Shaman’s Dome is perhaps the least ‘known’ vortex in Sedona. It is isolated in a magnificent, rolling valley of the Red Rock National Forest, just south of Sedona. It is a perfect dome of rose sandstone quartz, soaring 750 feet above base. A powerful cave, known as Shaman’s Cave, is carved into its upper portion. Known to indigenous holy men for centuries, it is an inter-dimensional portal, a stargate.
Shaman’s Cave is a protected site. Local legends claim it is used by Starseed, extraterrestrials that taught and lived among the Indians. It is the most pristine, if not the most powerful, energy portal in the Sedona vortex. In December 2001, I had the wonderful opportunity to do a five-day vision quest in the magnificent energy of Shaman’s Dome.
Tyb’s Journal: Quest, Day Four
The fourth day of my quest brought a profound vision, but it was not what I expected. I had awakened at dawn from an endless night of tossing and turning, feeling glad the long cold night was over. Sleeping on the ground is hard enough without freezing temperatures. I repositioned myself inside my sleeping bag and blankets to watch the emerging sunrise. I was ‘in the effect’ of four days of fasting. Still early and still freezing cold, I sat up, lightheaded. I rubbed my eyes and gazed at the amazing Sedona landscape from inside my prayer-tie circle deep in the Red Rock National Forest, 300 meters from Shaman’s Dome. Dawn bathed the silhouetted cliffs in pink. I closed my eyes momentarily, not quite awake but not asleep.
Vision of Red Feather
Then it happened. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see a regal looking Native American with jet-black hair. His raven mane was adorned with a small red feather in the back. He pointed to the feather, and I knew that was his name – Red Feather. He had a huge mountain lion with him, a sleek magnificent creature! He kneeled in front of me and pointed to Shaman’s Dome, and I knew I had to go there. Timeless moments passed, and Red Feather came again. I sensed a great integrity in him and felt humbled by his presence. I got the same message again … go to the Dome.
Suddenly I jolted up, eyes wide open, as though I’d seen a ghost which, of course, I had. Visions do not come easily to me; in fact, I had never experienced one before in ceremony, and this was my third 5-day vision quest in as many years. I was not sure at this point if it had been one. I hadn’t been asleep and was cognizant of observing an unusual scene with my eyes closed … but I had felt that tap on my shoulder, and I did feel his presence … and when I opened my eyes, he was still there for a few fleeting seconds before he evaporated into the morning fog.
Both excited and uncertain of what had just occurred, I sat and stared at the Dome. I gathered my energy and stood up, still lightheaded. Little stars burst all around my field of vision, a result of the physical exertion and the fasting. I balanced my stance and evaluated the walk, decent and climb in front of me. I wondered if I should chance it alone. It was a steep hike, and ice was everywhere. Red Feather’s presence suddenly reappeared to tell me it would be okay. He would guide me.
I smiled in disbelief. The light-headedness was gone. Energy was pulsing through me as my numb fingers fumbled to tie the laces of my hiking boots. With appropriate ceremony, I opened the prayer-tie circle and left, not waiting for Yellowbird.
I should explain that Adam Yellowbird was the elder and facilitator for my vision quest. He is a man of great integrity and humility. A keeper of the Earth, he has an incredible affinity with earth, sky, elements and all life. He conducts vision -prayer quests in the Lakota tradition. This was my third under his tutelage. He kept an anchor fire for me at his camp in Cornville and made daily visits to council me, sage my site and sing vision songs.
I headed for the dome without him.
I really don’t know how I got to the top so easily. I crunched through frozen grass and snow, down a steep arroyo and up an icy switchback trail, the last 150 feet of which seemed rather perilously vertical. When I reached the top, the morning colors were dancing. It was like a peyote dream with little crystal explosions popping all around, and I had to sit down. Though winded and a bit lightheaded, I felt remarkably aware.
An icy wind whipped across the top of the dome, but I was well wrapped, and the sun was warming despite the frigid gale. I felt a sense of joyous well-being. I was totally in the NOW of this lucid moment. The adrenaline energy returned, and I scampered over the summit of the dome. I saw four distinct energy springs, small electrical (out-flowing) vortexes, spiraling purple light. As I sat right on top of one, the vital earth current flowed upward through me. With legs gangling over the edge, I shifted until I fit more comfortably in a small dip near a ledge. It offered a perfect back support, and I closed my eyes.
The feeling was delicious – completely alive, so in spirit, so melded into the dome.
With eyes closed, I faced the beaming sun, and felt its warmth on my face. Everything appeared red through my closed lids. Geometric patterns danced in my head in a vibrant kaleidoscope of color, and I drifted effortlessly into vision.
Suddenly I ‘ heard’ a light buzzing effect, almost like the swarming of bees. I seemed to be floating. Red Feather took my hand, and we flew effortlessly over the valley. What a sensation of euphoria!
Visionary experience is vivid, so real, yet always with the knowledge that this was a lucid dream. The rare joy of flying in that brisk icy air was exquisite. Even now, I sometimes wonder if I was actually out-of-body.
The flying sensation lasted for ten minutes or so, and what I saw below me was real scenes of the valley below. As if on the back of a dragon fly I flew about 500 feet over the Red Rock National Forest, observing its sandstone and granite rock flows, cactus and shrubbery. I continued to the edge of the forest and saw houses and a few cars below me.
At this point I observed Yellowbird’s truck on the dirt road, near the highway, miles from the Dome. And to my amazement he seemed to sense what was happening, and he pulled over and began singing the vision song.
Then my vision shifted. I went deeper and higher, leaving the earth-scape. I came into a place of great silence. I sat at the feet of my Godhead and asked questions, but I knew the answers before I heard them. I had the rare experience of knowing I was having a vision, and simultaneously being aware that part of me was watching it, and still not losing it with that realization (as is normally the case with dreams).
Then more visuals began, this time animals. I saw a rattlesnake on the ground, and then the huge lioness. I was in curious awe of her, but not afraid. She walked into a cave and lay down. Timeless time passed, I was in a spaceless void. Then I awoke, back in my body on the cliff-edge of Shaman’s Dome. It seemed as if I had been away for quite a while, but I was totally unable to sequence with standard time passage. I don’t really know how long my vision lasted…and it seemed of no matter, it was timeless.
A noise. I opened my eyes to see Yellowbird’s rickety green truck whining up the steep rocky track. He stopped thirty meters from my vision quest site. I stood and waved, then called to him. He saw me, and I motioned for him to climb up the Dome, which he did. Thirty minutes later he arrived. At first we just sat together, nodding and sitting side by side, looking but not speaking.
We gazed across the beautiful landscape below. The red earth patched with new snow, gleaming like white diamonds in sunlight. The Sedona colored in rich hued layers, succinct ridges of amber, burnt orange and mauve.
Yellowbird brought out his chenupa, and I slowly, respectfully shared my vision and spoke of the energy fountains. He smiled.
We built stone cairns denoting the spirals’ locations. We connected these to Ayers Rock, where he had been earlier in the year, and then to Machu Picchu, Titicaca, Shasta …and other special sites places I had been.
We then made the precarious walk along the outer dome rim to the ‘CAVE.’
Shaman’s Cave was everything I anticipated and more, much more. The symmetry was beautiful. The cave featured an arched, semicircular entrance and a colonnaded buttress on the eastern side, with a stunning 360-degree circular window.
It is not a cave it the traditional sense, it is a sandstone erosion overhang, 40 feet deep, 70 feet long and 25 feet high, with the back carved into sandstone. It had a stone alter, with floors and walls of wind polished burnt orange quartz.
As we walked into the magical entrance, I felt an immediate energy shift. My eyes were first drawn to a pictograph on the cave wall. I walked forty feet to the back wall and saw, with a wave of validation, that it was the face of a lion! The lioness of my vision!
Inter Dimensional Portal
A condensed energy sphere pulsated inside, just below the pictograph. A lateral portal flowed through an amazing circular window. Electromagnetic ley energy was focused inside the center aperture of the cave, like the fulcrum point of an hourglass. Three separate lines of energy met at the center, and the entire cave held an interdimensional portal, which can be opened with the appropriate intent.
Yellowbird and I did a pipe ceremony and circled with white sage. He sang a vision song of the Lakota tradition, made offerings, and we positioned for prayer and meditation. Two hours later, we knew it was time to leave. I knew I
Quest: Day Five
During another cold but beautiful night, I watched billions of stars in the clear night for an hour, as the occasional meteor streaked across the black velvet fabric of sky. My sleep was embellished with extremely vivid dreams.
The sunrise was another study in pink and violet. After full sunrise, I left the prayer tie area, and trekked easily to Shaman’s Cave for day five of my fast. The dome and cave were vibrant on that December 20, the potent eve of the Winter Solstice. Blessings were offered and permission received to enter the cave. A small stone fireplace was built in an earthen covering of the cave, so I gathered a few pieces of dried wood and built a small ceremonial fire. With the aroma of burning cedar filling the cave, I offered blessings with prayer and sage.
Shaman’s Cave: Transitional Portal
After the appropriate ceremony, I went into meditation, and the vibration grew higher and higher over the next half-hour. Then, in the whiteness, two light beings appeared, and the energy was so overpowering that tears welled in my eyes, and my heart and spirit were laid open.
I absorbed every vibration of the sacred moment. I was in awe of the holy light beings, who gifted me with an energetic transformation, a knowledge implant and a light code. A separate entourage made adjustments to my feet, hands, nervous system and sensory capacities. I was told this would enable me to better receive and interpret terrestrial and celestial energies. The whole experience was very clear, very personal, humbling and meaningful. For although I had had visionary experiences over two decades earlier in South America, these had been with and through the amplifying lens of sacred plant medicines. While these past forays had played an important role in opening my mind to wider realities, they had taken place at a relatively early stage in my spiritual search and travels.
What was happening now was entirely through fasting and prayer, and while both lenses are valid and quite beneficial, this one had taken much more effort.
At this point I became aware of the energy of Red Feather and the Lioness in the cave. I seemed to hear ancients drumming and singing, and this seemed to open a special portal that allowed an activation to occur. Despite a cold gusting wind and temperatures in the 40s, the cave felt warm. After 90 minutes, in symbolic ritual I felt compelled to pass in and out of the magical circular window in the 18-inch thick sandstone walls. The window itself was amazing, facing easterly directly onto an electromagnetic vortex called the ‘Seven Chimneys.’ The window is a rebirth portal, the womb of Gaia. After my last passing through the window, I knew my quest was complete.
Symbols and Meaning
After doing five-day fasting vision/prayer quests for three consecutive years each December, I had at last had a vision. It had not come easily; gifts of spirit rarely do. My vision was in essence, a lucid dream. Such visions do occur more readily for me now. I am still ‘downloading’ much of what was given. I obtained three new guides and now know that learning is an unending climb. In fact, I am not sure that we ever truly ‘arrive.’ There is always more, and always the responsibility to treat the gifts of awareness and knowledge with great humility & respect. The Goddess, represented by the Lioness, teaches that ego, greed, and ‘masculine’ power struggles cannot mix with love, service and humility … which are traits of true strength.
Gifts of spirit are never ‘taken away,’ but they are often lost, because they simply cannot exist when negative traits resurface.
The metaphoric meaning of Jesus on the cross is his choosing love over power. He could have led an army. Which choice took greater strength?
When Yellowbird joined me in the afternoon, he came carrying a gift. Despite snow on the grounds and fluffy snow blowing in from the west on gray clouds, a rattlesnake had come out of hibernation and slithered under his truck tires, just 100 meters from my vision quest site. He could not avoid running over it. He recognized the symbol and gift. The snake represents transition, and he presented the rattles to me, wrapped in red flannel cloth cured in sage and cedar, at the Sweat Lodge ceremony that evening, the ceremony to ritually end the vision quest. In the native vernacular: AHO!
My Take on the Sedona Vortex
Now, to change directions slightly, let’s make just a few comments regarding Sedona. Energy centers are crystalline in many respects and amplify the energies brought into them. There is no doubt that the Earth energies around Sedona are magnificent and powerful, but Sedona was never meant to be a metropolis. The Native Americans recognized the natural energy cathedral it was, and it was respected accordingly. Villages were kept in outlying areas, but few lived inside the principal vortex itself. Shamans recognized, understood and worked appropriately with the amplifiers and portals of Sedona.
One Major Vortex: Hundreds of Fountains
My take on Sedona is that there is one enormous vortex, circulating above the area. This vortex has a pulsating diameter of between 18 and 35 miles, depending on lunar, solar and telluric energy cycles. Within this diameter are literally hundreds of energy fountain vortexes, not just the eight or nine shown on the touristic vortex maps. The vortex fountains all contribute to the mega-vortex of Sedona, which has a counterclockwise spin and is principally an outward flow vortex, although,
there are dozens of areas with lateral energy flows and inward (magnetic) pulls within the Sedona energy field diameter.
Many of the more potent vortex sites are also succinct inter-dimensional light portals and stargates. These are functions of the Crystalline Grid, whereas vortexes and telluric relate to the gravitational and electromagnetic grids. The ‘Sedona vortexes’ printed on maps and offered on tours are: Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Red Rock Crossing, Oak Creek Canyon, Coffee Pot Rock and Court House Butte. I have visited all of these, and while all are absolutely sacred, I personally found the Airport Mesa Vortexial site incredibly potent. Another location with vivid pristine energy of the sacred isn’t often listed – the Chapel of the Holy Cross site.
One cannot quantitatively compare vortex sites. Power sites within the umbrella of a central vortex such as Sedona, Glastonbury, Easter Island or Titicaca are often tuned to specific chakras in order to work in specialized focal sequence.
Shaman’s Dome and Cave, while both remote and ‘protected,’ are meant to be used. They are not ‘off limits’ or secret; that is ‘old energy’… the only but essential requirement is respect of place and knowledge of purpose. Opening or ‘fine-tuning’ into the portal is a different matter. That is a process of intent, preparation and prayer. I was taken there just once, before sunrise. I departed days later in a heightened state. But it did not come easily to an old bear like me. After three years, I achieved a vision, and a portal was opened!
I remain humbly grateful for that experience, especially to Yellowbird and Red Feather. I have since learned that Red Feather has served as guide to at least two other writers (both published) regarding earth energies. That was a wonderful validation for me, always the doubter. And he is with me still.
I continued the following June with my fourth vision quest, and was blessed with several lucid dreams and vision — a gift of intent, perseverance, growth and ceremony. I have continued to do ceremonial fasting and dance once each year. Each has been profound, each has been humbly treasured … but my first at Shaman’s Dome opened a window of knowledge that I will forever remember with special reverence and gratitude.
Perhaps Shamans Dome is a portal to higher dimensions. Perhaps it is defined by the spiritual sense of a presence when nothing in 3-D is seen, a gust of wind ruffling one’s hair when there is no wind.
What I’ve concluded is that Sedona (like many sacred sites and power points) provided the template for a valid experience of multi dimensionality, held juxtaposed in spatial timelessness. An undeniable sense of well being and enhanced imagination was more easily accessed within its field.
Spirituality requires understanding and developing, not simply acquiring the academic knowledge of metaphysical theories of spirituality, but also the experiential process.
My key has been enacting the discipline and ceremonial rituals of the indigenous traditions, including fasting, vision quests, shamanic journey and earth-dance ceremonial rituals. These filled my understanding with experiential content … living it. And allowed me to truly know that such experience is real and is valid. In theory, there should be no difference between meditating in your living room or on a mountaintop … yet for this writer, on Shamans Dome there was a catalystic movement, an undeniable facility, which made it a whole lot easier to expand
Was it the fasting, the solitude, the minerals, the granite, the quartz, the tectonic stresses, the expectation or the magnetics?
Or is it all and none of the above?
It would be dismissive to say that what happens at specific sites near Sedona is the result of industrial slabs of anticipation served on the experiential plates of all too eager mystics. But whatever the message, for this writer the engaging paradox didn’t run out of allegory, just logic and time.
One philosopher writes: “Shoot for the moon with the effectual arrows of desire, for a man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? ”
Perhaps we are as small as the cages we construct for ourselves or as infinite as the Cosmos, depending on the parameter of our belief. But for those seekers that have opened and been to Shamans Cave & Dome and other like sites, I am preaching to the choir.
It is real, but then again it’s only a dream … a navigable dream.