If you’re on AuraTok (is that a thing?)—you know, TikTok in the realm of auras—you probably have a decent idea of what aura colors are and their meanings. The most popular TikToks include instructional clips of how to read your own aura (basically by staring at your hand and waiting for colors to appear on the outside) and color charts of what each hue means.
While you may be familiar with the general concept of aura colors thanks to social media, it's understandable if you still don't totally understand what an aura is and its purpose. Think of when you meet someone and you have a gut reaction to whether or not you’ll be friends—that can be boiled down to their aura. "Even if people can't see the aura, we can all feel it," says Pamala Oslie, an aura expert and author of Life Colors.
But there’s more to it, because auras can be a variety of colors, like red, orange, indigo, tan, and even rainbow. They function kind of like zodiac signs (because, yes, like astrology, aura colors can be compatible or incompatible), except that they capture more about what’s going on in a specific chapter of your life.
There are misconceptions on both ends of the spectrum—that auras are just one color and don’t change, or that they change all the time. "It's not one or the other," says Eileen Lee, an aura reader, photographer, and founder of AURA AURA, an experiential portrait practice. "Everybody's just so different based on really what you're experiencing, [and] more importantly, how you're experiencing it."
How can I find out my aura colors?
The most accurate way is to "access somebody who's able to photograph your aura," says Lee. Personality tests claiming to reveal your aura do exist, but they "aren't necessarily accurate because our auras do sort of change [over time]," she explains.
In fact, it's a myth or, at least a misconception, that aura colors are purely based on personality. That's a factor, sure, but your aura is more about the energy you embody at a certain time, Lee says, hence the need for a photograph. It functions similarly to a snapshot of your life—capturing a moment of it, rather than telling the whole story. That said, "some people's lives are very consistent, so their aura colors probably wouldn't shift very much," she explains. "Versus somebody whose life is very dynamic and always has different experiences, their energy would be a bit more all over the place."
How do I see another person's aura?
Lee says we're innately born with the ability to see others' auras, but as we grow older, we start to tune all of it out.
However, some people still possess the ability to see them, and there are different ways to go about it. To start practicing, use your own (or someone else's) hand to "start seeing if you can kind of focus around and see at least its energy field," Lee suggests. At first, it might look white or gray, but colors will show up when you’ve had practice in opening yourself up and not trying to see anything in particular. She also encourages doing research online and reading books to teach yourself more about aura reading. "Different things work for different people," she adds, so there’s not necessarily one right way to do it.
You can also try to meditate and notice "the colors that are closest to you," she encourages, which is similar to the feeling of falling asleep and seeing colors when you’re in that in-between sleep and normal state of consciousness.
Aside from that, you and another person can compare photographs of your auras, so you can see their aura colors at that moment in time.
Watch this to learn what it's like to live a day in the life of an aura reader:
How frequently do aura colors change?
Well, it depends. "There isn't necessarily a set rule for how long your aura is going to be like this," says Lee. For example, two people who go through the same experience together, such as moving to a new place, will both likely have a lot of red in their aura, since that's related to starting new life chapters, according to Lee. But their auras can still change at different times because "how you individually process that [shared] experience can be so different," she explains. Basically, your aura is as special and unique as you!
Knowing the color of your aura, including if/when it's changed, is key, Oslie says, because it can not only help you understand who you are, but also give you actual permission to be who you are. (Feel stuck in a dead-end job? Check your aura color. Keep fighting with your S.O.? Compare those auras. Need to better manage your cash? Use. Your. Aura.)
Once you've got the rundown on all the different aura colors and their meanings (more on that in a sec), you can also better understand your friends, family, and even that cool rando you met at a party last week. "Then, it's easier to communicate, get along, and bring the best out of each other," Oslie says. And, I mean, who doesn't want that?
What it means if you have red in your aura:
Red often signifies tangible life changes, a.k.a. anything that feels like starting a new chapter, says Lee, noting that relationship changes, job or career shifts, and literally moving somewhere all fit the bill.
Because aura colors relate back to the chakra system within our bodies (which you probably recall hearing something about in a yoga class), "red is our foundation," says Lee. "The function of our root chakra is to ground us, to make us feel safe and secure within ourselves, but then also, literally [within] the life that you're trying to mold and shape in some way."
The problem? "When we have a lot of red energy, it tends to be misunderstood. I've heard in the past that if your aura is all red, it's a negative thing, like you're out of balance," she explains. "But to me, it's like what you need at that time is a lot of red energy, because if you think about it, when you go through a lot of change sometimes it feels chaotic." The red aura color, with its grounding energy courtesy of the root chakra, could be just what you need.
In terms of personality traits, though, red means taking action and leadership, says Lee: "It's the energetic archetype of a leader—somebody who takes initiative—because tangible change literally never comes about just sitting at home and wishing it to happen, right?" Interestingly, those who embody that adventurous doer sort of spirit always tend to have red in their aura, no matter what life throws at them.
What it means if you have orange in your aura:
Because Lee uses the chakra system, the second aura color is orange, which is linked to our sacral chakra. "That deals with your emotions, relationships, how we experience things," says Lee. "It's literally the color of experiencing life."
What it means if you have yellow in your aura:
The sunny shade aligns with the solar plexus. "From a big picture perspective, that color deals with our power, our confidence, our ego self, and also our intellect," says Lee.
What it means if you have green in your aura:
"Green is reflective of the heart chakra, and I've noticed that when we have a lot of heart chakra energy, it's about self-love, self nurturing energy," says Lee, noting that it often signals being more generous and open with others as well. (Think about it: When you love yourself, it's easier to spread that love around.)
The avocado-esque hue usually shows up in your aura when going through growth or transformation because you're using so much of that self-love energy to overcome a challenging situation, says Lee. That can be anything from going through grief to starting a new job. Or, if you're stepping into a new role, like first-time parenthood, for example. Turns out, Kermit said it best: It's not easy being green. But it does offer an opportunity for self-reflect, learn, and grow, notes Lee.
What it means if you have blue in your aura:
Exact shade is important here—a true cyan blue (not too light, not too dark—is reflective of the throat chakra, which "governs how we communicate and how we express ourselves," says Lee. But it's not all talk. Lee makes a point of noting that humans can express themselves in different ways beyond simple chitchat.
What it means if you have indigo in your aura:
That's aligned with the third eye chakra (a.k.a. the brow chakra), which deals with awareness, understanding, and being more deeply connected to yourself, says Lee.
What it means if you have violet in your aura:
This pretty purple is connected to the crown chakra, which, Lee says, is all about our dreams and possibilities. When violet shows up in your aura, you're likely embodying an energy that trying (or, hopefully, succeeding!) to tap into a more imaginative space.
You likely talk in visual terms, like "I have a vision" and "I have a dream," adds Oslie. Sometimes, though, your dreams are so big, you wonder if you'll ever achieve them. (Don't worry, happens to the best of us.)
What it means if you have white in your aura:
White is a little tricky, but that's what makes it interesting. It's kind of like all the colors, but it's also technically an extension of the crown chakra, says Lee. "People always say... white means you're spiritual. But what I've noticed is white actually reflects more of connecting into that sort of energy, but it doesn't just mean you're spiritual," she explains. "Usually, it represents somebody who, instead of being governed by logic and is always in their head, understands that there are things bigger than themselves. They just tend to be more open, so they connect into that sort of spiritual energy." Instead of sweating the small (and medium and big) stuff, they trust that clarity will just come through naturally.
"I've also noticed a lot of white in people's auras can actually reflect states where they're feeling very confused or things are a little bit overwhelming mentally, but it's not like they're overthinking it," Lee adds. "It's just almost like there's too much to take in at once... [It's] almost like you're in a fog, and instead of trying to wade through it, you're just waiting for the fog to dissipate."
What it means if you have tan in your aura:
Now, I know what you're thinking (because tbh, I thought it, too): Tan is an aura color? It sure is, according to Lee and Oslie, and a pretty solid one at that. Almost like a darker shade of yellow, tan "reflects more of a linear thinking process," says Lee. Someone who has a lot of tan in their aura tends to be more analytical and embodies a left brain kind of energy, she adds. You know your super-rational friend who talks you down every time you think about blowing your whole paycheck on a really cute pair of boots? Yep, they've got a healthy dose of tan going on.
"Tans want security and stability," adds Oslie. They also appreciate practicality—and want as much of it in their life as possible. If you have tan in your aura, you're likely the textbook definition of "detail-oriented" and live by the motto "slow and steady wins the race."
What it means if you have magenta in your aura:
When Lee sees magenta in someone's aura photograph, she also tends to see white on top of it. "[It's] almost like if you think about your aura like a tiered birthday cake," she explains. "Magenta is a color that's literally in between red and an indigo blue, so it reflects things like acting on your intuition." Juxtaposed with white, that can be interpreted as using intuition to realize your dreams.
On its own, magenta energy is associated with someone prioritizing themself and marching to the beat of their own drum. The aura color also has a bit of a rebellious rep, but Lee says "it's rebellious in the sense of not needing external validation from anybody aside from themselves." Someone with a heckuva lotta magenta is authentically themselves and makes no apologies about it.
What's most interesting about this aura color, says Lee, is that when you're not used to being magenta, but then it comes into your energy field, it signals that you're trying to connect more with who what you were like as a kid—when you were free to do whatever you wanted and didn't care what others thought. "I always love seeing magenta in people's auras because they're just doing what lights them up," she adds.
What it means if you appear to have black in your aura:
Sorry to burst your bubble, but…you’re burnt out. "There's actually no such thing as black in your aura," Lee says, explaining that it appears as a sign of a lack of energy. If black shows up in your aura or your aura colors look dim, that can mean you’re exhausted from any number of things, such as arguing with someone or being around a person who depletes your energy. "Sometimes, it's environments that we're in or people around or situations that all really shows up," she explains. It’s more of a hole in your aura than a color itself.
What it means if you have a rainbow aura color:
When you're "rainbowing," as Lee calls it (fun new phrase alert!), you tend to feel like life is a little chaotic. Granted, it's usually a bunch of good stuff happening all at once, she says, but it's still a lot to handle. You're literally being pulled in many different directions, versus those who have fewer colors in their auras, they tend to be more focused on just a couple of aspects in their life.
"If you really think about each color as a different state of consciousness that you're in, or a different dimension of yourself, you're operating from all these levels all at once, which for most people can be a little bit more overwhelming," explains Lee. "...I always say it's like a double edged sword. While rainbows look beautiful, you don't necessarily feel so beautiful when you're experiencing it."
What is the rarest aura color?
"I don't see a real pink too often," says Lee, meaning a lighter, bubblegum-esque shade than magenta.
"I think why that is a true pink reflects somebody who's almost like an innocent child in their nature—who's very just open hearted, very gentle, very compassionate," she explains. "It's almost saint-like kind of qualities. Somebody like a Mother Teresa would probably have a pink energy."
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