Image: Renée Reardin
What if one photo could show more than just your exterior, but what your surrounding energy looks like? Our digital editor finds out.
I’m not new to the New Age movement. Thanks to wellness brands like goop and CAP Beauty and countless magazine articles on woo-woo juju, I’ve become all too familiar—scratch that, obsessed—with anything that could bring on the good vibes. I have a collection of crystals that spreads from by nightstand to office desk, I burn sage in my space once a week, and I have a shaman who I chat with over Skype and in person appointments when I’m in LA. (Surprise: I’m also a huge Gwyneth Paltrow supporter.) So when I learned about aura photographs, and their ability to show how all my energy work is actually paying off, I was quick to pull out my tarot cards to see if I should give it a go. Just kidding—I emailed Toronto-based aura photographer and reader Evelyn Salvarinas of Rose Aura to book an appointment.
An aura photograph, popular with the hippie set in the 1970s, uses a rainbow of colours that represent your seven chakras to show what your energy looks like. No idea what I’m talking about? Think this sounds crazy? Just hang on. In ancient meditation practices, chakras were identified as points in our bodies—from the base of the spine to the crown of the head—through which energy flows. Each chakra is responsible for or related to different areas of your life, such as your skills and power or your love and compassion for others. Your chakras spin greater or smaller depending on your mental, emotional and physical state, which creates your surrounding energy—your biochemical energy field, also known as your aura. So, by photographing your aura, you can learn which areas are your strengths and what you need to work on. Still with me? Good!
Evelyn told me not to drink alcohol the night before my session and to get a good night’s rest for best results. This is because alcohol (being a depressant) and lack of sleep can affect your mental, emotional and physical state and, as we just learned, can alter your aura.
I met Evelyn at her studio on the top floor of an old building in Queen West. She’s probably not what you’re picturing. She doesn’t look like a fortuneteller with dishevelled hair and dark, drapey clothing—this is New Age stuff. She’s young and stylish and completely relatable.
Evelyn brought me over to a chair positioned in front of her camera, which is a retro model that was invented in the ‘70s. It’s called the Kirlian Camera or the AuraCam 6000, and it’s the original film version—which makes the photo (and whole experience) so much more authentic. The camera works with the help of hand sensors, which are silver-plated pieces that have been placed on both sides of the chair. “Different parts of your hands are connected to different organs, and those organs are connected to your different chakras,” Evelyn explains. “So based on what’s going on inside your body and inside your mind when you put your hands on the sensors, it sends the information to the camera and then it radiuses in your open chakra colour.”
I placed my hands on each one, looked into the camera, Evelyn pressed the capture button and an old-school Polaroid came out. As we waited for the photo to develop, I asked Evelyn to explain a few things, based on the aura photographs I saw on her Instagram page.
What does it mean when one colour is predominant in an aura photo?
It means that the chakra associated with that colour is spinning larger than the other chakras in your body. When colours are absent, it means that your energy is focused on the chakras that are present in your photo. When you look at your photo and see colours missing, try to understand the characteristics associated with those colours and be mindful of them.
What would the aura photograph look like of someone who is healthy mentally, physically and spiritually?
Ideally, you want to have all of your chakras active and open, which looks like a rainbow! This shows that your energy is flowing through each chakra and there is a balance and harmony in your body.
What are your tips for achieving a rainbow of colours in your aura photograph?
Your aura can be weakened by stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, anger and worry. Trying to avoid these states by being well-rested and eating a balanced diet will lead to a healthier physical and spiritual being overall.
Now for the results: “This is really good,” said Evelyn, holding a picture of me covered in what looks like bright green smoke. She said the colourway was rare—mostly green, with a little red and pink at the bottom. Evelyn explains that your past two weeks are represented in the bottom left of the picture, future two weeks in the bottom right, who you are as a person is shown around your head and your energy level is above your head. When colour goes flat at the top, it means you have more energy than the page will allow.
Green represents the heart chakra. “It can mean love and forgiveness because it’s associated with the heart, or it can mean thoughts of career or focus on career,” said Evelyn. “When you have this much green in a photo, you’re really leading with your heart.” See? This New Age stuff is nice and makes you feel good.
Looking at the colours in the lower left and right corners of the photograph, Evelyn tells me I’ve been overworked (is my boss reading this?), but I’m moving to a more positive energy.
Great! I’m just about to get up, satisfied with the compliments I’ve received, when I’m politely reminded a few colours are missing—in particular, blue and purple, which represent the brow chakra (associated with your third eye) and the crown chakra (associated with spirituality.) This makes sense, I think. I suck at meditating. “Look at each of the different chakras, the different qualities that they have, and try to be mindful of them and embody them in your everyday life,” Evelyn advised. My homework is to get in tune with my intuitions and work on my connection to spirituality.
And this resonates with me. I recently listened to the new Goop podcast in which Gwyneth (told you I’m a fan) interviewed Oprah and they discussed the power and importance of spirituality, and I realized it’s an area of my life that deserves my time and attention. “Your energy can be incredibly impacted by other people, so you want to make sure you’re maintaining your own positivity and have a barrier,” says Evelyn. “Your aura and your energy is your first point of contact with the world, so it’s important to keep it protected and keep it as healthy as possible.” As my shaman says (I think that’s the new “my therapist says…), energy work should be part of your beauty routine, so this makes sense.
To put Evelyn’s advice into action, I ordered one of Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 7-day meditations (other great apps listed here), and I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my gut instincts—two things that aren’t even woo-woo, but are scientifically proven to have a positive impact on your life. As soon as I feel like I’m in a good place with my brow and crown chakras, I’ll go back to Evelyn to see if blue and purple show up in my photo. And if not, I’ll just keep spraying my GP-approved crystal-infused body mist that’s supposed to ward off evil.