As January peaks its head around the corner of our daily lives, we’re all inundated with the possibility and promise of a “new” version of self: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU. And it's certainly a busy time to be an aura photographer as many of us seek to understand ourselves better…and for some to seek a perceived version of “better.”
But is a New You even possible? (Or is it always just Same Old Me with maybe a slightly better sleep routine)?
The most asked question I get as an aura photographer is this: Does our aura change?
And just below the surface of that question is: Do I change?
The answer I always give is: Well, it depends…
Every person I’ve had the gift of photographing has been a lesson in the energetic experience of being human. Together, we gaze at the curious patterns of glossy color arranged on an instant photograph - a technological treasure map of “self.” We look for clues into the “who” that person is (or at least who they think they are), how they present themselves to the world, what energies they call upon to get them through the trials and tribulations - and hopefully joys - of their everyday lives.
Every person’s aura photo is a little different - and also a little the same. We ALL call upon and create certain energies within our auric field depending on who we need to be moment to moment and whatever version of “self” we may hold. Some of our ideas about that “self” (the You that you decide you are) started all the way back in childhood and was probably the answer to a question - in a therapy-speak, a coping mechanism. What was the safest version of ourselves within our family dynamic? Did we get more rewards from being loud or quiet, from caring for others or putting our own needs first? Was it perceived as “better” to mirror the energy of those around us or to stay consistent in our own energy, unchanged by others?
We all have a particular idea or vision of who we think we are and who we think we “should” be. Examples: I’m an adventurous person. I’m a careful person. I get a lot done in the physical world and my doing makes me who I am. I feel more comfortable in the world of thought and my thinking makes me who I am. I’m a person who thrives around people. I’m a person who thrives in silence. I would be better if I was more patient. I would be better if I was less passive.
These are all just ideas and YET we all create and run our energy based on them…
Some people I photograph run their energy very consistently. No matter how many years pass, no matter who they spend their time with, no matter what is happening in their life, they have a particular sense of self that they always stay grounded in. The world may change around them and they may change and grow in other ways, but how they run their energy in their auric field may always stay reasonably the same.
My wife Erica (shown below), the founder and Head Witch in Charge of HausWitch, has been one of these people - at least since I’ve known her. She’s had her aura photographed across the country, by different photographers, and different cameras over the course of different years, and her aura is almost always without a doubt….blue.
The four aura photographs on her office door were taken over the course of 2023 which involved a lot of stepping up in the world and personal growth for her, but very little variation in her energetic patterning:
She runs her energy primarily out of her Throat center (she’s a Gemini Sun BTW) and also her Crown and often her Third Eye. Whether this was always the case for her isn’t clear, but at least in this time of her life (late 30s through early 40s) when she’s the cornerstone and also mouthpiece for an entire feminist witch business, the channel for a more caring vision of society, and someone who always needs to be tuned into the emotional states of those around her, she keeps her energy steady and predictable. It doesn’t mean she’s not always growing - it just means that her auric field stays consistent as she grows. Interestingly, she wasn’t someone who grew up in a state of consistency.
For others I photograph, their energy moves and changes and shifts and is a visible reflection of all the growth happening within both their internal and external worlds. As they shift, their energy shifts, and you can actually see the growth in each progressive photograph. Some people can be so malleable that they change on a daily basis or even run their energy like flowing water, reflecting back and mirroring the energies of those around them (Aura twinning has been a curious phenomenon I’ve witnessed within families and life-long friendships).
Cole (shown below) is someone who has seen their auric field shift and change as they’ve had new experiences in the world. They’re in their early 20s and just in the past year alone they’ve grown into greater alignment with who they want to be. Working at HausWitch, they’ve been able to photograph the evolution of their energetic journey as they’ve embraced new self-care rituals, the help of therapeutic practitioners, and updated understandings of how to love the self they’re creating.
The above four aura photographs were ALSO taken over the course of 2023; the first photograph (left to right) reflects Cole's energetic state a few days after a particularly tough break-up of a romantic partnership, and includes bruising around the crown area, which can be perceived as mental stress and that cloudy/unclear feeling that many of us unfortunately know so well. As the year progressed, the bruised arch over their head disappeared (along with that feeling), and a loving pink energy began to appear both in the mental space over the head and finally projected externally for others to sense as well.
Unlike Erica who has very specific preferences about what energy centers she works out of, Cole often runs their energy through a variety of centers that tend to change based on both internal and external factors (they’re a Libra Sun BTW….it’s been interesting to start noticing some of these astrological connections). Some people gravitate towards having a lot of different types of vibration in their auric field - for some it can feel enlivening and for others chaotic. There’s no “good” or “bad” ways of running energy, but whatever vibration we have in our auric field can create a different experience of life - often reflecting what we have come to think of as our own unique version of “normal”
So, to ask the same question that we started with: Is a New You even possible?
And the answer is still: It depends…. not just on the individual, but also what we perceive as “You” in the first place, whether we believe that there is truly an unchanging “Self” (the You) below the surface of our energetic selves.
Which only brings us to more questions: Are we all just products of our life circumstances, presenting ourselves to the world based on who and what we’ve learned to be? Is there a one “true” way for us to show up here on Earth that we’re all just working towards aligning with? Is one version of ourselves more authentic than another?
And the truth is, I don’t really know.
But what I DO know is that asking these questions can open up something NEW and something different within each of us. Showing up to our human lives and viewing our very human selves (whatever the “truth” of them may be) with curiosity and wonder rather than judgment can open NEW ways of understanding ourselves - and, hopefully, NEW levels of compassion for all that it takes to be in this world.
So, here’s to your own beautiful, unique version of a NEW YEAR, NEW YOU.
Melissa Nierman is an aura photographer with Personal Rainbow at HausWItch in Salem, Massachusetts.