What Are the Sedona, Arizona Energy Vortexes?

The Vortex Energy Mysteries of Sedona

Cathedral Rock Sedona
Richard Price / Getty Images

The Sedona Energy Vortexes

No, it’s not vortices. In Sedona, the plural of vortex is usually vortexes. So what is a vortex, anyway? Well, you see them in everyday life. The turbulent flow of water makes vortices. If you have ever seen a whirlpool in a river or watched water going down the drain in the bathtub and have witnessed the tornado like glassiness of spinning water, you have seen a vortex. A vortex is created from a spiraling motion of air or liquid around a center of rotation.

If you have ever witnessed a dust devil kick up in the desert, you have seen a vortex.

In Sedona, vortexes are created, not by wind or water, but from spiraling spiritual energy. The vortexes of Sedona are named because they are believed to be spiritual locations where the energy is right to facilitate prayer, meditation, and healing. Vortex sites are believed to be locations having energy flow that exists on multiple dimensions. The energy of the vortexes interacts with a person’s inner self. It is not easily explained. Obviously, it must be experienced.

Geology of the Red Rocks

Over millions of years, layers of sandstone and limestone were left in the area by a receding ocean. Iron oxide eventually covered the grains of sandstone and, in a natural process, rust formed. The stunningly beautiful red rocks of Sedona are the result of this process.

Native American History

Human history in the Sedona area began about 4000 BC when hunter-gatherers roamed and settled in the Verde Valley and Prescott areas.

Between 900 and 1350 AD, a more advanced civilization began building pueblos and cliff houses. Known as the Sinagua (without water) they were proficient in farming, had an understanding of astronomy, and made baskets, pottery, and jewelry. They established trade routes with the peoples of the Pacific coast, Mexico, and Central America.

(History courtesy: City of Sedona)

Cliff dwellings are still evident today. One of the most beautiful is Montezuma’s Castle, not far from Sedona. As you hike the red rocks, you will see petroglyphs and pictographs left behind by these ancient peoples. The awe-inspiring vistas, along with the magnificent views of the sky, have drawn out the spiritual nature of people from the very beginning.

Harmonic Convergence

In 1987, Sedona‘s reputation as a spiritual center got quite a boost. Many journeyed to Sedona during the time of the highly anticipated Harmonic Convergence. Our Aetheism writer, explains Harmonic Convergence. On the weekend of August 16th and 17th, 1987, the great "Harmonic Convergence" was supposed to take place - at least, that is what José Arguelles told people. A great many believed him - not simply prominent leaders of the New Age movement like Shirley MacLaine, but also millions and millions of adherents.

What was the nature of this convergence? Well, according to Arguelles, at this time the Earth would start slipping out of its "time beam" and risk spinning off into space - only by the concerted, psychic efforts of the human race would it remain where it was supposed to be.

This time would see a great increase in the experience of deja vu and UFO sightings. However, if enough people would simply gather at sacred places around the globe and concentrate enough, the New Age would begin, the Earth would remain safe and a new era of harmony and love would be inaugurated.

Sedona was a sacred place, so why not gather there. Ultimately the earth did not slip away and spin into space, so did this convergence of people in Sedona help?

The Curious and Faithful Come

A wonderful account of a recently graduated massage therapist attending an Arizona conference is not unlike those that journey to Sedona for the first time. In an article titled, "A Sedona Arizona Spiritual Quest," he recounts, “My spiritual quest to Sedona was due to the fact that some of the world's energy vortexes are located here.

These vortexes are subtle energy centers where spiritual and psychic powers are enhanced. To say I was a little curious was an understatement. My hotel room window afforded me an unobstructed panorama of one of these energy vortexes known as Bell Rock. That would be my first hike on my quest.”

He then goes on to tell about his hike with the first taste of spirituality... being "needled" by an Arizona cactus!

Has Anyone Ever Seen a Vortex?

Linda, an About Southwest reader, writes, "My daughter and I recently visited Sedona Arizona for the first time. It was just so delightful and beautiful. A couple of the photos that we took are covered in rainbow colors. Does this have anything to do with the Sedona Arizona Vortex? Have a look at her photos and see what you think!

Where are the Vortexes?

This information is courtesy Pete A Sanders, Jr. from Free Soul, spiritual education program. Pete does research, lectures, conferences and leads vortex tours in Sedona. The terminology used in describing the vortexes is from Pete's work and is described in this article on vortexes. His easy to understand guide to vortexes, "Scientific Vortex Information" can be purchased online or in Sedona bookstores.

  • Red Rock Crossing- Take Hwy 89A southwest out of Sedona (toward Cottonwood). At the top of the hill (after Foothills South/Sedona Medical Center) make a left at the light (Upper Red Rock Loop Rd.) Go down the hill (1-2 miles). At the bottom make a left and follow the signs for Red Rock Crossing/Crescent Moon Recreational Area. From the parking lot walk upstream 1/4 to 1/2 mile (level) to the red rock beach area. You can go further upstream for deeper swimming holes. This is an "inflow plus lateral water cleansing combination) vortex. ($8.00 per car charge).
  • Saddle of Cathedral Rock - Cathedral Rock can be seen from Red Rock Crossing and easily identified by its two twin spires and large saddle. This vortex is a cone shaped pile of black lava rocks and is located just below the western ledge of the saddle. Follow the directions as if you were going to Bell Rock. On Hwy 179 go past Chapel Road about a mile to Back O'Beyond Road (well before you reach Bell Rock). Turn right and take this road to the end to the parking lot on the left. Follow the moderate to strenuous trail to the saddle between the three rock spires. This is an "upflow in an inflow combination" vortex. (Requires Red Rock Pass for Parking)
  • Bell Rock-  Bell Rock is a major Sedona landmark visible just past the village of Oak Creek. If already in Sedona, take Hwy 89A to the traffic circle junction of Hwys 89A and 179. Take Hwy 179 past Poco Diablo Resort. Look for the Bell Rock parking area several miles further on the right. Bell Rock is across the street on the left. There is also dirt parking space there. Follow the clear trails into the base of the rock and proceed from there as high as you wish. This is a "pure upflow" vortex. (Requires Red Rock Pass for Parking)
  • Boynton Canyon and Long Canyon Mesa-  Boynton Canyon is considered by some to be the most powerful of the vortexes in Sedona. It is a scenic box canyon. Take Hwy 89A Southwest toward Cottonwood. At the lst light in town (at Cinedona Theaters) make a right on Dry Creek Rd. Go 3-4 miles to the "T." For Boynton Canyon turn left at the "T" and follow signs to the Boynton Canyon Trail. The small parking area will be on your right. For Long Canyon turn right at the "T." When the paved road ends, follow the dirt road to the left (200 yards) to a small parking area. Walk up the steep hill. At the top of the hill go left. When the road next forks, go right. Follow the road to the large medicine wheel on Rachel's Knoll (total walk 1/2 to 3/4 mile - 15-20 minutes. Please respect signs asking for near complete quiet. Tnis is a "Upflow and Inflow Combination" vortex.
  • Airport Mesa-  Vortex or no vortex, Airport Mesa is an inspiring place to be with 360 degree views of the valley. It is the closest vortex to the center of Sedona. Take Hwy 89A to the Airport Rd. (at circular building). You can either take the road all the way to the top and follow the signs for "Sunrise Service" to the Masonic Lodge Memorial Cross and meditate there or pull into the small pullout 2/3 of the way up and hike up to the top of either of the two side mounts (200 yds.) The closest mound is the main vortex area. The easiest route to the top is on a trail that goes around the left of the base and then up. This is an "upflow" vortex. (Red Rock Pass Required for parking). Imagine, a "fly-in vortex!"
  • Oak Creek Canyon Overlook - Take Hwy 89A north toward Flagstaff. At the top of the switchbacks (15-17 miles from Sedona) look for the entrance to the overlook on the right. Park and walk out to the vista point (1/4 mile - level). This is an "upflow and lateral combination" vortex.
  • Chapel of the Holy Cross-  Follow the directions for going to Bell Rock. Ater Poco Diablo Resort look for signs for the Chapel. Chapel website. Follow the signs and make a left on Chapel Road. It ends at the Chapel parking area. Walk (50 yards) to sitting rocks or benches. This is a "complex combination" vortex and view area.
  • West Fork - Energy Well Spring-  This is the most biodiverse spot in Arizona. Take Highway 89A 11 miles north of Sedona (toward Flagstaff). One mile past Don Hoel's Cabins, look for the entrance to the parking lot at the big sweeping curve to the right. At the southwest corner of the parking lot follow the trail along the creek to the metal sign at the crossing point. Once you are up the opposite bank, walk south to the ivy glen and turn right. Follow the trail 1/4 mile until you come to the West Fork Creek. Once you cross this smaller stream you are at the official beginning of West Fork. The mostly level trail starts there. Wear old shoes or Gortex boots as the trail repeatedly takes you through the creek. Having a walking stick for balance when crossing the creek is also good. This is a "lateral" vortex with timelessness effects.

Vortex Tours and More Information

I only recently went on a Vortex Tour, although I have been inspired as I hiked through the canyons and red rocks of Sedona. Here are some of people who can take you on a tour of the Sedona Vortexes.

Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours - this tour company offers experiential Jeep Tours, Hikes, Indian Ruins and Sacred Site (vortex) tours through the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona Vortex Tours -The Sedona Heart Center believes that their tours stand out in a crowd partly because of the rich diversity of the tour guides. Each guide is gifted uniquely in the healing arts, something to keep in mind as you plan your retreat or tour. They would love to take you out on a Vortex Tour or do a Medicine Wheel ceremony with you.

Sedona Herb Walks and Vortex Tours- Tours led by Feather, a practicing herbalist, gentle wildcrafter and medicine maker with over 20 years experience.

Crossing Worlds Journeys and Retreats - More than a tour, these are unique, informative, inspiring, non-commercial experiences that cross you into ancient & contemporary understandings of earth, spirit and human community. Tours of Sedona and beyond.

Private Guides - Mr. Sedona - Dennis Andres. Sedona's most recognized private guide is the author of "What Is a Vortex?" Join Dennis to experience natural beauty and thoughtful spirituality at a pace that's just right for you. Complete satisfaction guaranteed. Advance reservations essential.

Vortex Tours and Lectures by Pete A. Sanders, Jr. - Mr. Sanders gives a preparatory lecture. You can attend the lecture without participating in his tours. For information on the Monday lectures, contact the Sedona Institute of Eco-Tourism. When I attended, the charge for the lecture was $15.00.

Tour participants travel to two of Sedona's vortex areas. Mr. Sanders is a fully permitted Hiking Guide. As such he can lead tour participants (in their own vehicles) to designated parking places and hike with them to selected meditation sites. Participants are instructed in how to best tap the two locations for the contemplation, problem solving, or spiritual skills that they are most interested in.

Arizona Safari Jeep Tours - I recently had the pleasure of going on a Vortex tour with Arizona Safari Jeep Tours. It's a great tour if you want to get out of town, visit a couple of vortex sites, learn something about vortexes and know you won't be expected to become an instant "believer." The tour was laid back, really didn't take us off-road, yet it took us to beautiful sites such as Red Rock Crossing, a very powerful vortex site.

More Information on Sedona Spiritual Pursuits

The Spiritual Side of Sedona - From the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. Everything from Weddings to Spas.

The Sedona Metaphysical Spiritual Association - They connect spiritual seekers in Sedona to the metaphysical spiritual practitioners and businesses who can best assist them in their journey.

One of the vortex information handouts provided by vortex guide and spiritual educator, Pete A Sanders, Jr. was an "Environmental Awareness and Sacred Site Etiquette Guide." I'd seen the medicine wheels and stacked rocks left by so-called spiritual people and thought sharing this information might be a good thing.

Please Do

  • Enter these areas in the spirit of respect - for the land, for the history of any artifacts, and for the significance they hold for many people.
  • Be careful and avoid climbing and standing near ledges. The rock here is very soft, is often loose and may give way easily.
  • Take time for quiet reflection and enjoy the scenic, environmental, and spiritual beauty of these areas. If others are meditating at a site when you arrive, be respectful and keep your voice low.
  • If you see people vandalizing sites or starting fires, report this immediately. The Coconino National Forest Fire & Vandalism Dispatcher 24-hour line is 602.526.0600

Please Don't

  • Start fires (even candles) of any kind at the sites. Fire can destroy prehistoric organic materials, ruin the dating potential of artifacts, and damage rock art by covering it with soot.
  • Take home any rocks, rock fragments, or natural vegetation (or cut standing trees or tree limbs).
  • Pick up or move any rock or artifacts at a site. If you feel the need to make a medicine wheel at your meditation site, make it a mental one.
  • Draw or scratch grafitti on rocks or cliff faces. Also don't touch petroglyphs. Oils from your hands can cause deterioration of the drawings.
  • Camp or sleep in ruins, or dig or remove artifacts from a site. Also, don't add anything (offerings) to a site. This contaminates cultural deposits that are important for scientific tests used by archaeologists in reconstructing past environments and dietary information abou the people who occupied these sites.