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“As human beings, we radiate a very low level of electricity that’s otherwise known as an electromagnetic field,” says Christina Lonsdale, a Portland-based artist behind a popular aura photography practice called Radiant Human.
Ancient systems of medicine, such as Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, believe that this energy is expressed in seven layers. Each layer is said to correlate to a different element of your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
It’s thought that these layers can interact with one another to influence your overall health.
Your aura is thought to be a luminous body that surrounds your physical one. Each layer — and any problems in them — surrounds your body in a net of energy.
General interpretations by shamans and practitioners suggest the following:
Though no scientific studies exist to prove the existence of auras, many practices and philosophies do believe that they are real. However, the interpretation of what an aura actually is may vary among practices and philosophies.
All things have energy. It’s the way you send out vibes or awareness. But it’s unclear whether that energy can truly be thought of as a manifestation of the spiritual and physical body.
In other words, not everyone believes that auras are a reflection of your state of being.
One way to think of auras is as the energy that someone around you emits. Some people make you nervous; others relax you. This, in some ways, could be seen as a reaction to the energy they radiate.
“‘Vibes’ are short for ‘vibrational frequency,’ which is what an aura is comprised of,” Lonsdale says.
Your energy may “tell” someone around you that you’re angry or elated, distraught or excited, even without you saying a word. Likewise, you may sense those emotions from another person.
“You’re tapping into the frequency that person is operating on,” Emma Mildon, author of “The Soul Searcher’s Handbook” and a self-described spiritual activist, tells Healthline. “Our frequency, or vibe, is what others can sense or what attracts or repels us from others, depending on how our frequency works with theirs.”
Yes, every living human has an energy field around them. Other living things, such as trees, flowers, or animals, can also have an energy field.
A 2018 paper published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences describes the human body as containing both visible and invisible parts. The author goes on to say that measuring a human energy system would require tools beyond what scientists have access to today.
While no scientific studies prove that everyone has an aura, it’s generally accepted that every living human has an energy field around them.
Some believe that the human energy field may be more complex than that of other organisms because we’re more evolved.
“We’re all broadcasting like radio stations without even knowing it,” Lonsdale says.
Some feel that how an aura looks depends on how you capture it.
In her Radiant Human project, Lonsdale uses a specialized camera to capture the subject’s energy.
“The camera uses hand sensors that pick up this energy field and a proprietary algorithm matches this energy to a color,” she says.
Another type of aural photography, called Kirlian photography, is believed to capture the aura as an egg-shaped circle around the physical body.
“Artists have depicted it like a halo or a bubble of light surround[ing] the physical body,” Pat Longo, spiritual healer and author of “The Gifts Beneath Your Anxiety: Simple Spiritual Tools to Find Peace, Awaken the Power Within and Heal Your Life,” tells Healthline.
Cameras like the one Lonsdale uses are said to be one way to see your aura.
But if you don’t have access to this special equipment, there are other ways you may be able to sense the energy fields around your body.
“Some people are able to see their aura by softening and slightly squinting their eyes and looking in a mirror,” Longo says. “However, this takes some practice.”
Your aura may best be picked up by your peripheral vision. That is, if you focus on it, you won’t see it. But if you look away, you may begin to see colors or light arise.
“I have been seeing auras for many years. Initially, I saw it as a fuzzy white light about an inch or two in thickness,” Longo says. “Over time, it accelerated to vibrant colors.”
Longo points to a refrain that many spiritual advisors say about auras: It can take time and attention to sense it.
It depends. When you’re trying to sense your own aura, you have the ability to focus, meditate, and spend the time trying to engage with your spiritual energy.
You have almost no control over those elements in another person.
However, some people may have a more pronounced aura than others. This could make it easier for you to sense theirs before you’re ever able to see your own.
Each layer of your aura is said to be represented by a different color.
Some believe that the way these colors vary and interact illustrates how emotionally, spiritually, and physically complex you are.
Something else to consider: A lack of color generally isn’t thought to be a cause for concern.
Your aura is said to change over time, so colors may come and go.
As shown in the infographic earlier, each color has its own interpretation:
- Red: well-grounded, energetic, strong-willed
- Orange: adventurous, thoughtful, considerate
- Yellow: creative, relaxed, friendly
- Green: social, communicator, nurturing
- Blue: intuitive, spiritual, freethinker
- Indigo: curious, spiritually connected, gentle
- Violet: wise, intellectual, independent
Each layer of your aura is said to correspond to a different chakra. Chakras are thought to be different centers of energy within your body.
Some layers or chakras may be more dominant. Others may be less visible and less easily sensed.
Here’s a breakdown of the different layers and their colors:
- Root or physical layer: red, which may be sensed or may even be visible between your tailbone and pelvic bone
- Sacral layer: orange, which may be sensed below your naval
- Emotional layer: yellow, which may be sensed around your solar plexus, or the area below your ribcage and around the center of your stomach
- Astral layer or heart chakra: green, which may be sensed in or around your chest
- Spiritual layer or throat chakra: blue, which may be sensed at the base of your throat
- Intuitional layer or third eye: indigo or deep purple, which may be sensed at the center of your forehead
- Absolute layer or crown chakra: white, which may be sensed at the top of your head
General interpretations suggest the following:
- Physical. This layer may be diminished while we’re awake and replenished when we rest. It’s said to be connected to our physical comforts and health, as well as our five senses.
- Astral. This emotional layer is said to emit our sensitive nature. It’s where we provide self-love.
- Lower mental. Your waking self may use this layer frequently, because it’s said to be where reason and thought patterns reside. You use the energy of this layer to work, study, focus, and execute on your beliefs and values.
- Higher mental. In this layer — which may serve as a bridge between the other layers — you connect your care for yourself to your care for others.
- Spiritual. At this layer, you may connect with other people over spiritual matters. You’re said to grow and shine brighter when you teach, share, and engage with others on a spiritual level.
- Intuitional. The celestial plane is said to act as your third eye. It may help you see your dreams and be aware of your own intuition or instincts.
- Absolute. The final aural layer may act as a “net” of sorts, keeping each of the individual layer confined and balanced in harmony.
Proponents believe it can!
“Everyone’s energy changes,” Lonsdale says. “It changes differently for everyone. There is no set formula.”
Your emotions and experiences are said to have a real-time impact on your aura. This means that if your aura is dim now, it likely won’t stay that way forever.
It’s thought that you cannot turn off your aura.
“That’s like wanting to turn our emotions off and on,” Mildon says. “It’s part of us, like an energetic organ.”
Yes, you may be able to cleanse and repair your aura, Longo says.
Techniques that may be able to help include:
- Positive affirmations. As you might take a shower to wash away physical dirt, you may also “bathe” yourself in positive thoughts to wash away negative energy and allow you to focus on more optimistic ideas.
- Meditation. Spending time focused on your emotional and mental health may make your aura more vibrant.
- Visualization. Imagining yourself “cleaning” your aura by breathing in positive energy and breathing out negative light may help you eliminate smudges, or dark spots in your aural layers.
- Smudging. Burning sage is an ancient tradition used to clear rooms or people of negative energy.
- Energy balancing and healing. Spiritual teachers and advisors may be able to help you find the source of energy imbalances and work to even them out.
Sensing your own aura may take time. Learning how to cleanse it can also require time and effort.
“As humans, we spend a lot of time on the physical aspects of ourselves,” says Kadeem Alston-Roman, a holistic wellness practitioner and self-described aura healing guru.
“If we spend more time focusing our attention on the aura, which is a portion of our divine self or the soul, we would experience less pain and hardship,” Alston-Roman says. “If the aura is clear and strong, it would literally guide us and put us in the position to live the best life we know we deserve and desire.”
Aura readings and healings are as legitimate as you make them out to be.
If you find value in your healer or guide’s words and advice, you may be able to reap many benefits and develop healthier practices.
If you don’t find any clarity in the reading, that’s OK, too. Each person approaches this element of spiritual health differently.
Many spiritual advisers, energy practitioners, and others who work with aural health believe that the physical body is closely connected to the emotional and spiritual bodies.
The aura is seen as just one representation of this connection.
Understanding and being aware of your own aura can take time. But the practice of focusing on your own spiritual and emotional health may go a long way to helping your overall health, no matter the outcome of any attempt to overhaul or revitalize your aural health.
Positive thoughts can bring energy, healing, and great self-appreciation.