Everything You Need to Know About Your Aura — Including How to Cleanse It

Yes, it's possible to actually see your "vibes".

What an Aura Reading Can Tell You
Photo: Courtesy Amanda Lauro

From Instagram to the mural at your go-to spa, you've probably seen the expression "good vibes only" pop up from time to time. Entering year three of a global pandemic, you would not be alone in feeling like that's a pretty tall order. And the fact of the matter is that as humans, we're constantly changing, growing, feeling, and evolving — and so are our vibes. And those vibes are more visual, apparent, and possible to identify than you might realize, thanks to your aura.

All living things emit an energetic field — a "vibe," if you will, says Liberty Apolinario, an expert on auras with House of Intuition (HOI), a metaphysical brand with retail locations in both California and Florida. This is your aura, a word with Latin and Greek roots and means "breeze" or "breath of air," explains Apolinario.

So, for starters, what is an aura? "The aura is simply an extension of the physical body, acting as a mirror to reflect and radiate the energy that a person holds in that specific time," she notes. "It is the electromagnetic field that surrounds our body. It can reflect emotions, thoughts, personalities, and so much more."

Ahead, Apolinario breaks down what the colors and layers that make up your aura mean, how to cleanse your aura, and more.

What Your Aura Can Tell You

We're not meant to be stagnant, for better or worse. As circumstances in life are always changing, so too is your aura. It basically reflects your current, energetic self.

In addition to reflecting your consciousness, thoughts, and emotions in the moment, your aura will also show life experiences, thought structures, patterns, hopes, and aspirations, says Juliet Doty, resident astrologer, soul whisperer, and spiritual body trainer at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Maui.

What an Aura Looks Like

Like a "breeze" or "breath of air" around you, your aura looks like colors floating above and around you — each of which correlates to your current experience and state. "To put it simply, imagine an egg-shaped bubble that extends from the outline of your body, emitting different colors and shades," says Apolinario. "To most, auras cannot be seen by the naked eye, but it can be felt or experienced. Others who are more energetically sensitive may be able to see the different layers of a person's aura."

You can actually do an aura photography session with a special camera that records a person's electromagnetic field on film via captured vibrations, as specific emotional states are associated with specific vibrations, and in turn, colors in the light spectrum, explains Apolinario. Here's an example of mine, taken back in August 2019 at House of Intuition:

What the Colors in Your Aura Mean

"Similar in correlation to the seven chakras or energetic centers amongst the body, each color within an aura has different representations," explains Apolinario.

She shares what each color means:


This color represents the crown chakra. Representing magical and unusual energy, a purple aura holds compassion, sensitivity, and the ability to manifest. On the flip side, purple in an aura can represent the need to recover or rest.


Light blue corresponds to the throat chakra, which is all about communication, self-expression, speaking one's truth. Dark blue corresponds to the third eye chakra, which represents intuition, mental clarity, and being inwardly focused.


What makes magenta extra special is that it is not found in the visible spectrum of light. It is composed of a mixture of red, violet, and blue. Considering this, an aura containing magenta is highly unique and creative.


The color green corresponds to the heart center, embodying the energy of change, healing, compassion, and growth. Nurses, healers, teachers, and parents often have an aura with the color green.


Though it is rare to have pink within the aura, it is very similar to the overall vibration of green: Gentle, compassionate, and deeply loving. An aura containing pink shows that there is a lot of love and care to give.


Just as powerful as the sun, yellow represents the energy that the solar plexus chakra holds. The solar plexus emits the energy of fun, optimism, and inspiration. When an aura has yellow, there is no doubt that there is a cheerful, positive energy present.


This color correlates to the sacral chakra, which embodies the importance of creativity, confidence, and what simply makes you unique.


Relating to the root chakra, red represents the physical realm such as money, intimacy, and adventure. Having deeper, more "muddy," shades of red within an aura can represent being overworked or overly stimulated.

Doty adds, "The more defined and solid the colors, the more intense the quality is in the person."

What the Layers of Your Aura Mean

Also like the seven chakras, we have seven layers to our auric field, says Apolinario. The layers are:

  • Etheric (root chakra)
  • Emotional (sacral chakra)
  • Mental (solar plexus)
  • Astral (heart chakra)
  • Etheric template, or spiritual layer (throat chakra)
  • Celestial/Causal (third eye)
  • Spiritual (crown chakra)

"Each layer or 'body' corresponds to specific matters and factors in life," explains Apolinario. "For example, think of the etheric body as the auric layer closest to our skin — it represents our physical health and well-being," she notes. "Next comes the emotional body. If you ever feel like you are stuck in your feelings or overwhelmed by them, this auric layer will definitely show that. Each layer of the aura deserves appreciation and attention just like each of our chakras."

How to Read an Aura Photo

Christina Lonsdale, a visual artist and author of Radiant Human, who photographs people's radiant energy on Polaroid film, noticed early on while taking aura photos of herself and others that each part of the image seemed to reflect a different part of a person's self. Here are the basics:

Photo Top: The area above your head represents your mental state, what's happening for you right now.

Photo Left: The lower left-hand color represents your internal state, your persona, the self that you only share with your closest friends and loved ones.

Picture Right: This shows your outer persona — what you're projecting out in the world.

The Arch: This symbolizes your ideals or what you are striving for.

"We're dealing with layers of self here — the nuances of self — which is what I find so rewarding," says Lonsdale.

How to Cleanse Your Aura

Just like you might feel the need to dry brush your skin more in the spring after a brutal winter, you can practice energetic hygiene to cleanse your aura and lift your vibrational energy, says Apolinario.

There are a variety of ritual recipes — like using distilled water, Epsom salt, and essential oils to create an Aura Cleansing Spray — you can try, many of which are included in HOI co-founders Alex Naranjo and Marlene Vargas' book Your Intuition Led You Here: Daily Rituals for Empowerment, Inner Knowing, and Magic.

The Difference Between an Aura Reading and Aura Photography

Most spiritual practices aim to bolster self-understanding, and getting an aura photo or aura reading is no different. They're different experiences, though.

When Mystic Michaela, aura reader and author of The Angel Numbers Book, does a reading, she sees patterns, feels energy, and pinpoints where someone might need encouragement to grow. "Reading an aura for me is a journey where I take someone by the hand and show them all the parts of themselves which deserve more love, which need to flourish, and which are waiting for the right moments to heal," she notes.

Lonsdale says the benefit of taking aura photos on the other hand, is being able to have a physical object you can reference back to. "It is something you can share with others and reflect on," she notes.

How Frequently to Check Your Aura

How often should you get your aura photographed? "It really has to do with what your initial interest is and what is going on for you personally," says Lonsdale. "I know there are a lot of people who recommend a set time, but I really think it is more organic than that, given the people I've photographed in the past. If they're doing some deep personal work, whenever they've seen a shift, it would be more often, but if someone wants to have an annual birthday review, then that has some meaning attached to it also."

The same is true for aura readings. According to Michaela, it's about what feels right intuitively. "Getting any sort of reading is an opportunity to self-reflect, but overdoing it can create a separation from you and your authentic connection," she says. "You already know all the answers, they are all within you."

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