Color Month

I Took a 3-Day Aura Color Journey — And It Changed the Way I See Color

published Jul 24, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

How do bold colors make you feel? I’m a quintessential Brooklynite who wears mostly black. I’ll occasionally sport pops of certain colors, like yellow, green, and blue, but red is a perennial no-go. If you’re anything like me, you can appreciate bright, poppy hues — but only from afar.

Regardless of personal preferences, the fact that everyone feels something about certain colors speaks to the power of colors. Susanna Merrick of Aura Wear NYC (@aurawearnyc) understands this effect intimately. As an intuitive energy reader and stylist, Merrick sees auras, or the uniquely colored, multi-layered energetic fields, that surround people. The colors in a person’s aura, she explains, reflect every aspect of who they are, from their physical health to their spiritual well-being. Merrick uses the colors she observes to help her clients dress in alignment with their energy.

“Color gets to be this place to explore,” she says. “By being able to identify and connect with colors, you’re drawing a direct line to how you feel and what you experience.” This exercise in embodied attunement encourages Merrick’s clients to act with intention. “Once you start to have a say in how you’re showing up in your day-to-day life,” she explains, “you can create the life you want to live.”

You don’t have to be into auras or energy work to recognize the profound effects of color. Anyone who’s researched color psychology knows that certain hues seem to elicit specific emotions or behaviors in humans. It’s easy to see how you could intentionally use color to bolster your mood, help you achieve your goals, or simply enhance your everyday life.

Determined to infuse more color into my life, I recently set out on a multi-day journey of color exploration. The experience surprised me in many ways (and may or may not have inspired the latest addition to my home office). Here’s a rundown of everything I did and my biggest takeaways from each colorful exercise.

Credit: Liz Calka

First, I got an aura reading.

I’m an astrologer, so it only made sense to kick off my color saga with a virtual aura reading from Merrick. When I hopped on our video call, I found myself feeling uncharacteristically nervous. Because I can’t see auras, I didn’t know what mine would look like — or what meaning Merrick would make of it.

Two colors came to the forefront in my reading: green and pink. According to Merrick, I have an oversaturation of these hues in my auric field. (Auras contain “every color of the rainbow,” she explains, but depending on your current mindset or circumstances, certain colors take precedence.) These two reflect my deep-rooted tendency to “people-please” instead of prioritizing my own wants and needs — a harsh but true assessment, and one Merrick broached with compassion.

She recommended I instead focus on orange, a powerful hue that’s underrepresented in my aura. Orange represents confidence, creativity, and playfulness — all qualities I’m actively trying to embody personally and professionally. (It’s also a masculine color, which piqued my interest as a queer person whose gender presentation bucks conventions.) I was impressed by her ability to zero in on my goals and eager to learn how I could orange-ify my aura.

My “prescription,” as Merrick put it, was to meditate on the color orange and visualize it enveloping my body. While doing so, she recommended that I think about the qualities I want to associate with this color. I already have a meditation practice, so pondering the color orange in this way wasn’t a total departure for me. I found the whole experience — Merrick’s Rx included — enjoyable, informative, and very validating. It also inspired me to purchase an orange notebook for note-taking and journaling. Every time I crack it open, I think of the confidence and creativity I’m striving for.

Credit: Sam Manzella

Next, I took the “prescription” from my aura reading on a color walk.

Shortly after my aura reading with Merrick, I embarked on my next color-themed exercise: a color walk. Popularized on TikTok in 2022, this exercise involves walking around your neighborhood in pursuit of a predetermined color. The idea is that, by searching for this color out and about, you’ll pay closer attention to your surroundings.

Naturally, I chose orange. It’s not the most common color, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to find orange plants, street signs, and objects all around me. I couldn’t help but wonder if meditating on this hue had helped me attract it, à la manifestation. Even now, as I write this article days later from my partner’s family home in a different city, orange flowers and decor seem to be following me at every turn.

Going on a color walk kept me present and engaged with my surroundings. Because I’m super familiar with my neighborhood, I didn’t stumble upon any hidden gems, but I’d recommend this exercise for anyone who wants to get to know their neighborhood more intimately. It was a fun, low-stakes way to mix up my daily walk — and a great excuse to snap some artsy pics.

Finally, I dressed according to my planetary colors. 

For the last leg of my color journey, I turned to my occult modality of choice: astrology, an ancient tradition I’ve spent the past three years studying. One fascinating astrological niche is the world of planetary colors, which assigns each of the five visible planets (plus the sun and moon) with a color. The idea is that, by wearing or using this color in a ritualistic way, you can channel the qualities or energies of a specific planet.

As a Gemini, I’m ruled by Mercury, the planet of learning, communication, and short-distance travel. Mercury is associated with multi-colored patterns, which makes sense when you consider how quickly this planet moves (and how often it retrogrades). I decided to embrace my mercurial nature by deliberately wearing multi-colored clothing for a few days and observing how I felt.

Because my closet isn’t the most colorful, I relied heavily on accessories. For instance, I paired my boldest purse — a nylon crossbody bag covered in, get this, orange flames — with the few patterned shirts and pants I already owned. As outrageous as these outfits sometimes looked on the hanger, I was shocked by how natural they felt once I slipped them on. The eclectic colorways brought a smile to my face whenever I caught a glimpse of my reflection. I also noticed that I wrote with unusual speediness during this time. Was this the influence of writerly Mercury, or of the numerous deadlines hanging over my head? Who’s to say?

I’d be lying if I said my life was totally changed by this exercise. But, like the aura reading and color walk, it did enhance my overall appreciation of color. For that reason, I’d also recommend it, especially for the astrology enthusiasts out there.

What My 3-Part Color Journey Taught Me

I’m emerging from this days-long experiment with a newfound penchant for observation, something I’ve historically struggled to cultivate. I genuinely feel galvanized to wear more color — not because I feel like I should, but because I understand the power of doing so intentionally. 

As I reflect on what I’ve learned, I’m reminded of Merrick’s comment about how her work helps people create the lives they want to live. This notion of intentional living transcends dressing colorfully, and I’m excited to continue exploring it in different ways. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go journal in my new orange notebook.