“I believe that we all have innate energy. So that’s psychic energy,” Susanna Merrick-Klinkbeil, the Brooklyn-based founder of Aura Wear NYC, tells me from across my kitchen table. “I also have more receptors in my eyes and I see the physical energy that comes off your body.” It was in July 2018 that Merrick-Klinkbeil, who has been seeing colors since she was little, decided to merge her interest in aura readings with her passion for fashion styling, birthing a business that’s been gaining serious traction ever since. Just a week prior to meeting me she was in Los Angeles filming a series of videos with Goop.
When Merrick-Kinkbeil was a child, she started seeing weird, unexplained orbs. But with a father who was a minister and a mother who had her own intuitive, prophetic gifts, her parents did not really think much of it. The stylist says, “My mother would always know and predict when things were going to happen. She always had feelings around people and predicted some big things in our family and for some of our friends.” While her father didn’t think too much of her gifts, saying, “Oh, that’s normal. Jesus had an aura.” Then during her college years, Merrick-Klinkbeil gave aura readings for fun and to her surprise, people found it really helpful. From there she began exploring the work of Edgar Cayce, one of the most famous clairvoyants of the 20th century.
Later, while working at a church when she was in her early 20s, someone gave her a reading that changed her entire world. “They knew all these things about me,” the stylist recalls. On one hand she felt encouraged to tap into her gifts, but Merrick-Klinkbeil admits she was freaked out too because she also picked up on darker things, including the sense that her friend was going to lose her baby. So, she went to her pastor who said, “Susanna, your gift is encouragement. Don't think of it as a dark thing. You're going to use this to help women specifically.”
Merrick-Klinkbeil tried her hand at acting and also spent time working in the fashion industry, doing editorial work and getting into personal styling with some of the people she met through performing. “I found that when I would sit down with clients who weren't connected or aligned with themselves, they hated their closet, they didn't want to play with anything. They didn't like anything. They hated their bodies.” However, when she worked with clients who had great life changes happening and felt empowered, she found that they loved their wardrobes.
Merrick-Klinkbeil was thinking about how she might help people and decided to merge her two worlds—aura readings and styling sessions. She realized that she could use her insight as well as the healing properties of color and our relationship to what we wear as a way for people to seek deeper fulfillment. “It was just a matter of connecting the dots, and as soon as it all came together people responded positively and it empowered me to keep going,” she explains. Since launching Aura Wear NYC, Merrick-Klinkbeil has come to champion the idea that dressing according to one’s aura is an act of self-care and that’s exactly what my session with her felt like.
Upon entering my house, Merrick-Klinkbeil’s energy immediately felt warm and welcoming, her personality bubbly and enthusiastic. “Your innate aura is mainly magenta with a little bit of green, but your dynamic aura is mostly yellow and purple,” Merrick-Klinkbeil tells me, showing me the sheet with a circle that she’s been filling in with colored markers ever since she walked in my door. “Stylistically a person with magenta energy is very expressive so your closet is all about having fun and wearing abstract prints and clothes that are like art pieces that really, truly bring you joy.”
It’s been about 30 minutes and already it feels like Merrick-Klinkbeil really gets me — both my personality and my style. “Magenta is also the energy we're calling in as a country right now,” Merrick-Klinkbeil says, which I realize is in line with the rise of hot pink clothing during this past fashion month.
Additionally, she shows me that some yellow energy is coming through my chart, which represents both longevity and anxiety. In my case, she says, the yellow energy is speaking to the intense anxiety I have been feeling recently. “The best ways to nurture yellow energy when you are stressed out is with physical things, like going for walks and taking workout classes,” Merrick-Klinkbeil says, explaining that rituals and routines can help. There is also some green and purple coming through. Green seems to represent the pressure I often feel from following a traditional path. While purple is another color, like yellow, she wants me to bring more of into my life. Historically, Merrick-Klinkbeil says purple has been tied to royals and is the color of visionaries. And while I’m not the biggest fan of the hue, she recommends painting my nails a purple color, wearing a purple piece of jewelry, or even splurging for one of Susan Alexandra’s sparkly purple bags.
Merrick-Klinkbeil quickly read my tarot, connecting the cards with my aura reading and then we went into my room, surveying my very messy space. She tells me to pull out some of my dressier items, and we start going through my drawers putting together two looks — one, a houndstooth blazer paired with a vintage yellow sweatshirt with the face of a dog on it, while the other incorporates a yellow quilted jacket and black-and-white check-print vintage pants. Amid a pile of clothes on my chair, we find a quilted bag by Farradas Knits that is white and purple and has a smiley face, adding a touch of playfulness to the outfits. Both looks seem to speak to my artistic aesthetic and the way I love layering in one outfit.
A few days after our session, Merrick-Klinkbeil sends me two mood boards of clothes she thinks would fit my aura — one with magenta items and the other comprised of all things purple. I have to admit these are not really my go-to colors, but after going through the Aura Wear process I definitely have a newfound appreciation for them. And while this was unlike any other styling session I’ve had, I definitely learned a lot about auras and what they can tell us about ourselves and our relationship to clothes which, as Merrick-Klinkbeil believes, “deserves a thoughtful approach and a closer look.”
While a person’s style may be constantly evolving, Merrick-Klinkbeil believes that dressing according to one’s aura can let someone’s innate energy truly shine through and also help them call in specific energies — whether that’s slowing down (blue) or standing in their power (violet). This, she believes, allows us “to connect to our values and show the world what we want it to know about us.” And while she’s just getting started on this path, it is Merrick-Klinkbeil’s hope that she can take her gift to many places and teach people through her practice that “you won't manifest anything if you're not being true and honoring your values.”
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue