What Is an Aura? How To See and Read Auras, and the Top 7 Aura Cleansing and Strengthening Tips
Updated: Apr 25
The aura or auric field is a subtle energy field that surrounds and interpenetrates our body. This energetic field is composed of smaller vibrational frequencies from our individual physical attributes, as well as our mental, emotional and even spiritual states of being. It has been known by many names throughout history across the globe, yet has only varied slightly in its description, namely the number of layers and their respective names. The most popular school of modern thought in the West follows the basic seven layer model developed by former NASA physicist and energy healer, Barbara Brennan. This model includes the Etheric Layer, Emotional Layer, Mental Layer, Astral Layer, Etheric Template, Celestial Layer, and Ketheric Layer beginning with those closest to the physical body and extending outward in banded rings.
These energy layers are affected by and in turn affect our mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical state of well being. Our physical body is connected to these energy layers by small energy centers called nadi (some cultures say there are 72k), and clusters of nadi intersect at nerve plexi or chakras. Chakra, Sanskrit for “wheel” or “vortex” is a large energy center in the body that is associated with not only body parts and functions, but also with mental, emotional, and spiritual states. One of the most well known chakra systems is the Seven Chakra System of the Hindus; Brennan’s seven auric layers are often discussed in reference to this chakra system. The “Seven Primary Chakras'' that make up the auric field are the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra, and Crown Chakra. A well balanced chakra should have a nice steady clockwise spin. However, because we are made of several different physical and energetic parts, each with their own unique vibrational frequency; individual chakras and channels can easily become over or underactive, which in turn affects other areas and the overall health of our aura. Checkout Understanding the Layers of Your Aura & 7 Primary Chakras for True Enlightenment to learn more about chakras, nadis, meridians and Brennan's model.
How do you "find" your aura / auric field?
Before we jump into how to find your aura (or someone else's), let me preface by saying that it may take some repetitive practice to sense it, no less to see it; everyone's level of sensitivity is different, and most people do NOT see it in color (though you may).
One of the easiest ways to sense your aura (or someone else’s) is through the use of a pendulum. When using a pendulum, you are able to physically observe the swing of the pendulum responding to the output of energy pulsating in your auric field through your fingertips, or receiving and engaging with the auric field of another person (or object like a crystal!).
Don't know how to use a pendulum or want to brush up on your technique? No worries, I've got you covered. Checkout How to Use a Pendulum for Accessing Your Subconscious Mind.
A favorite method for physical sensation in detecting the aura is through the development of and playing with a “Chi ball”. When you develop your chi ball, you are going to firmly clap your hands and rub your palms together vigorously for about 15-30 seconds to get the nadis in your hands fired up and transmitting palm to palm. Slowly pull your hands apart about one inch and then compress them inward half way before pulling them out about another 1-2 inches. Repeat the process as if you were playing an accordion. You want to do this slowly and smoothly while taking notice of the ball of energy you feel between your palms. This ball of energy, felt as resistance, is a manifestation of your auric field developed between the palms of your hands. Don’t feel the ball of energy or lost it? Repeat the process from the beginning and continue to practice. When you are done, do not let that energy go to waste, push the energy ball into your heart center for extra vitality.
Seeing an aura with the naked eye (check out Kirlian photography) can be a bit more tricky than feeling it or seeing it’s effects on a pendulum. Using a solid dark piece of cloth or background, hold a 2+ inch clear quartz crystal point at arms length in front of you. Relax, loosen your jaw and brow line, and with a softened gaze, look slightly past the crystal at the dark background as if you are “zoning out”; do not look at the crystal. What do you see? Do you see a white, grey or other hazy “mist”, “cloud” or fuzzy halo around the crystal? Perhaps you see a faint color emanating closely to the form of the crystal. This is the aura of the crystal. You can apply this same method to yourself in a mirror with a dark or white color background (it’s often easier to detect on dark), as well as to other people, animals, plants, etc. Though I do recommend that you be discreet if you are going to practice in public, you are certain to catch more than one side eye.
We interconnect with others’ fields, as well as those from organic and nonorganic origins every second of every day. Knowing that the energy field of other humans is strongest 4 feet from the brain and 12 feet from the heart, pay attention to how you feel around other people individually, in a small group and even a larger crowd. The more you practice sensing your own energy and discerning what is coming FROM YOU, the more you will be able to accurately sense and interpret what is coming TO YOU. Follow the lead of what you feel with your subtle body, and never ignore or justify away feelings of uneasiness, apprehension, danger, etc.
Why it is important to understand and work with your aura
The number one reason for learning about and working with your own auric field comes from knowing that you can accurately assess, address, and alter your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical states of well being. Likewise, we are able to address the energetic root causes of “negative” mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical manifestations, perhaps even getting ahead of an ailment that has not presented in the physical body yet (think about all of the new methods being used to detect early stages of breast cancer years before it manifest significantly enough physically to be detected). When we learn to work with our own aura, we are also better equipped to engage with our environment, as well as other people. Remember, everything is energy, it’s only a matter of how well you are able to process and interpret it to your benefit. Checkout Energetic Awareness and Hygiene for Mindful Living to learn more about what is negatively impacting your energy field and how to protect yourself.
Advice for those who want to explore and work with their aura
1. Learn about the energy centers of the body, particularly the primary 7 chakras, and apply that knowledge in your life on a daily basis by what you mentally, emotionally, physically and energetically consume. As you begin to use certain foods, colors (chromotherapy), smells (aromatherapy), movements, etc that correspond with these energy centers, take notice of the differences in how you feel, no matter how insignificant it may seem at first. Make sure to keep a journal during this exploration.
2. Practice sensing your own energy often, at least three times a week though daily is best even if it’s only 10 minutes. It’s important that you do this when you are calm, relaxed and void of distractions. Once you have a good grasp on sensing your energy, move on to sensing it during states of anxiety, tension, etc. Before you know it, you’ll be sensing and reading other people’s auric fields without even trying.
3. Meditate frequently, preferably daily for at least 15 minutes. If you are one of those people that says that they do not have time to meditate, then you need to meditate daily for at least 30 minutes. Some people find it difficult to quiet the mind for meditation, please remember that the whole point of meditation is to LEARN to change the vibrational frequency of your brain waves to a lower and more stable frequency. This takes practice. If you are in the beginning stages and need something to kickstart your meditation practice (or perhaps you just can't seem to get it together on a particular day), grab a coloring book and a box of crayons. You would be amazed what the act of coloring (a form of active meditation) has on stabilizing your auric field.
4. Get outside barefoot in the dirt, grass or natural sand, and let your auric field tap into the electromagnetic field of the planet. It is literally the easiest thing you can do right this minute to jump start sensing and working with your aura? For more information, check out Grounding vs Earthing: the Differences, Healing Benefits and Practices.
5. Practice controlled breathing exercises daily; mastering the Fourfold or Box Breathe is not only energy changing, it is life changing.
6. Get into water everyday. Water is naturally cleansing, so natural sources and/or salt water is best, but any clean water will do. Take a bath and make sure to completely submerge (think baptism) or let the water run over you in the shower. More on water and energy cleansing benefits and techniques to come!
7. Have monthly energy work performed. Find a quality energy healer(s) and actually experience what it is like to have an energy healing session. I strongly recommend crystal healing, reiki and acupuncture; many practitioners offer all of these (plus more) complementary modalities in single sessions. Once your auric field is harmonizing and strengthening, you will forever be able to discern when something is out of balance, “off” or “just doesn’t feel right”.
Over the past 200+ years that modern scientists have been studying the aura, they have made several fascinating discoveries, here are a few: it works as a magnetic and electromagnetic field; is composed of a negative and positive pole on different side of the body; each body part emanates it’s own frequency that subsequently factors into the overall aura of a person; that the different frequencies or layers correspond to and are affected by different colors on the light spectrum; that it is permeable, penetrable, flows around objects, and extends infinitely; that the strongest measurements are found four feet in diameter around the brain, and twelve feet around the heart; it pulsates; is affected by our mental, emotional, and physical state, and vice-versa; and disease is detectable in the energy body for weeks, months, and even years before it manifests physically in the body.
For anyone wanting to get a better understanding of the science behind the aura and how to work with it, I strongly recommend The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton, and Vibrational Medicine by Dr. Richard Gerber
This blog post is post 1 of a series covering the parts of the energy body (aura), various ways to work with it for optimal mind, body and spirit health, and using it to better connect to Universal energy and awareness.
FAIR WARNING: I will be discussing these topics from a scientific and ancient indigenous knowledge frame of reference, NOT TIKTOK trends, PINTEREST, and all of the other often watered down, oversimplified and westernized versions of this sacred knowledge.
© Brandy Rachelle
Uncredited images from my personal collection or stock images
*Chi or qi is the term used in traditional Chinese culture to refer to the vital life force, aka the aura.