|Hi, I'm Julie ... artist, photographer, potter, etc. I am so happy you are here! I consider this blog my creative journal where I can share my recent work, ideas and dreams, and lots of little details about my life. Please make yourself at home. Whether you are a bride-to-be, a photographer, or just a visitor, I hope you will find inspiration here and even become a friend.|
One year ago Nick and I returned from a trip to Arizona. We went to photograph a beautiful wedding with wonderful people and decided to stay an extra week. The last four days of our trip we visited Sedona and even a year later, I can’t get that mysterious, sacred land off of my mind. It was almost like our time there was on fast forward because just as soon as we arrived it was time to leave. While we were there we crammed as many activities, hikes, restaurants, horse back tours, and shopping into our time as we could. And despite how busy we were I felt so replenished and restored when we returned. This is the mystery of Sedona.
I am frustrated to say that I really haven’t allowed myself proper time to reflect and process everything that I experienced in those four days. Case in point: over 2000 photos from our hikes and wanderings that I have barely even looked through and have never shared. So, today I share!! In addition to a very small selection of photos, I have written a little bit about our experience hiking Boynton Canyon Vortex. I might share more later about some of the other experiences we had but this one was my favorite.
First, I’m sorry to say I didn’t even know what a vortex was. So I did some reading and became very fascinated with the phenomenon. I will stop with a disclaimer here and warn you that my blog is about to get a little woo woo. Don’t say you weren’t warned! Sedona has been called the New Age capitol of the world. But before anyone gets all judgey on me, I will say that I am a Christian but I am fascinated by other religions and people who seek higher spirituality.
(view of Kachina Woman (in-flow) from Warrior Man)
I believe that our beautiful earth (and all the vortexes in it) was created by a good God with a flare for the artistic. I never feel more closely connected with my creator than when I am standing in awe of his incredible work. The profound thing about my faith is that I don’t have to travel and seek out a vortex in the earth to experience closeness with God, and it wasn’t really necessary for him to make our world so beautiful. So for me, experiencing the vast and grand landscape of the Red Rocks was like getting a love letter from God or maybe even a little glimpse of heaven on earth.
So what is a vortex? By definition it’s a mass of whirling fluid or air. Famed medium Page Bryant describes it as “a mass of energy that moves in a rotary motion manifesting a spiral-like coagulation of energy that is an electromagnetic qualities of life force.” I don’t know about all that. I would call a vortex a special place with very intense energy originating from either magnetic, gravitational, or spiritual sources … or all of the above.
(view of Warrior Man from Kachina Woman and a gnarled Juniper tree)
The science behind it is something called a geomagnetic anomaly (which is too sciencey for me, so you’ll have to look that up if you want more info). There are visable signs you are near or in a vortex, such as plants with twisted roots or branches, circular hollows in the ground, rock formations that defy gravity, and even animals with odd behavior. The most famous vortexes include the Great Pyramid, Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, and Ayers Rock. Every noted vortex is also associated with Ley Lines in the earth which in another very interesting thing to look into if you are really interested.
(view of Kachina Woman from the base looking upward)
(view of Warrior Man)
It’s the spiritual side of the vortex phenomenon that interests most people, including moi. It is believed that all of Sedona is considered a vortex, but there are four specific ares where people throughout history have claimed to feel an intense spiritual connection (Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon). Historically (and still today) Native Americans have claimed these sites for traditional ceremonies and worship grounds. Depending on the direction of force all vortexes are defined as either in-flow (feminine) or up-flow (masculine). This is determined by the affect the magnetic or spiritual force has on the environment around it.
(trail leading into Boynton Canyon, view of the vista and Kachina Woman vortex at the top right)
I was excited to experience Boynton Canyon because this vortex actually has both an in-flow and an up-flow. On our way up the trail we met a man who gave us two heart shaped stones. He gave us directions and also shared some more specific information about the two vortexes and the balance of the masculine and feminine. He also gave us a tip that when we reached the top not to expect anything specific but to just have an open heart. He talked about unconditional love and letting go of expectations. I know he was talking about the spiritual connection of the in-flow and the up-flow but I couldn’t help but see a correlation between all of this and my relationship with Nick. Which I’ll say more about in a bit. The man’s name was Robert and I actually wondered if maybe he was an angel on earth (because I’m woo woo, whatever). I later learned he sits at the top of this vortex every day and plays a flute. He carves the heart-shaped stones himself and gives them to anyone he encounters. Angel or not, he was really special to me and I will never forget him.
As we climbed the trail I could see the two vortexes clearly but until we reached the top the massive size and scale were hard to imagine. On the left is “Warrior Man” the up-flow or masculine energy. Supposedly up-flow vortexes bestow positivity, joy, and rejuvenation. The tall formation on the right is “Kachina Woman” the in-flow or feminine energy. In-flow vortexes have a reputation of causing introspection and people claim to feel more connected to their past or lost memories. Many people find healing and ability to overcome from in-flow energy.
(view of the double vortex, Warrior Man on the left and Kachina Woman on the right)
Personally, I did not have an instant, specific feeling or a dramatic vision. I am such a curious soul so I had a hard time finding stillness. Regardless, I did notice that there was a magnificent sense of peace. I expected it would be windy up there, like the rest of our hike, but it was calm and so quiet. I wanted to roam all around and take eleventy-billion photos … so that’s what I did.
(Nick at the base of Warrior Man, of course)
I felt a fullness in my heart as I observed Nick, feeding his hunger for adventure like a kid, climbing as high as he could and exploring areas that I thought were too dangerous. He makes me nervous sometimes but I just love him. Even with a lot of differences, we do balance each other. It was good to have that insight and to connect my own little metaphor to the masculine and feminine energies.
More than anything else I felt like there was so much love in that place. Whether it was supernatural or just because so many people go there seeking something powerful … there was even visible evidence of love all around. I felt more connected to Nick through that and we held hands all the way down. Even now as I reflect back on that magical place I feel such an assurance of God’s love. It’s a reminder that by grace through faith I have experienced the greatest love ever known … and it is accessible from any place at any time.
(my divine masculine right there)