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Experience Sedona's Energy Vortexes

Visit Sedona's energy vortexes for a unique way to connect with the land

By: Sarah Horn + Save to a List

The red-rocked valley where Sedona sits is an outdoor mecca full of endless hiking and mountain biking. But it's also a place with spiritual and sacred sites, known as energy vortexes, that cause juniper trees to twist and the rocks to buzz. 

The belief in energy and having proper energy flow is strong here. So is the belief in our seven chakra centers, astrology, crystals, karmic energy, meditation, and sound healing. Sedona is a place that makes you feel like you could subscribe to a belief that the area is full of powerful energy vortexes that have the power to energize and balance.

Native American History

But before it was all of these things, it was the home of different Native American tribes and paleo-Indians for around 13,000 years. Their history -- specifically of the Sinagua people -- is evident in this land in the form of rock art, pueblos and cliff dwellings Montezuma Castle, Honanki, Palatki and Tuzigoot. 

The first white settlers came in 1876. In that same year the Yavapai and Apache tribes were forcibly removed from the Verde Valley to the San Carlos Indian Reservation, 180 miles southeast. About 200 Yavapai and Apache people returned to the Verde Valley in 1900, according to the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

What is an Energy Vortex

It is believed that the vortexes are either electrical, magnetic or a balance of electro-magnetic energy. With the sun as the positive pole and earth the negative, earth energy circulates from its core through to its surface and focusing into its places of power. A prominent guide in the area, Rohelio, writes that the energy centers are are at the center of spiraling energy and that we see a similar motion of an energy vortex in our Milky Way galaxy. This spinning wheel of stars is one of billions of galaxies all spiraling through space.

He writes: The earth is also a living being, and like the human being the earth has a chakra and energy grid system. Some Native American peoples refer to the earth’s energy grid as Spider Woman's Web. If you can imagine something like a snowflake crystal grid pattern that covers the earths surface you would get a good idea of its translucent appearance. The places which are meridian points on this grid are the power spots and vortices of the earth. Other ancient peoples all around the world also recognized power places of earth healing energies.  They built their sacred shrines and temples in these places to access this power.

A few of the guides we picked up said that at some of the vortexes the energy causes a twisting of the juniper trees. There are of course other explanations for the twisting.

The Energy Vortexes

There are 4 major vortices of the New Age movement in Sedona: Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Airport Vortex and Boynton Canyon. However, there are many more power spots around Sedona to consider than just these popularized ones. From a Native American point of view there may well be over a hundred power spots many of which are marked by ceremonial shrines, petroglyphs and ancient ruins. Thankfully, other Outbound contributors posted hikes to many of the energy vortexes, I've pulled them together here.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock is thought to be one of the stronger energy centers in the area because apparently it has an immensity of quartz crystals within or beneath it. It is also believed that this vortex strengthens all sides of our spiritual being: the masculine, feminine, and balance. The vortex energy at Bell Rock is said to enhance spirit within and help you increase new perspectives, be more aware of self and others balancing mind, body, and soul. The parking lot was full at the Bell Rock trailhead, so we parked in the overflow across the highway and hiked up one of the main trails to get a panoramic view of Bell Rock and the surrounding formations. Because we weren't right on Bell Rock, I can't speak for what energy I did feel, but it was a gorgeous view and could be a perfect place to get a wide-angle shot of the area.

Cathedral Rock

We hiked in to view Cathedral Rock from the Slickrock Trailhead instead of the main one because we were trying to avoid crowds and wanted to have a quieter experience. This viewpoint was a highlight of our trip and I did feel a buzz of energy here. 

Cathedral Rock is a feminine energy center affecting both mind and body creating a cleansing and energizing experience. Cathedral Rock is said to be the strongest feminine energy center in the Sedona area, which will opens up the ability to communicate and to connect to the feminine or nurturing side.

Airport Vortex

We hiked up to the Airport Mesa vortex at night because it's a right in Sedona and about a five minute drive off of Hwy 89. It also makes this formation reliably crowded during the day. Going at night limited our view, which during the day extends far into the valley and is a panorama of orange rock formations and green valley floor. The sky is vast here, and sitting up under a full-moon, seeing the dark formations outlined against the cloudy deep blue sky, was a tranquil transcendent experience. 

The Airport Mesa vortex energy is said to be a masculine energy, strengthening the internal spirit to take charge of you own life and live in self-confidence. 

Boynton Canyon

The Boynton Canyon-Kachina Sedona Vortex is said to be another balancing energy center. You can take a 6 mile round-trip hike through the canyon to access the formation or take a 1 mile trail from the Boynton Vista Trail. In ancient times the native Yavapai-Apache would not come into the canyon without first purifying themselves through fasting or deep meditation. 

What does it feel like?

It ultimately depends on you. I was curious about the vortexes, open and reflective during my time visiting them. I think this is why I did feel a lightness, a slight buzz in these places. It was similar to the tail end of coming out of feeling dizzy from standing up too quickly. I did feel a stronger sense of self and balanced leaving Sedona -- which of course could be my Sedona trip in its entirety: the energy vortexes, time with good friends, nature, sun, dry heat, healthy food...the list goes on. 

It’s said that if you enter these places with skepticism or are closed off, the subtle nature of the energy centers can’t be felt. I left with this idea in mind, most of what we glean from life is nuanced, personal and requires self reflection. I’d like to be the kind of person that is open to inviting in energizing and calming energy whenever I can.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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