Tag Archives: Arizona

Snapshot Saturday: Antelope Canyon, Part 2


Last year, I took a trip out to Arizona. I’ve been out there a couple of times, but I hadn’t had the opportunity or the funds to really go out and do some exploring beyond the town I was staying in. Last year, I had the opportunity to take a tour up to northern Arizona and see Antelope Canyon.

If you ever get the chance, do it. It’s absolutely worth it. The best time of day to tour is about 10:30am. That’s when the light is at its best. Although some of my shots didn’t turn out quite right because I wasn’t using the right settings on my camera in some instances, in others they became the best pictures I took during my trip.

I took a lot of pictures, and last week’s Snapshot Saturday was also Antelope Canyon. This is part two!

Shaped like a heart, from the ground looking up

Shaped like a heart, from the ground looking up

Light on the walls in one of the darkest parts of the canyon

Light on the walls in one of the darkest parts of the canyon

The view called "Monument Valley"

The view called “Monument Valley”

Just light and stone.

Just light and stone. No digital manipulation.

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Snapshot Saturday: Antelope Canyon


Last year, I took a trip out to Arizona. I’ve been out there a couple of times, but I hadn’t had the opportunity or the funds to really go out and do some exploring beyond the town I was staying in. Last year, I had the opportunity to take a tour up to northern Arizona and see Antelope Canyon.

If you ever get the chance, do it. It’s absolutely worth it. The best time of day to tour is about 10:30am. That’s when the light is at its best. Although some of my shots didn’t turn out quite right because I wasn’t using the right settings on my camera in some instances, in others they became the best pictures I took during my trip.

I took a lot of pictures, so next week’s Snapshot Saturday will be part two of Antelope Canyon.

Near the entrance, looking up from the ground.

Near the entrance, looking up from the ground.

For an idea of scale, even though it's kind of blurry

For an idea of scale, even though it’s kind of blurry

Just light on the walls

Just light on the walls

Sunlight coming in through the top while it's dark below

Sunlight coming in through the top while it’s dark below

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Developing the Grand Canyon and Other Great Natural Areas


I read an article recently about how certain leaders of the Navajo nation want to build a resort and tram down to the canyon’s bottom on the eastern rim. (“Navajo Nation Eyes Grand Canyon for Development,” on Yahoo! News.)  They want to create jobs and revenue for the Navajo people in the area by attracting tourists to the resort, which would require massive infrastructure additions (i.e., paving a road, inserting piping and plumbing, etc.), and would include an RV park, a restaurant on the canyon bottom, and a gondola.

On the one hand, I sympathize entirely with the plight some of these people face.  I can’t imagine what it’s like to live on a reservation, or what it’s like to live in poverty.  These are situations I have never had to face, and while I can understand on an intellectual level, I have never had to actually experience hunger, or poverty, or what it’s like to not have a decent roof over your head, or anything else these people may or may not have faced.  The Navajo, and the native population in general, has been seriously mistreated and ignored over the past 400 years, and this is a situation that will need to be addressed.  I understand that the Navajo need to find a way to bring in revenue and jobs for their people.  I’ve driven through the reservation when I visited the Grand Canyon last year.  I saw, to a small degree, what the Navajo face.

On the other hand, building a resort in that space that would bring in so many more people will destroy what has been protected and revered for thousands of years.  Imagine what a new paved road would do to the landscape.  Imagine what thousands more people coming into a space that has previously only been visited by a handful at a time in comparison would mean to the environment and the ecosystem.

Imagine how that would affect the plant and animal life in the area.  We know that people are slobs.  Most people ignore the orders not to feed the animals, for example.  A lot of people litter, despite the best efforts of the park services to prevent it.  And a gondola bringing people to the canyon bottom with a restaurant placed there as well–while it sounds like a neat idea, it also sounds like a bad one to me.  I can’t see how that would in any way be a benefit for the ecosystem around that area.  I can see how that would actually detract from the environment and how that would ruin the very thing the tourists are there to see.

I agree that something needs to be done to help the Navajo create jobs.  If this is the absolute only way to help them, then OK.  But I think a plan like this should be a last resort because of the inherent damage it will cause to the environment that they’re also trying to protect.  I just can not see how this plan will be beneficial in any way to the environment of the canyon.

Another issue that I find confusing in this matter–and this likely comes from my own misunderstanding of native practices and which areas are considered sacred to which tribe, so bear with me a bit–but to my understanding, the canyon is considered a sacred area to a number of different tribes.  So not only is it protected by the park service, but it’s also a sacred ancient site for Navajo and other tribes.  Shouldn’t that mean that the Navajo should protect the site rather than build on it?  The question arose while I read the article and I couldn’t find an answer while doing some research online on which tribes consider the canyon area sacred/protected ground.  But according to my understanding of native practices, shouldn’t they be protecting the canyon rather than enacting a plan that would detract from it?

My opinion is that the resort should not be built.  I hope the Navajo can find another way to attract jobs and revenue.  While I think this plan would in fact bring them what they’re looking for in the short run, I think in the long run it would backfire. The canyon would begin to lose its natural appeal because of the massive changes to its environment, and the tourists would eventually stop going to a place that has lost its special appeal, the things which make it alive and wonderful and beautiful.

Casting on Other People


The subject has come up recently, both in the last PSU meeting and in life, of what it means to cast spells on or manipulate the energy of other people.  In PSU, it was a friendly debate and sharing of opinions.  In life, I just had someone try to change my energy.

I did not like it.

In fact, it rather made me angry.  Sure, he meant well, but I had just met this person.  He knew nothing more than my name and face.  I knew the same, except when he introduced himself to the group I had gone to with my mother, he said he was an intuitive healer.  Fine, I can deal with that, I met a handful of such people while I was out in Arizona.  They were very nice ladies, and I felt no qualms about allowing them to muck with my energy field because they: 1) asked permission, and 2) explained exactly what they were doing, both before and as they worked.

This guy didn’t.  He asked me to sit down and work with him–and if that’s his way of asking permission, it is nowhere near adequate.  Then he tried to rid me of problematic past lives, told me my grounding sucked, and told my mom to keep me coming back because I need a lot of work.

Now, sure, it’s possible the last two might be true.  I know already my grounding needs improvement, and I’m already doing the work to improve myself.  My problem comes in when he didn’t explain what he was trying to do until afterward and barely asked permission, and then he attempted to muck with my past lives.  I’m not even sure if the latter is possible, but regardless of possibility, my past lives are my own business, thank you, and I certainly did not invite him to do anything about that.

The point with this, besides telling a story, is that he may have had good intentions, but the ethics of his actions are very grey.  I believe that if I had allowed him to make what changes he was trying to make, those changes would be made–but because I was on guard and resistant to what he was doing, I blocked his efforts.  And then when I left I grounded and undid everything he might have done.

I come from the belief that it’s important to ask permission and explain your actions before attempting to manipulate others’ energy or being.  While whatever you do probably won’t work if the other person is resistant to your efforts or truly does not want to change, you are still attempting to somehow change someone else.  You would be wasting your tie and energy on someone who doesn’t want your help, and what’s the point of that?

This relates to spells in the example of a healing spell.  You may have the best intentions in the world of, say, healing your sick granny–but you would be doing her no favors by not asking her permission before casting your spell and her soul wants to move on.  There are now two sides to this debate (that I’m aware of) those who say that if she truly wants to move on and not be affected by anything else, she will move on and your spell has no effect; and those who say that you can heal the body even if she wants to go.

Either way, why would you want to take the chance?

And this applies to any healing, or really any spell.  You don’t know what the other person truly wants or needs unless you ask, and even then, they themselves may not know.  By not asking, you are making an assumption about another person’s state of being.  You don’t know what the other person is supposed to be learning from their disease or misfortune or heart break or accident, and curing or fixing it for them means they learn nothing.

I think it’s wisest to always ask permission before casting on or trying to influence other people.  Even if you have good intentions and think you know what they want or need, basing magickal actions on assumptions is usually a bad idea.  It’s like not doing your homework before turning it in and only handing in a blank sheet of paper.  You’re unprepared and it could backfire.

Types of Hypnosis


I never really thought about different types of hypnosis before I took my trip out to Arizona.  I mean, everyone knows about stage hypnosis.  And I knew that some people would use hypnosis to help people overcome ailments or help sports professionals overcome injuries and such, but I never knew that that had a name and a different set of requirements.  And I had never heard of spiritual hypnosis before.  It’s a whole new world of terms and ideas.

Stage Hypnosis

Almost everyone has seen this one in action.  At the fair, at RenFest, at demonstrations and seminars and conferences and on the television.  It can be fun, and is usually entertaining if the act is good enough.  But stage hypnosis is exactly that: an act.  Now, I’m not saying that those people aren’t in an altered state, because most of them actually are.  But it’s just a show.  It’s all entertainment, and doesn’t help anyone solve anything.  Granted, it might help the people in the audience to laugh, but it doesn’t help the people actually under hypnosis.  It is completely voluntary, which means the participants know they’re likely going to be laughed at and are OK with that.  Despite common perceptions, hypnotism will not make you do something that is against your morals, beliefs, or self-preservation instincts.  So if it’s strongly against your beliefs to quack like a duck on a stage before a bunch of people,  not even the most skilled hypnotist can make you do it.

Clinical Hypnosis

This type of hypnotism is used to help people cure ailments and problems.  It is often the kind of hypnosis used on athletes to help them perform better.  People can go to a clinical hypnotherapist for treatment of depression, suicidal tendencies, sexual tendencies, confusion, anxiety, fear, and a whole host of other ailments.  This type of hypnotism is almost always done one-on-one and in the privacy of the home or office.  Often the people who practice clinical hypnosis are licensed as therapists or doctors or psychologists because they treat ailments and mental issues.  A stage hypnotist likely would never be a clinical hypnotist, and a clinical hypnotist would not be a stage hypnotist.

Spiritual Hypnosis

In my opinion, spiritual hypnosis is by far the most interesting of the three.  Raise your hand if you’ve heard of past-life regression . . . that’s a part of spiritual hypnosis.  This is the kind of practice that delves into energy work, entity clearing, chakra alignment and clearing, past-life regressions, parallel-life regression, and a lot of other things.  This is the stuff that sounds to other people like you belong in Ghostbusters or a fantasy book.  People will come to a spiritual hypnotist when they want to do a regression, or discover the reason for an ailment that science can’t resolve for them, or to get rid of the bad energy that may or may not have been hanging around on them.  Spiritual hypnosis is also one method for accessing the higher mind and a person’s spirit guides, so that is also something people will go to a spiritual hypnotist for.

Generally, the three types of hypnosis don’t bleed into each other, although if a person is certified and licensed properly, a clinical hypnotist could potentially also be a spiritual hypnotist and vice versa.  It’s not very common for either of these two categories to work stage hypnosis, though.