‘…we are each living transformation systems. Since the energy we transform has consciousness, we are transforming consciousness. We are truly spiritualising matter.’
Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field (1987)
Barbara Ann Brennan
In Summary

We all suffer from traumas that disrupt our chakras and auric fields. Through training, we can all develop higher sensory perception, and can heal ourselves and others.


As a child, Barbara Ann Brennan was blissfully unaware of her unique gift. While walking through the woods of Wisconsin, she could see energy fields emanating from trees and animals. To her, this experience was as normal as any other. She did not learn until many years later that others did not share her perception. Despite this, her interests initially steered her into a different, more ‘traditional’ field of study, as she went on to receive a Masters of Science in atmospheric physics and a job with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Yet her skills could not be ignored. When Brennan later became a trained counsellor, she began seeing colours emerge from her clients’ heads. The experience led her to slowly tune her High Sense Perception (HSP) through years of training in bioenergetic counselling, massage therapy, homeopathy and Core Energetic training. In 1982, she put her skills into practice by opening the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. The sum of her thought and teachings would only become broadly accessible, however, with the publication of her first work, Hands of Light (1987). With this work, Brennan distilled decades of counselling experience into a manual for aspiring healers. It has now been translated into 26 languages and still forms a core text in the art of spiritual healing.


While privileged with remarkable HSP, Brennan is convinced anyone can attune their own senses and, like her, become masters through proper training. The goal of this work is to provide this preparation. As such, the text is divided into six sections, each one building on the discoveries of the last. The first section outlines the place of the human energy field in our daily lives and how HSP can be used to diagnose and cure illnesses.

The second section delves into the science behind human energy fields, revealing how the ‘Newtonian’ worldview of separated matter has been replaced with the quantum world of interconnected fields and vibrating energy. Other scientists have found a parallel between emotions and colour and how light emissions from the body correspond to a person’s health. According to Brennan, these results support the conclusion that a universal energy field permeates all matter, organising it and working to counteract the forces of entropy. The individual human energy field is merely a small but interconnected aspect of this cosmic field, and it is divisible into seven different layers. Additionally, there are seven major chakras associated with each layer. These function as power currents between the human energy field and the universal energy field. In this way, a dysfunction in the chakras will lead to a dysfunction in our energy field and, therefore, in our health.

As Part three explains, dysfunctional chakras emerge from negative life experiences and result in further suffering for the patient. ‘Every thought, feeling and experience a person has affects and changes his aura.’ These can be perceived in the colours of the different auric layers. Negative experiences cause us to form energy blocks that disfigure our auric colouring. While they are created as a form of protection, they ultimately result in a loss of energy intake. Since each of our incarnations seeks to fulfil its individual mission, by resolving these internal maladies and traumas, we help to fulfil our life task, transforming both ourselves and all collective consciousness.

Part four shifts to the healing process itself, which comes about through remembering our true identity as one with God. Brennan posits that illness stems from forgetting our identity and believing that we are separate from other things (that is, the Newtonian world view). This way of thinking cuts us off from the free flow of energy that brings balance to our seven layers. Through the act of remembering, we restore this balance; thus, the goal of the healer is to ‘[induce] the patient to heal himself through natural processes.’ To do this, the healer can provide background to the origins of certain illnesses, discover information unknown to the patient or lay hands on the patient to accelerate the healing process. To uncover the cause of the illness, certain perceptual tools are available to the healer, including internal vision (analogous to an x-ray), high auditory perception of spiritual teachers and a sense of touch attuned to discern problems in the chakras.

When the healer needs to take a more active role in curing the patient, s/he must raise his/her own frequency, causing it to flow into the lower frequencies of the patient. Part five illustrates how this is done. First, there are certain steps the healer must take in preparation, such as meditation and physical exercise. Then, the healer can transfer their alignment to the patient. A healing of the lower layers will often result in the unearthing of buried emotions that must be dealt with. At higher levels, guides will emerge who will assist in the healing. However, each layer must be treated uniquely since the problems that result at each level result from different causes. In some cases, the healer will need to hold their auric colour within a certain range in order to pour the right energy into the patient. In addition, past life traumas will occasionally emerge through the healing process, which must be dealt with on an individual basis. 

The final section is devoted to the healing of the spiritual healer themself. Self-care is vital to the growth of the healer, and choosing the right foods, hygiene, clothing, as well as the other human beings they choose to surround themselves will determine their ability to progress to higher stages of the practice. There are different paths to becoming a healer, and each person must walk their own course. There is a spark of the Divine within all of us, and all of us must follow its lead as we learn to grow in love, faith, patience and grace, for only in this way can we walk our unique path towards enlightenment.


For the uninitiated, Brennan’s work provides a nearly exhaustive treatment of the intricacies of spiritual healing. Written like a textbook, each chapter ends with exercises and review questions that will encourage the learner to truly digest its core teachings. As such, for those seeking to acquire the art, Hands of Light will act as an invaluable guide for learning the basics. Likewise, even trained spiritual healers will likely find the numerous charts and figures a helpful resource for reviewing and expanding their understanding. While the length of the work might prove intimidating to some, those committed to the practice may perhaps find in Brennan’s work an invaluable guide and an indispensable compendium of knowledge from one of the world’s most renowned spiritual healers.

Further Reading By This Author

Other titles by Brennan include Core Light Healing and Light Emerging.

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