Synesthesia in Art, Life and Business

Synesthesia and Seeing Auras

Posted on February 6, 2013 in My Brain, Research | 9 comments

I must be crazy.

Ok, that was last week. This week, I’m a little less insane. As it turns out, the colors I’ve seen projected around people (and also associated in my mind’s eye) since a very young age may be related to my intense Emotion->Color (also described as Personality->Color) synesthesia, and I’m not alone. Other synesthetes have reported seeing them as well.

Auras appear as halos, or soft light, around an individual’s form. The location of the light seems to vary depending on the person, but most report the brightest light around the head and shoulders.

History interprets auras as phenomenon experienced only by those with a 6th sense (and maybe this is just that), or a high spirituality. It’s currently unclear as to who can see them, and why, but science is catching up. Studies have indicated that every living creature emits energy, and that energy can be viewed by some ultra-sensitive people.

To be clear, I only seem to project colors around people that I highly respect, don’t know as well, or have an affinity for. I’ve noticed brighter lights around people who seem to radiate balance, or an even amount of positive vs. negative emotions.

As you may have guessed, my close family and friends don’t show very bright or obvious colors. I know them very well (we’re extremely in sync), so for them, I have more of an associated feeling of color vs. projected. For example, my middle daughter always feels very pink to me. My dog feels very brown. ┬áIt’s a warm brown, like soft leather or suede, almost texture-like.

As odd as it may be, and as uncomfortable as I may feel talking about it, I have to admit that I’ve relied on these auras to lead me in the right direction for much of my life. I’ve opted to avoid certain people or places, and I even chose my current job as a result of this sense.

At the same time, it has its drawbacks. I avoid some social situations because a crowded room of people can be very uncomfortable. I’ve also noticed that some auras are inviting but go against my instincts. I’m not sure why I feel attracted to some auras, but I am – even when the people emitting those auras are obviously bad news.

Who knows why some things happen in life? There’s so much that we don’t understand, and this ability to convert emotion into color and then project that outward is just one of them. With so many riddles left to solve, is it possible that maybe (just maybe) there’s magic in this world after all? I’d like to think so.

Lots of readers contacted me about this post! For those of you with questions, I’ve written a follow up Q&A.

Further reading:

Perceptions of Aura Caused by Emotional Synesthesia – Softpedia

Synsethesia May Explain Healer’s Claims of Seeing People’s ‘Aura’ – Science Daily.


  1. Damn… I want this ability..

  2. Even I can see colors around people and things…. Sometimes its fascinating… Sometimes its overwhelming.

    I also see certain colors when i hear some songs…

    • Well, same thing is happening to me and has happened ever since I was young, but it’s more like I detect others attitude in colours. I’m very good at reading moods and strong moods and personalities associate with a colour. Maybe that’s why I’m so good at art, I express my emotions through colours on the canvas. Recently I’ve discovered that solving mental math places me in like this rainbow coloured situation and somehow, through shifting the colours, I end up with a solution. Anyone got something on that?

  3. I see auras too, but have no other known synesthesia

  4. i also a few times in my life seen pink,purple, violet, red auras patterns around living things, and felt the same emotion sometimes as the person or animal with aura. my mind finds mathematical patterns and geometry in nature with out even focusing on it. my mind has very strange ways of seeing and remembering things, i have adhd, and apparent schizophrenia, which is complete bullshit made up to make pharmaceutical companies billions.

  5. I’m a synesthete as well though I hate calling it auras, it sounds a bit weird to me. The area the “aura” is the brightest for me is along the head and torso primary along the spine. The aura also radiates from the body by about five inches sometimes more depending on the person. I also get colors from taste, touch, sound, temperature, shapes, words and letters. I also see colors that don’t appear with my normal vision such as a kind of brownish purple and a peachy green. I have been tested and confirmed to have 10 different types of synestheisa but it is possible I could have more. I do have a few other cognitive abilities that I’ve been tested for but i’m not sure if their related or not.
    The thing that irritates me the most about it is that I get painful migraines in crowds it’s like a static rainbow fog so yeah i’m not so great at clubs. Apparently its a form of sensory overload. Another thing that kinda bothers me is that I can’t see my own color. Feels like I’m a broken light bulb in a row of carnival lights It kinda makes one feel a little lonesome at times.

  6. Thanks. This is very interesting. I have synesthesia (numbers/letters colours, touch/smell/taste) and just saw an aura on someone for the first time. I was on the streetcar waving goodbye to my date, just after we had had our first kiss. HIs head was surrounded by bright glowing yellow and royal blue.

  7. I’ve been a seer for as long as I can remember and it is both a gift and a curse. Colors make me really emotional at times because I see most everything in color. (Not trying to be a comedian and state the obvious) but I see auras around most everything. Sometimes it’s easier to see than at other times (dim light is the best, or focusing on on an object). But like the post author wrote, it can get real crazy real quick.

  8. My daughter, now 15, has this type of synesthesia (as well as grapheme to color). She is an associator and “sees” these colors in her mind’s eye. She will sometimes “see” a shadow on negative people as well; kind of a black overlay on their individual color. She avoids these people if at all possible. She dislikes certain personality colors and gravitates to others. How do you explain that to a teacher…”I’m sorry, Ms. Jones but you have a yellow aura and she dislikes all yellows”?!

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