In order to understand the aura better, it is necessary to talk a little about chakras. The concept of chakras comes to us from the yogic literature of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Chakras are believed to be centers of energy found in everyone, and these centers receive, transform and distribute the universal life force throughout the body. As such, chakras play an important part in our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

While the traditional chakra system is made up of seven major chakras and several hundred minor chakras, other systems identify additional chakras located above and beyond the uppermost chakra in the traditional system, known as the Crown Chakra. The system described in this book looks at nine major chakras and their functions.

The major chakras are located along the spinal column and correspond specifically to both physiological and psychic functions. As you move up the spinal column, the function and qualities of each chakra becomes more complex. This can be seen especially in the last three chakras (Throat, Brow and Crown), whose functions deal with creativity, intuition and higher spiritual thought.

A healthy chakra can be identified by its clear and vibrant color, and the speed and smoothness of its movement. An unhealthy chakra is usually seen as having murky coloration and erratic or sluggish movement.

The chakras are the sources of the psychic energy perceived as the colors of the aura. Theoretically, if all the Chakras are generating psychic energy at full power, each color in your aura will have equal brightness. Since all the colors combined in equal brightness create Pure White, that is how your aura would be perceived by a sensitive observer.

Typically, however, our chakras develop at different rates, which means that at any given time some will be stronger than others. Our auras reflect this condition, and this is how we can learn so much about our internal states from the colors we perceive in the aura.

When analyzing an aura, the colors closest to the person’s physical body will usually provide an accurate reflection of their physical conditions and energies. As you move further away from the physical body, the outer layers of color reveal emotional, psychological and spiritual energies that must be taken into account.

Relative health can be assessed by the clarity of the colors perceived in the aura. Clearer colors are an indication of a healthy state of affairs. When viewing murky colors, you can usually interpret them as imbalances or other potential problems in the area the colors are associated. In the case of colors that are naturally dark -- indigo and violet, for example -- a quality of brightness can often be a sign of increased levels of energy.

It’s important to realize that aspects of a person’s aura change frequently, sometimes on an hourly basis. This is understandable since the areas of our existence represented by the aura can also change frequently.

Another aspect to be aware of is the idea that we view other auras through our own auras, and this can affect our perceptions. To accurately interpret the aura of another person, you will need to first understand the colors and qualities of your own aura. In some cases, your subconscious mind will automatically be able to compensate for this color shift, but you will need to be aware of this before concluding your analysis.

There is no question that it takes both time and practice to both see and understand the significance of the aura’s colors, but eventually you will need to learn to trust your own intuition when viewing and interpreting auras. When doing an aura reading for another person, it is helpful to tell them what you are seeing and to ask them questions about what they think your observations might mean in their particular situation. By using feedback in this way, you can develop a deeper understanding that will be invaluable for your interpretations.