It’s a Vibe
An interview with Rose Aura, Toronto’s favourite energy reader
Her warm-spirited disposition, and wealth of knowledge immediately indicated an openness and exuberance for life. It’s clear that contemplating our spirituality and manifesting positivity are integral facets to her ethos and journey.
Rose Aura’s tool of the trade, the AuraCam 6000, is the gold standard for capturing the vibrant hues that formulate our auras, invented by Guy Coggins in the early nineties. Experimentation with the form began as a continuation of Kirlian photography, a Russian method developed in the 1900s which traced energy fields as photographic reproductions. Our fascination with contemplating what type of energy we are comprised of, and ultimately emanating out into the world, however predates these modern explorations by millennia. Fast forward to the current moment, and this magical infatuation has not been lost. Rather, it’s evolved into a stunningly captivating iteration of itself.
Marina How long have you been doing this for?
Evelyn I’ve been doing this for about nine months on my own. I’ve been getting these photos taken of myself over the years. I did my Master’s [at Sotheby’s] in New York, it was a one year program and I worked around for a couple years after that. There was one of these cameras very close to me in Chinatown, at Magic Jewelry. Any time anything happened in my life, I would go get a photo taken. It was always changing, it was always different, and it was always reflective of what my current state was. So I just became very obsessed with the photos.
M What did you do your Master’s in?
E Art History. So unfortunately, Art History doesn’t really get you a job in Toronto. I was like I’ve got all this experience, and a Master’s. I’ll get such a great job. There are no jobs. It just shouldn’t have been that hard.
So at the same time nobody had the camera, and I wanted to take an aura photo and see what my aura was like. So I started researching the camera, I researched the film, and I started my own company shortly after. It was just unreal to me that this wasn’t in Toronto. And it’s been around for such a long time. That’s how it began. That was about nine months ago.
M Nine months ago, wow. It seems like it’s gained prominence really fast.
E Very, very quickly. I thought that it would just because it’s something that you can get somewhere else but haven’t been able to get here in the past. I knew that everyone would really be excited about it, but I didn’t think they’d be as excited as they turned out to be. it was quite overwhelming just how positive the response was.
M Could you tell me a little about how exactly the aura camera works?
E So the way that it works is different parts of your hands are connected to different organs, and those organs are connected to your different chakras. Based on what’s going on inside your body, and inside your mind, when you put your hands on the sensors they send the information to the camera and it radiates as your open chakra colours.
When we talk about the aura, we’re talking about our actual biochemical energy field. So every living thing has an energy field. Plants, animals, especially humans. And we understand energy, we vibe with energy, we sense energy. We just can’t see energy. Some people can, but for the majority of people it vibrates at a frequency just outside our eyesight. So this allows you to see that biochemical energy field. If we could see our own energy field we would see that it was coming from the colours from our chakras.
Chakra translates to “wheel” or “disk” in Sanskrit. Our chakras are essentially spinning wheels of energy, and they’re all spinning on their own individual axis inside of our body. At any given point, some will spin greater, some will spin smaller based on the emotions, the sensations, what you’re feeling at the time. In this sense our aura is always in flux. As quickly as your thoughts and feelings are changing, your aura is changing. This photo is a snapshot of when you put your hands on the sensors. So it could be totally different five minutes from now, five hours from now.
But it allows you to see where your energy is focused, where it’s strong and what are you presenting to the world today. The other thing is that everybody has kind of signature colours that spin larger than others, just based on your personality. As we grow and change in our lives, those can also change so it’s also a way to track your energy and understand where you were six months ago, where you are today, where you were two years ago.
M And that’s part of why you’ve been doing it many times throughout your life.
E Yeah. I didn’t even fully understand it at first. When I first was getting the readings at Magic Jewelry, they didn’t really do an excellent job of explaining my chakras, my energy. I also found they were saying kind of negative things.
Even now when I re-read those photos I would give myself a completely different read now. There’s also two ways to look at things. Every chakra has a positive and a negative connotation. You can choose to focus on the positive, or you can choose to focus on the negatives. I find that people in general want to focus on the negatives, they want to know “what’s wrong with me”. Whereas I make sure that I’m focusing on the positives with each chakra, and understanding that this is what you want to bring out, and have that good vibe.
So like, orange is creativity and passion, but it can also be sex addiction. So I’m not saying you have a sex addiction to a stranger!
M Could you tell me about the film the camera uses?
E The film that it uses is discontinued. So it is kind of a rarified thing that is not going to be around forever. Unless somebody reproduces the film. They might adapt these cameras. They can adjust these cameras to digital versions, but it’s not as nice.
M Do you find that with this being a limited thing, it makes it a little more special and unique in a way? Or do you wish it wasn’t the case?
E Absolutely. I mean, this is something that I never thought I would be doing at the same time. So I’m so happy that this is what I’m doing right now, it’s such a gratifying experience to be able to show people their energy, and help them understand themselves a little better. So if this does end, I know that it’s the way it’s supposed to go and I can kind of continue on my path. But who knows where it can go. I’m just open.
M Growing up, were you always in touch with a spiritual side? Or did you learn about energies later on?
E I was in touch with a spiritual side, but not necessarily in this iteration with my chakras. My family isn’t really like an “energy” family. We do understand energy, we do talk about energy an awful lot, but not necessarily in the sense of particularly our chakras. My family just didn’t know about it.
I was always into art, and art history. That was the only thing I was into. I love art so much! The spirituality came in later as I was steadying, and getting these photos and understanding what was going on around me with the energy field around me. And since starting this, my interest has grown exponentially. There’s so much to learn, there’s so much to consider when thinking about your energy. So it’s a really fun journey.
M I feel like recently there’s been a resurgence of interest. It’s interesting, because I see it as on the one hand we’re in such a visual culture, and everyone’s so into physical objects and beautiful things. And there’s also been a newly piqued interest in more New Age philosophies, and ways of healing. Do you have a perspective on what has drawn people to this now?
E Well, I definitely think the visual culture of Instagram is very important to our society for how we think, how we function, how we live our lives. I also think that it’s kind of promoted a kind of not necessarily self interest, but introspection. People are thinking more about themselves and who they are. And I also think that people are discovering more through Instagram, and discovering things that look visually pleasing. But also discovering this kind of New Age philosophy of energy. And it makes sense. It seems to be clicking.
M It’s interesting how the two play off of each other. I feel like there’s so much out there, and so much available to people. It allows you to go into specifics of things, and really learn about yourself in really neat ways that maybe weren’t as accessible to people before.
E The thing is these things were accessible. In Chinese cultures this is known as chi. In Indian cultures this is known as prana. But the way in which it was written, people don’t necessarily go to the New Age section of a bookstore. So I feel like everybody is understanding it more, and it’s being packaged in a way that’s more accessible to a younger generation.
M Do you consider yourself a photographer?
E Yes. And I was always interested in photography. Through photography I became interested in art history, and through art history, I became a photographer. Which is funny how it worked out. I do consider myself a photographer, but again I’m really just shooting one angle. I’m not kind of looking for the perfect moment, like the Cartier-Bresson moment. I’m just taking a picture. So yes, and no.
M But definitely part of photography is also capturing a moment. I think that’s what is so interesting about this. As you’ve explained, your aura is what it is at one particular moment, and then this gives someone a snapshot and a memory of that particular instance.
E Totally, it’s that integral moment of your energy. But it’s not up to me, that’s the thing. It’s up to the sitter. So I can’t control what the camera sees. I can’t control what the vibes they’re giving off are. That’s entirely up to them. I’m just clicking the button. It’s all kind of on their shoulders, what comes out.
M Does the camera show what’s happening?
E When I’m looking into that little hole I’m looking for colours. Essentially, I’ll see it cycling through the chakra colours. I don’t set the exposure, the camera doesn’t set the exposure, your energy does. So if it’s a longer exposure, it’s looking for more open chakras.
M Does the vibrancy of the colours represent an affect on the aura?
E Yes, it is just affected by your overall energy. If you have a bunch of different chakras open, and active but they’re a little bit dim your body is tired. So you can have all of that stuff coming out, but you need to make sure you are balancing it to be your most vibrant self. You want to see bright colours, you want to see high energy, you want to see lots of different chakras active and open. Being a rainbow means your energy is flowing properly from the base of your spine to the top of your head.
M Do you find that you’ve built a clientele who keep coming back?
E Yeah, and they’re really interested. I go into a couple offices once a month essentially to check up on everybody. And everybody, if they see me multiple times, they listen to what I say and they’re interested in their energy and moving it forward.
The other thing that I’ve noticed is that there’s been a distinct change in the springtime for people’s general energies. In December, everybody was red. All overworked, and overtired. And then as spring kind of sprung, everybody got really green. Green, your heart chakra can mean a lot of different things. It’s your central chakra so it can mean the most. If you have a lot of heart chakra, it can mean you are maybe going through a transitional period of growth and change, or it can mean you’re leading with your heart and being a positive change in the world. I just felt like people were shifting towards that kind of green, loving, goodness as the earth got more green. So it was really interesting to see.
M The seasons have such such an effect on a lot of people.
E That’s true. You know what, I did a lot of my friends yesterday and everyone was solar plexus. Solar plexus is between the belly button and the heart, and that’s like good vibes. It’s earth and positivity. As the sun is coming out that makes sense to me as well. It’s interesting to see how as a collective we’re all feeling. Some people are still vibrant throughout everything, but generally as a society it is so so interesting.
M It’s amazing to be able to see those patterns on the wider scale between people, and not just observe it on an individual basis.
E Seeing those patterns is fascinating.
M What do you hope that people gain from this?
E I want people to just understand essentially we’re all connected. We’re all made of energy. Energy is very important for our well being. I just want people to have a better understanding of what their own energy is saying. What they’re feeling and how they’re connected to their energy. And to give a better sense of awareness — of the individual but also this whole kind of mystical spectrum. I want to demystify it a bit. People are very intimidated when they see aura photography.
I spent a really long time trying to figure out how do I make this accessible to everyone. So after you explain it I find that I see a lot of peoples faces, ideas, opinions start to change about it. So that’s really the first step. But just to understand what energy you’re putting out into the world. What does that mean, how does that affect you, how does that affect others. Just to understand yourself.
M Do you do any other energy work?
E I don’t do personal energy work, but I recently started meditating at the Quiet Company. A friend of mine, Emily Thring, she started it a couple years ago. So I’ve been doing events, workshops, and practices out of her space. I recently did a meditation with her, and it was just unbelievable. You reach this other plane and just everything kind of drops away.
I also I do a lot of yoga events. I work with different instructors, so we’ll do yoga and then I’ll do aura photos afterwards. I do Kundalini yoga which is specific for opening up the chakras. In terms of other energy work — I don’t want to practice Reiki, I want to protect my energy. In a certain sense, you have to give a lot of yourself. But I’d love to have it done to me.
M Have you ever tried it?
E No, I haven’t. I’m really, really curious about it. I know a couple people who are studying, who’ve got their Level 1 and 2’s. And I’m like, “When you’re ready!” But really, this camera has been a gateway for all of these different things into my life. It’s really quite wonderful.