Your Guide To Auras: What They Are & What To Expect During A Reading
Intrigued by the mystical, colorful world of aura readings? Here's a deep dive into what auras are, why they're popular in spiritual circles, and how decipher what yours might say about you.
What is an aura?
When someone references an "aura," they're talking about the unseen spiritual energy field that surrounds all living things.
"Anything alive has an aura," explains Kathryn Grace, founder of Aura Shop, an aura reading shop in Santa Monica, California. The different colors of your aura are thought to provide insight into your emotional and spiritual well-being.
While Grace says that it's not always possible to see aura colors with the naked eye, we can usually feel them. Think about how certain people give off a super warm and friendly vibe (or really negative energy) even before they say a word; that's the aura at work. (You can also take a quick aura quiz if you're really curious about your aura color.)
What are the 7 layers of the aura?
According to Grace, your aura consists of seven auric layers (also known as bodies or planes), and each one represents something different. Think of them like the layers of the onion, with the middle being your physical body.
Physical aura plane:
As its name suggests, the physical aura plane is the layer that represents our physical health. It's the layer closest to your skin. It's also called the etheric plane.
Emotional aura plane:
This is the plane that corresponds to your emotions. If you're all up in your feelings, this plane is going to show it. It changes color depending on your mood and will appear dull or smudged if you're experiencing emotional turmoil.
Mental aura plane:
This plane has to do with logic, reasoning, and thoughts. It's the third layer out from your body.
Astral body aura plane:
Moving outward, this plane deals with your spiritual health. It's also where you store your capacity for love.
Etheric aura plane:
This plane is where you find your psychic abilities. Having a clear etheric plane helps you tap into other people's energy and connect with people who are on a similar wavelength.
Celestial aura plane:
This is the plane where your dreams and intuition are stored. It's also the plane of enlightenment; someone with a strong celestial aura plane tend to be highly creative.
Causal aura plane:
This is the last aura plane. It harmonizes all the other layers and essentially helps guide you on your life's path.
What do their colors mean?
The colors of your aura correspond to one of the seven main chakras: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Your aura is connected to these chakras, and is composed of the aforementioned auric layers.
Knowing which colors correspond to which chakra can help you interpret what your aura is telling you.
Your root chakra vibrates at the color red. "It's at the base of your spinal column, housing your foundational issues like who you are, your home, career, manifesting powers, sexual energy, and your values," Grace says. If your aura contains red, it basically means you're working from a stable base.
The color orange is associated with your sacral chakra, which is located in your lower abdomen. "It contains the beginning energy of the emotional body, creativity, the ability to reach out to others in relationships and sexual energy," Grace says.
If your aura contains orange, it signals that you're essentially the emotional equivalent of snuggling up under a weighted blanket. You're also independent and a realist.
Your solar plexus chakra connects to yellow. This chakra is a few inches above your belly button. Grace says that it "houses your personality, personal power, identity, and also emotions. It's the definition of who you are to yourself and the world." Yellow auras means you're creative, curious, and optimistic.
Green and pink:
These colors relate to your heart chakra. It's no surprise that your heart chakra is all about love—for others and for yourself. "It houses compassion and the energy of forgiveness. It is also the access to divine mind and intuition," Grace says. People with these pink or green aura colors tend to be compassionate, kind, and loving.
Purple and violet:
The aura color purple is related to your third-eye chakra, which you're probably familiar with if you've ever done yoga. It's located "above your physical eyes in the center of your forehead," Grace says. "It is your vision of everything you desire to create, the seat of your intuition." You may find you have some sort of psychic ability and are highly intuitive.
If your aura appears black, it's a sign you might be holding on to some negative thoughts and emotions, which block the flow of energy through your chakras.
Where to get an aura reading.
If you live in a big city, chances are there are aura readers nearby who will read your energy for you IRL and give you a recap. Aura photography is another popular (and oftentimes really affordable) method that lets you see your aura in photograph form.
How to learn to read your own aura.
It is also possible to learn to see your own aura, Grace says: "You may see it in a mirror by focusing on body parts (like your hands), in meditation, or in visualizations."
You can also try rubbing your hands together to create friction and then slowly and intentionally moving them apart and back together again and see if any colors start to appear as you go.
Once you start getting the hang of it, you can also try to read your friend's and family's auras.
What to expect during an aura reading.
Grace has seen clients walk away from readings with a "tremendous insight and clarity to understand themselves and their present situation, including life lessons or challenges."
I personally have had my aura photographed before. After sitting still for about 20 seconds, my aura was captured on a Polaroid. It was predominantly red, with a touch of pink—which my reader interpreted as self-confident, sensual, and free spirited. I had just left a long-term relationship that wasn't good for me and had rediscovered myself—so this all seemed pretty spot on.
Can your aura's colors change over time?
A person's aura colors can absolutely change over time. Changes in your energy are reflected in your aura, so your aura colors don't stay the same for your entire life. If you are consistently dominant in one aura color, you can read up on what that color means and how to balance out its dominant energy.
For example, according to aura reader Rachelle Terry, since those with the purple aura tend to be highly sensitive, intuitive, and more introverted, they might want to work on establishing stronger boundaries so they don't pick up on the negative energy of others. In doing so, they might realize that their aura becomes less dominant in the purple color over time.
Don't like what you see? Here's how to cleanse your aura.
If you're not happy with the energy you're putting out, there are plenty of things you can do to change it. Grace lists bathing in the sun, taking a dip into water (especially if it's cold), saging or smudging yourself, completing a chakra-balancing meditation, doing sound therapy, dressing for the aura you want, or consulting with an energy healer as ways that anyone can tend to their aura.
If you get a personalized reading, you can also ask for some strategies on how to balance, clear, and strengthen your chakras and energy afterwards for more tailored advice.
The bottom line.
Auras are the invisible energy fields that surround all living things. Their colors can be interpreted to give you a sense of your personality, inclinations, and patterns. You can get your aura read virtually or in-person as well as teach yourself to start reading auras. If you're not happy with the colors of your aura, energy cleansing techniques like meditation, sound therapy, and chakra work can help you change them over time.
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Allie Flinn is an LA-based writer who covers beauty and wellness. Her byline has appeared in publications such as Well Good, Bustle, Greatist, Byrdie, and HelloGiggles.