Saturday, March 9, 2013

Call of the Southwest CanyonScapes

by Sandra Cosentino
(photos by Sandra Cosentino except where noted) 

Grand Canyon sunrise by Sandra Cosentino
These canyons and cliffs evoke a visceral level response in us. 
Our very smallness relative to the landscape is humbling.  
Yet you sense expanded horizons of who you really are.

Primordial Force of Nature

Sedona, Arizona resonates with the heart beat of the earth. There is a presence here that quickens your senses, that calls you home. It is a gateway into the Colorado Plateau, the second largest plateau in the world. A place of mysterious beauty, it is alive with Creation stories and with eons of the Earth's creation exposed in sinuous red and white canyons. A primordial force of crystalline rock embedded with prayers from many millenia of humans honoring this sacred earth, her energies vibrate at a cellular level in those who come in pilgrimage.

The Colorado Plateau is connected to the center of the backbone of Mother Earth, the Rocky Mountains, which extend from Alaska to Chile in a north-south direction. On the opposite side of the earth is the Tibetan Plateau, largest in the world, connected to the east-west chain of the Himalyas. These two great mountain chains form a cross of the 4 Directions. It is no coincidence that two ancient mystical cultures--the Tibetan Buddhists and the Hopi Indians--were guided by Creator to anchor and enhance these powerful natural energies.

painting by JohnSteele: 
We Bring the Rains
Still today, the Hopi priests place offerings at ancestral prayer shrine sites all over the region including the Sedona area. The Hopis, the most traditional tribe in North America, settled on the Plateau after thousands of years of migrations to this their place of center. Their presence enriches my experience of this land as an ancient sacred place. And reminds me that we today too have a role to remember our reciprocity to our giver of life, Mother Earth.

Here, elemental forces sculpt a dreamscape radiant with sun, quickened by lightning. The wind that shapes the wondrous formations gives voice to the indwelling life that Navajos call Nilchi'i, the inner spirit of humans, the mountains, the stars and all of creation. It's easy to have that experience of having left the ordinary world behind and stepping into the non-ordinary world. Here ancient knowing is stimulated. Who are we? Why are we here now.

The Mystic's Path of Direct Experience

Exploring Sedona by Teresa Settles
Trips into the world of wild nature and Native cultures of the Colorado Plateau open people to a felt experience of empathetic unity, which is central to indigenous thought and being. Wild beings, trees, canyons, streams have a consciousness that communicates with us in dreams, vision and daily life in a thousand unseen energetic patterns or resonances. Moving fast, living in our head, we in the Western world seem to have lost touch with direct knowing of the heart, of trusting our own instincts. Subtle signs come to us constantly from nature, in our dreams, in the words of friends and co-workers. Do we slow down enough to listen?

We are vaster than our mind, than our body. And in the purity of wild nature we have a direct pipeline to Source. As you relax, quit thinking and doing and just be alive to the moment, Nature always gifts us. With every in-breathe light energy from the stars, the sun, the mountains feeds you. With every out-breath, the whole of the cosmos knows you.
Sedona photo by Sandra Cosentino

This path of direct knowing has always called me.  Nature called me to move out of the city to the mountains after college and became a doorway to realignment of my psyche and seeing new possibilities.  During this time in my twenties, while out on the land, I received my first conscious messages from Spirit that helped me shift out of limiting beliefs and set me on a life long path of spirit connection.

Countless times, I have known an animal was there before seeing them, looked in wild bird and animal’s eyes, felt wind swirls at auspicious moments, sensed myself breathing with a mountain, had lucid dreams with direct communication from animal helpers and wild places, looked with awe and gave thanks to rising sun, and felt sun and star energy as an internal fire.  We live in a sentient world, all connected to the greater field of consciousness. 

I share pathways of the modern day mystic with guests to this land, drawing from timeless principals; such as: developing attentiveness to energies and signs flowing within nature and us, becoming your own shaman-seer traveling on the wings of your intention and focused attention, and using ceremony to activate your intention and rebalance. 

recent Sedona Ancestor Wisdom Circle
 with Martika of Columbia and guests from Australia
We go out at dawn, sunset and under the stars--each time of day with its own sensory qualities. Circles with our Hopi, Navajo and other Native American friends deepen for us this ancient sense of being part of the greater circle of life. 

We are part of the living body of the Earth—her vibrational frequency, like ours, is increasing.  Direct experience of her energies, grounds and renews us.  Her beauty fills our heart with awe and wonder.  And for the mystic, nature is a portal to expanded awareness.

Answering the Call of the Desert:
"Upon my arrival, a mutual friend introduced me to Sandra Cosentino, owner/operator of Crossing Worlds Journeys & Retreats based here in Sedona. Through excursions of the heart-- Medicine Wheel ceremonies, drum journeys and cultural explorations into Hopi and Navajo Indian country, Sandra helped me deepen and further the bond I had with the wild magic here-- this ancient land that had courted me from the thick-treed slopes of the Northwest into the soaring rock and wrinkled hills of the Southwest.
We often don't have any precedent in our lives that suggests that this kind of connection is open to us; don't know anyone who has these interactive dialogues with Nature, with the wild energies of wind & rock and the ancient voices of the ancestors. Sandra has been in dialogue and soulful connection with this ancient land all of her Life. By example she helped me trust this seemingly unorthodox conversation I had entered into with this place and welcome the Mystery to enter into me."
Shay Panther, 2002

Sandra Cosentino, native to Arizona, created Crossing Worlds Journeys in 1991 to share her intuitive insights and informed passion for the spirit, lands and cultures of the Colorado Plateau. Her lifelong mystical relation to Nature led her to sharing of friendships and knowledge with Native peoples of the Southwest, Peru and Alaska and with universal wisdom keepers of many paths. She conducts journeys, retreats, and earth-spirit experiences in Sedona, Hopi and on Navajo lands in Canyon de Chelly and other places of natural power and beauty on the Colorado Plateau for individuals and groups from around the world . A former teacher with an M.S. in Natural Resources Planning, she has worked as a natural resource manager for the State of Alaska and for Native tribes in Alaska and Arizona

Please see:  Crossing Worlds Journeys for Sedona and Colorado Plateau experiences, images and articles

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