Like the scene outside the Mars rover, Sedona, Arizona is a mystical landscape of dusty red rocks and towering boulders, strewn in haphazard formations like a giant Martian toddler's abandoned building blocks.
The land here has some serious vibe. I'm not surprised that the Navajo, Yavapai and Hopi recognized the energy and spiritual power of Sedona's vortexes. They came here for thousands of years to pray, seek guidance and alignment for their people, through vision quests, ceremony and ritual. But they never lived in this red rock country. It was considered sacred.
So, what is a vortex? It's swirling energy. Hurricanes, tornadoes and cyclones are examples of vortexes.
In Sedona, the vortexes are natural geomagnetic points that create a swirling energy center radiating from the earth's surface. A place in nature where the earth is exceptionally alive with energy.
Some clues you notice when coming upon a vortex include tingling in the hands, or a buzzing throughout your body. You may heat up, feel a rush of energy, or a shift in consciousness or perception.
Often, the land around a vortex will be unearthly beautiful, and trees may show twisting trunks and branches, spiraling in the energy field.
There are fifteen vortex sites within a ten mile radius of Sedona. The rock formations are composed of ferrous oxide mixed with sandstone and basalt, giving the Sedona landscape its rich red color. The earth here also has an unusually high iron content. The summer lightning storms awe-inspiring.
Most of the area was once an ancient seabed with subsurface volcanoes. When the volcanoes erupted, molten magma forced its way into cracks of the sandstone. Over time, the softer rock wore away, leaving spires called volcanic intrusions.
For centuries these giant monoliths have served as natural shrines for prayer, meditation and connection with Great Spirit, Creator, or what some term God.
I feature one of the most well-known vortexes, Cathedral Rock, in my paranormal novel, Song of the Ancients.
I pulled a brochure out of my bag, brandished my latte toward the red mountain in front of us, and lectured in my best peppy, tour-guide voice. "According to local lore, Cathedral Rock is one of five major vortexes in Sedona. Each site has its own personality. Some radiate male, yang energies, active and energizing. Others are female, calming and tranquil yin."
I studied Cathedral Rock. This one was definitely male. It looked like a larger rock wall had been blasted apart, leaving vaguely phallic slivers of rock jutting through the center.
Rumor pointed to a flat spot between two spires. "Up there is where we're going. It's steep but only about two miles round trip."
I turned to Rumor. "Kamaria says it has magical energy. What do you think?"
"She's not the only one who feels the area is unusual," Rumor said. "The Native people think those rock spires work like satellite antenna, connecting to one of those mountains out in the middle of the valley called Vision Butte. Tribal medicine men have used the site for hundreds of years for vision quests and ceremonies. Cathedral is state land, but Vision Butte was decreed sacred. No non-Native visitors."
"Do you know which one is Vision Butte?"
Rumor shrugged. "No idea. It's not on any of the maps."
Ignoring the burning muscles in my thighs, I climbed to the top and stopped, panting. "Wow."
The overlook was like a wide sidewalk, with steep drops on each side. The view was jaw-dropping in both directions.
We walked to the edge and sat down, dangling our legs over the side. The breeze came up the ledge from the desert below, lifting my damp shirt away from my sweaty skin. I sighed and raised my arms over my head, stretching out my shoulders.
The place slipped into me, a shimmering wind I drew in with each breath. It wasn't just the view, or the breeze; there was a vibration in the air, not quite audible, like a dog whistle barely above hearing range. I closed my eyes and listened.
I didn't know how long I sat, feeling the wind whoosh up my legs from the valley floor far below. At some point, the vibration increased, and I could hear words, in a simple melody:
"Wakan, wakan, every creature,
Wakan, wakan, every rock.
Tuku Skanskan, the time surrounds you.
From sacred earth we send our voices.
Wachin ksapa yo! Be attentive!"
I reached for Rumor, to ask if she heard it, but she was gone. I jerked my eyes open and looked around.
Rumor was standing, eyes closed and arms outstretched in a "V" over her head, oblivious to the precipice beyond her. The wind spiraled around her head, swirling the dark strands of her long hair across her face.
I stood up slowly and tiptoed over to her, took her hand and pulled her gently away from the edge.
"Oh." She made a little, surprised sound, like she'd forgotten I was there. Then she crossed her ankles and sunk to the ground.
"Wakan tanka, we watch the Earth.
To Man below, we send our voices.
Wakan, wakan, every creature,
Wakan, wakan, every rock."
The song rode the wind, ebbing and fading until it was no more, swallowed by the air currents from the valley floor below.
Each book in my four-book series will be set in a different sacred site around the world. This summer I'm traveling to England, Scotland and Wales to finish research Book 2 of the Ancient Magic series, set in the magical standing stones of Great Britain. Book 3 is set in Hawaii and features the Goddess Pele, goddess of fire and volcanos. The final book will take place in Alaska and Newfoundland, and will trace the history of the ancient land bridge between the continents.
Have you ever visited a physical site where you felt an innate, unexplainable boost of power? Was it positive or negative? Was it male yang, active and energizing? Or female yin, calming and tranquil? Did the land speak to you, and if so, what did it tell you? Please share your experiences, I love to learn about unusual power sites.
Sandy Wright resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, her college student son, a rescued Australian Shepherd named Teak, and two twenty-pound domesticated black panther cats. She fell in love with the southwest desert, including its Native American influences, when she relocated from the Midwest.
Song of the Ancients, the first novel in the Ancient Magic paranormal suspense series, introduces readers to witchcraft and shamanism, seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman.
Readers interested in witchcraft—or just a dark, spooky tale—will enjoy this paranormal suspense, written by a real-life Wiccan High Priestess.
Song of the Ancients was published in May 2015 and is available on Amazon.
Visit Sandy at www.writersandy.com. For additional articles and short stories, see www.readerlicious.com and www.desertmuses.com.