The Sedona Culture

1582 Words 7 Pages
The city rests in a valley of rugged mountains like the heart inside some ancient skeleton. Each evening iron-rich rocks conspire with the setting sun to beat a pulse so elemental that it transcends time. My wife and I moved here from Washington, DC. Work made our decision, but we embraced it, imbued with manifest destiny of the 21st century: the west’s fertile farmland re-formed in technology hubs, then and now ideal places for someone willing to work hard for the opportunity to succeed. Our plot along this new frontier fell below the fabled epicenter of Silicon Valley—sliding down California past Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Orange County—to the aptly named city of Phoenix, Arizona.
When we arrived, we found a desert brimming with abundance,
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But more on today later, first circle back to 650 A.D., when the Sinagua people entered the Verde Valley. To place 650 A.D. in historical perceptive, the Muslim conquests to unify Arabia under the Prophet Muhammad started around 622. These conquests brought an end to the Byzantine Empire, which itself comprised the eastern remnants of the Roman Empire. So yes, we’re talking a long, long time ago.
The Sinagua culture is known for its art--petroglyphs, pottery and basketry--as well as its masonry. Midway between Phoenix and Sedona, we stop at the Montezuma Castle. The Castle is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. My wife compared it to a pre-historic high-rise: five-stories of stone and mortar that contain 20 rooms and once housed up to 60 people, all tucked into the crevasses of an imposing limestone cliff. It was occupied starting around 1100 AD, and later, on December 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared it among our first National
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Page Bryant, an intuitive counselor, teacher of the Ancient Wisdoms, and author of 12 books, coined the name "vortex" in 1980 for Sedona locations that have “concentrated energies conducive to prayer, meditation, and healing.” We decide upon the Chapel of the Holy Cross, where the parking attendant happily tells us that the traffic is only this bad on weekends; however, the inch-by-inch crawl is worth the wait--it’s a breathtaking site.
The church, completed in 1956, rises from between the arms of a sandstone butte. You enter around back; the front is a 200 foot cliff. The chapel uses this cliff to frame a large cross. The cross strikes from the top of the building straight down between the rocks to give the impression that the chapel soars above, tethered to the earth by the cross itself. The whole building simultaneously pulls away and pushes into the ground. My wife finds it incomparable, as did American Institute of Architects, who gave it their Award of Honor in

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