The sign intrigued me. “See your aura! Only $19.95!”
I had wandered into a small outdoor shopping mall in the town of Sedona, Arizona. In between the chocolate store and the Western art gallery was a souvenir shop. The shop was brightly lit and had several crystals hanging in the window, sending the rainbow pattern dancing in the ether.
I was outside looking in. I wanted to know more about my aura and see it too, if possible. Did I have an aura? Nobody has told me about seeing my aura before. Do I have a nice looking aura? Does it look like a halo? Or devil’s horns if I’ve done something bad that day? Does it go through your clothes or does it get stopped? I imagined that if you’re at the beach in your swimsuit then your aura must be shining at full strength. What if you’re snowmobiling and you’re wearing long underwear, a snowmobile suit, and a helmet?
The door banged shut as I entered and rang a little bell near the counter. An attractive woman emerged from behind a curtain. She was in her late 30s, with deeply bronzed Arizona tan, spiky hair, and mysterious tattoos running up one arm. She had a Kokopelli medallion around her neck. A small crystal pyramid was on the counter, next to a newspaper turned to the horoscope section.
“Good afternoon! Welcome to the New Age Nirvana gift shop,” she said cheerfully. “How can I help you?”
I thought briefly about seeing if she could take care of my impending income tax bill with Uncle Sam, or mentioning that her karma had run over my dogma, but thought better of it.
“I saw your sign in the front window about seeing my aura. I’ve never seen mine before. I’m curious.”
“Everyone has an aura displayed to those around them,” she replied. “Your aura affects those around you, especially your soul mate. However, the aura is present only in the fifth dimension. Some people who are completely in tune with the forces of Mother Earth can see it in others. Most people need special equipment to detect it.”
“Can you see auras without the special equipment? Can you see my aura now?” I asked.
“Not right now. I can see auras only when I am practicing a certain secret yoga position and smoking peyote.”
She led me to the back of the store into a small, very dark room. She had me stand with my back to the wall and then she disappeared. A few seconds later I heard her voice behind me, coming through an opening in the wall near my head.
“I am now going to show you your aura,” she whispered. “Please look straight ahead.”
Colorful shapes appeared out of the darkness. All of the colors of the rainbow were flowing outward from a humanoid shape a few feet in front of me. As I moved my head and arms, the rainbow colors moved with me. It was magical.
“I can tell that you have a good aura,” she said. “You must be a good person.”
I’d had enough. I quickly crossed the small room and groped along the wall. I flipped the light switch to find that the room contained a large flat screen TV mounted on the wall opposite from where I had been standing. There was a webcam mounted above the TV. A cable ran from the TV along the floor and disappeared into a hole in the wall to the room behind this one.
The woman burst into the room.
“What are you doing!” she cried. “You’re destroying your aura!”
“I’m an investigative reporter on a joint assignment from Penn & Teller’s TV show, the Skeptics Society, and the Onion,” I lied. “You’re busted! Your special equipment is nothing but a webcam, a TV, and a computer with a gesture recognition program.”
She scowled and kicked me out of her store. I couldn’t even buy a local map with directions to the best vortex.