The 'aura' is a subtle emanation or energy that surrounds all living things and even those objects that most people would consider to be inanimate. For our purposes, it is the former that we are most interested in.
Those who are sufficiently attuned can 'see' all or part of this emanation when they allow themselves to do so. They can detect the vague outlines and colours around a person's body allowing them to make judgments about that person. The aura will change from hour to hour, day to day depending on the subject's mood, well being or exterior forces acting upon them. Although not completely correct, this is usually taken as being another form of Clairvoyance and may be experienced in two ways or perhaps a little of both.
Objectively: where the medium will look at the subject and visually detect this emanation and will report factually on what they see.
Subjectively: where the medium links in with the subject and provides information on what they perceive about that persons aura.
As with all psychic functioning, this ability can be enhanced by a desire to 'see' the aura and practice within and without the development class. After all how can we expect to see something if we do not how and what to look for? Those who engage in visual skills or interpretation thereof such as design and art, are likely to be very good at detecting aura's because they are accustomed to working with the right side of their brain, that aspect of ourselves that is creative and that which we use to visualise things.
Many of us may be able to pick up these emanations subconsciously and react to them without realising it, an advanced form of what we all pick up from body language and voice tone if you like. This may be one of the reasons that we are attracted to some people but have reservations about others. Naturally, those who are 'attuned' will be more susceptible to this than those who are not, once again, this is part of becoming generally, more sensitive during psychic and mediumistic development. In the most extreme circumstances, some may find that they can see aura's surrounding everything and everyone around them when they attune themselves to do so.
Acceptance that we (and all things) posses an aura is synchronous with an 'Holistic' view of the world and universe in which we live, this is fundamental to many cultures and belief systems. Interestingly, this is a view that is now being shared by those at the cutting edge of scientific thinking. The world of particle physics and quantum theory now postulates upon other universes and realms that are undetectable to us by our normal senses. We know that atomic structures have energy fields surrounding them including electromagnetic and gravitational, thus, it is reasonable to assume that larger bodies (ourselves etc.) will have energy fields surrounding them and therefore, they should be observable under the right conditions. It is also worth noting at this point that other forces are also at work at the 'atomic' level and "what holds it all together?" is a tricky question that has plagued physicists for many years.
The Physical Body
Before we look at the aura we should consider first our own physical bodies and why we have them. Our body is made up of heavy dense matter and is suitable for the environment in which we live, it is a vehicle. This vehicle enables our Spirit selves to experience and learn about what it is like to be of physical form. In this we must accept that the World in which we live is as much a realm of Spirit as any that we may aspire to. The aspect of ourselves that is Spirit is contained within the ethic counterpart of ourselves, the etheric shell. The two, etheric and physical remain attached to one another until the demise of the physical body.
The Aura of the Etheric Body
This is usually recognised as being a few inches above the physical body and is the closest to our vital functions. The well being, or conversely, dis-ease can be seen in this field allowing ailments within the physical body to be detected. This level of aura is the one that connects us to the energy centres within our bodies, these are commonly referred to by the Sanskrit term 'Chakra's'
The Aura of Emotions
This is the energy field that is further out from the body by several feet and does not follow the bodies form. This is likely to be the one that many of us can pick up on and react to people in a positive or negative manner when we first meet them.
The Aura of the Mind and Spirit
Once again this does not follow the form and is the outer layer of the aura.
It is believed that these are the three basic auric fields (although some give this as seven) and are given in most texts regarding this subject. The last two give rise to the term "auric egg" because of the lack of a defined shape. To begin with, it may be best just to consider the aura a whole and refine this opinion as you become more experienced and attuned to sensing subtle aspects of it.
Sensing Your Own Aura
This is a very simple exercise that you can try by yourself. Sit in a chair and bring your hands together in front of you, your elbows should be bent in a comfortable manner without resting on the arms of the chair if you have them. Move your hands apart once more.
Close your eyes and focus your thoughts on producing an energy within your hands. (Healers should have no difficulty with this). If you like visualise this as being an aura bubble forming between your hands.
Bring your hands slowly together again and see if you can sense anything between them. This will usually take several attempts before you get the feeling that a ball is being squeezed between your hands, some describe this as being like magnetic poles opposing each other between the hands. When you are satisfied that you have found this bubble open your eyes and look at your hands, you may well be surprised at how far apart they are.
If your hands are sufficiently apart and you are with others also trying this, it may be interesting for you all to try this again with one of the other people passing one hand between yours and another looking on closely as an observer. If conditions are right, it may be noted that the first persons hands are pushed apart slightly when the second passes their hands between them.
If you try this exercise on a regular basis, you will probably find that the distance that you find your hands apart will vary from day to day.
Sensing the Aura of others
First acquire your willing subject, one that doesn't mind being physically touched when you get it wrong! It will be best if they are not wearing thick or multiple layers of clothes. (No clothes may be better, but not practical or wise in the development circle!) As with your own aura sensing affirm your intent to do so within your own mind and focus on the sensitivity within your hands. Move your hands over your subject's body until you can detect the etheric aura allowing it to attain the feeling of slight magnetic repulsion. Now allow your hands to gently move around your subject and see what you can pick up, When you feel able, do this with your eyes closed as this will better allow you to pick up colours and any other information that may be coming to you.
Now move the hands further away from the body and see if this changes your perception, can you sense other things or are the feelings reduced as you move further away?
An Exercise For Seeing The Aura Objectively
Once again take your willing subject and ask them to sit in front of a plain, darkish background. You should be able to at least see the upper torso and head without it being obscured by the chair or other objects. If possible subdue the lighting. Once again concentrate your mind on the task in hand and focus your eyes a little distance beyond your subject, this will take practice and it is a little like trying to adjust your eyes to one of those magic eye pictures that were popular some time ago.
Eventually, the subject will become blurred and just the general outline will be seen. Note what can be seen within this outline, colours and hues, distance from the main form and so on.
Sceptics will observe that this is just an optical trick of the mind, an illusion and to some extent this may be correct. However, if you can provide information that is beyond that provided by a fuzzy outline, this cannot be the case.
A practical way to use this ability for the benefit of the sitter is by way of an 'auragraph'. An auragraph is a graphical representation (drawing) of how you, the medium, perceive their aura. This may be based around a simple line drawing of the human body or suitable shapes applied to the page, such as an oval representing the "auric egg", these are then coloured in. Crayons and pastels work well as they allow shading to be done, this enables you to represent intensity of colour, demonstrating differing aspects that you see in the aura.
'Most people will appreciate something that they can take away with them'
A 'reading' can then be done from the drawing, using the colours and shades thereof to make judgments about the subject, conditions around them and their well being. There is general agreement regarding the interpretation of the colours and this is provided in the chart below. However, it is often better to make an intuitive assessment of the colours and what you see within the drawing as this allows your attunement to develop rather than becoming dependent on what you may of learned 'from the book'.
The auragraph is also a very nice way to demonstrate the aura to the sitter as most people will appreciate something that they can take away with them to look at later. You may also be able to incorporate other information that comes to you through claircentience or clairaudience within or around the drawing to provided a more rounded and complete reading.
Butler, W.E. - How to Read The Aura, The Aquarian Press.
Carrington, H. - Your Psychic Powers and How to Develop Them, The Aquarian Press.
Lawson, H - Your Psychic Potential, Thorsons.
Sheldrake, R. - Noetic Sciences Review, Vol. 30
Eason, C. - The complete Guide to Psychich Development, Piatkus.
Ortzen, T. - Inspired of Spirit, Two Worlds Publishing.
Gribbin, J. - University of Sussex, Web page.
Positive Interpretations are shown in normal type and depict vibrant colours and shades.
Negative interpretations shown in italic and represent dull, dark or murky shades.
Colour Positive Negative Red Strength, Vitality, Courage, leadership, ambition, affection, love. Materialist, temper, aggression, passion, criticism, hatred, anger Orange Warmth of personality, vitality, energy, optimism, alert and energetic mind. Pride, ruthless ambition, greed. Yellow Love of truth, desire to learn, intellectual thinking, spiritual Selfishness. White High spirituality and ideals - Green Versatility, creativity, balance, healing, love, sympathy, independence Physical and mental illness, worry, nervous problems, deceit, treachery Blue Inspiration, love, peace, harmony, healing, communication, protective. Depression, tendency to be negative. Indigo Loyal, sincere, highly intuitive, deep spiritual conviction Introversion, tendency to be negative Violet Higher power of the mind, Spirit based mediumistic & psychic potential Poor physical condition Purple Leadership, responsibility Rage. Pink Devotion, self sacrifice, unconditional love, generosity, modesty, gentleness. - Brown Conventional personality, lack of imagination, earthy, grounded Selfish affection, avarice Grey - Changing moods, depression, dishonesty, obsession, fear, meanness Black - Anger, malice, thoughts of hatred
Vibrant, light colours and shades tend to be positive traits. For example, a light blue may be interpreted as showing a 'noble Spiritual ideal'. Dark, murky shades normally indicate those traits that are negative and it is difficult to see any good in grey / black tones.
It is interesting to note that some of these colours follow conventional wisdom in their interpretation, such as being "purple with rage". It is a shame that we normally recognise the negative aspects rather than the positive in everyday life.
Examples of auragraphs:
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