by Jan Myers
Don't Believe the Spiritual Hype of Sedona.
When I first decided to go to Sedona, Arizona with my mother, Judy and my 10-year-old daughter, Maggie, I was curious to see if our three generations would have the spiritual encounters I had heard often occur in the vortex-rich Red Rock Country. I am certainly open to receiving more positive energy, but I do tend to be a bit skeptical until I experience something for myself. Maggie wasn't buying any of the 'spirituality', but was excited that we planned to visit the Grand Canyon.
We spent nearly two weeks in Sedona soaking up all the energy we could, along with the extreme July heat. I was a bit disillusioned the very first day when I drove into uptown Sedona in our Hertz rental car. I was apparently not taking the roundabouts quickly enough for the driver behind me and after he blew his horn at me, I glanced into my rearview mirror just in time to see him give me the finger before he made his turn. "Wow! What a spiritual place this is!" I remarked to Mom and Maggie.
To be honest, that was the most negative thing that happened to us during our stay. I did master the roundabouts by the time we left Sedona, and for that I am thankful. We heard all about the many psychics and the UFO activity in Sedona. I'm pretty sure that one fellow we kept running into was 'left behind' to study us earthlings.
There are so many so-called psychics in Sedona. I was honest with the concierge at our hotel and asked her advice on whom to trust to help us with our metaphysical study in the area. We hired psychic reader and healer, Maya Starhawk to take us on a vortex hike. She took us to the Airport Vortex area, which offers an incredible view of the Red Rock formations around Sedona. Many of these have been backgrounds for popular movies for decades, especially westerns.
As I gazed at the scene spread before us, I was awestruck and yes, maybe spiritually connected—to something—probably my higher self. I felt like I had a clear view of the world and could imagine myself soaring through the valleys below like a hawk.
Yet it was difficult to block out the human invasion of this pristine setting – namely the noise, jeep tours, traffic and buildings dispersed throughout the red rock. When I mentioned my sense of regret that we had destroyed such a beautiful natural setting, Maya explained her take on it.
"The city of Sedona has attracted so many spiritual people from all over the world," she said. "Many of them are healers who have relocated here. This concentration of conscious individuals helps to hold the positive energy and aids in the healing of the earth."
I thought briefly of my encounter with the angry driver and decided he wasn't one of the consciously aware individuals Maya spoke of.
To attempt to experience the strongest currents of energy, we visited the four identified vortex sites in Sedona—Bell Rock (masculine, feminine and balance energy), Airport Vortex (masculine energy), Cathedral Rock Vortex (feminine energy) and Boynton Canyon Vortex (balance energy).
Near the Boynton Canyon vortex, I felt somewhat of a connection to the Kachina Woman rock formation. "Was she speaking to me?" We found a perfect place to sit and I closed my eyes to focus in on the energy that was surely streaming my way. But as soon as I took my first deep cleansing breath, the clatter from the garbage truck emptying the dumpsters at the nearby Enchantment Resort startled me and instantly severed my spiritual connection.
I once again found myself disappointed that we humans had invaded this landscape in such a dramatic and greedy way. I was also disappointed that I didn't feel the energy. I did however, have other life-affirming experiences while in Sedona.
One of the most authentic places we discovered was the Ringing Rocks Foundation (www.ringingrocks.org) that was located in a small shopping complex near our hotel. This organization is committed to exploring, documenting and conserving traditional healing practices of shaman and healers throughout the world. I found their work and exhibits fascinating— a quiet hidden gem tucked among the marketed 'spirituality' in Sedona.
We also found the Chapel of the Holy Cross (www.chapeloftheholycross.com) to be a fulfilling stop. The day we were there, a young girl was singing in the back pew. It was one of those 'God' moments as her clear hauntingly beautiful voice echoed off the rock walls of the chapel.
Another area in the region that felt good to us was the Palatki Cliff Dwellings site (www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/palatki-ruins.shtml). It was away from the commercialism where we could experience the natural beauty much like the Native Americans who had built these structures. I could sense the presence of the ancient ones as I walked the steep rocky path to the cliffs and then entered the remains of the abodes. It felt peaceful and comfortable—like a homeward journey.
So if you are confused by the 'spiritual hype' in Sedona, don't despair. You may have to look past the touted hot spots to find your own sense of connection in lesser-known places. I can honestly say that I didn't experience the vortex energy that many others do, at least not in the way I expected. Maybe we each receive what we need at the time and it just wasn't what I required on that visit. Who knows though—maybe next time? Because I have a feeling that I will be going back to Sedona. Could it be an unconscious energy connection?
Jan Myers is a freelance journalist in Ohio where she lives in a small rural community with her husband, Alan, son, Maxx, 15 and daughter, Maggie, 10. She writes for numerous publications, both offline and online, about parenting, travel, natural health and spirituality. Her newly launched website, www.mylifetransformations.com focuses on many of these topics.