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We Got Our Auras Photographed And This Is What We Saw

What do the colors of your energy say about you?

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In the last few months, aura photograph has been described as "the new spiritual trend" and, more vaguely insultingly, "the latest trend for the selfie generation." It's a process which purports to photograph the "aura," the supposed colorful energy that surrounds our bodies and impacts our overall wellness. It is, no matter what else, a photograph of yourself covered in pretty colors.

As four people who are generally interested in the subject of ourselves, we decided we wanted to get our auras read. We would go to Magic Jewelry, a popular aura photography spot in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood.


The shop is very small, and it was already crowded when we got there around 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. All of the customers there, including us, were under thirty years old. The two women working were probably in their early to mid-forties. They stood behind a long glass display case full of crystals for sale. We said we were there to get our auras photographed, and one of the women motioned for us to come over to the camera.

The photographer directed us, one by one, to sit down on a small wooden throne, and place each hand on a metal plate affixed to a bright blue box, situated on either side of our legs. The camera looked like an old wooden bird house that had been painted blue, but produced instant photographs not unlike a Polaroid.



Taylor Miller

You have to sit still for ten seconds to get a proper reading, so naturally I sneezed in the middle of my first one. They let me redo it; otherwise my aura would have been super fucked up.

I was pleased with my red aura color. I've always felt a kinship with Teenage Ninja Turtle's resident bad boy, Raphael. Although I only saw the colors red and yellow, the reader insisted I had a little bit of violet in mine, and that meant I was spiritual. I'm not. But I guess all of this is so vague that she could just mean my religion is cookies and I pray to the god of chocolate. That would be accurate.

The aura further revealed that I am career-oriented and busy (like everyone else in New York?). The best part of my aura is that I am easily swayed by "disturbing energy from surroundings." I laughed out loud because I'm pretty sure she was just saying I have poor focus and concentration, which is true, but I'm glad I can blame it on the disturbing energy attacking my aura. She also said I have a weak throat and right hand, which is a great excuse for getting out of giving both blowjobs and handjobs.


Taylor Miller

The day we got our auras read happened during a really stressful week for me. My room was really messy, I stayed at work past 10:00 PM every night that week, and I was feeling kinda sick. So I wasn’t shocked by the color of my photo. I’m very impulsive, energetic, and passionate. So when the woman peeled the protective covering off the photo and I saw the entire photo was red, a color usually associated with these traits, I wasn’t surprised. Out of all the photos, mine was definitely the darkest. During my reading, the woman told me that I was really stressed that week, which is why my photo was so dark. (She also said dark colors mean you could be hungover. But I’m not much of a drinker, nor had I been drinking the night before.) The most impressive part of the reading was when the woman said she could tell I was having throat problems (which I was!). She also said my shoulders and neck were weak. I used this as an opportunity to force my boyfriend to give me a massage.

It was interesting to see the aura readings of my coworkers. But none of their readings really surprised me. Which means I guess there might be a bit of accuracy to the aura readings after all? The women who ran this shop were very sweet and nice. They offered us hot tea in little styrofoam cups as parting gifts. (My throat and I were very grateful.)


Taylor Miller

I was kind of disappointed when I saw my aura looked almost identical to Grace and Sarah’s. I’m not a unique individual. My aura isn’t even doing its own thing. The lady reading our aura guessed that we were coworkers and said that would explain why our auras look alike—we’re in similar situations.

Aura Lady (can I call her Aura Lady?) said she could see blue somewhere in my photo even though mine seemed just red and yellow. I was willing to take her word for it, because blue means sensitive, and I’m highly sensitive. I pick up the energy of other people just like she said. If someone is in a bad mood near me, I’m equally destroyed. So that seemed accurate. But I feel like my aura should’ve been all blue because I cried once at a Burt’s Bee’s commercial. I’m maximum-sensitive.

The red means I’m fast at making decisions, which is true. I’m currently planning a wedding and my wedding planner has complimented me on how decisive I am. The yellow means I’m reliable, trustworthy, and like to learn. That all seems true (and maybe too nice?). The combination of yellow and red means I have life balance and even though I’m quick with my decisions, I’m not impulsive. Wow, this aura is making it sound like I really have my life together.

My aura also had some wavy white lines. Apparently those are “disturbing energy.” Luckily, Aura Lady said I have the confidence to handle disturbing energy. Booya! (The “booya” is an example of that confidence.) Everything she said seemed accurate, except for some of the health stuff. She warned me not to ignore my health while I’m trying to achieve my goals, which is very good advice. But she said I have “weakness” in my throat. I don’t really know what that means, but I’d like to think I have a strong throat. Also, I don’t really know how to strengthen the throat. Throat exercises?


Taylor Miller

I was immensely pleased with myself for having such a unique aura. I would like to think that is very representative of me — a true individual. This was my second time getting an aura photograph taken at this shop, and that time, my photo was all purpley-red and bruise-y looking. I remember the woman working at the time told me that my aura was very negative, which hurt my feelings. So right away I hope the green and yellow mean better things, and reflect more positively on my character.

The reader tells me that my aura shows that I am very sensitive and tend to over-think things. I don't know that I'd put it in those terms, but it's fine. Whatever. She also told me that I was very focused on work, having gone through a recent (and stressful) job change. I had started a new position that Monday. She also said I think a lot about my relationships, and that I am open to trying new things. True-ish.

Then the reader told me that the photo shows that my physical health is weak — particularly my throat and stomach — and said that I should exercise, as well as stop eating and drinking cold things. This hurt my feelings. I exercise all the time. And I am pretty sure I eat and drink things at the same temperatures as everyone else. But, as my aura photo indicates, I am not like everyone else. I require lukewarm foods and beverages to soothe my aura.


Sarah: Overall, I think it's only worth paying the $20 if you really want to Instagram that Polaroid. Or to test someone on a first date to see if they are sane.

Grace: I feel like once you've done this, there's really no need to do it again. For me, the experience you're expected to get from an aura reading could just as easily be accomplished by talking to my friends. The pictures look awesome, though. They're big and glossy and I definitely see myself framing my picture and hanging it on my wall because it has such a fun story behind it. And having my dark aura on my wall might remind me to take it easy from time to time, and be a little less hard on myself.

Joanna: I wish my energy looked more cool and exciting. Hopefully I can overcome my throat weakness.

Katie: The reading was like pretty much all advice — broad and only partly applicable. That said, I will almost certainly get my aura photographed again, because I like measures of self-reflection and evaluation that are dubious in both accuracy and meaning. I think it's a fun individual field trip to go to the shop and get this weird picture to take home with me for not that much money.


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