Sedona Retreat

Jul 25, 2023

Sedona Hiking

We are one month away from our Sedona retreat and everyone is so excited to visit this magical place. Sedona has long had a reputation for energy vortexes, healing powers, and spiritual connections.

Indigenous tribes have for centuries regarded the area as sacred. It’s the home of the Yavapai-Apache Nation, who hold a spring ceremony every year at Boynton Canyon, a place of great spiritual significance, believed to be where the Great Spirit Mother gave birth to the human race.

And according to truth-seekers, Sedona is one of the world’s greatest hotspots for psychic energy: whirling and vibrating, creating pulling portals that enhance consciousness. The energy is so strong, so overwhelming, that juniper trees twist and bend themselves over it.

Pyramid View House

The Sedona we know today began to emerge in 1980, after a psychic channeler named Page Bryant referred to four of its most popular meditation spots—Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon—as “vortexes,” putting a word to a concept people were just starting to get familiar with, grammar be damned.

Amid these four scenic poles, psychic vibrations trembled more intensely. People noticed their skin tingling when close to the perceived energy source. Escaping to a higher consciousness just came easier in this confluence where thoughts and feelings were amplified (apparently all of Sedona is one big amplifier. Don’t visit in a bad mood). Bryant described the vortex locations as electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic. Others say “female or male,” “positive or negative.”

Bell Rock Sedona

If you want to get scientific about it, there’s no actual measured magnetism or energy at these vortexes. But that doesn’t mean the spiritualists made up what they felt. After all, studies have found that just being outdoors has immense immune-boosting and mood-altering benefits, plus increased clarity and concentration.

For some the therapeutic benefits of the vortexes are directly related to the physical attributes of Sedona. High elevation, deep canyons, low population density, and the blue skies for miles all combine to create an optimal environment for relaxation and brain stimulation.

Colors are extremely important, and Sedona pops. According to locals the green of the vegetation signals growth, renewal, and hope to the subconscious. As for red-orange, it’s been said that the red-orange color is caffeine for the higher mind.

Many in Sedona describe vortexes with the terms “upflow” or “inflow.” Upflow sites tend to be at higher elevations: mountains, mesas, and pyramid-shapes—places like Bell Rock and Airport Mesa, where a panoramic visual of your surroundings helps put your place in the universe into perspective. According to Sanders, upflow sites “help you with reflections where soaring to a higher perspective is what you want.”

Conversely, inflow sites occur in areas closer to the earth—near valleys, canyons, and caves—and assist with introspection and contemplation. Each person experiences a vortex differently, sitting quietly and taking deep breaths, visualizing something meaningful or relaxing, and, most of all, being open to the experience. And if nothing happens? Relax and let the awesome beauty of the area inspire you.

Sedona is filled with hundreds of vortexes. Below are the big four to get started, plus some lesser-known ones recommended by experts.

Devils Bridge Sedona

Airport Mesa
Its proximity to the center of town makes the upflow Airport Mesa one of the most trafficked vortexes, which means you probably won’t have it to yourself. You will, however get breathtaking panoramic views, especially at sunrise or sunset. There are some of those twisted juniper trees, and visitors have claimed to see colored orbs. At night, the stars seem close enough to touch.

Bell Rock 
One of the area’s most recognizable formations, Bell Rock is shaped like, well, a huge standing bell. (Or, some say, an alien spaceship.) Viewed as an upflow site, many have reported a tingling sensation on exposed skin here. It’s easily accessible from the road, with the strongest vibrations felt on the north side. A loop around is about 1.8 miles.

Cathedral Rock 
This is the only one of the big four with “inflow” energy, encouraging you to slow down and be introspective. A short hike of 1.2 miles roundtrip gets you to the top, and can at times be challenging, but worth it for the views. The vortex is found where Oak Creek runs next to Cathedral Rock, and is called “Red Rock Crossing.”

Boynton Canyon 
Boynton Canyon is a spiritual home of the Yavapai-Apache Nation, and considered the most sacred of the big four. Also known as the Kachina Woman Vortex Site, it’s both an inflow and an upflow site, with the canyon as inflow and the ridges and peaks as upflow. It stretches two-and-a-half miles long, with energy throughout.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross 
Built into the red rocks, The Chapel of the Holy Cross was actually inspired by a visit by sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude to the Empire State Building, when a cross appeared before her eyes within the structure. The chapel the epiphany inspired was officially dedicated in 1957 and overlooks Sedona. Despite it being a Christian monument, it’s believed to be full of vortex energy. Either way, it’s a stunning place to visit.

Eagle’s Nest
As an alternative to the busy Airport Mesa vortex, Locals recommends Eagle’s Nest in Red Rock State Park. The 2.4 mile loop offers the same 360-degree panoramas without the crowds, noise, and parking problem.

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About the Author

Mani has studied various meditation techniques. She has become certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR), which is a blend of meditation, bodily awareness, and mindful movement. As she leads guests through MSBR meditation, they can gain awareness of how their bodies handle and resolve stress neurologically.

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