Life in the 21st century screams by at a breakneck pace. The Internet, smart phones and social networking leave us bombarded by information 24/7. Many of us feel the pulsating energy of our fast-paced lifestyle constantly and can’t decompress. For all our technology, we feel emptier and more disconnected than ever. A little voice inside whispers that this isn’t what life was meant to be.
And it isn’t.
And nowhere will that point be driven home to you more than in Sedona, Arizona; a spiritual Mecca known for its famous vortexes. And there’s no better guide to this mystic land than Larry Sprague of Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours. Sprague, a spry 70-yr-old with a quick Irish wit, and a look that’s a cross between Albert Einstein and Jerry Garcia, regales the tour with local stories, historical facts, and a knowledge of the earth he no doubt gained while studying Zen and Buddhism in the 1960s.
According to Sprague “everything is energy.” But he’s not taking about the frenetic energy modern society operates at, but rather a deep, inner energy we all possess and the Sedona vortexes bring out.
In one area of Seven Canyons, Sprague explains to our group of five that a vortex is simply anything that spirals and generates energy. Water draining in a sink creates a vortex, and the earth, in places like Sedona, creates vortexes as well. The Sedona vortexes are spiraling centers of spiritual energy. The energy of a vortex interacts with your body’s own energy creating an area where spiritual and psychic powers are enhanced. Sedona owes its many vortexes to the ion found in its famous red rocks (ion is an excellent conductor of energy) and the intersection of a multitude of ley lines. Ley lines were a concept presented in the 1920s by amateur archeologist, Alfred Watkins, and are hypothetical alignments of a number of places of geographical interest like ancient monuments or megaliths. Sedona’s iconic rock formations; Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Castle Rock and Airport Mesa are all vortexes.
Sprague tells our tour that the red rocks of Sedona are very similar in their geology to those found in the Grand Canyon, only much younger: Sedona’s are just a mere 260-290 million years old (the Grand Canyon can date rocks over a billion years). And while Arizona is known for its desert dry heat, at one time Sedona was beachfront property. In fact, the lighter colored strata in the rocks is compressed beach sand whipped into solid rock by ferocious 500 mile winds that tore across Sedona in ancient times.
According to Sprague, in our rush to modernize society, we’ve stopped listening to the “voice of the earth.” Here in Sedona, mother nature calls to anyone perceptive enough to listen. As we drive, Sprague points out the abundance of the earth from how the mesquite tree tells farmers when to plant crops based on when it flowers, to the fact that the berries from the juniper tree can be used to make gin or sourdough starter!
“If you know what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of food and medicine here,” he said.
Not quite the barren desert that meets the lay person’s eyes.
Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours is one of only two companies with permits to drive deep into parts of the Coconino National Forest. As our jeep bumps and grinds over rocky terrain our group gets a taste of true off-roading as we leave the other tourists behind. About 10 minutes in we park the jeep and take a short hike to Mystic Vista, passing along the way ancient juniper trees that have been twisted and turned by the energy emanating from the vortexes in the area. Mystic Vista is an expensive point that features a breathtaking 360 degree view of the beauty of Sedona.
Here, on this spot which the Hopis have used for their vision quests for over 2000 years, Sprague shows our group the power of the vortex. Jill, a 30-something visitor from Massachusetts, holds Sprague’s dowsing rods, one in each hand, and closes her eyes. Sprague, almost poetically, moves his hands near the rods and slowly but surely, the rods begin to move and cross each other. He has the entire group close their eyes and put their hands out, palms down and asks everyone to focus on the energy vibrating in their hands. Sure enough, there’s something there. Sprague believes we all have this ability to feel energy, it’s just something that’s gotten lost along the way.
Between Sprague’s commentary and the majestic beauty that is Sedona, the 2.5 hour tour is likely to leave visitors looking at life in a different way. Maybe Sprague’s way which is that, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.”
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