Subtle Energy Bodies

also known as “layers” or the aura

The human energy field (aura) contains interpenetrating “subtle energy bodies”, contained within one another like “nesting dolls”. The first, often called the etheric body, is closest to the physical body and each successive body extends further out. These are sometimes referred to as layers, but are not like the layers of an onion, because they co-exist in the same space. This is possible because they contain different frequencies. The energy bodies are related to various aspects of our experience as human beings.

There are a variety of models of the structure of the human energy field (or aura). Some descriptions of the energy field, such as those in the Vedic tradition of India, are ancient and some, such as that of Barbara Brennan, are contemporary. While Brennan’s work draws on ancient understandings combined with her own observations, some contemporary healers create models without regard to older, traditional models. Parker and Roman, for example, describe energies of what they call the light body which they state refers to energy bodies which are more subtle than the chakra system.

Visit our Various Models page for a description of several different models of the subtle energy bodies.

Note to students of healing:

Study of the observations and descriptions of others can be extremely useful, but skill in influencing the energy field in a therapeutic way comes about through the development of ones own energy field, intuition and subtle sense perception. There is no substitute for the learning which takes place from simply doing the work.

Many notable healers work without ever developing a intellectual model of the aura. Rubens Faria, a well-known Brazilian healer, once stated: “I don’t believe in chakras. They are a thousands of years old system. I just work with a grid of energies.” Others emphasize knowledge of the chakras as being of utmost importance. Undoubtedly to develop a real science of the aura, models would be important. There are notable instances of healing, however, which came about through an intuitive, spontaneous reaction on the part of the healer.

Energy healing as a science is truly in its infancy, but a highly developed intuition can guide us by taking into account many factors at once about which we don’t yet have scientific understanding.


Subtle Energy Bodies — 2 Comments

  1. As a hypnotherapist, I have healed physical diseases such as diabetes and dissolved inoperable brain tumors by accessing the subconscious which I knew hovered over the physical body. In reading the Vedas, I find the etheric body is actually closer to the physical body than the emotional (subconscious). What is the nature of this etheric body, and how can I utilize this nature to heal?

  2. Jane — Although not every system defines “etheric” in the same way, many use the term for the energy body closest to the body. It is, in a sense, the energetic blueprint of the body. All the other subtle energy bodies, including the emotional, are found in the etheric, so if you work on those other levels, the etheric (and hence the body) will be affected.

    I would guess that with hypnotherapy you are working with both the emotional and mental energy bodies (using Barbara Brennan’s model). You can also work directly with the etheric through energy healing modalities. Reading through the energy healing topics on this website would be a way to learn more about this. We also have a CD — Everyday Energy Healing — that helps you explore the energy and start to use it for healing.