I had no idea what to expect from aura imaging, but Tony Cash, the practitioner, told me on the phone that it would help with self-knowledge and general awareness. Although naturally sceptical, I was prepared to accept that all living things have an energy field around them and I was curious to know what mine might reveal about me.
In his pleasant little office in Covent Garden, central London, Tony asked me to put my hand on a small box which had five metal loops for my fingers. The box was connected to a computer which, after a few minutes, produced a picture of a full body outline with a vivid green and blue oval shape printed over it.
Tony told me that this was a picture of my aura, mentioning in passing that it was quite like his own. The whole centre section of the body outline was green, with blue at the outer edges of the oval. Colours apparently range from dark red to white, the latter signifying closeness to enlightenment and therefore being the rarest. There were pictures of other people's auras on the wall, and they varied wildly in their mixture of colours.
The computer then printed out the picture and several pages of text. While this was happening, Tony explained the significance of what I was looking at.
I am basically a "green", apparently, which means I have a warm heart and a sympathetic nature. The balance of colours in the aura showed that I was taking in green energy and giving out blue, which means that I am supportive to others.
A patch of murkier green colour around my head showed that I'm stressed out emotionally and rather irritable - according to Tony. It also showed that my "right-male-active" side had a higher energy level than my "left-female-passive" side, which he said might suggest that I was feeling strong emotions which I was not expressing.
My chakras - key energy points in the body - were visible as coloured dots down through the centre of the body outline. Tony said they were normal, except that my throat chakra was rather small, showing that (again) I'm probably suppressing my feelings.
The shape of my aura was not commented on in the text, but Tony said how good it was that the aura extended well beyond my feet (which shows I'm well grounded). However, the way it dipped over my shoulders indicated lots of responsibilities weighing on me.
The session only lasted 30 minutes, but Tony offered to answer any subsequent questions I might have. I felt slightly disappointed when I found myself outside again; I would have liked more discussion of what Tony could see in the aura.
Reading the print-out after I returned home, I realised that most of the description was very like me - some of it so uncannily close as to be embarrassing.
It was also liberating. The text was divided into sections: mind and body, social life, career and finances. For example, it told me that my constant chattering is therapeutic and necessary for me - I'm not really a chatterbox, but an expressive personality. And my endless curiosity about people, relationships, and emotions is entirely normal and healthy for people like me. It also said how important it was for me to "dig in the dirt" to stay mentally healthy, which is apt because I am an archaeologist.
There was also a section on health, which said I needed to relax a lot - I shall do that now in complete confidence and without shame. My mind and body "tells [me] exactly what to do to regain health", so I can follow any urges I may have without guilt.
Aura imaging, which costs £15 a go, may be a con: I have no way of knowing if the computer was really connected to the box I put my hand in. But I found it fascinating, and may have it done again to see how it changes over time.
I immediately wanted my friends and family to have it done. It may not have told me much I didn't know, but it would be fascinating to see other people's auras and know more about them.
Tony Cash, 24 Rose Street, London WC2E 9EA. Tel: 0181 853 0378. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .