Reading My Red

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

I refused to leave Sedona, Arizona, home to a “spiritual vortex,” without visiting at least one of the city’s renowned psychics. Sharing my spirited lust for travel, my mom brought my sisters and me to “Sedona Center for the New Age,” where I was convinced we would experience self-revelation.

Noting that we were first-timers, the shop owner recommended we have our auras read, a process involving a sensor that detects a person’s energy field through her hands and displays it as a colorful cloud.

My sister Elise was read first. The psychic smiled, explaining that her orange and yellow aura proved her to be gregarious, witty, and independent. She could sense that Elise’s best friend was a boy in her carpool and that she loved horses – eerily accurate. Lizzy volunteered next, her aura a mix of lime green and blue. Apart from the arbitrary insight that Lizzy’s spirit animal was an armadillo (we joke about it to this day), the psychic’s analysis of her as a serene friend, determined scholar, and stubborn athlete was spot-on.

When my turn came, I drifted into the dimly-lit room, placed my hands on the glowing sensor, and listened to the printer spit out what I believed was my destiny. The psychic scrutinized the image, then urgently told my sisters to leave the room. Confused, I glimpsed my startling aura: blood-red, darkened by black shadows. I felt my face blush to the hue of the photo as the woman informed me that I had a hole in my spiritual heart formed five years prior. Scanning my memories of fourth grade, I recalled monkey-bars, sleepovers, and nurturing teachers– nothing scarring. The woman explained that the buildup of negative energy would force one of my two best friends to betray me. It took just one more dismal prediction about my future husband (or lack thereof) for panic to set in. While I attempted to poke fun at the situation, I was deeply unsettled by my reading.

The next morning I awoke with renewed optimism. Intent on redressing my dismal future, I researched “best aura reader in Sedona.” Within an hour we were on our way to “Sedona Crystal Vortex.”

When my saturated photo finally spit out of the machine, I cringed, recognizing the crimson and black. The psychic lifted it up, and exclaimed “Darling, I knew it! You’re one of my rare reds!”, jolting me with hope. “Deeply passionate, creative, and caring. Those hands of yours can heal anything you touch – even headaches!” I received no mention of a hole in my heart, no warning of backstabbing friends, and nothing of a loveless future.

As I mature and reflect, I realize my two opposite readings prove that while a psychic may be able to assign a person a color according to the size or temperature of that person’s hands, only the person decides what that color means.

For me, my red is invested; I will work for hours to develop a font and color scheme for a self-designed-website. My red is resilient; I have recovered from intense anxiety and learned to tame the perfectionist within me. My red is compassionate; I can sense when someone needs love, and never hesitate to uplift them. My red is artistic; whether it’s jewelry-making, oil-painting, cake-decorating, or playing my cello, I crave my creative outlets. My red is grounded; I seek the mountains above all other places in the world, and have a goal to hike all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks. My red is contemplative; the gears in my head are always turning, especially during a game of Bananagrams (still haven’t lost a game!).

I don’t need a psychic to tell me the perfect definition of my color. I understand myself, and as an invested, strong, and compassionate artist, athlete, and thinker, I’m proud of what my red has become.

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