In parapsychology, spirituality and New Age belief, an aura is a subtle field of luminous multicolored radiation surrounding a person or object as a cocoon or halo. An aura may be held to represent or be composed of soul vibrations or chakras, and may reflect the moods or thoughts of the person it surrounds.

Skeptics such as Robert Todd Carroll say that although there is no scientific evidence for supernatural perception of auras, auras may be seen for explainable reasons such as migraines or synaesthesia.


It is believed that auras may be viewed by the naked eye, though some psychics, like Edgar Cayce, believe this ability weakens with age. Focused training may be undergone in an attempt to improve one's ability to see auras. Layers of aura are seen as separate and distinct, yet connected to all of the remaining layers. Auras are also thought of as special kind of shields which certainly have more defensive power. The odic force may be thought of as a similar phenomenon.

W.E. Butler has connected auras with clairvoyance and etheric, mental, and emotional emanations. He classifies aura into two main types: etheric and spiritual. Robert Bruce classifies auras into three types: etheric, main, and spiritual. Various books have been written that derive various personality traits based upon the specific colors of the different layers of the aura. Auras are thought to be related to the etheric subtle body and to serve as a visual measure of the state of the health of the physical body. Auras are not thought to be actual light but a translation of other unknown sensory readings that is added to our visual processing. According to Bruce they are not seen in complete darkness and cannot be seen unless some portion of the person or object emitting the aura can also be seen.

Perceiving auras as a medical condition:

Some people see auras as the result of a migraine, epilepsy, a visual system disorder, or a brain disorder. Eye fatigue can also produce an aura, sometimes to referred to as "eye burn".


Supporters of the significance of paranormal auras claim that the body's aura or energy field can be accurately "analyzed" by an aura analyst, who may claim to sense experiences and emotions indicated by the aura. Believers say that the colors of the aura can reveal a person's nature, though not in itself predict the future.

According to western tradition (such as Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Archeosophy, etc.) each color of the aura has a precise meaning, indicaing a precise emotional state. A complete description of the Aura and its colors was provided by Charles Leadbeater, a theosophist of the 19th century. The works of Leadbeater were later on developed by Palamidessi, an Italian theosophist who became an archeosopher.

Some claim an imbalance in aura may be an indication of physical or psychological disorders, and might offer advice on how to balance it.

No known scientific evidence supports these claims, and those who claim to be able to see and interpret auras often disagree on what a particular color or type of aura means. For instance, a red aura to one interpreter might mean anger or rage, while another may claim that red is passion and love. Both anger and love are commonly associated with the color red, due to the fact that both these extreme emotions are associated with passion and high energy levels.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Aura. The Official Guide to Aura is Rose Rosetree.

Rose Rosetree is a graduate of Brandeis University, an award-winning teacher of personal development who has served the mind-body-spirit community for 38 years. An international leader, she can help you to read yourself and others deeper, for better communication, more self-knowledge, more joy, even the healing available from 21st century Energy Spirituality.

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