Where The Earth Breathes: Exploring Energy Vortices in the Western U.S.

Have you ever been hiking in the woods and felt a strange, prickly sensation between your shoulder blades? Or maybe you’ve been inexplicably drawn to a beautiful, secluded spot, only to find a quiet peacefulness that you’ve not encountered before. If you’ve experienced either of these phenomena, it’s possible you’ve stumbled upon an energy vortex. A vortex is any mass of whirling fluid or air, spinning around an invisible axis—like a whirlwind or a whirlpool, a tornado or a cyclone—and in energetic terms, it’s a spiraling mass of energy concentrated at a specific point on Earth. Some say it’s where the Earth breathes its energy in and out.

These energy vortices fall into different categories: magnetic and electrical vortices; positive and negative vortices; portals to other dimensions or higher areas of consciousness; sites of paranormal activity and points of contact with UFOs. Vortices are frequently found at intersections of ley lines, or supposed alignments of electromagnetic Earth energy that correspond with significant archaeological and anthropological sites. Many of the world’s great spiritual centers, such as the Egyptian pyramids, England’s Stonehenge and Peru’s Machu Picchu, are considered vortices. Some people believe vortices are the Earth’s chakra centers.

It’s hypothesized that these areas can help harmonize emotions, heighten introspection, enhance mystical abilities, assist in healing, and amplify our connection with the Earth’s energy. Like a whirlpool, a vortex will draw to its center all that surrounds it, a theory that explains the powerful pull these places have on the spiritual seekers drawn to their sites. People describe the energy they feel in these spots as noticeable vibrations, a tingling in the extremities; buzzing throughout the body, rising temperature, a rush of energy, or a shift in perception—a spiritual awakening.

There are many natural vortices in the United States. The vortices in Sedona, Arizona, and Mt. Shasta, California, are perhaps the most well-known, but strong vortices have also been recorded at Crater Lake, Oregon, and Chimney Rock, Colorado.

Mt. Shasta sits over 14,000 feet high at the southern end of the Cascade Range. Considered by many to be the root chakra of the Earth, Shasta is said to emit a great rush of life energy. The earliest inhabitants of the land around Mt. Shasta believed the mountain was the sacred center of the universe, inhabited by the spirit chief, Skell. The Wintu tribe continues to perform special ceremonies at a sacred spring on Mt. Shasta. Another theory goes that an ancient race of Lemurians fled to Shasta when their continent sunk, and have been living inside the volcano ever since. Saucer-shaped lenticular clouds that often collect around the summit of Shasta are said to be orchestrated by the Lemurians, to hide their activities inside their crystal city of Telos. Mt. Shasta is also a hot spot for UFO activity. People report being “called by the mountain” to come visit, stay, or take up residence, and many describe a feeling of spiritual transcendence or even transformation when they relocate to Mt. Shasta.
The deepest lake in the U.S. at almost 2000 feet, Crater Lake was formed 7700 years ago when Mount Mazama collapsed during an especially eruptive period. Klamath Indians believed Mazama, another volcanic peak in the Cascades, was inhabited by Llao, the god of the underworld. When the mountain exploded, they saw the events as a great battle between Llao and Skell, the sky god. It has therefore long been regarded as a sacred site, where tribe members would undertake vision quests that involved dangerous tasks, including climbing caldera walls to demonstrate their highly developed spiritual powers. Believers claim it is a major intersection along the Earth’s global grid, and that several powerful vortexes can be found around the lake. Many have also noted the special healing properties of the clay surrounding Crater Lake.

A remarkable geological formation and a site of great cultural and historical significance, Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado includes ruins of an Ancestral Puebloan civilization. Located at the edge of the San Juan Mountains, Chimney Rock was most likely a satellite community to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. Here, it is hypothesized, the Pueblo erected a Chacoan Great House to honor and celebrate the lunar phenomena framed by Chimney Rock and its nearby twin, Companion Rock. There is a distinct alignment between the Great House, the Chimney Rock pillars and the moon during the lunar standstill phase of its 18-year cycle across the sky. This alignment will next be visible in 2021, and will undoubtedly attract spiritual questers who want to be one with the energy of the Earth and moon during this convergence.

Home to a great concentration of flowing energy, Sedona may be the grandmother of all vortices. The entire town is considered a vortex, and there are several areas that feel particularly alive with earth energy. Known as a spiritual playground and a magnet for mystics, Sedona is the site of four major vortexes and several minor ones. The energy is visible, some say, in the beauty of the landscape, as well as the twisting of the juniper tree trunks. Many claim to see colored orbs in addition to the incredibly scenic vistas and numerous rock cairns that other questers construct. In Sedona, there are both “upflow” vortexes such as spires, mountains and vistas, which produce positive energy accompanied by a sense of rejuvenation, and “inflow” vortexes located in valleys and canyons, which facilitate deep introspection and connection with memories and past lives. There is the sense among Sedona residents that living near such powerful vortexes contributes to lifelong learning and growth; for this reason, locals often refer to Sedona as “The University.”

While science has not yet proven the existence of these energy vortices, their impact is profound. Thousands of people who reside near and visit these monuments and ancient sites can attest to the strong currents palpable in these areas, and many have experienced tremendous transformation when they’ve connected with the flow of the Earth’s energy.