayce possessed gifts of clairvoyance and over the years demonstrated keen insight into health, diet, wars, religion, Egypt and future events. Usually, Cayce’s insight came while he slept. Some believe he is the father of holistic medicine. He earned his nickname, “The Sleeping Prophet”, because he’d take off his shoes and lie down on the couch and from a trance-like state provided rare wisdom on a wide variety of topics he was asked about.

I read a few pages of Edgar Cayce’s Story of Karma this morning, and it reminded me of his singular life. At 10, Cayce began attending church and reading the Bible. Around this time, Cayce witnessed a vision of a woman with wings in the woods. She told him he could have anything he wanted. Cayce felt scared and said he wanted to help people. He received the gift, but didn’t know it yet. The next night his father was quizzing him on his school work, and the young Cayce could not retain his studies. His teacher complained about the boy’s lack of concentration.

His father became angry and knocked him out of his chair because young Cayce could not remember anything he’d learned. “Let me take a 5-minute nap”, he asked his father. After his nap, Cayce remembered everything. He knew all the textbook answers. His father thought the boy was making a fool out of him and knocked him out of his chair again.

From then on, it became apparent the Cayce possessed a gift. The same teacher later said Edgar was his best student and his father even acknowledged his son’s insight. Not long after this awakening of sorts the boy was hit at the base of his spine by a ball at school that threatened permanent injury, but during his sleep Cayce healed himself.

A day or so later, Cayce rode a mule back to town from work. It amazed the locals because the mule never allowed anyone to ride him. That night Edgar Cayce left town. He studied the Bible all along. He read auras and claimed dead ancestors spoke to him. Cayce’s life was not a bed of roses. For a while, he worked in the insurance industry with his father, but due to an ailment he could no longer maintain the responsibility and lived with his parents. At this time, he cultivated an interest in photography. Even Cayce did not completely understand his powers at this time.

Cayce’s wife Gertrude did not comprehend her husband’s aptitude at first either. In 1902, Cayce began working in a bookstore in Bowling Green, KY. He provided readings to people about their lives, but he would not accept money, which confused Gertrude because they had three children to feed. Gertrude did not approve of free readings. Gertrude became ill during her pregnancy with their second child, and when the doctor stated there was nothing else he could do, Cayce worked his magic. He cured his wife.

In 1906 and 1907, fires burned down Cayce’s photography studio. He struggled for a few more years. In 1912, Cayce moved his family to Selma, Alabama. Cayce originated a card game that existed until recently. Soon, commercial-minded people approached Cayce to use his powers to find oil, bet on horse racing, cotton market insight and other financial endeavors. Cayce always agreed with reluctance.

In 1923, Cayce was approached by Arthur Lammers about giving philosophical readings. The same year, Cayce allowed his readings to be recorded. Lammer persuaded Cayce to move to Dayton, Ohio. Due to his readings Cayce had to explain to his family how he believed in reincarnation and still considered the Bible as true gospel. 

Cayce began writing more about health. He started working with crystals, ultraviolet light, essential oils, salt packs, mud baths, camphor and diets. In 1925, a voice came to Cayce saying he should move to Virginia Beach. From 1925-1945, Cayce lived in Virginia Beach and his powers operated at a zenith. The Cayce hospital allowed him to earn money from various investors who believed in his talent. And results. People flocked to Cayce for health, spiritual and financial advisement.

During the depression, Cayce honed his skills. Cayce began helping veterans. He gave readings for distinguished people such as George Gershwin, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison and Irving Berlin. Some of his most notable books include Earth Changes, Beyond Death, A Health Anthology and Soul and Spirit to name only a few.

At 67, Cayce suffered a stroke in September of 1944. Cayce died on January 3, 1945. He was buried in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Tributes to Cayce exist in almost every town he lived. Edgar Cayce’s institution A.R.E carries on his teachings to this day.

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