Manifestation girlies, listen up: there’s an artistic way to tune into your inner compass. It doesn’t require tarot cards, psychic readings or reiki sessions, but it’s more colorful and picturesque: aura photography.
If you’ve ever seen multicolored portraits on social media where a person’s surrounded by cloudy and orb-like hues, it’s likely an aura reading. Sessions are generally less than 15 minutes, and the form of photography gives subjects the ability to interpret the energy they possess. Although the results vary, no aura reading is pessimistic; instead, it emphasizes the best qualities of each person. Aura photography is an inclusive experience, even SZA has shown off her aura to her fans online.
Sensing how a person feels on an energetic level, sit-down aura readings begin with one subject placing their hands on biosensors for the psychedelic double exposure that Kirlian photography creates. With the AuraCam 6000, one can capture their spirit through a headshot and can even grab a Polaroid print as a take-home souvenir.
Kelsey Lemons, a Creator Manager at Pinterest, once held a company-wide event where an aura photographer was present. Wanting to host a pop-up experience for guests that was trendy and unique, Lemons had a reading done where her colors were violet, lavender and indigo. The colors assessment showed Lemons’s visionary, sensitive, intuitive, and charismatic characteristics. Still, aura photography goes beyond color explanation. Lemons was given an in-depth explainer about a vivid line sprouting from her frontal region in the photo.
“They basically said that that line is an indication of having a really strong connection to a higher power, and I just value my relationship with God in my life,” Lemons tells GU. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ I wouldn’t have expected what that meant or known it’s not common in aura photos.”
In an aura reading, there is a statement upon a dimension where someone is most aligned metaphysically. Sessions can channel the supernatural by examining a person’s chakras, while the final image commemorates a personal transformation or someone maintaining their essence. “From what I know about aura readings, the cool thing is it’s something that you can do when you’re in different stages of your life to kind of see what you’re putting out there,” Lemons says. “It’s almost like an affirmation of what you may be feeling, thinking, or experiencing in different seasons.”
For those who are spiritually guided and hesitant about what an aura photo may reveal, Lemons advises listening to your first instinct despite readings generally being harmless. “Even just having the line that came out of my head was really kind of comforting and beautiful to me,” she says. “I can’t advise anybody on what is or isn’t safe to do spiritually. I would say, always go with your gut about what you’re most comfortable with, and just trust your intuition on what you should and shouldn’t do.”
Allaisia Hanan, founder of Atlanta arts hub 7Studios, which specializes in aura portraits, uses a chakra-based approach. Hanan gives subjects an understanding of their colors and the placement of the chakra energies. “I always do the readings as though everyone is perfectly balanced, and then I give an aura interpretation guide that lists what the energies are like when they’re balanced and imbalance,” Hanan tells GU. “If anyone is resonating with any of the imbalance manifestations of the energy, they can do their own kind of self-reflection around that.”
For those in the beginning stages of analyzing their aura, experts recommend that first-timers give themselves an energy cleansing beforehand (like smudging or a spiritual bath) and wear dark colors so their aura is more visible in the photo. Hanan refers to the experience as a confirmation for those questioning their truest self.
“This practice helps you to see for yourself. It really is a guiding practice for you to become that much more self-aware or even curious,” Hanan says. “It initiates a certain curiosity or desire to go within. When it’s used properly, this practice is used as a confirmation. It’s used to spark a healing journey or to accelerate a spiritual journey.”
As a guide towards self-discovery, aura readings allow subjects to gain insight into themselves to stimulate change and holism amid their growth in wellness. “I would like to spread the word that this is truly used for confirmation purposes,” Hanan says. “It should resonate because it’s your energy, and you should really feel it first, even if you may benefit from a little help recognizing what it is that you’re feeling. But it’s your experience.”
Overall, Zillennials are even more vocal about their spiritual experiences and use tools like aura photography as an outlet to confirm the path they are currently on. From personal to spiritual, this method has become a new wellness practice to understand your relationship with yourself and how you want to grow. Besides, the camera never lies.