I wrote this article in response to requests from friends to explain the use of aura magic in Romani traditional healing practice. First of all, seeing auras is a fairly easy magical practice that many traditions have discovered, and in my experience almost everyone can be taught at least to see the basic glow of the inner aura around the head, although seeing the whole aura in detail and in colour is a lot harder, and not everyone learns to do that. Incidentally, if you don’t know, the reason that saints and deities are always portrayed with a halo around their heads, and it’s almost invariably yellow, is that that is in fact the head aura – and anyone spiritually gifted has a large bright one.
And yellow as a head aura colour denotes spiritual/magical thinking going on. In fact the entire body has an aura, although it’s most obvious around the head; and if the person is magically gifted and is casting magic at the time, it also becomes obvious around the hands. Some practitioners can change their aura at will, make it larger or smaller and change the colour. I can do this (and also being a very able Chovahàni, my aura is very bright) and it’s a very useful aid to teaching other people to read auras. It is also possible to “feel” the aura with the fingertips, and some people even find this easier than seeing. The feeling part is used in our aura healing techniques.
The aura is of course not seen with the mundane eyes but with the triti yàkh or third eye, so it is necessary to learn to open your triti yàkh, using your mundane eyes to aim it in the right direction but not become distracted by what you are seeing mundanely. When teaching, I keep the lighting very low to reduce this distraction, but an experienced reader can read the aura under any lighting conditions. The aura changes in size, brightness and colour according to mood, health status and what the person is doing.
The head aura is most diagnostic for mood and state of mind, while the body aura will display any health problems: injured or painful parts will show muddy or dark colours, a sort of shadow, that to an experienced reader is an excellent indicator of what is wrong. Different colours, especially in the head aura, indicate mood: red is associated with strong emotions such as anger or sexual arousal, green is very relaxed and grounded, blue is intellectual, purple is profoundly magical (a very rarely-seen colour) and so on. Everyone has a ‘resting’ or ‘default’ aura colour: for example, most skilled magical practitioners have a nice bright green as resting colour, as I do. To an experienced reader, a quick look at someone’s aura will tell you a great deal about them, their health, their mood, their inner nature. And when someone is approaching death, the entire aura fades to grey and then black – when the last glow of the aura is extinguished, that is the moment of transition. We use this to know when we may have to help someone to cross the Veil. In fact, aura reading is the origin of the myth about the so-called “Gypsy stare”. For centuries, gàdje have written that Roma have a disconcerting or even hostile way of staring at people, and have even equated it with the evil eye.
This baffled me for years, as we’re actually very friendly people if we’re treated decently… a couple of years ago, I finally figured out what it was about: since we have suffered centuries of persecution by gàdje (non-Roma people), when meeting someone new who is not one of us it is standard procedure (for those of us who are traditional and still have the old skills) to read their aura so we can judge whether they will be friendly or hostile to us. And the easiest way to aim your triti yàkh is essentially to focus your eyes a few feet behind the head of the person you’re reading, so in effect you’re looking ‘through’ them.
If you combine that with the typical extremely dark and deep-set eyes that most pure-blooded Roma have (look at my photos to see what I mean) it does look very disconcerting – I tried it with a mirror! This diagnostic use of the aura naturally leads into the use of aura manipulation for healing. In our culture, Yàg (the Spirit of Fire, in fact the pre-Hindu prototype of the God Agni: the Romani word yàg (fire) comes straight from the Sanskrit ????? agni) is a hugely powerful protector and destroyer of all that is evil, and therefore yàgaki-magia (fire magic) is central to our traditions. An illustration of this can be found in my paramisi (traditional story) I Nevi Chovahàni, where I describe a fire invocation to imbue my knife with the power of Yàg to free a trapped ghost: Yàgake-dukhale, kon xacherena sàrko jungelipene, Akana t’avena mansar! Te beshena tumen dre miri churi, Kai shai chinena komi e phandapene e meripeneske! E navensar e phurene Devlenge – akha te avela! Spirits of Fire, ye who can burn all evil, Come to me now! Dwell ye in my knife, Where ye may cut even the Bindings of Death! By the Names of the Ancient Deities – so mote it be! The power, or ruzlipen, of Yàg is used in much of our traditional magic; the simplest example is for protection of the practitioner herself while working magic (and indeed during normal everyday life). A magical technique is used to permit the practitioner to draw up the appropriate form of magical energy from the Earth itself – trying to work serious magic using only one’s own energy leads very quickly to depletion and exhaustion – and to direct it as she wishes.
In the simplest case, I would direct it into a kind of “shell” of fire-energy surrounding my body to protect me against magical and also mundane hazards; in more advanced uses, this energy can be used for everything from freeing people from jungele-dukha (evil spirits, “demons”) that have attached to them and are causing mental or physical problems, to manipulating the weather, to keeping ourselves warm in freezing conditions. It is also used directly to manipulate someone’s aura, as a healing technique. In this respect it is somewhat like the method of Reiki, but based upon fire-energy, rather than air-energy as Reiki is, and very much more powerful if used correctly. In typical healing use, the practitioner will use her triti yàkh, quite possibly assisted by feeling the boundary between the inner and outer auras with her fingertips, to ascertain the points at which the aura requires alteration: if a particular organ or body-part requires healing, then energy is applied selectively there; if the person is generally run-down it is possible to “boost” the entire aura. Either way, the method involves the practitioner channeling yàgako ruzlipen through her fingertips to where it is required.
It is also possible to perform a kind of reverse operation so that pain is pulled out of the sufferer and dissipated to Earth, and an expert practitioner will combine the two techniques. Under normal conditions, the practitioner never makes direct contact with the recipient, but manipulates only the aura. Direct contact may even be dangerous with a powerful practitioner; although under a few special circumstances a hand-to-hand direct contact is used, very carefully, for example when warming up a recipient suffering from hypothermia. Another circumstance where direct hand-to-hand contact is made is when removing jungele-dukha. This is a considerably more advanced technique than simple aura manipulation, and only a relatively small number of practitioners can do it; it involves actually taking over the recipient’s mind temporarily so as to locate and emasculate the jungelo-dukh and then remove it from the sufferer and push it through the Veil to where it can cause no further harm. Those to whom I have done this describe it as the strangest thing that they have ever experienced, a sensation of the entire world vanishing from their consciousness and literally being aware of nothing except my own spirit taking them over; more than one has passed out as the dukh was removed. One person from whom I recently removed a jungelo-dukh said afterwards that all she was aware of was my eyes, taking over her entire consciousness – which considering that I do this type of working with my eyes closed so that I can concentrate better on my triti yàkh, is rather interesting, though not really surprising.
Our traditional healing can be used for anything from curing a headache to blocking the pain of cancer to helping the brain to heal after a stroke – as well as for psychological difficulties such as depression or stress. A short article like this obviously cannot go into enormous detail, and in any case I am bound by oath regarding what I can say about our techniques, many of whose details are secret, often for reasons of safety as they are potentially very dangerous if used incorrectly – but I hope this has given a useful insight into some of our traditional techniques.