Author Topic: Has Sedona Gone Mad???  (Read 15132 times)

Offline Tsisqua

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    • Native American Unity ~ NAU
Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:22:42 pm »
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With respect,

Tsisqua
There are no leaders in Unity

Offline bonestyx

  • Posts: 39
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 01:44:52 am »
Yep. Right on the other side of Mingus Mountain from me here. And those aren't all:

http://www.arizonahealingtours.com/

http://www.sedonavisionquest.com/

http://www.crossingworlds.com/

This kind of quackery is the unfortunate lifeblood of the economy in Sedona.


Offline Tsisqua

  • Posts: 281
    • Native American Unity ~ NAU
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 08:24:00 am »
Yet our people were labelled 'Devil Worshippers' and 'Heathans'... and we still have to prove who 'we' are....but how easily others take advantage for profit and it's permitted by law...sickening.

With respect,

Tsisqua
There are no leaders in Unity

Offline bonestyx

  • Posts: 39
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 10:13:34 pm »
No disagreement here. A lot of learning to be done for sure.

Offline cherokee

  • Posts: 21
  • Not Native AM. but very dear friend of Cherokee!
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2008, 11:48:56 pm »
No disagreement here. A lot of learning to be done for sure.

I am not agree completely. Sedona, this wonderful/lovely patch of earth -
but regretfully I had noticed - that there are black magic worker also.
That was a close shave - a long story....

« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 09:36:10 am by cherokee »

Offline cherokee

  • Posts: 21
  • Not Native AM. but very dear friend of Cherokee!
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 09:28:09 am »
sorry!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 09:39:03 am by cherokee »

Offline E.P. Grondine

  • Posts: 402
    • Man and Impact in the Americas
Sedona's been mad for a long while
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 04:19:00 pm »
If you're looking for the roots of this, then Howard John Zitko's
"World University" was the likely start.

Write me off list, and I'll send you a piece that will explain it to you.

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

Offline E.P. Grondine

  • Posts: 402
    • Man and Impact in the Americas
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2008, 08:00:21 pm »
Another part of it:

http://www.sedona.com/

E.P. Grondine
Amazing Stories

Offline nativeBS

  • Posts: 5
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 02:21:43 pm »
As a Native American who lived in Sedona for several years, I can state the following, some with great sadness and others with loud, but silent laughter.

Sedona will take a person with no Native American blood and turn them into great healers.  I've read newspaper articles where a non-indian person shared a story about regularly visiting a reservation as a child with their parents, and as the years and articles progressed, this person became full blooded indian from that tribe.  There are some who aren't even from the continential US who operate in Sedona.  In fact, many of the professional "Native American" healers of Sedona truely aren't of Native descent. 

There are also Native Americans who are in business in Sedona who, when they first arrived, were just regular people, who ended up being exploited and became what I call "hokey" indians.  They were the ones who became more than what they were born into.  In two cases, I met family members who weren't too happy with the actions of these individuals.  I also met one individual who told me that he was a "heyoka" and could transform into whatever was needed at that point to earn a buck. 

Several examples of the individuals above have been mentioned - if not to any great extend - at least mentioned as questionable on this website. 

I've also met a few Native Americans in Sedona who remained true to their traditional beliefs, and as a result, found themselves on guard all the time.  Once it was discovered you were Native American, many requests came about for you to teach, heal, or profess.  Blessings were a common request.   During the short time that I lived there, I found myself intentionally seeking friends who could care less whether I was Native American or not.  I did meet a few Native Americans who remained true to their culture.  One was a comic for a brief period, poking fun at Native American lifestyles and the metaphysical community.  Unfortunately, he was pushed into this by an individual who wanted to exploit him, so he quit, and returned to a regular 9 to 5.  Another person was an artist who owned a non-native gallery.  After many years, he decided to leave Sedona to be free of the unwarranted pressures.  In both cases, they made it clear that they were just regular people of Native descent, with no special powers.  Then there were other not quite so public figures who lived in Sedona who kept a real low profile - simply to protect themself and their integrity.

It is a community where injured souls migrate seeking answers to their misfortune, and as a result, unfortunately, for a  fee, they can find short term relief.  That is, until they return home and reality hits once again.  Many of these "seekers" actually know what they want to hear, they just need to speak to an authoritative figure to confirm what they seek - even if the person doesn't state thus.  Many are spending hard earned money that they can't really afford to part with, but they do in the name of "healing".

Sedona is a beautiful place where the term "vortex" once never existed, but to hear it now means dollar signs.  Every place on this great earth is beautiful, carrying it's one unique power.  Unfortunately, Sedona is being marketed as the "metaphysical capital of the world", and is being abused by these "healers". 

Blessings

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 10:06:48 pm »
I think you've summed the patterns and situation up really well. Thank you.

It is a community where injured souls migrate seeking answers to their misfortune, and as a result, unfortunately, for a  fee, they can find short term relief.  That is, until they return home and reality hits once again.

Whether it's a weekend workshop or a physical locale like Sedona, it seems that every place there's a pocket of these sorts, you see the same patterns. The desperation and exploitation all swirling around in a cycle of abuse that sucks in even the normal and well-meaning. Maybe they really have created a vortex of some sort... some kind of sad but sparkly whirlwind of desperate seeking, capitalism, and quick but superficial fixes.... Ultimately leaving devastation in its wake.

Epiphany

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Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 03:11:13 pm »
Quote
Wallace Black Elk, Lakota Elder, and John Paul built the first teaching sweat lodge at the Healing Center in 1988. They wanted to help others in town learn how to do a sweat lodge with appropriate reverence and care. This Mother Church Sweat lodge lasted four years. A full moon and a new moon lodge were conducted every month during that time.

The History of New Age Sedona, by Toraya Ayres. Detailed nuage history of Sedona by a nuager.

http://www.lovesedona.com/history1.htm

Lots of info, including on Sakina Blue Star:

Quote
Sakina says different tribes had different traditions about medicine wheels, which were essentially prayer circles like outdoor chapels. Some people say medicine wheels were not used by the local tribes in Arizona and are not appropriate here. But this Sedona area was sacred to ALL tribes of Turtle Island and everyone was welcome to worship in their own way, says Sakina. People came from all directions to seek their vision.

Offline MattOKC

  • Posts: 33
Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2013, 03:03:06 am »
NativeBS says it VERY well.

I wrote this after visiting Sedona last year because it bothered me so much, and I had to process it. This is the first time I've shared this journal with anyone. I know it's long, but for those who have time to read it, it's my personal feelings:

   My entire life is one ongoing experiment in being out-of-place wherever I am. I’m a Canadian in America, an Ojibway in the Midwest, a Liberal in the reddest state in the country, a male who’s spent the last sixteen years working in women’s crisis services. So yeah, I know a thing or two about standing out in my surroundings!
   But Sedona, Arizona was a whole new world. I knew there was a heavy “new-age” presence there, and to be honest I arrived already feeling a bit defensive. For Native people, there is a special sense of frustration with how often our own traditional ways are co-opted and misused by outsiders. By “outsiders,” I don’t mean racial aliens, I mean people with no actual connection to our communities, our languages, our families, or our religions. They are people who have an emotional response to something “Indian” in their imaginations, and assume that this is a sufficient basis to take on our identities, our ceremonies, and our sacred items. This abounds.
   It’s not hard to recognize. Since these outsiders don’t have legitimate mentors and are not part of any tribal community in a meaningful way (traveling to “The Rez” to stop by and visit doesn’t count), they decide to be “Indian in my heart” first, and then head for the Spirituality Buffet to pick and choose from the most fanciful and romantic attractions. Unfortunately for them, very few tribes are willing to let our bones be picked clean by the hordes of outsiders who arrive and proclaim to us that they are “on the path” (we’ve heard it all before), so they tend to gravitate toward whatever tribal affectations resonate the strongest with the American sentiment for all things Indian. Which happens to usually be Sioux, followed closely by a random assortment of Southwestwern tribes, in no particular arrangement. Sometimes they’re both mixed, which is why in Sedona you can buy a Plains-style pipe bag with a Kokopelli beaded onto it.

   I could spot this from the first moment that I was welcomed into a store with the words, “Hau! Wasté!” (Keep in mind, this is Arizona, a thousand miles from any Sioux communities). Why? Because Lakota Sioux has become the unfortunate spiritual aphrodisiac of the wannabe. Sioux terms are randomly cut-and-pasted into ordinary conversation, and when the list of memorized Sioux terms runs dry you can count on the random insertion of “A-ho!” as punctuation. “A-ho!” has come to mean, “It’s time to say something Indian again!” None of the tribes who actually occupy the Sedona region use this vocabulary, nor have any tradition of tipis, “pipe-keepers,” sun dances, etc., but why let that spoil their fun? I was invited to an “energy healing retreat” (for $500), which would include “Native American chakra work, Chi alignment, and a sonic energy healing tepee.” Nevermind that not one of these concepts has anything closely analogous in ANY Native tradition! Even if we traveled back in time to the “pre-colonial” centuries, if you were to venture across the land and ask the old-time spiritual people about chakras, chi, “lightwork,” “aural energy,” and “planetary alignments,” they’d have looked at you like you were crazy. They’re just not part of our ways, but new-agers hang a feather on them and call them “Indian spirituality” or “The Mother Earth Way” or “The Red Road,” and carry on.

   One way I noticed this happening is when an ersatz “Native shaman” could be scrounged up to add a touch of authenticity to this stuff. Any new-ager who needed a shot of that real brown-skinned tribal juju to add prestige to their beliefs would inevitably claim that they had been “taught these ways” by some particular shaman or chief. I don’t doubt that this was true.
   The problem is that in communities of poverty, there is always the temptation to leave the Rez and enjoy guaranteed income, status, flattery, discipleships, book deals, speaking engagements, and income by selling off hokey made-up versions of “Indian spirituality.” For example, in one shop (*Indian spirituality was always front-and-center in stores, I noticed), I was told about a bunch of ancient traditions concerning the “Beings of Light in the seventh phase of the Melchizedek metatrons” or whatever, that had been taught by an Ojibway shaman! Being Ojibwa, this piqued my interest. What was a Shaman doing in Sedona, teaching this “Melchizedek light beings of Metatron” crap?
   As it turned out, I know who he was talking about! I won’t say his name (he’s passed on now), but it was a guy posing as the “Chief of the Martin Clan from Red Lake.” Well, the guy WAS Martin Clan, and it’s true that the Martin Clan is a leadership clan in our totemic system. But the guy wasn’t a chief, or a shaman…He was, well, just sort of a goofy old coot, a gadfly, who was always considered a bit odd back home on Red Lake. So he up and moves to New-Age Central, and finds instant status as a “Martin Clan Chief and Shaman” who suddenly had dozens of excited acolytes! To this day he’s celebrated as the man who helped build the “Sedona medicine wheel” of rocks. And everything he told them was gobbledygook, but since he was an Indian from the Rez, with all sorts of sudden spiritual credentials that nobody back home had ever heard of, he was a local hero. They’re still talking about him and selling his “ancient wisdom” of light-healing, crystals, etc. (For the record, “crystal magic” isn’t an Indian religious tradition; it’s hard to find ANY tribe who ascribed special potencies to crystals, at least in the “healing energy vibration” sense).
   In the Indian way (for pretty much any tribe), spirituality is based in the community and its territory. A tribe’s religion is a very formal and fixed thing. There’s all that talk about how “everything an Indian does is sacred,” but let’s be clear that this doesn’t mean that “whatever we feel like doing can pass muster as our religion.” Which means that you can’t take something from our religious life, pluck it out of context, knead it into a dough with all sorts of add-ins, and still claim it’s linked back to an Indian way. Nope. In Sedona, those guys have Sioux-style pipes by the dozen, plus they mix in a bit of Eastern chakra stuff, plus crystals, plus “astral projection,” plus Mayan magic, etc. And yet they’d point back to the part they stole from the Sioux as “Exhibit A” for why they think they’re in harmony with that tribe’s ways. No, that’s Exhibit A for how they’ve desecrated it. A tribe’s religion is what it is, and if you take part of it, dismantle it, mix it up with all sorts of other stuff, and cook it in grease, you can’t claim you’re following that tribe’s ways. When I go to a Cheyenne sweatlodge, I don’t fool myself into thinking I’m practicing my Ojibway ways, because it’s not an Ojibway ceremony. It’s Cheyenne. To be a traditional Ojibway, I’d have to go to an Ojibway community and do an Ojibway sweat. And if, during that sweat, I started laying out crystals and chanting “Ohm!” to realign my chakras or whatever, guess what? I wouldn’t be practicing the Ojibway religion! They’d look at me like I was an idiot!

   The other thing you can’t escape in Sedona is talk about “Vortexes.” I’ll forgive the poor wording (the proper term is “Vortices”) because I’m not THAT picky. Vortexes were first “discovered” in the 1980s when a psychic used the word at a workshop in Sedona, and the concept has taken fire. Today, there are four of them around Sedona, and you can hire guides to take you on a “vortex tour.” Unfortunately, they’re HUGE business, and pretty much a hoax.

       The “Vortex” concept is based on the belief that high iron content in the rocks causes electro-magnetic fields that interact with the human spirit in some way. That sounds scientific enough to fool people who never went very far in a science class, but for those who actually understand electromagnetic fields, this is hysterical. For one thing, Sedona actually has very little iron in the soil. The geography is prehistoric lake-bottom sandstone rather than metamorphic. Furthermore, there ARE some detectable electromagnetic fields, but not a single one of them is where any of the four supposed Vortexes are (the psychics are 0 for 4), and they’re EXTREMELY weak. As in, magnetometers barely register them. And even if those fields were significant, geologic magnetic fields have no detectable affect on the human body, brain waves, neural chemistry, or any other measureable effect at all. Even the top-selling book on Sedona Vortexes (for sale in almost every shop) confesses this, noting that there is no scientific evidence for any particular form of energy producing any particular field at any particular place at all. Which leaves them as a matter of faith.
      This is the next quirk of Sedona. When people thought science would bear out the vortex phenomena, they were thrilled with science and eager to promote it. When science debunked the “vortex spiritual energy” claim, they didn’t revise their beliefs on the basis of what’s true, they’ve revised their opinions of science! Now they proclaim science to be the suffocation of the spiritual. The fact that they believe something contrary to actual evidence makes them proud, and they flaunt this as evidence of how free their minds are from the constraints of “conventional” knowledge. Nevermind that science is not a philosophy or mindset (it’s the process of designing tests to determine if something is true or not true); to them, science is the dozing jail-keeper holding shut the doors of transcendence. It begs the question, if these mystical energies were real, how would you know? If you could answer that properly, then you’d be committing science! So instead, they use vague and profound-sounding explanations like, “there are many ways to sense a truth, not just one!” Well, yeah, except that science ALLOWS you to approach truth from those many ways, so long as any of them produces the slightest evidence that the hypothesized thing turns out to be real.
        I believe in the mystical, the supernatural, the spiritual. After all, I am an Oshkaabewis, a “Ceremony-helper.” I participate in the true traditional rites of my nation, and as a guest in the rites of other nations in which I have deep friendships and acceptance. So I’m not discounting the spiritual. But I do think that a thing ought to be believed because there is evidence that the belief is true, not merely because the belief is sweet and poetic, whimsical, and beloved. The fact that a box of four sandstone pebbles is being sold for $15 as “Vortex-energy infused sacred stones” does not make them so, as much as someone might believe it. Whether of not I put crystals around my house won’t actually produce some “Indian magic” or “positive energy” to keep my thoughts pure and my fruits fresher.

       As an Indian in Sedona, here’s what I’ve concluded. I think that nature really can be a form of divine revelation. God really is in and through all things, which means that land is a living, spiritual realm. But I don’t think it’s an inaccessible magic that requires psychics, mediums, rocks with special powers, or a weekend workshop in order to “tap into” it.
       Rather, what’s happening in Sedona is that the beauty of a living land is inspiring people in a deeper way than they’re used to, and they want to respond to it. What they’re feeling isn’t a vortex of magnetic masculine and feminine energy, it’s the natural awe and euphoria of creation’s beauty. The fact that we don’t have that sense of awe in city traffic doesn’t mean someplace else is literally “magic” when we do sense it there, it only means we’re not putting ourselves into beautiful lands often enough.
        People are having an experience with glory in nature, which is normal and healthy. They want to respond to it, but their own life histories haven’t yielded  meaningful ways to commune with nature and they don’t know how anymore. Their souls are moved by the land, but they’re in crisis at the realization that they have no idea how to respond. So instead of realizing that they’ve been starved of this experience, they externalize the crisis and conclude, “this LAND must be magic, and I must be special for sensing that!” That preserves their sense of enlightenment, because it sidesteps the other conclusion: this land is beautiful, but I’m such a vagabond in the earth that I am out of place in it and have no normal template for how to handle it.
      So what do they do instead? They celebrate their liberation from the commodity culture of the world and embrace their “new consciousness.” And how do they do that? In the exact same way they’d been trained by the commodity world! They buy objects. They gather objects. They look to objects. They put their faith in objects. It takes a certain crystal, or a circle of rocks on the ground, or a store-bought Indian pipe, or a psychic, or an “energy wand,” or a chime. The simple awe of nature is still kept at a distance until it passes through some commodity object to make the experience seem more meaningful by falsely “ceremonializing” it.

        My 11-year-old son said, “It’s sad that these folks fall for that. Everything spiritual is right there all the time, without anything weird you have to do to make it work, but they’re so far away from it that they can’t even see it. They think they see it better than anyone else, but really they’re the most blind to it.” I asked him to explain what he meant and he said, “If they REALLY wanted a genuine Indian experience with this power, they’d quit buying rocks and crystals and wands and stuff, and just stand there, shut their mouths, and soak it in.”

      That’s all there is to it. Not new-age wannabe fake-Indian hoo-hah “medicine,” not corny nonsense with a Lakota word or two as a garnish, no well-paid shamans and psychics and mediums as spiritual tour guides. There’s the land, here are you, and now shut up and go love the land. I’m Indian, but let me say it: that doesn’t matter. Land, God, and spirituality have no preference for someone’s race, hair, or skin. There’s nothing magical about us that makes the stuff we say about God and Creation any more profound, deep, essential, or useful than if anyone else said the same things. There’s no need to “Indianize” something to add the patina of wisdom to it. I’m tribally enrolled and I have my CDIB card and I participate in our ancient ways, and I know that there are non-Native people who would LOVE to have that stuff because they think it would legitimize their heartfelt stirrings for land, ceremony, and spirituality.

But it wouldn’t.

      The more complex mysticism you drape over spirituality, the further a real spiritual experience becomes, not closer. Turning spirituality into the ritual arrangement of objects, Indian catchphrases, “totem animal spirits,” rocks with special powers, and highly-paid gurus doesn’t bring us any closer to Creation, it cheapens it. That’s the trap.

Epiphany

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Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2013, 03:52:06 am »
Quote
There’s the land, here are you, and now shut up and go love the land.

Matt, thanks for this, thanks for posting the entire journal piece, much appreciated.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2013, 12:41:19 pm »
Matt, have you thought about publishing this elsewhere? There's plenty of people that need to hear this. Maybe a journal or editorial in Sedona itself. Maybe put up a free blog yourself for nothing with a title like An Indian in Sedona.

Re: Has Sedona Gone Mad???
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2013, 05:44:28 pm »
That was brilliant. I'd love to share it on my FB page.. would that be OK?
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet http://www.4shared.com/file/114179563/3697e436/BuddhaFeet.html