The Prayer Stick, a North American Traditional Winter Solstice Ceremony

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This is not just another day! It is a very special day according to many North American indigenous tribes and other ancestral tribes around the world.

December 21st marks the first day of winter and is the shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks a time of colder months to come. After the Winter Solstice, each day becomes longer until the longest day of the year arrives around June 21st, the summer solstice.

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’. This is because, on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still and then reverses its direction. It’s also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.

Long ago, we use to honor this time because we had such a deep spiritual connection to what it meant for us.

Many Native American tribes would observe the winter solstice through rites and rituals that honor our ancestors, beliefs, and is also a way of offering prayer and gratitude.

Traditionally, a prayer stick or paho was made by each family member starting four days before the solstice. Then on the day of the solstice, the head of the household would dig small holes and the members would plant the prayer sticks in the holes. They were then given back to the earth in honor of our ancestors. It was common for family members to all participate in ceremony.

Prayer sticks are most commonly made out of a piece of forked cedar that was equivalent in length from your elbow to your fingertips.

In a respectful way, you would find a tree that you feel a deep connection with then ask it permission and offer tobacco, if you can have this part of it to use for your ceremony. You will know by listening to your intuition whether you are permitted or not. Most often, if done in a respectful way, you will be permitted.

Once permission was granted, you could then begin to personalize and decorate the stick with your medicine.

In Prayer, you would begin to add sacred items to your stick. Some of the most common ways to decorate would be to remove or carve into the bark. You can add a feather, traditionally turkey feathers were used. Tobacco may be placed in a  red cloth and tied to the stick. Fur, bones, teeth and other parts of animals can be added depending on the type of prayer or medicine you wish to bring forth into your life.

Happy winter solstice everyone!

Adventures and Places

Bell Trail Petroglyphs

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Went on a hike with a group from work. Me and another staff took the wrong trail and ended up seeing these amazing petroglyphs, ruins and pottery. Glad we got lost LOL. So at the sign about three miles in… go to the right. If you go to the left you will end up at a really awesome swimming hole called “The Crack.”

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Adventures and Places

Rock Art Ranch ~ Arizona Ancestral History Tour

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We recently had the opportunity to stay at the Rock Art Ranch in Joseph City near Winslow Arizona. Brantly Barid and family were amazingly loving and humble hosts. I didn’t want to leave! So many awesome things to see… the museum, the kivas and pit houses, Chevelon canyon with some of the most amazing petroglyphs I have ever seen, old hogans, pottery, arrowheads, mind blowing sunsets and an abundance of wildlife. This is a history lovers paradise! Such a peaceful place to be. Enjoy…
Contact Info: 928.288.3260 Facebook TripAdvisor

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Native American History

Black Kettle Cheyenne Chief

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Chief_Black_KettleChief Black Kettle (Cheyenne, Mo’ohtavetoo’o)(ca. 1803 – November 27, 1868) born to the Northern Só’taeo’o / Só’taétaneo’o band of the Northern Cheyennes in the Black Hills, later he married into the Wotápio / Wutapai band (one mixed Cheyenne-Kiowa band with Lakota-Sioux origin) of the Southern Cheyenne; after 1854 he was a prominent leader of the Southern Cheyenne, who led efforts to resist American settlement from Kansas and Colorado territories. He was a peacemaker who accepted treaties to protect his people. He was fired upon and killed by Union soldiers in 1868 during the Battle of Washita River.

Native American History

Black Kettle Cheyenne Chief

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Chief_Black_KettleChief Black Kettle (Cheyenne, Mo’ohtavetoo’o)(ca. 1803 – November 27, 1868) born to the Northern Só’taeo’o / Só’taétaneo’o band of the Northern Cheyennes in the Black Hills, later he married into the Wotápio / Wutapai band (one mixed Cheyenne-Kiowa band with Lakota-Sioux origin) of the Southern Cheyenne; after 1854 he was a prominent leader of the Southern Cheyenne, who led efforts to resist American settlement from Kansas and Colorado territories. He was a peacemaker who accepted treaties to protect his people. He was fired upon and killed by Union soldiers in 1868 during the Battle of Washita River.

Native American History

Chief Two Moons

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Two MoonsChief Two Moons (1847–1917), or Ishaynishus (Cheyenne: Éše’he Ôhnéšesêstse), was one of the Cheyenne chiefs who took part in the Battle of the Little Bighorn and other battles against the United States Army. He was the son of Carries the Otter, an Arikara (North Dakota tribe) captive who married into the Cheyenne tribe.

During Cheyenne Chief Two Moons’ lifetime there was another man using the name Two Moons and describing himself as a chief. He sold herbal medicines and was well known. To add to the confusion there were two famous Cheyenne named Two Moons, one an uncle and the other his nephew. This is the story of the elder uncle.

TwoMoonsPipeHe was known for killing a large grizzly bear with a knife. When asked how big the bear was, Two Moons raised his arms and replied, “To the sky.” He proudly wore a necklace and arm bands, which he made from the bear’s claws.
Perhaps known best for his participation in battles such as the Battle of the rosebud against General Crook on June 17, 1876, in the Montana Territory, the Battle of Little Big Horn on June 26, 1876 and what would prove to be his last battle which was that of the Battle of Wolf Mountain on January 8, 1877. Two Moons defeat in the battle at Wolf mountain by General Nelson A. Miles would inevitably lead to the surrender of his Cheyenne band at Fort Keogh in April, 1877.

After the surrender of the Cheyenne band he led in 1877, Two Moons chose to enlist as an Indian Scout for the same General, Nelson A. Miles to whom he had not long since surrendered. As a result of his pleasant personality, the friendliness that he showed towards the whites as well as his ability to get along with the military, General Miles appointed him head Chief of the Cheyenne Northern Reservation. As head Chief, Two Moons would prove to play a crucial role in facilitating the surrender of Chief Little Cow’s Cheyenne band to Fort Keogh.

buffalo nickelTwo Moons traveled on multiple occasions to Washington, D.C., to discuss and fight for the future of the Northern Cheyenne people and to better the conditions that existed on the reservation. In 1914, Two Moons met with President Woodrow Wilson to discuss these matters.

Two Moons was one of the models selected for James Fraser’s famous Buffalo Nickel.

TwoMoonsgraveTwo Moons died in 1917 at his home in Montana at the age of 70. Two Moons’ grave still lies alongside U.S. Route 212, west of Busby, Montana.

My story with Two Moons…

The name Two Moons was given to me by Creator in August of 2008. Little did I know that this was also the month of a blue moon which I found out means there were two full moons in one month. I did a meditation to find out what my “Spirit Name” was and all I kept hearing was, Two Moons, Two Moons. Coming out of the meditation, I thought, That’s interesting, why Two moons. Never heard of it before. So I accepted it and moved on with life. About a Month or so later, I had a dream while living in Humboldt, near Prescott, that it began to flood in front of my house. Somehow I was on a small boat and now floating along with the currant. I went under a bridge and emerged into an unknown place where I saw a tall Native American Chief standing at the shore.  He had a simi-smile or smirk on his face and a huge feathered headdress. He was waiving for me to come to him. Then I noticed in the background, red rocks. I knew then that this was Sedona.

Chief Two MoonsStill I didn’t know what this meant but I did start to see signs everywhere that I should go to Sedona. I tried looking online for anything associated with the name Two Moons and found nothing. I began to use the name and called myself, “Rebekah Two Moons” even though it sounded weird and kind of hokie.  But I went with it.

Years had passed and all of the sudden in 2012, my partner at the time had bought a few used documentaries from a local video store that was going out of business. One of them as the Trail of Tears. It was hard for me to watch this, there was so much pain and wrong-doing to the Native Americans when the white man came.  But something caught my attention, they began to speak of a Chief Two Moons that fought with Crazy Horse and Black Elk. This was the first time I had heard his name! I was so excited to learn more about it. Again another google search and nothing.

Then shortly after my fall from grace in 2013, I stopped using the name. I was working at a trading post in Sedona Arizona and was looking through the posters of Native Americans. I was trying to find something to put in my empty home. Then I saw him… Gasp! There he was! He was real! Chief Two Moons (1847–1917) This was the same man in my dream from 2008. He was a Northern Cheyenne War Chief standing six foot four inches, Two Moons was best remembered through his courageous exploits as one of the nine warrior chiefs of the Fox Warrior Society who fought against Custer and the seventh cavalry at the Battle of Little Big Horn. He is credited as being the only Cheyenne to have carried a repeating riffle during that battle. Following the surrender of the Cheyenne to General Miles, at Fort Keogh. Two Moons was chosen as one of their principal chiefs. The photograph I was looking at was taken by Edward S Curtis in 1910.

So I ended up buying the small postcard sized and took it home and put him on my mantelpiece above the fireplace. The very next day I got a call from the Arizona State prison that my son Harley’s parole was being revoked and he was going to spend the next six months in prison. Just to catch you up on the story… Harley had just turned seventeen  and his girlfriend was fifteen. They seemed to be a happy young couple until one day. They were at a party and decided to have sex as any couple their age would do. All was fine until Harley broke up with her. She got so mad an d told her parents what had happened. They flipped their lid and decided to press charges on Harley. Well the court won and he was sentenced three and one half years in the federal state prison then when released he had to register as a sex offender. Sigh…. Another moment in my life where I could have just died.

As it were, Harley ended up in Florence south of Phoenix, a three and a half hour drive from home. I tried to visit him once every two months or so. He seemed to be okay and made friends with the people on the “yard” who were also in there for bullshit reasons and stayed away from the real sex offenders. Finally the day came where he was able to be released on parole for 6 months. Now having to register as a sex offender we had the hardest time finding a place for him to stay. My landlord said no, and everywhere we went they said no. No one wanted a sex offender to live in their house. They didn’t even seem to care about his story. He would never hurt anyone! But it seems that society is so conditioned as to what a sex offender is. And the courts, they really need to wake up.

Finally we found him a place at an old dump of a motel in downtown Phoenix. That place was so scary. Thugs and drug dealers gathered out front. Was I really going to leave my soon here? The truth was that I didn’t have a choice. I just prayed as I left. Great Creator, please watch over him, keep him safe, and please, return him home someday.

He was fine for a while than he had to move to another motel. He managed to make friends and get access to the internet. He made a Facebook profile and was just trying to have a social life in the real world online because the real world outside was depressing, cold and scary.

Well the authorities found out and arrested him for being on social media, I guess It was a part of his parole contract to not be online. That’s when I got the call that he was going back to prison, as a mother, I just cried and as a medicine woman, I prayed for my son.

Now back to the story of Two Moons. After buying the postcard and placing it on the mantle, that night I had a dream. Harley and Chief Two Moons was walking out of the mist towards me. Harley looked happy. Two Moons said, “I am watching over your son at this time, he is better off in prison now than where he was at the motel.” Harley nodded in agreement and they turned around and walked away until they disappeared into the mist.

I remember feeling a tremendous heavy Burdon lifted and letting out a deep sigh of relief. I knew then that Harley was okay and I was able to let it go. But right then I also knew that my connection with Chief Two Moons was real and that he was also watching over my family. But why me? Was I supposed to call myself Two Moons or did I just conger up a Native American Spirit Guide five years ago? Either way, I now felt a deeper connection with this Cherokee Chief. I did a meditation and asked him If I was to call myself Two moons and I got a strong reply that said, “yes”! He also said that I was him and that I was to finish what he started out to accomplish over one hundred years ago. So what was I supposed to finish?

Native American History

Native American Time

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native timeNative Americans had little use for small elements of time. The cyclical passage of the seasons, marked by the “moons” of the lunar calendar that seems to have been a known feature of people for 35,000 years; the years, marked by the passage of “winters”; the division of days and nights into “sleeps”: these were sufficient for people who did not have to punch a time clock, “get to work on time,” or meet a train-bus-airplane schedule, and for whom, therefore, seconds and minutes and hours were generally useless.

Some native peoples in North America used a measure of time they called “a hand,” meaning the amount of time it would take the sun to pass from one side to the other of a hand extended at arm’s length toward the solar disk. But this measure was highly variable in a seasonal sense (it also would have varied depending on the size of the hand!) and probably was not widely adopted. Because the time-sense of native peoples was so vastly different from that of people who carried timepieces that marked seconds and minutes and hours, European and American explorers had difficulty translating native descriptions of time.

In the Indian world, things happen when they are ready to happen. Time is
relatively flexible and generally not structured into compartments as it is in modern society.

Resource: http://www.lewis-clark.org

Adventures and Places

Polatki and Honanki Ruins in Sedona

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polatki and honanki nov 2015 (7)My adventure today… November 1 2015

The Palatki Heritage Site — in the Hopi language Palatki means ‘red house’– it is an archaeological site and park located in the Coconino National Forest, near Sedona, in Arizona.

The Honanki Heritage Site (meaning “bear house”) is approximately 4.5 miles north west of Polatki and is also a cliff dwelling and rock art site located in the Coconino National Forest, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Sedona, Arizona. The Sinagua people of the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, and ancestors of the Hopi people, lived here from about 1100 to 1300 CE.

Pictographs are a key feature of the site. Some of the pictographs were present before the caves were inhabited, dating to 2000 BCE. However, most of the pictographs are additions from the Sinagua peoples dating between 900 and 1300 CE.

Honanki was later inhabited by both Yavapai and Apache people. Pictographs dating between 1400 and 1875 CE can be attributed to these two groups.

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Adventures and Places

Shamans Cave Robbers Roost Sedona

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Shamans Cave, also known as Robbers Roost,  is a very special place in Sedona that when visited, one should show great respect to land and the people that are meditating and doing ceremony there. It is believed to have been a place where the Shaman of the local tribe would have performed healing and ceremony. Also, it is said that when you meditate in the cave long enough, you can hear messages from your ancestors.

The cave is a very large room, approximately 20 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet high, and open on one side. Inside, there’s a near-perfect, six-foot-wide circular window cut out of the thick rock that neatly frames the amazing view. There are two distinct sets of ruins within this rock formation. There are also several metate’s in the floor where the natives would have used to grind special herbs or corn for healing and prayer.

shamans cave robbers roost sedona

shamans cave sedona

shamans cave window

Native American History

Canyon De Chelly Hogan

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canyon dechelly homesteadDuring a trip to Canyon DeChelly, I was lucky enough to catch this image of a Navajo Homestead in the canyon. A hogan is the primary, traditional dwelling of the Navajo people. Other traditional structures include the summer shelter, the underground home, and the sweat house. A hogan can be round, cone-shaped, multi-sided, or square; with or without internal posts; timber or stone walls and packed with earth in varying amounts or a bark roof for a summer house, with the door facing east to welcome the rising sun for good wealth and fortune.

Today, while some older hogans are now still used as dwellings and others are maintained for ceremonial purposes, new hogans are rarely intended as family dwellings.

Traditional structured hogans are also considered pioneers of energy efficient homes. Using packed mud against the entire wood structure, the home was kept cool by natural air ventilation and water sprinkled on the dirt ground inside. During the winter, the fireplace kept the inside warm for a long period of time and well into the night.

Adventures and Places

Walnut Canyon Tour Sedona Flagstaff Arizona

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walnut canyon tour walkwayThis is an amazingly beautiful and quiet place. The people that use to call this place home some 800 years ago, knew what they were doing! From the visitor center it is approximately a one mile hike round trip to explore these incredible ruins. There are over 300 rooms counted in this canyon. Imagine the gentle breeze blowing through the tall pines and across your face as you watch a red-tail hawk glide by. This is a must see for the northern Arizona explorer.


Adventures and Places

Medicine Wheel Ceremony Tour Sedona Arizona

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A Medicine Wheel is a ceremonial tool used by many spiritual people all over the world to perform rituals that honor the four directions, the sacred hoop of life, the animals, the sun and moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky, and many more aspects of the natural world.

Some Native Americans believe that “Medicine” is anything that deepens your relationship with the Creator and the Great Spirit.

The wheel is a circle divided into four directions, the east, south, west and north. Also a symbol of astrology, each person is represented somewhere within that circle depending upon their birth moth and day. That placement is associated with a special moon, power animal, totem clan, healing plant, color and mineral.

At the wheel, we say a prayer for releasing, forgiveness, gratitude and abundance. When we speak out loud to the universe we are stating our intentions and this is very powerful. I’ve seen miraculous things happen, some of which most people won’t believe or even understand.


Before entering the wheel in the East we will offer some kind of herb or prayer. This is an offering to let the spirits know the we enter with pure hearts and leave any ego or negativity outside of the sacred wheel. Cornmeal, tobacco, sage, cedar, roses and many other natural gifts are offered before going into the wheel. I’ve also seen gold glitter. Offering something before we enter the wheel is a good practice. It is said that before we enter any sacred space or even just going out into nature for a vision quest, it is good practice to offer something at the “door.” Just as some tradition will do, going to see someone at their house, they will offer a gift. It’s also common practice to smudge yourself before going into ceremony.

We’ve worked with children from the age of three and the grandmothers and grandfathers, all seem to have something to pray about.

The prayer we hold is not tied to any religion, it includes all living things such as the Creator, the Great Spirit, the animals, the four directions of the universe, our ancestors, and other things that bring us closer to nature. It’s also like stating your intentions.

The sound of the drum and rattle is healing and have been used for thousands of years. Some receive healing from the sound and some receive a vision.

The medicine wheel dates back thousands of years originating from the Lakota Sioux. Today, Medicine Wheel ceremonies are becoming more popular and can be found all over the world. As the teachings spread to different cultures, it is a bit modified, therefore not every ceremony will be alike. Each will be a bit different and that’s okay.

In the Medicine Wheel we drum and sing songs for forgiveness and gratitude. We offer our blessings and prayers to Mother Earth and Father Sky, to Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, to the four directions and the animals that represent them.

Most people experience a lightness and tingling sensation. Some don’t want to leave the wheel because they feel so connected a sense of true security that they are afraid to leave the wheel and loose it. This is a feeling and an experience that can be done at any time and in any place.

The medicine wheel is a symbol of symmetry and balance. During the process of constructing the wheel you will begin to recognize what areas of your life are not in balance, and where your attention is lacking and requires focus. Continuing working with the wheel after you constructed it. Sit with your wheel in silent meditation. Allow the wheel to assist you in gaining new and different perspectives.

The medicine wheel represents the many cycles of life. The circle is representative of life’s never ending cycle (birth, death, rebirth). Each stone or spoke placement in the wheel focuses on a different aspect of living.

A personal medicine wheel can be made using fetishes such as crystals, arrowheads, seashells, feathers, animal fur/bones, and so on. Take time to reflect on each aspect of your life (self, family, relationships, life purpose, community, finances, health, etc.) as you place objects within the circle.

Over the years I’ve been assisting people from all over the world to heal past wounds, physical, emotional and spiritual. I never know what to expect with each one and they are all different. No matter what you want to do from heal physical pain to an old emotional wound, drumming in the medicine wheel can help. This can help release negativity that you have been carrying around for a long time, sometimes we don’t even realize we are carrying it.

The term “medicine wheel” was first applied to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, the most southern and one of the largest in existence. That site consists of a central circle of piled rock surrounded by a circle of stone; “Rays” of stones travel out from the central core of rock and its surrounding circle. The structure looks like the wheel of a bicycle.

The Medicine Wheel can take many different forms. It can be an artwork such as artifact or painting, or it can be a physical construction on the land. Hundreds or even thousands of Medicine Wheels have been built in North America over the last several centuries.

Movement in the Medicine Wheel is typically in a clockwise, or “sun-wise” direction. This helps to align with the forces of Nature, such as gravity and the rising and setting of the Sun.

Meanings of the Four Directions

There are many different interpretations of the Medicine Wheel. Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) is typically represented by a distinctive color, such as black, red, yellow, and white, which for some stands for the human races. The Directions can also represent:

  • Stages of life: birth, youth, adult, and elder.
  • Seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter
  • Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical
  • Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth
  • Animals: Eagle, Bear, Coyote, Wolf, Buffalo and many others
  • Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar

The East is held to represent the mind, air, the color yellow and ‘yellow skinned peoples’, learning the groups to which people belong and the infant.

The South holds the heart, fire, the color red and ‘red skinned peoples’, and the child.

The West holds the spirit, water, the color blue or black, and ‘black-skinned peoples’ and Adulthood.

The North represents the final life stage in the wheel, being an elder and passing on knowledge to the next generation so that the wheel may start again just like the circle it takes after. It is also associated with the color white, representing the white hair of the elders and the white skinned people.

In other practices, the Northern direction corresponds to Adulthood (the White Buffalo), the South represents Childhood (the Serpent), the West represents Adolescence (the Bear) and the Eastern direction represents Death and Re-birth (Eagle). In terms of social dynamics, community building and the use of Circles in Restorative Justice work, the four quadrants of the circle correspond to Introductions.

According to Native American astrology we were all born into a particular direction of the wheel and given an animal totem and animal clan.

The concept of the medicine wheel symbolically represents a nonlinear model of human development. Each compass direction on the wheel offers lessons and gifts that support the development of a balanced individual. The idea is to remain balanced at the center of the wheel while developing equally the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of one’s personality. The concept of the medicine wheel varies: different groups attribute different gifts to positions on the wheel. But the following offers a generalized overview of some lessons and gifts connected with the development process.

Lessons and gifts from the EAST, the place of first light, spring, and birth, include:
Warmth of the spirit
Purity, trust, and hope
Unconditional love
Guidance and leadership
Capacity to remain in the present moment

Lessons and gifts from the SOUTH, the place of summer and youth, include:
Generosity, sensitivity, and loyalty
Romantic love
Testing of the physical body/self-control
Gifts of music and art
Capacity to express feelings openly in ways respectful to others

Lessons and gifts from the WEST, the place of autumn and adulthood, include:
Dreams, prayers, and meditation
Perseverance when challenged
Balance between passionate loyalty and spiritual insight
Use of personal objects, sacred of life’s meaning
Fasting, ceremony, self-knowledge, and vision

Lessons and gifts from the NORTH, the place of winter and elders, include:
Intellectual wisdom
Ability to complete tasks that began as a vision
Detachment from hate, jealousy, desire, anger, and fear
Ability to see the past, present, and future as interrelated

These are all different teaching from all corners of the earth, and as you can see they each slightly differ from one another. Therefore in creating and performing a Medicine Wheel Ceremony, there is no wrong way to do it. So dance, sing, shake the rattles and beat the drum as it all will help you on your personal medicine path.

So if you are coming to Sedona and want to experience this ceremony, I would highly recommend it whether it’s with us or anyone else, it is healing and will be an experience you will remember forever.

Would you like a  Medicine Wheel built on your property? I would love to build a Medicine Wheel for you! Do you have a perfect location picked out on your property? Contact me to set up a time to build a wheel and hold an activating ceremony.

Adventures and Places

Grand Canyon Tours from Sedona Arizona

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grand canyon tour from sedonaThis amazing adventure begins with a beautiful drive up Oak Creek Canyon, one of the top 10 scenic drives in America. Then travel through the Ponderosa Pine Forest of Flagstaff, past the San Francisco Peaks, and on to the village of Tusayan where you can see “Hidden Secrets of the Canyon” at the Imax Theater. Then onto the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to walk along the edge for a spectacular view.

Enjoy lunch at the Bright Angel Lodge or bring your own lunch.

kieva at tusayan village grand canyonThen travel along the south rim and breath in the vast beauty of this amazing place. On your way back, travel along the east end of the canyon for a majestic view of the Colorado River and stop at the historical site of the Tusayan Ruin. Here we do a meditation to connect with the ancestors.

One last stop at the famous Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Indian Reservation for fun and Authentic shopping then back to Sedona.

$220.pp/$120.pp two or more.

Adventures and Places

Hopi Mesa Tours Sedona Arizona

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walpi village hopi mesa tourTravel back in time over a thousand years to the ancient land of the Hopi. A Native American tribe that is said to be the oldest living indigenous people of North America. Hopis call themselves Hopitu – ‘The Peaceful People’. Hopi land is in Northeastern Arizona and surrounded by the Navajo Nation. Small Hopi villages can be found on three different mesas, First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa.

The Hopi believe they were first inhabitants of America. Their village of Oraibi is said to be the oldest continually occupied settlement in the United States. These small pueblo style communities all sit at the edge of large cliffs overlooking the beautiful landscape of the painted desert. Some have no running water or electricity and enjoy living this simple life just as their ancestors did hundreds, even thousands of years ago. The Hopi are also famous for their sacred dances that they have throughout the year.

hopi prophecy rock

Example Travel Schedule:

8am Depart Sedona and travel up scenic Oak Creek Canyon to the top of the Mogollon Rim. Then travel along historic route 66 and through the painted desert to the Hopi Mesas

10am Arrive at Hopi land and visit the ancient village of Kykotsmovi and Old Oraibi at Third Mesa, said to be the oldest inhabited village of the Hopi.

Relax and connect with the ancestors during a meditation and prayer overlooking the vista.

Then visit Hopi Prophecy Rock and learn the teachings that the ancient ones left for us. You must have a Native Hopi guide at this location.

12pm Lunch at Hopi Cultural Center restaurant on Second Mesa, enjoy an authentic Hopi meal or choose from the regular menu.

1pm Explore the museum at the Hopi Cultural Center and learn more about the history of these ancient people. Then enjoy shopping at a few of the local arts and craft shops.

Next, explore the Second Mesa village of Shongopavi then to First Mesa at Polacca and Walpi. Along the way you will see Corn Rock, to the Hopi, corn is the central bond of all life and its essence, physically, spiritually, and symbolically, pervades their existence.

3pm Depart Hopi Mesas and travel past the Hopi buttes then stop at the Painted Desert Scenic View for a final breathtaking experience of this incredible land.  Return to Sedona.


  • Eat breakfast before you leave.
  • Bring extra money for lunch and shopping as it is respectful to buy arts and crafts for the local people for visiting their land.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks for the trip.
  • Camera use is limited on this journey, and is not permitted near the villages.

Learn more about the Hopi…




One of the best books about the Hopi is “Book of the Hopi” by Frank Waters and published by Penguin Books, 1963. This book covers the origin of the Hopi, the four migrations, the origin of the clans, ceremonies etc. It is a book for anyone interested in learning more about the Hopi people.

Overnight camping or lodge trips are also available.


Adventures and Places

Beasley Flats Cave Dwellings Camp Verde Arizona

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native american cave dwellings at beasly flatsBeasly Flats is a historical location in Camp Verde along the Verde River. Many years ago an indigenous tribe, most likely the Hopi, lived here. There are many cave dwellings and several pithouses nearby. I actually grew up only a few miles from here where there is another similar set of caves and pithouse ruins. This area is loaded with Native American history. A beautiful place to meditate and have a picknick.

petroglyph rock at beasly flatsYou can see this petroglyph rock on your way to Beasley Fats. I’ve heard that this rock goes about 30 feet into the earth. DOT tried to remove it once and failed so they just left it near the road and put a guardrail around it. On one side it shows San Francisco Peaks looking in the direction of the peaks! The spirals are said to be a map of where they were and where they were going. History shows that the Hopi were migrating from the far south to eventually the Hopi Mesas where the now live today.

salt mine camp verde arizonaAlso along the way you will see an old salt mine. In the past this was a highly valued trade commodity.

Adventures and Places

Mantezumas Well Ancient Ancestral Village

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Montezumas well is located near Sedona Arizona and features well-preserved cliff-dwellings. They were built and used by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people, northern cousins of the Hohokam, around 700 CE. It was occupied from approximately 1125-1400 CE, and occupation peaked around 1300 CE. The monument is not at all a castle, but remains to be named “Montezuma Castle”, despite it having nothing to do with Aztec Empire nor being named after any Montezuma emperors, such as Montezuma (spelled more properly “Moctezuma”). Many sites in North America are misnamed such as this site, because their discoverers were more interested in the discovery than information or understanding. Several Hopi clans trace their roots to immigrants from the Montezuma Castle/Beaver Creek area. Clan members periodically return to their former homes for religious ceremonies. When European Americans discovered them in the 1860s, they named them for the Aztec emperor (of Mexico) Montezuma, due to mistaken beliefs that the emperor had been connected to their construction. Neither part of the monument’s name is correct. The Sinaqua dwelling was abandoned 100 years before Montezuma was born and the Dwellings were not a castle. It was more like a “prehistoric high rise apartment complex”.

Montezuma Well is a natural sinkhole 368 feet wide measuring 70 feet from the water to the tops of the cliffs. Every day approximately 1.5 million gallons of warm (74°) water flows from the well. The Well is fed by three to four large underwater vents, some 56 feet below the surface. The water flows from the Well through a 300 foot long cave to emerge on the southeast side of the sinkhole mound. Here it is diverted into an ancient irrigation ditch built over 1,000 years ago by the Hohokam and Sinaguan Indians who farmed here for centuries.

Resources of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montezuma_Castle_National_Monument and http://www.friends-of-the-well.org

Native American History

Ten Native American Commandments

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spirit keepers animal totems1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
3. Show great respect for all of your fellow beings.
4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6. Do what you know to be right.
7. Look after the well-being of mind and body.
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
9. Be truthful and honest at all times.
10. Take full responsibility for your actions.