Friday, January 09, 2009

"What's a Vortex?" -- Cathedral Rock

"What's a vortex?" Almost every website about Sedona and certainly every tourist publication in the area uses this phrase to introduce Sedona's number 1 tourist attraction -- the spiritual "power centers" supposedly located in many of the area's most beautiful natural formations.

Paul and I take New Age spiritual hype with several good grains of salt. Yeah, we're pretty open-minded and well-ensconced in some New Age practices and thought...but we also try to be pretty practical and down to earth. So when we were exposed to the talk about vortexes in this area it was our first inclination to be cautious about the whole thing.

I have been to Sedona briefly before, climbed Bell Rock -- supposedly one of the most powerful centers in the area -- and felt nothing. So I was more than cautious about this whole thing. I was skeptical. The place is awe-inspiring enough just because of its amazing physical beauty. Does a person really need to think it's a "power spot" to feel the magnificence of it all?

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I had been feeling disappointed, confused and frustrated by the trip. I came with quite an agenda and was thinking we should shop my Mama Love perfumes around and then quickly get out of town.

But yesterday we woke up to a beautiful day and Paul and I found ourselves talking about how we might take advantage of the fact that we're here with no rent or hotel fees to pay and enjoy another day. We had not deliberately visited any spiritual vortex spots this trip (although there is supposed to be one where we walked in Boynton Canyon) and we could see one of the most famous ones, Cathedral Rock, right from behind the house we're housesitting in.

I've been attracted to that spot since we got here and told Paul that if there was only one vortex site we deliberately checked out that's the one I wanted to see. So we went.

The road to the trailhead, Back O' Beyond Road, is just across the highway from this house. When we got there the sun was directly behind the high cathedral spired rock formation in front of us so we both thought it was going to be a horrendous day for taking photos but I wanted one anyway. I thought it would be fun to use our star filter to do a hoax photo hyping the spiritual power of the vortex ourselves...but the filter did not fit the lenses we brought. I asked Paul to help me out so he grabbed my camera, stopped it down to F32, and took several shots. He hasn't yet worked his own Photoshop retouching magic on the photo at the top of the page but he said I could put it up anyway. Like those "spirit orbs" he was able to capture? Isn't it amazing how they look exactly like lens flare? That's because they are.


The trail to the top of the rock is very steep and was slippery because of the recent light snow and rain. Neither one of us felt up for the climb so we spent most of our time near the pyramid-like shaped base where the photo to the left was taken. I really loved it! And it felt great just being there....but were we able to feel any vortex power at all?

I couldn't tell so we followed my guidance to move a little further away down the trail. Then I felt something for sure! It didn't feel as good when we moved away. I felt disappointed we had left, like I wasn't "done" somehow so we returned to where we were and continued to take pictures, enjoy the view and just soak up the atmosphere.

It was very peaceful for me and, if the rock itself wasn't icy cold this particular winter day, I felt certain it would be a perfect place to meditate. But after soaking up the experience of just being there by being quiet and breathing it in I started to feel filled, nurtured, and lifted up. I put a wish out that perhaps we could bring people for healing to this location. Just being there felt that good.


Later I read an internet site that said that the energy of the vortex is not most powerfully felt at the top of the rock but at the base where we had been standing. The juniper trees in this spot supposedly twist because of the energy of the place, and wishes made in this location are supposed to be more likely to come true.

1 comment:

Amber said...

What a lovely article - I really envy you! :)

I've wanted to visit Sedona for a long time, myself, ever since seeing photographs in "Arizona Highways" years and years ago. I always thought it was quite beautiful, and felt drawn to it... It's a pity that I never got the chance to visit when I actually lived out in Arizona.

Maybe one of these days, I'll get a chance to go out there. Who knows? Perhaps a visit to one of the local vortexes might help clear up some of this bad luck that likes to cling to me... :)