Driving Into the Sun

I’ll be driving into the sun as it rises in an hour or so. I’m heading east on the I-10 for Phoenix and then north to Sedona.
Sedona is a place where Nature unleashed her magic creating a landscape of high desert beauty. Red rocks tower up from the sandy clay floor in shapes that delight the imagination. Oak Creek flows through the lowlands creating a ribbon of green. For thousands of years man has come here to pray and create sacred ceremony; to give an offering and ask for a blessing from Pachamama our Mother Earth.
With the white man’s frequent disregard for all things sacred, Sedona became an inhabited place. No longer sacred ground that was visited only for sacred ceremonies, it became a tourist mecca: A playground for the rich and a marketplace for the “New Agers” who capitalize on the powerful energy vortexes and magnificent red rock hoodoos for financial gain.
My friends and I gather in Sedona from around the country and beyond every January. This is my eighth year to make the trek. We come to pray and make sacred ceremony. We come to give our offerings and ask for the blessings of Pachamama. We pray for forgiveness for the shortsightedness and ignorance of those who disregard the Earth and have lost their connection to Her. We come to release our pasts and set powerful intentions for the New Year. We walk out into the wild places of great beauty to weep tears of sorrow, sing songs of praise, and laugh with the joy of being.
This annual pilgrimage has been one the most powerful forces in my life. It moved me through stuck places into new beginnings. It brought me out of confusion and into a place of clarity. It strengthened my character as I practiced ritual and ceremony and renewed my connection to Pachamama. It taught me the power of a sacred circle of people with presence and integrity. It gifted me with the experience of true gratitude.
As I drive into the sun I feel the cords of energy that connect me to my sisters and brothers as we come from afar to circle around the altar, the drum and the fire. I feel the pull of red rocks that have become sacred to me in such a profound and personal way. They call me home to them for another round of release and renewal. They ask nothing of me but to walk gently and leave no trace that I was there. I hear the song of Pachamama singing her blessings on me and I feel the joy of knowing that indeed, I am blessed.

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