The term “aura” is often used to describe the flow of energy from an object or living thing. Subtle bodies or vehicles comprising any living thing may extend their influence beyond the limit of the physical form and be seen by clairvoyants. Clairvoyants claim to see up to five of these around a human form. Of these the so-called “health-aura” is said to be the most dense. In some cases this is probably PRANA, or life-energy. Some clairvoyants claim to be able to determine the emotional and health condition of a person by the appearance of their aura.
Helena P. Blavatsky describes the auras in the following passage:
A faint violet, mist-like form represents the Astral Man [or woman] with an oviform bluish circle, over which radiate in ceaseless vibrations the prismatic colors. That color is predominant, of which the corresponding principle is the most active generally, or at the particular moment when the clairvoyant perceives it. Such man appears during his waking states; and it is by the predominance of this or that color, and by the intensity of its vibrations, that a clairvoyant, if he [or she] is acquainted with correspondences, can judge of the inner state or character of a person, for the latter is an open book to every practical Occultist.
In the trance state the Aura changes entirely, the seven prismatic colors being no longer discernible. In sleep also they are not all “at home.” For those which belong to the spiritual elements in the man [or woman], viz.: Yellow, Buddhi; Indigo, Higher Manas; and the blue of the Auric Envelope will be either hardly discernible, or altogether missing. The Spiritual Man is free during sleep, and though his physical memory may not become aware of it, lives, robed in his highest essence, in realms on other planes, in realms which are the land of reality, called dreams on our plane of illusion.” (CW XII:565)
Charles W. Leadbeater states that the color of the aura indicates the quality of the emotions. Below are examples he gives:
Thick black clouds usually indicate hatred and malice.
Deep red on a black background show anger.
Lurid flaming red indicates animal passions.
Dull brown red shows avarice.
Dull, hard brown grey usually indicates selfishness.
Heavy leaden grey indicates deep depression.
Livid grey shows overmastering terror.
Grey green (slimy) shows deceit.
Brownish green, with occasional dull red flashes indicates jealousy.
Crimson indicates love.
Orange, if clear, indicates ambition.
Yellow indicates intellectuality.
Bright green indicates ingenuity and quickness of resource.
Dark clear blue indicates religious feeling.
Light blue indicates noble spirituality.
Leadbeater points out that these colors are subject to many combinations and modification and that developed or developing psychical faculties show auras that lie beyond the visible spectrum (Extracts From the Vahan, p. 534).
It has been suggested that animals are extremely sensitive to auras and this might account for their otherwise inexplicable attachment to or dislike of individuals and even places.
While the existence of human auras have been known for thousands of years, its scientific investigation only started in the early 20th century. One of the most famous early works on the subject is Dr. Walter Kilner’s book entitled The Human Atmosphere (later published as The Human Aura). By looking through glass plates coated with cyanide dyes, Dr. Kilner found that he was able to see the auras of human beings. He used this to diagnose illness of hospital patients. Since 1939, research into this field has gained prominence with the invention of the Kirlian photographic method, developed by Dr. Simeon Kirlian and his wife. Using high voltage and high frequency currents, he found that he was able to register on photographic plates the emanations of the energy from objects and living things.