Christian County native, Edgar Cayce demonstrated psychic abilities and an interest in healing and spiritual scholarship at a young age, and went on to become a pioneer of Western alternative medicine and a godfather of the American New Age movement.
Edgar Cayce was born at 3:20pm on Sunday, March 18, 1877, in a small farmhouse in the small community of Beverly that was located about eight miles south of the Pennyroyal Area Museum in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was the oldest of five children who survived past infancy.
Edgar spent his childhood playing in the woods and fields. As he grew older, he worked in his extended family’s tobacco fields and sometimes helped his father, who for several years held a steady job at the local country store.
At age 13, Edgar experienced the divine. He was visited by an angel who explained to him that he had a special gift. Edgar replied that he wanted to use the gift to help others — especially children.
Edgar was 17 in 1894 when he moved to Hopkinsville and started working at Hopper Brothers Book Store, formerly at Main and 6th streets. He taught Sunday School at Ninth Street Christian Church and organized a local chapter of the Christian Endeavor organization. He discovered an interest in photography.
Edgar began experimenting with hypnosis. With help from local homeopathic doctor, Dr. Al Layne, he learned to hypnotize himself, seeking to permanently heal his voice. One afternoon, while in the parlor of his parent’s home on West 7th Street, Edgar Cayce put himself into a trance state. Though he appeared asleep, he spoke clearly and told Dr. Layne to loosen his collar and then to direct Edgar to direct blood flow to his vocal chords. After his reddened, swollen throat calmed, he told Layne to wake him up. Layne did what the voice coming out of Edgar said, and it worked. Edgar awoke with his voice fully restored. His family was in the room to witness it. This was the beginning of a unique career in alternative and spiritual medicine that continues to help people all over the world.