New York has an interesting relationship with the holistic world and the occult, the city is plastered with signs advertising palm reading, fortune telling, tarot and mediums. Aura reading takes concepts from hinduism and spiritualism and combines it with photography. The combination of ancient spiritual practices and alternative sciences, lures even the most stoic of skeptics who want to flirt with their spiritual side. If you have an interest in the mystical, aura reading will teach you where your spiritual energy is at and if you don’t believe, it’s quick, fun and you get a colourful keepsake. This accessibility has made aura readings increasingly popular with more aura reading services popping up around the city, and it is quite the business with each ten minute aura reading costing around $20.
Your aura is your own spiritual energy force that surrounds your body, with several layers and colours that represent insights to your spiritual and physical health. These ideologies are heavily rooted in the writings on chakras found in ancient practises in Hinduism and Buddhism. The development of aura photography originates from electro-photography dating back to the 1700 but was used in the exploration or auras in the 1930’s by Semyon Davidovich Kirlian and his wife Valentina Lototskaya who experimented with their own techniques of photographing objects, plants, and their own personal auras for over thirty years (their photographs are awesome and definitely worth a look!)
Aura photography as we know it today comes from the invention of the Auracam 6000 by Guy Coggins in 1970, a polaroid camera with a twist, while your image is being taken your energy is recorded through two hand sensors that are connected to the camera – the results are small beautiful colourful portraits with your aura appearing like a colourful smoke in front of you. While the legitimacy of aura photography is still debated between the holistic and scientific world to this day, aura photography has had a huge resurgence recently and is appreciated as an art form by some and a spiritual guide by others so I was excited to get my aura reading done!
For my first reading I went to Magic Jewelry’s China towns location which was one of the first places New Yorker’s could get their aura on film and has been attracting the occult curious for over 20 years. When you the enter the shop it is small with the walls covered in aura diagrams, shelves full of gemstones, jewelry, teas and herbs. The shop is also packed with people, the door is constantly opening and closing as more and more people cram into the store curious to see what their aura colours say about them.
When it’s time for my aura photo I am led to an old chair in the corner, I am asked to match my hands with the metal handprints on each hand sensor. The camera takes my photo and prints it instantly my photo is left upside down to develop. When the photo is flipped, I am surprised with just my three colours: yellow, orange and red. My reader begins by looking at my photo, she tells me the photo records the aura’s three week cycle. To start my reading I am told that the colours on the left of the photo represent my last week, the colour above is present consciousness, and the colour to the right is my future week.
The first thing she pointed out was that I have just started a new opportunity and change which was oddly spot on as I had just moved and had started a new job. She then went through my aura saying that I am very active and have an active mind and that I am caring about people which was nice to hear, there was also advice my reader said that I have to focus and be careful not to over exhaust myself, I definitely felt that I needed some down time this week. My reading was very matter of fact, and weirdly correct. I loved seeing the colourful result of my aura on film.
Within the hustle of this unique store I walked away feeling a little more connected to my spiritual side, and felt like I had a unique New York experience. Head into one of Magic Jewelry’s location around the city, for fun and a little spiritual guidance!