When I read the aura, the meaning of a colour changes depending on where it is found around the body. The area under the arms is an intriguing area that I don’t often talk about with clients, because, like the area between the legs, it can be complex. When I first began sketching, this area represented ‘what has been brought in from the past’. Like suitcases tucked up under the arms, this area can represent unresolved baggage. Whether I read ‘past’ as childhood or past life usually depends on the style of reading being given and what is appropriate for the client.
Past life ‘stories’ are excellent for more esoteric clients or clients who will be more receptive to an abstract archetypal representation of deep issues in their lives. Whilst this area in a clients psyche isn’t completely invisible to the individual it is an area they will attempt to deny to themselves and others around them. For this reason it can be a ‘touchy’ area and if, as the counselor, you press too hard up against these wounds, they will bite back with denials and rejections.
Far easier, then, to dress the real story up as a past life story. Not that I dont ‘believe’ in these, but in the context of no-time, no-space inherent within the psychic realm, I’d argue not that past lives aren’t real but that they possibly were not ‘past’ or separate from the self. This may appear complex but is quite simple when viewed with an open mind.
Stories and fairytales are a beautiful way to convey the journey of various inner selves interacting, struggling and triumphing through the many challenges of their mutual journey together. Some clients are comfortable seeing this process in a psychological manner, in the vein of Carl Jung perhaps or any other shamanic-based psychology stream. Other clients prefer a plain and simple ‘these are the real events that happened to me in my past, in my childhood’ and will discuss the actual events and own the feelings but for many, this approach is too direct, too uncomfortable, too confronting.
Far safer for these people to explore their personal story in an indirect, story-telling manner where characters are exaggerated clearly enough for someone in partial denial to see, without shattering the psyche with un-faceable facts. Story-telling provides a buffer, helping us explore the events and how we feel about them as though the story were someone else’s, not our own. By holding the experience at arms length, we feel safer and can approach more readily, becoming open to insights simply through proximity to truth.
Later in my training, Spirit taught me to read this area as ‘deep inner self and hidden feelings’. Colours in this area would show me who the ‘real’ person was behind the projected persona. This is great because if a person has guarded, tough or cool colours in the outer field they can be difficult to engage with if you can’t see the real self hidden underneath. At first, I find these people intimidating but when I see the softer colours hidden underneath, I immediately relax and am able to begin building a rapport.
Years ago I was working with a woman who appeared unfriendly, cold, controlling and selfish. Naturally I held her at arms length and felt threatened by her. Then she asked me for a reading and I finally got to see the very sensitive, gentle soul underneath all those coping mechanisms. In other words, she was over-compensating because she felt very vulnerable. Needless to say, this was very good for our working relationship because I understood that her behaviour was about her, not about me!
Specific blues and greens in this area, like ‘hermit green’ and ‘watchful blue’ help me see the client as an immensely private person, putting me on notice to proceed with caution and be more alert to subtle cues as to what material can be safely discussed and to what extent. It’s important to respect a client’s privacy and the boundaries they provide you.
I’ve learned that just because I can clearly see an important issue or personality trait that needs addressing, doesn’t mean the client is ready to deal with it. I have to honour the client’s pace through life and let them be where they are at. That doesn’t, however, mean that I won’t sometimes nudge up against a client’s personal boundaries to test readiness and to remind them gently that the issue is there.
Clients who repeat the same colours both on the inside and the outside of the arms have a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of personality and are generally more open to being laid bare than clients who have different colours in each area. These people usually mean what they say and say what they mean and are delightfully straightforward. They often value honesty and dislike psychological game playing.
When a client has a colour under the arms representing a specific emotion, but it can’t be seen in the outer field, it means that these emotions are being hidden from others. The client is always aware of the emotion but they don’t openly express it for others to see. Sometimes this means they are repressing (not expressing) the emotion, but more often it simply means they don’t wish to share it with others- they may still express it in private. Grief is a common emotion people will tend to express in private, whereas anger is more likely to be completely repressed.
White under the arms can be read in a few different ways, depending on which meaning we provide the body-area, but the meanings are still inter-linked. When representing past life, it means the client has ‘come in with’ a clean slate or a fresh page and doesn’t have a back-log of unresolved issues left over from a previous life. This really frees the incarnated self up to fully sculpt the landscape of their own lives. Whilst I am in no way fatalistic in my thinking, I do believe that unresolved baggage has a tendency to recycle and keep us a little trapped in the same patterns.
I guess this perspective come from years of working as a healer and observing both my own and other peoples healing journeys. Unresolved issues are like unfinished stories and the psyche doesn’t tend to cope with this very well. In order to move on, people usually requires some kind of conclusion or resolution, even if this is simply a chosen perspective they can live with as opposed to a perspective they cannot swallow. We digest our experiences, breaking them down and attempting to make some kind of sense of them, but some experiences don’t lend themselves easily to being made sense of. These experiences are like merry-go-rounds that don’t let us off until we find an ending the psyche will accept.
I’ve often said that wounds emanate a frequency that attracts more of the same. When we have a wound or unresolved issue from the past, the psyche is kind of bleeding out a message that expresses the wound as a personal truth. This personal truth might say something like ‘I’m invisible- no one hears me’ or ‘the people I love always betray me’.
The metaphorical blood from this wound is on psychic broadcast, radiating outwards into the world until it finds something to resonate with. In many ways, it is a personal statement of truth that says ‘this is who I am, what my story is and what I expect from life’. The wound is exploring itself, attempting to either consolidate through proving itself consistently true or transform through challenging the life-hypothesis this personal truth is based on. If this wound can find a different truth, a different ending to the story, it may be able to transcend a more limiting perspective on life and rise into a version of reality that provides true healing.
If, on the other hand, we surrender to the wound and give up, we become deeply entrenched in the reality of this wound because we have no energy to rise above or beyond this perspective and experience reality in any other way. Even direct challenges to the reality of the wound will be met with flat denial and it can take a truly magnificent, life-shattering event or persistent work over a long period of time to finally bust you free from the hold of the wound. Once this has occurred, we would see the beautiful wash of white under the arms, signifying the liberated state of a cleanly healed slate.
When looking at the under-arm area as representing deep inner self, white represents a washing clean, a letting go, a deep cleansing of old dross (rubbish or unresolved baggage) from the depths of the psyche. White is strongly associated with surrender to God/Goddess/All That Is or the concept of ‘Letting go and Letting God/Life’. In many ways, this colour expresses in the aura when we resolve an old wound, rewrite an old story or rise above a limited way of viewing ourselves, others and the life we are living. White is a liberation from being held back by our old ‘stuff’ so we can soar free on wings of light and uplifted possibility. We may not be able to change the basic content of what has or hasn’t happened in our lives, but we can completely transform our personal experience of those events in a way that sets us free, simply through releasing the perspective that is causing us pain.
I guess, if we look at the position again and remind ourselves that this is the area under the arms, we can think of this area also as being symbolic of ‘what we are holding onto’ or ‘what has not yet been released’. White in this area means we have let go and by doing so, we have set ourselves free. It is, after all, a bit difficult to fly when your wings are holding onto great heavy boulders from the past.