A Mystic’s Mecca in Sedona

I recently have come back from a 10-day road trip to Arizona and New Mexico. The goal of the journey was my friend’s desire to view the Georgia O’Keefe museum in person and to have a camping adventure. Our stops included Sedona, Winslow, Gallup, Santa Fe, Taos, and back to Sedona. The two places that struck me were Sedona and Taos and I felt the positive energy in both places. I want to take some time to reflect on Sedona and what a powerful place it is. The rumors are true!

Entering Sedona


I am a novice to camping but my friend is a Ranger and camps all the time, so I always have felt comfortable camping with her. She’s a wonderful cook and has most of the equipment necessary for comfortable outdoor living. Having never visited the Southwest, there is this certain allure and charm that has drawn me to visit. Thus upon learning of my friend’s journey, I volunteered myself to join since I rarely take vacations these days and was in a much needed energy rut. I’m glad she let me tag along!

Our campsite at Lo Lo Mai Campground
Our campsite at Lo Lo Mai Campground

Sedona is renowned as being the mystic’s Mecca and this could not be truer. As our car continued the ascent to 4,500 feet elevation, we were awe-struck by the sight of overbearing red rock formations surrounding Sedona. I can confidently say I saw no trash anywhere on the sidewalks and every home seemed like a wealthy couple’s winter lodging.

Sedona Red Rocks
Sedona Red Rocks

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Crystal shops were in abundance and it felt so strange to see so many in such close proximity to one another, but at the same time it was refreshing to see the New Age shops on every corner rather than a Starbucks or a liquor store. In doing some researching about Sedona, it became a New Age Haven starting in the 50s and began to gain more momentum in the 80s with the publicity of the various vortexes (or vortices) sprinkled throughout the area. Sedona did feel a little touristy in the sense that there might be those deceptive business owners trying to buy into the whole crystal movement and sell fake products. I tried to keep my guard up in this respect since I’ve been following and reading about New Agey-ness for awhile now and no dealer is going to convince me to buy a $1,000 citrine cavern to sit in my one bedroom apartment (although if I had the money and space I might reconsider). Ultimately, I did cave in and succumb to a crystal shop’s calling and was in there for over 2 hours just reading and looking at the assortment and variety of crystals. I felt so drained; like all the crystals were having a go with me and testing the water. Each one I picked up or touched was trying to get a feeling from me just as I was also trying to assess the feelings. I easily spent $70 (rather quickly) and felt a little guilty about it. The whole idea of buying crystals–things that are naturally occurring and gifts from nature–seems to defeat their purpose as tools for our spiritual well-being, but I understand how modernity has cheapened everything and it all comes down to dollars and cents. At least that’s what our culture has taught us.

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There are thousands of tourists that come through Sedona every year for spiritual journey and I can’t say I wasn’t included in this statistic. I had expectations that my whole rogue, feminist road trip would be an enlightening experience (which it was) and that Sedona was just the peak of our journey. Although later in our travelings a Taos Pueblo Indian confided with us that the whole concept of the Sedona vortexes is all a gimmick to lure tourists. She noted that there are vortexes all over the earth and you just had to connect and find them. this insight still couldn’t shatter the goosebump power and peace I felt at the two vortex sites I visited. While I might wish I was a medium or psychic, I am not. However, I do feel very sensitive to people and surroundings. I could be considered an empath, but I don’t think I fall into the full definition. Typically, if I calm myself and concentrate I can feel the energy of people or my surroundings via the intensity of goosebumps I receive. Strange I know, but I recognize this happens when I mediate (and there’s no draft) or I’m in powerfully positive or negative spaces.

Sedona Vortex Map Courtesy of: http://www.lovesedona.com/vortmap3.pdf

The first vortex we visited was known as the Airport Vortex as it sits comfortably on a hill right next to the Sedona airport. The vortex itself is at the valley between two hills; however, the best place to feel the energy is to climb the hill to the left. The Juniper trees’ branches are often twisted slightly due to the energy. I decided to scale the craggy rocks and was met with several other visitors–some mediating, some lying on their backs with various crystals on their chakras, others walking on the rocks with their bare feet, while others were piloting some drone aircrafts. I felt tingles all over my body once I gazed out to the 360 views of Sedona. It was very calming and peaceful at the top. Many spiritual sojourners stack rock or cairns as a spiritual marker.

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Me stacking red rocks at Airport Vortex

You could easily spend a few hours at the top just gazing out at the valley and red rocks, just soaking in the energy that makes you feel alive. I used to get a similar feeling or vibration when visiting big cities like New York, but this natural, serene setting really trumps that. Perhaps I’m getting older and constantly searching for peace, serenity, and clarity–all of which cannot be felt in a major bustling, polluted metropolis. It’s no wonder people are drawn here and just pack up and move here.  In my readings of Sedona, and contrary to what the Taos Native told us, this was a sacred area for Natives that settled here hundreds of years ago. This can easily be confirmed as oddly enough, northern Arizona and the Sedona area have a creek running through it which offers water and vegetation–obvious pluses for surviving. Some Native cultures mention Star People having visited them and sharing knowledge with them. This theory/belief has become popularized with the Ancient Alien theories floating about. While I won’t delve into the ancient alien theories, it stands to reason that Sedona would have been an ideal place for ancient extra-planetary visitors due to the high elevation and the naturally occurring vortexes surrounding the area.

The purpose really of this post is to begin the unraveling and discussion of Sedona as it needs further reflection on my part. Coming back to work and my “fast paced life” after a week of road tripping and camping was extremely depressing. I felt very low energy and sad about my current career. I wished I had extended my trip longer and felt a sad longing to be back in Sedona and continue my soul searching. I only realized the importance of taking time to reflect in nature once I came back to work. I’m praying this will only continue the spark for spiritual travel.