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DEMYSTIFYING THE AURA
by Savanah Thorne

Savanah Thorne sees colours around living objects that most other people cannot see. She describes her personal experiences with these "auras" in her own words. She also explains how she interprets them and how they have affected her life.

They said I was born blind, that our paternal grandmother prayed for my sight and the sight was given. It was some time before they realised that my sight was different and beyond the norm. Had it not been for 'blue auntie' the family may never have known they had an 'awkward chick' in their brood - but when 'blue auntie' became 'yellow auntie' I mentioned it to mother.

What did I mean, she asked?
'You know,' I said, 'the colours around people ... well, not just people ... animals, birds, trees, everything really, but not when it's dead.'
'What happens when it's dead,' mother pressed.
I shrugged. 'The colours stop.'
'But why do they change?'

I was six years of age - suddenly fearful, I tried to explain. When chickens on father's poultry farm 'turned yellow' it meant they were sick. Pretty soon mother would diagnose a cancerous condition and the unhappy bird would be destroyed. 'Do you have to kill auntie off?' I asked tearfully. 'Of course not, dear,' she assured me, but she reported my oddity to father who called a meeting of clan elders. They referred the idiosyncrasy to the Church, the local medic, and the optician, in that order.

When the Church named me a heretic soul but not quite a witch, mother sobbed 'it is all my fault'; refusing to be comforted, she insisted on the physical tests being done again. The medic reiterated that my queer sight was due to a poorly liver; the ophthalmologist pronounced my ordinary vision perfect. All should be well, he said, a bit of a hiccough in the system - a change of air was probably the cure.

I was dispatched with Cornish nanny to mother's sisters in Essex. Nola heard gossip which made her all agog. There is, she said, all manner of goings-on in your ma's little lot. Pressed for more, she revealed that mother's kin were telepathic, that one of the great-aunts could move things with her mind, and that an ancestor was almost burned at the

Aura of a young womanFigure 1: This etching depicts a young woman suffering a severe right-sided migraine. Note the aura pushed away on the left (due to cranial pressure) and flattened over her right temporal region, resulting in a bulging over- concentration of energy over the right ear. The energy field over the left shoulder is spiky, due to a build-up of displaced energy in the neck; thus her muscles would be taut, and some referral to her solar plexus would cause her to feel very nauseous. The field over the right shoulder is diminished; her liver and gall bladder are probably involved, however temporarily.

stake for 'seeing things which wasn't there'. Is it contagious, we asked? Shouldn't think so, Nola opined, they reckon 'tis down to the genies! We returned home to the news that 'blue auntie' had died. In our absence mother had culled a more radical medical text book ... and yes, my sensitive sight could well be 'down to my genes.'

Being cleared of witchly intent was a great relief, but, as my ocular gymnastics included the seeing of ghosts and my mental gymnastics were prone to presentiment and precognition, living with me was proving to be an uneasy business. Celtic superstition precluded an attempt to comprehend or understand the phenomenon. When folk complained that 'Savanah looked through them' father advised me to 'look down rather than up', and for years, when people passed by, I hid behind a bulky tome clutched to my goffered pinafore. Thankfully I had no such problem with animals!

I was shunned by classmates and my 'weird peccadillo' should have made for a lonely childhood, but everything around us was so beautifully absorbing that I felt sorry for those who could not see the aura. It is true that I harboured dreams of meeting another extra-sighted person whose genes functioned like mine but, had I not tumbled down a cliff and injured my spine, those dreams might not have matured.

I was rushed to hospital with paralysis and the prognosis was not good. 'Her head,' the consultant said, 'is not communicating with her legs.' 'Is her back broken?' mother asked. 'Might as well be,' was the laconic reply, 'unlikely she will walk again.'

Weeks later father visited the ward. Bible in hand, he begged me 'to ask God to help you give up this nonsense of the auras'. Behind the screens next to mine was a young girl suffering severe burns to her body. She was drugged to the hilt, bandaged head to knees, and unlikely to survive. 'Do you think I wouldn't give up my sight if I could, papa?' I asked despairingly. 'Behind those screens is a girl who is dying. All you would see is her bandages - all I see and feel is her pain and her passing.'

Father stood erect, kissed my cheek briefly, then strode through the ward. I wanted to cry out 'don't leave me, papa, it isn't my fault that I see things'. But the words would not come. He paused to bid Sister farewell, and I was not to see him again for several years.

Unable to move my legs, on my seventeenth birthday I decided to die. When people died they just stopped breathing. All I had to do was hold my breath - the practice runs were getting smoother - this lovely autumn evening I would go. Like a dancer awaiting the first cue, I concentrated on the feeling of lift which could be induced by my mind - a pleasant tingle up my spine and my 'inner self' took flight. I was out of my body, walking beside that beloved sea which caressed the floor of Bossne Cove. Presently I would go to the land of eternal breath - how good, how rapturous to be free.

The Aura of Twins

Q (Anomaly): Is there anything special about the aura of twins?
A (Savanah): The answer depends on whether they are identical or similar twins. Identical twins (those whose causal life has resulted from one divided cell) share auras so identical that it can be difficult to know which is which. The auras of similar twins (those who share the same womb-space but whose causal life has resulted from two separate cells) can be quite different from each other. From this I deduce that genes (shared or otherwise) are primarily responsible for how aura manifests.

An agonised pounding in lungs and heart dragged my spirit back to its chosen abode ... how I needed that shot of morphine for the pain. Asleep in her bed near the door, Mrs. Smith was dying a natural death. Absolutely astounded, I watched a globe of golden light hover briefly at her side. Touching each bed, it migrated around the ward ... when it reached my bed the quivering energy washed like a gentle wave in and out of my beleaguered body.

Had I imagined it, had it really been there? IT left the ward as quickly as it came. For the first time since the accident I slept without drugs. Waking next morning, I knew that death would come in its own time. I had chosen my life and was responsible for it. Come what may, I would see it through.

Two years later my body was still useless. The various hospitals had finished with me and in my nineteenth year mother decided to take me to a chiropractor who dispensed homoeopathic pills. He had a reputation for achieving the impossible - how long, mother asked, would it take to get me mobile?

The Professor shrugged. A couple of years perhaps ... with Savanah's aura who could say!
'What colour is my aura?' It was my demand for proof.
'White,' he said dryly, 'the dark gashes here are due to the injury - here over your left lung to tuberculosis (later confirmed) and there in your legs to rheumatic fever.'
'Twice,' I corrected. 'The second time was worse than the first.'
The ugly face smiled and the gentle eyes twinkled. 'And my aura?' he asked.
'Blue,' I said, 'like an early spring day.'
He could see the aura! I was no longer alone - it was a moment of purest joy.

In the months which followed the Professor taught me the principles of cosmic and planetary energy - that life force within the nucleus of all living matter which manifests as an aura on the retina of a genetically sensitised eye. Discussing the spine, he likened it to a piano keyboard with similar vibrations to each note ... to be tuned accordingly, he would laugh!

The Auras of Ghosts?

Q (Anomaly): Have you ever seen a ghost? If so, did it have an aura?
A (Savanah): Yes, I have seen many ghosts! Being a manifestation of non-electrical non-solid life a so-called ghost does not have an aura. It does, however, appear as a replica of its former life-self ... like an etheric mirror image ... as a child I called them 'shadow people'. Of course, there are also 'shadow places'. A couple we know well were cycling over a moor, looking for a cottage to buy. They passed three delightful ones in a row together. Thinking to view them on their return ride, to their astonishment the cottages were no longer there. Reassuring them that they were not 'daft' I suggested looking up some old records. These confirmed that two hundred years previously three cottages were there but had long been demolished! Memory-bank, time-warp? What do you think?In my twenty-first year I took my first physical step towards complete recovery - the interim experience had changed the course of my life.

To many the fourfold extension of our 'normal' senses, ie. seeing the aura, perception of ghosts, telepathy and precognition, remains a titillating mystery; intriguing as that is, it offers far less excitement than the scientific exploration of the cosmic energy which allows these extensions to be utilised.

Many years ago I conducted a series of group meetings for the sole purpose of stimulating discussion and experimentation in the use of the life-energy available to us all. The meetings were held in a friend's home and, as one member was a florist, she always arranged a mass of fresh blooms for the occasion. On this particular summer evening I was ten minutes late (unforgivable in the speaker!). As usual we were packed to capacity, everyone seated in a wide circle and waiting. Only two chairs were vacant; one was reserved for me and the other (in deference to my wishes) for 'the unseen guest', the cosmic spirit. Making my way past the fresh flowers, I noted a bunch of dead daffodils, which B. had forgotten to remove. Selecting one at random, I sat down, placed the inert bloom on the vacant chair beside me and opened the meeting. Within minutes the dried-out daffodil quivered and came to life; it remained so throughout two hours of discussion, at the close of which the girl sitting next to me begged to be given the bloom. I picked it up and held it briefly. When it left my hand it was still full of life and living. As she took it into hers it died.

Pondering the implication, we asked our hostess how long the daffodil had lain dead on her table. 'For the past two days', she said, 'knowing Bev would bring fresh ones I meant to throw the others away. '

Had we, I asked, witnessed the demonstration of spirit; or was this phenomenon a manifestation of what an accumulation of group energy can do? Perhaps it was both ... it would be an insensitive investigator who would draw a dividing line between the two. Although we have not met in years, out of the recent blue I heard from a girl who asked 'do you remember the daffodil!'

One member of ASSAP wishes to know what experiments have been done to test what he calls 'my abilities'! Having lived with them for so many years, I would say (unless someone can devise an appropriately sensitive machine) the manifest expression of our extended senses would be difficult to factually prove. Some while back I joined a series of experiments conducted by a doctor qualified in surgery and medicine. He had been generously funded by a benefactor who wished to collate data on the mysterious. The only immediate proof I offered the doctor was a description, from his aura, of an illness he himself kept secret. As one hundred percent physical proof of auric ability was needed we agreed we might be telepathic!

We went below stairs to a basement reserved for physical experiments; it contained a chair, one empty table, and pieces of equipment with which I was not familiar. Two of his colleagues wrapped a very efficient black blindfold over my eyes, then they all left the room. They would, they had assured me, return within minutes to ascertain my impressions. The door closed, there was a faint whirring noise, an impression of a zigzag light shooting through an African Violet plant and a muted sound which might have been a very high-pitched far-off scream.

I heard the door open. What could I tell them? I described a sensation of something being tortured. They removed the blindfold and there on the table was an African Violet through which (by remote control) they had shot a volt of electricity. When I was asked why I would not cooperate with further experiments, my reply was quite simple: my extrasensory senses had long been dedicated to counselling and healing. Torturing plants, or anything else for that matter, was not part of the cosmic vocabulary which governed my existence.

Other Paranormal Phenomena

Q (Anomaly): Have you experienced any other paranormal phenomena such as telepathy, precognition etc.?
A (Savanah): Yes and yes, but let us break it down into sections: a) I am acutely telepathic with my blood-family, and surprisingly telepathic with what I call 'my extended family' i.e. a great many other people. If they think of me, I say to my husband 'so-and-so will ring today' and they do. If misfortune befalls any of my kin (or oddly enough my husband's kin) I know it in advance of confirmation. He does not share the experience! To be comfortable with this 'mind-reading stuff' one needs to cultivate compassion, understanding and a sense of humour! b) Precognition comes in many guises. There is the 'knowing something is going to happen' sometimes weeks or months in advance (the happening is not always unpleasant), which may, for all we know, be based on little snippets of associative information tucked away in the mind. Then there is animal precognition - my husband tells me that in Poland storks nesting on tall buildings or treetops will leave the nest well in advance of a destructive fire. With this in mind, the presence of storks is encouraged. His uncle, who farmed extensively, had a wheel pinioned to a rooftop on which storks would nest. In the event of fire the warning would duly be given and the potential source of fire be safeguarded against.

A frequently asked question is whether medicines can change the aura. With certain qualifications I answer definitely 'yes' and hope this takes the understanding of auras out of the realm of superstition. There is nothing fanciful about the component of auras. Energy-wise they probably manifest at the high frequency end of the light spectrum called ultra-violet (an area of the electromagnetic spectrum with a shorter wavelength than visible light, normally invisible to humans - Ed.). As a manifestation of life-force energy, the aura 'sits around' all living matter; and as life itself generates this energy, changes in health are reflected by changes in the texture and colour of aura.

One interesting aspect of aura energy never fails to delight me; it is that lovely special blue which surrounds the body of a newly impregnated healthy woman, and the same blue which clings to the body of a newborn healthy child. Occasionally a baby's energy field may be dark blue at birth; it is a rare phenomenon for which I have no rational answer.

Has my ability to see the aura changed over the years? The answer is 'not really'. The physical impression remains the same as ever, but until I directed it to help others it seemed a somewhat useless extension of my ordinary senses. Being able merely to 'see a headache' is no consolation to the sufferer!

To those whose rods and cones do not perceive the energy field, I would suggest you try to feel it. Sit opposite another person, with your down-turned palms held about twelve inches above his/her up-turned palms. Slowly bring your palms down to within six to eight inches of your companion's palms; in all probability you will feel your hands penetrate the other's energy barrier. It is real - it exists. By all that is wonderful, its initial origin is cosmic.

There are so many intriguing aspects to our extended senses that I have begun to collate my personal experiences in Spooked for Life (hopefully ready in spring 1993). The above article is a very condensed extract from that book.

Anyone who has much to do with animals knows how telepathic and precognitive cats, dogs and horses are, but of course they cannot actually tell us about it in so many words. A fairly recent happening occurred to me while on holiday in Devon. The night before we were returning home I had a warning dream that my side of our car was bashed into by a fast-moving red car; this, I knew, resulted in my death. Next morning I told my husband about the dream and asked him to drive extra carefully. Knowing I do not like driving at speed, he laughed and said 'you and your dreams'. Anxious to get under way, he was driving rather fast. Suddenly I begged him 'please slow down - there's a crossroads ahead and the red car will come at us from the left'. He applied the brake - as we reached the crossroads a red car whizzed across our path just scraping our front bumper. Had we been a few seconds earlier, it would have hit my car door and I would have been killed.
© Savanah Thorne 1992

This article originally appeared in Anomaly Vol 12

Postscript concerning auras and synaesthesia
by Maurice Townsend

Synaesthesia is a condition affecting as many as 1 in 20 people. It involves a strange mixing of the senses, so that people can see music, smell shapes or hear colours. Some people with synaesthesia see colours in their 'mind's eye' when they hear, see or smell particular objects. Others actually project those colours onto whatever they are seeing. Particular sounds, tastes and feelings may involuntarily provoke seeing such colours. Here, obviously, is a possible explanation for reports of seeing auras.

Synesthesia is an unconscious process so colours can surprise the synesthete. The 'correct' (synesthetic) colour may appear before the synesthete is even consciously aware of what sound, smell or sight is causing it. This will definitely give the synesthete the impression of receiving information from an unknown source when, in fact, it is simply being processed by their brain before they are consciously aware of it.

Of course, synesthesia cannot possibly explain all the phenomena reported in the personal account above. However, it is a useful starting point towards understanding such experiences.