Cayce was born on March 18, 1877, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the son of businessman. He grew up in rural Kentucky and received only a limited formal education. He was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
As an adult Cayce began a career as a photographer, but his life took a radically different direction in 1898, after he developed a case of laryngitis. He was hypnotized by a friend and, while under trance, prescribed a cure that worked. Neighbors heard of the event and asked Cayce to do similar readings for them. In 1909 he did a reading in which he diagnosed and cured a homeopathic physician, Dr. Wesley Ketchum. Ketchum arranged for periodic sittings in which Cayce, who had learned by this time to go into trance without the assistance of a hypnotist, offered his medical advice for the ill. During the next years Cayce gave occasional sittings, but primarily worked in photography.
After going to Dayton Ohio on the invitation of Theosophist Arthur Lammers, Cayce closed his photography shop and moved there, and then in 1925 to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he became a professional psychic and healer. In 1931 he founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment at Virginia Beach to further his work. With the resources generated by the association, complete records of all the readings for the next 12 years were made. These formed a huge body of material for future consideration, and more than any other characteristic make Cayces career stand out above that of his contemporaries. Cayces readings were later indexed, cross-referenced, and used as the basis of numerous books. Every year, large numbers of people are still cured through his writings.
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