Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Halo

A circle of light that was said to surround the heads of saints. Often shown in art, primitive artists often showed this as a disk behind the head of the illustrated person. Also known as a “numbus,” some occultists believe it is related to the aura. High-energy electrophotography, also known as Kirlian Photography, show discharges around parts of the body such as fingertips, and may be related to this phenomenon.

In the Bible, when Moses descends the mountain with the Torah, it is written that there were rays of light (“karan ohr”) coming from his head. This, too, may be related to the halo. Because Hebrew has no vowels, it would be easy to use the consonants in different ways to have different meanings. Thus, if a person was not familiar with Hebrew, he or she could see the letters and think “keren,” which means “horns,” instead of “karan,” which means “rays.” St. Gerome made this mistranslation leading to many artistic visions of Moses with horns, the most famous being the statue of Moses by Michelangelo that was finished in 1515.