I bid you good evening.

Tonight we are going to take up one of the topics on your list; and we will talk with you about the aura. The aura, we know, is of great interest to you in your material world, it rouses great curiosity and great value is placed on it. I must confess that it is a very difficult topic to talk about, I will be running into our usual problem of concepts which you do not have. The concepts which I may find difficult to put into words, but we are prepared, as always, to face up to a challenge.

The aura that you see is a sort of vibratory emanation from what you would probably term the soul. The soul is not some definite object with these rays coming from it. It is the centre, it is true, the centre where the rays start from, where they are, therefore the most concentrated.

Challenge No. One - What sort of rays?

People in your world who can see the aura, see it as a light. This, as you by now probably guess, is not strictly correct. But it is probably about the closest we can get. It is a vibration. It is perhaps closer to what you know as a laser beam, but in the case of the aura, it is not strictly speaking, a beam, it is the closest. The best word we can use is, an emanation from the centre. How this emanation interpenetrates the physical body, and, to some degree, its force is determined by the physical body in that it is a bit taller than your body. Actually it extends a little from your feet but you do not see this because you have a floor blocking your vision. It is widest at the shoulders and tapers towards your feet and is rounded in form over the top. Extension of the arm from the body causes some extension of the aura too.

In a healthy person the aura usually extends two or three inches from the body. Mediums have slightly bigger auras, and when they are preparing to go in trance the aura greatly expands. This makes it easier for us spirits to enter the body of the medium. We are basically 'trapped' by the aura, although 'trapped' implies a deliberate snaring of us, but we enter willingly, by design. But we enter into the medium's aura. To do this our aura must be compatible with the medium's aura, that is, the rates of vibration must approximate so that we can fit in together. This is why very often the medium's controls exhibit certain personality characteristics in many ways similar to the medium. They are not identical, but similar. Even with rescues, the vibrations have to be within a certain range in order for the rescue to come in.

In the case of rescues though, there is more help given by the medium's controls. There is some attempt to adjust vibrations so that the rescue can come in. When a rescue is being prepared for, all the medium's controls will be present and will usually be gathered behind the medium. This is one reason why the rescue usually needs a higher degree of energy in the circle than the normal circles. When a person is ill, the aura will contract somewhat. Because the aura interpenetrates the body, the aura will be affected by the body because the body is affected by the aura. Illnesses usually show up in the aura before they manifest in the body, because they are usually a condition which the person has agreed to take on. And so, at an appropriate time, they will develop in the aura and then manifest in the body. So the person who can see auras and can see an illness developing, can give a warning and if the person is able to take appropriate steps the illness can be warded off. But not every person who looks at auras will see physical illnesses. It depends on what is the main area of interest for the psychic. One may be interested in health problems and will see them building up. But if the psychic is more interested in spiritual concerns, they sill see the spiritual indications in the aura, and may not see the illness indicators. Personalities and moods, all show up in the aura, usually by means of a colour which a psychic can see. Generally the brighter and lighter the colour, the more positive the attributes of that person. It is the quality of the colour which indicates the - just a moment - I am given the word 'continuum'. You have a line with positive at one end and negative at the other. The quality of the colour indicates where, on that continuum, the person is. For instance, red indicates energy. If is it a dull dark red, it will be a negative type of energy, the kind you will associate with anger; but if it is a clear bright red, it indicates a person with plenty of energy to spare and who will be leading an active life, at least at that particular moment. You can have an overall colour indicating the predisposition of the person, but also, colours will come and go. A person, who for some particular reason, has a high energy level at that time will have that nice, clear, red, but if they are having a quiet time in their life, perhaps for some reason they are being more alone, withdrawing from the world a little, they will have a different colour. Someone who has decided to retreat for spiritual purposes will have purple-mauve shades. Someone who wishes, or is, a healer will have the blue shades. And the brighter and clearer the blue, the more effective they are being.

The interpretation of the colours is not definitely laid down for everyone, and individual psychics may interpret colours differently. What I have been giving is the way in which we would interpret these colours. Green we would take to be growth and, depending on the shade of the hue, whether it is growth in a beneficial way, or a negative way. Whether the person is developing positive qualities or negative qualities.

You may have more than one colour in the aura at any one time. This can be shifting or changing, something like the colours in a bubble. A healthy aura, and I mean the aura itself, not the body, will be vibrating or manifesting in a steady fashion. It will have a clear outline. It will be evenly spread over the body with no particular bulges or indentations here and there.

Moods can affect this, if you are angry you will tend to have flares coming from the aura. Sometimes a person who is excitable, their aura will tend to, now and gain, shoot out, something like those pictures which you have of your sun with flares. These temporary projections do not matter greatly, they will subside down again. What gives us concern is when an aura loses that steady shape for a protracted period of time or even permanently. Instability of the aura can be caused by severe physical shock, such as a bad accident, especially one in which a part of the body is maimed in some way, or which leads to an amputation of some sort.

The other way is by a mental, psychological, type of shock, and, of course, you can have both. A severe accident can also involve the psychological aspect. The effect of the physical trauma will, in time, correct itself, but this depends very largely on the psychological state of the person. A stable confident person who values him or herself will recover more quickly and easily, than someone who does not have these qualities. Someone lacking in self-confidence, someone who has not achieved stability of themselves or of their life, will find it harder, and takes longer, to adjust and to accept what has happened. It is similar with the purely psychological shock. I am thinking particularly about the kind of events in which the person's self-concept has been affected, and there are many ways in which that can occur.

Psychological shock also has the potentiality of being permanent, and the person who can recover their stability and self-esteem will be able to recover - their aura will be able to recover - from the effects. The unstable aura makes it harder for the person's door-keeper to protect the person, I am trying to think up an analogy at the moment. Think of something that is soft and slippery. The medium is suggesting cooked spaghetti, it is perhaps as close as we can get. We do not like it because it has a lot of thin strands and we wanted something that is more of a whole. Your pastry is too dense for our purpose. But if you can think of something that is soft and slippery, jelly perhaps. If you try to hold it, it slips through your fingers. This is the kind of problem that we have. Also the person with a psychological type of problem, will not be freely co-operating with their guides. They will be emotionally upset and will have lost that calm centre which enables us to impress you more easily with our advice. And this means that a mischievous spirit can get at least some influence over the person and there can be some problem in getting rid of that mischievous spirit. I have been asked how do you cure or heal the aura. The best way is to get your material life back into a stable condition. If you can achieve that, the aura will, in time, calm down and be strengthened. This can take, by your reckoning, some years. And so anyone who has had a severe psychological shock should wait a goodly period of time before becoming involved in this kind of activity, and certainly before making any attempt to develop psychic gifts which they may have. We have often, in this circle, stressed the necessity for following the conventions of your society. You need to fit in with the society in which you have placed yourselves. You have placed yourself there for some purpose and so, fitting in with society, prevents negative thoughts and emotions being directed at you. And if your aura has been damaged in some way it is very important to avoid such a situation. So take care not to upset the people around you. Leading a calm quiet life, in these circumstances, helps to soothe the aura. The things that are often suggested to you as helping are also beneficial, things such as walking, getting out in the open, with plants, make sure you have a balanced diet, rest and watch the vibrations of sound around you. This is very important. Loud jarring noises can be quite harmful even to the healthiest and well adjusted person. For someone with any damage to the aura that would be quite destructive, almost to the point of preventing healing taking place. Also avoiding situations which cause you distress, and people that you do not feel compatible with. Watch the kind of things that you read, and remind yourself of the basic goodness of humanity.

In your daily life your aura will be affected by the people with whom you come in contact. You are often unavoidably in close contact with people with whom you may not be compatible, you use your public transport for instance. If for some reason you have to go into a crowded place, you can brush against people who are not compatible with you, and so the edges or a part of your aura may be disturbed. We have given you before, a technique for soothing the aura and we suggest that you practise this as often as you think of it. Briefly, the technique is to smooth your hands a few inches from your body. Just smooth over it, down the sides, come down the back, down each arm, come down the front. Wherever you feel particularly drawn, you can make a few soothing passing motions. Just see where you feel you need to calm and smooth the aura, as though you are modelling something and you are trying to make it smooth, just a few inches from your body. Do not actually touch the body. Particularly go over the head and down the back (as far as you can). The back is a particularly vulnerable part. While doing this you should also flick your fingers every now and again, that flicks off anything that doesn't belong to you. You can also shake them vigorously. That will shake down, perhaps you might like to conceive it, energy off from your hands, and that will help you in smoothing, soothing and calming your aura. This has often been found to be beneficial when feeling tired or depleted. It may help to give you a little more energy.

Now, we think we have covered the main points in the question. If anyone would like some further clarification or to ask other questions about the aura, I will do my best to answer your questions.

Marsha: What happens when you are going through a difficult time in your life, a combination of several types of involvement, work involvement, family crisis, plus on a personal level you are working on something at that particular time. How can you protect yourself? It is very difficult when you are in that position to clean yourself out. When trying to reach that higher self and trying to look forwards, I am not sure how I can protect myself. it seems one has to go into oneself to try to re-group. I am not sure if I am making myself clear.

Sertorius: I think I have the picture. When you have problems in different areas of your life and they seem to come at once, and you are trying to go within but the surrounding circumstances are preventing that or interfering with it.

The technique we have just shown should give some, at least, temporary help. Sometimes this is something which you have chosen to take on, and I am not necessarily speaking you, when I say 'you' at the moment I am using what the medium would call the 'generalised you', meaning 'people'. In this sort of situation you are in danger of losing that calm, inner centre, or at least are having trouble in experiencing that calmness. We suggest that, as often as you can, you remind yourself that that calmness is there. It is not gone for ever, conditions will pass, will improve.

To strengthen your aura, picture the aura around you like an egg-shell, with the aura expanding as far as the shell and then back again, a sort of vibration. Seek whatever guidance may be at hand for you. Each person is an individual, and each person will react best to something different to the next person. Try to see in your surroundings areas where you can take action. And if you can see something, no matter how small, then do it. This gives you some measure of feeling of control of your independence and abilities, self-esteem. Try to send loving thoughts to those who are causing you distress. Do whatever you find brings you relaxation. We prefer the calmer type activities. Sitting looking at a beautiful view, listening to beautiful music, this type of thing. However, we do realise that if someone does become angry at something, it is often beneficial to do something energetic, you can play one of your sport games, play at something that is vigorous. This will burn up the energy that is flaring your aura, and then afterwards you should have a calmer mind, and perhaps you would then be able to make better decisions and look at your situation in a more stable way. Those people who are in situations from which they cannot get out of, those in situations in which they cannot do anything to help themselves, the one thing you can work on is your mental approach. Try to accept what is happening, don't fight against it. A mixture of resignation and acceptance, being like the duck with water running off its back.

Marsha: In a sense, most of us can't see auras. Is there something we can perceive, perhaps subconsciously, when we are coming in contact with people, and is that perhaps something that protects in a sense?

Sertorius: Yes, if you have a good stable aura. It will, to some extent, protect you. But it can still be affected in these kinds of situations. This is why you will often feel very depleted when you have been in a large crowd, particularly one of strangers. You can indeed, not necessarily subconsciously, perceive auras, but you will, at least, subconsciously be aware of the effects of other people's auras on your own aura. And the more aware of this, the more sensitive you are, the more you are beginning to develop. Particularly in the beginning stages, you will be more affected by this. So we feel it is particularly useful to pass on to you these methods of soothing and cleansing the aura. There is another slight variation on the technique I showed you just now. This one actually touches the body, and is particularly useful if you have been healing someone. First place both hands, with your fingers meeting in the centre of your forehead, you draw your fingers towards the back of your head, across the ears to the base of the skull. Then go down one arm with the fingers of the other hand and then, down the other arm. Do that three times. Then do it again three times, but go from the neck down the full length of the body to the feet.

We do not pretend to have invented these techniques, they are quite well-known. We are very happy to be reminded about these things when we have new people in the circle. It all helps to protect you, particularly in your early stages. Very often when people first come into this movement, they are particularly excited about it, and for a while their minds revolve around it all the time. This means that they are constantly opening up their auras and so particularly at that stage you need to know how to close off.

Does anyone else have any point to make?

Guy: Could you briefly comment, Sertorius, on the effects of different types of music. You mentioned the effects of sound. There are many types of music around in our society.

Sertorius: Yes. Some, we feel, are quite distressing. There will be some variation from person to person. What one person will find soothing and beneficial, another person may not. The more 'refined' type of music and there is a wide range of expression in that, we feel is particularly calming or strengthening to people. Then there is the more lively music, the dance kind of music, the folk music, which gives more energy, more liveliness. Most of this is probably quite self-evident. Again, there is in that, a wide variety which will suit most tastes. Then you get other music which is quite stirring, the military type music, the marches particularly have a sort of rhythm or beat which, we are tempted to say 'designed' but that is, strictly speaking, not quite right, has the effect of rousing the body to action. It tries to drum up the courage.

The harmonious sounds are far and away the most beneficent. The discordant music jars the aura ever so slightly. Likewise, the very loud, and a particular type of rhythmic beat can be almost harmful to people. And we feel that people who are seriously embarking on the spiritual path should avoid this type. Anything that is loud and very jarring should be avoided by people who are wishing to develop. Do you wish any further explication?

Guy: No, thank you.

Sertorius: I think, with your permission, I will withdraw. There is some tiredness setting in (in the medium).

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