Vortexes in Sedona refer to four specific areas around the town that many New Age Movement followers believe radiate a mystical cosmic force. This lovely town is set within the majestic scenery of red rock formations in fabulous shapes. The area around Sedona has long been of spiritual importance to the Native peoples, and it is easy to see why as the landscapes are truly awe-inspiring. Tourists were attracted here in large numbers beginning in the 1960s, and a tourism industry that leaned heavily on a healthy lifestyle and hippie type philosophies began to flourish. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants abound. Sedona hotels tend toward the small boutique property, often associated with a spa, yoga studio, or meditational retreat. Healing and metaphysical practices of all sorts are located here, from crystal healing and Reiki therapy to past life regression, tarot cards, and palm reading.
A vortex is the characteristic funnel shape created by any whirling fluid or energy. They include tornadoes and dust devil whirlwinds, static electricity, or even water swirling down the drain of a sink. According to New Age Movement adherents, there are four vortexes, or vortices, in Sedona that emanate a subtle swirling energy. On August 16-17 in 1987, the artist and New Age figure Jose Arguelles organized The Harmonic Convergence, a globally synchronized meditation. The four identified vortexes in Sedona became centers for this event, timed to coincide with an alignment of planets and earthly “ley lines” of invisible energy. These four places draw New Age tourists who believe the energy from the vortices interact in positive ways with the inner beings of people. There are guided tours available to all four of the vortices, and you can also find them on your own along certain hiking trails—the locations of the vortices are marked by stone cairns. You can also buy packaged vacations offered from a wide variety of meditative spiritual groups. These may visit the vortexes in Sedona as well as other areas in the region that have spiritual significance, such as Chaco Canyon and the El Santuario de Chimayo. The four vortexes in Sedona include the Airport, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Cathedral Rock vortices.
This vortex is said to have masculine (meaning more active, in this case) energy. It is also known as a place to see great sunsets, so you might want to time your visit accordingly if that's high on your list of things to do in Sedona. It is a fairly quick hike up to the site of the vortex on the mini mesa at the top, and there is also a loop trail of about 3.5 miles that provides stunning views of the surrounding area with its beautiful mesas and buttes. There actually is a small airport on the main part of the mesa top, as well as a hotel and restaurant.
Bell Rock Vortex
This mesa is also said to emanate masculine energy. It is located toward the village of Oak Creek and is one of the most recognizable of the formations. It is more of a butte than a mesa and does resemble a large bell—if you turn your head sideways, you might see the profile of a face looking up to the heavens. Bell Rock is located close to the highway, and there is no real hiking trail up its slopes. It is, however, quite an easy climb. There is also a flat loop trail at the base.
Boynton Canyon Vortex
This is the only of the vortexes in Sedona said to have both masculine and feminine (meaning balancing) energy. This is a scenic box canyon, which offers one of the most popular day hiking excursions in the area. It’s a five-mile loop trail that is a moderate hike. The colorful walls soar 1,000 feet above the canyon floor, and the hike takes you through groves of trees and along a wash. Along the way, are numerous rock formations to admire, including “Kachina Woman,” a solitary spire hoodoo.
Cathedral Rock Vortex
This vortex is said to have feminine energy as well. It is also the most famous and perhaps most beautiful of all the rock formations around Sedona. It may be this magnificence that causes people to believe it is the strongest of the vortexes in Sedona. Whatever you believe, you are sure to be awed by the formation that does, indeed, resemble a cathedral. The hike up this rock is moderately strenuous.