“I truly felt the power to change my life was put into my hands – all I had to do was embrace it. There’s a certain comforting sense in Aura-Soma.”
Woman’s Way, January 2015, written by Editor Aine Toner
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I live my life in colour – that’s not an especially spiritual comment but a practical one: as a magazine editor I’m surrounded by a rainbow of tones every day. Colour is important to me, I wear colourful clothes and I feel upbeat and positive, certain colours really cheer me up and are the first items I pick up in shops. But I discovered that colour can reveal aspects of my personality and even prompt a change in how I lead my life.
All I knew about Aura-Soma was the number of tiny bottles each person is faced with upon arrival. I liked the idea of picking colours, sure isn’t it what I do everyday, how difficult could it be? Thankfully I had Caroline Flavin on hand, an Aura-Soma practitioner, to guide me through the consultation. Colour therapy can help assist change and self-empowerment and increase your wellbeing.
After a chat with Caroline about the service, I was left alone in the room in front of over 100 Equilibrium bottles. Using your intuition, you choose four bottles. It’s not a case of choosing your favourite colours – mine would have been all blue and the selection process would have taken about six seconds if I had done it this way – it’s about selecting those to which you’re drawn. I chose carefully, I felt; no rushing but there were a few bottles I instantly knew I had to pick, and in which order, as the sequence can enable a deeper understanding.
The bottles, which contain plant energies and essential oils and are a mixture of upper (oil) and lower (water) fractions, help to reveal the real you with each having a specific meaning. They helped inform Caroline about my life path, personality and any obstacles or stumbling blocks I have. They also reflect the talents and gifts I have and how these can be best used to more forward in life. In turn, Caroline works through the bottles.
I didn’t come with questions to be answered, I knew the consultation would be non-intrusive and not a way to tell my fortune. However, what Caroline spoke about and the topics and areas she raised made the hairs on my arms stand up in amazement. The colour I chose – magenta, gold, turquoise among others – related to an area of my life that maybe wasn’t as developed as it could be.
One of the issues raised was my need to delegate a bit more. This is true; as the Woman’s Way team would attest, I’d rather do all the work than let someone else help. Caroline reflected that one of the bottles suggested I let go–just a bit–to see how it goes. It’s the primary thing that has stayed with me since the consultation and while I’m not sitting around drinking tea all day and watching Youtube videos in the office, I do let others help when I need it.
I learned that my life’s purpose is to love, which I would agree with, but for this to truly take effect, I need to clear out bad energy. I didn’t expect to feel as deeply as I did during the session. I felt Caroline and myself had a proper, real conversation about life, nothing was spoken about abstractly.
I truly felt the power to change my life was put into my hands – all I had to do was embrace it. There’s a certain comforting sense in Aura-Soma.
I went because I was curious, because I wanted to learn a little more about whether colour – which already makes me happy – could have even more of an impact.
I know instinctively what I need to make me happy, I have the wisdom to change whatever isn’t working as well as it could but, like with many, I just need that push to start me off on the right path.
At all times during the session, I felt in control and utterly calm. In fact, it was one of the most soothing evenings I’ve had in ages. Caroline was friendly, warm and peaceful – she never pried into my personal life nor asked uncomfortable questions.
I couldn’t rate it highly enough, it brought me a sense of order and peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
After the consultation, one of the bottles is usually recommended for the client to take home, to be massaged on the body daily. This also allows you to work at your own pace so the information can be absorbed. A consultation lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and costs €50, with an Equilibrium bottle costing €23.50
Aura-Soma Colour Therapy
Of all the therapies I’ll be looking at it in this alphabetical rundown of Complementary healthcare, Aura-Soma Colour Therapy is the youngest, and perhaps the most abstract in terms of both theory and application. Sometimes described as ‘soul therapy’, it was established as recently as 1984 by a sixty-six year old pharmacist and herbalist named Vicky Wall who was herself clinically blind, making it all the more unusual that it is a system based on colour.
The use of colour as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool is far older of course—temples in Ancient Greece and Egypt, for example, were sometimes infused with colour and light as an integral part of their structure. Max Luscher, a Swiss psychotherapist born in 1923 developed a diagnostic test based on an individual’s choice of colours that came to be used worldwide. And today, Art therapists will take note of the particular colours chosen by their clients, while hospitals and other medical facilities will employ the theory of colour therapy when decorating; green is particularly prevalent because it has a calming effect, while the violet/blue spectrum evokes peacefulness, communication and healing. On a more mundane level, any interior designer will be aware of the effect of different shades on mood; a red dining room, say, can stimulate appetite and conversation, an indigo office lends itself to creative thought, and a soft pink bedroom will aid restful sleep.
Where Aura-Soma differs is that is refers to the unique energy of different colours and colour combinations. Colour is light, waves of energy at specific lengths, and all living beings radiate energy, hence the name—‘aura’ referring to the electromagnetic field that surrounds us, a vibration or shimmer, and ‘soma’ being the Greek for body.
The system uses a group of over 100 bottles, each containing two layers of liquid in specific combinations of jewel-like colours. The top layer, which is said to indicate our more conscious aspect, is infused with essential plant oils, and the bottom layer, which represents the subconscious, with the water extracts of the plant. Both are infused with the ‘energies’ of crystals. Each ‘Balance’ or ‘Equilibrium’ bottle is named and numbered. In this way, Aura-Soma brings together the disciplines of colour therapy, aromatherapy, herbalism, crystal healing and numerology.
The client is asked to choose four bottles in sequence, working from instinct alone, with or without a particular issue that they’d like to explore in mind. The practitioner will then give a reading based on the choice of colours—what it says about who the individual is and where they’re going, and about their emotional and spiritual situation and path ahead. The first bottle represent the soul’s purpose, the second the challenges ahead (which when overcome become gifts), the third the ‘here and now’, and the fourth the positive future. Consulting an Aura-Soma therapist requires active participation, choosing the colours that can bring feelings and thoughts up into the conscious mind, and reveal the true self in a way that is understandable. Working with the practitioner to explore identity and purpose, the themes of the past and their relationship with the present and the future.
I asked Caroline Flavin, who has been practicing since 2006, to explain: ‘Vicky Wall, the creator of Aura-Soma said that “you are the colours you chose and these reflect your being’s needs”. It’s particularly good for seeing yourself at a deeper level. It invites clients to work from the deepest level of their being, empowering them to help themselves. People often come to Aura-Soma when they’re at a crossroads in life.’ Caroline believes that among the benefits of the therapy are an awakened enthusiasm and revitalisation, a greater use of our talents and tools to meet life’s challenges, more rewarding relationships and a richer experience of love and care, and a ‘reconnection with our inner selves and our intuition.’ The overall effect, say its supporters, is one of restoration and energising, harmony and health.
Practitioners agree that Aura-Soma is constantly evolving, and as such Caroline describes ‘a renewal process of a continuing professional development programme for practitioners’, who are affiliated with the A.S.I.A.C.T (Art and Science International Academy of Colour Technologies) and must undertake training. There are Aura-Soma Academies in the UK and in Japan, which is where Caroline was living when she discovered the system.
Caroline charges €50 for a consultation, which lasts one and a half hours; she would typically see a client twice a year. At the end of the consultation, the client chooses one bottle to take away, and many practitioners also offer the colours/aromas/oils in different forms to be used at home.