Day Quest--Sedona

Sometimes you have a question so powerful, it has the potential to completely change your life, your direction, your career or a significant relationship.  Sometimes the answer can affect them all.  

When I know I'm at such a crossroads, I go on a day quest. What's that, you wonder?

View to Canyon Rim, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
View up to Canyon Rim
A day quest is when you decide that you have all the answers inside of you, no matter how jumbled it appears in the moment, and that the answers will come to you through the power of nature, signs and solitude.  You just have to step off the spinning carousel of time long enough to stop being dizzy and get clarity.

One way to do that is to arrange a day quest, a day apart just to be quiet, watch for signs, and listen to the small still voice within.

Over the next few days I'm going to share three such day quest experiences.
Kiva Door, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
Kiva Door

Sedona, 2006 

I asked my Apache teacher, Maria, for instructions on how to connect with the land.  It was my first trip to Sedona and I was planning on visiting my Reiki Master's teacher for a weekend workshop, but although I knew the workshop would open me up to untapped potential, what I needed beyond that was self-knowledge and answers to some troubling questions.

For a little over a year I'd plunged myself into a deep and massive spiritual overhaul.  And, I wasn't sure where I was heading.  It was like I opened the closet door one morning and nothing fit anymore.

The first thing I needed to do the day quest was to locate a guardian--someone to act as guide, to watch over me for physical needs (making sure I drank enough water, etc.), and to also watch for signs in nature that might have meaning for me.  Thanks to the Sedona teacher, I was connected with a Sedona guide who had knowledge of a little-visited Native American kiva to which he was willing to guide me.

Kiva Walls, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
Kiva Walls
The night before the day quest, I took a detox bath (sit in a bath of very hot water plus a pound of epsom salts and a pound of baking soda for 20 minutes) to purify myself for the task and to cleanse my energy field of what I call psychic static--unnecessary energetic gunk.

Then, I wrote my intentions for the journey, along with my set of questions.  Then, I fell asleep, asking my guardian angels and spirit guides to inform me in the dreamtime.

The next morning I got up early and met my guide on a deserted two-lane road in the back country.  It was a glorious day.  A little nip in the air, just perfect for strenuous walking.  After setting intention and asking my guide for what I wanted him to do (be guide, make sure I stayed hydrated, give me my space, allow frequent rest breaks, watch over me from a "calling" distance, and take me to this kiva he knew, and get me back safely before nightfall).  
View from the Kiva, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
View from the Kiva

After setting our intentions and asking the land for a sign that it was permissible to do this work on this land, we hiked in a couple miles or so from the road.  Some of it was hard-going for me, a bit of a challenge built-in, as there was no real trail, although we did loosely follow a creek bed.  We climbed up in elevation more than my city-slicker legs were used to, and along the way I had to ask for a slower pace.  As I recall, it was early May, and spring was hatching with buds and new leaves just appearing on the trees, and a strong flow of water over the rocks in the creek.  

As we left the road, we left behind time and technology.  In my backpack I carried only a journal and pen, water and a small amount of food, and my travel mesa (a collection of 8 stones that carry directional energy, wrapped in a scarf).  I also brought a small tea-light candle and matches, a pouch of tobacco for offering and my camera.  My guardian carried extra water and emergency first aid kit.

At the end of the creek, we came into a large bowl-like canyon trimmed with trees.  The walls of the red rock canyon towered over us.  It was a beautiful, pristine and secluded spot with birds and animals all around us.  My guide pointed out the kiva, which was on a small ledge up on the canyon wall, and gave me a description of the way up.  He promised to sit just out of the range of being able to see me, but still able to hear me if I called out.

Canyon Walls, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
Canyon Walls
This kiva, or ceremonial space, was a small cave dwelling in the rock face that was about 6 feet tall and maybe 30 feet across, wedged high up off the ground.  An artifact of the red rock people, as Maria calls the indigenous tribes who previously inhabited the region.  I scrambled up the rocks following the recommended route, finding it another challenge to just get up into the kiva.

Once inside, I sat for a moment taking in the view and catching my breath.  I took out my mesa and tobacco.  I offered up some tobacco to the sky, touching my heart and forehead, giving thanks to Creator for my opportunity to learn.  After unwrapping the mesa, I breathed my intention to each stone, setting up a directional grid and thanking each of the energies for their presence and insights.  I expressed my gratitude to Mother Earth and Father Sky, and the red rock people who are the ancestors of the place. 

Opening Mesa, Copyright 2012 Kaliani Devinne
Opening Mesa
I lit the candle after a bit of difficulty with the matches, but finally, it was going.  Then I sat and asked my first question.  And waited.  The scene before me was absolute beauty.  For Sedona, it was relatively quiet (there are occasional small prop planes and helicopters cruising about the area).  For long stretches, all I could hear was lizards moving about in the brush and birdsong.  Waiting for the sign that brings your answer can be frustrating and difficult for the 21st century quester, as we are so accustomed to instant gratification, and I like to wait for answers that come in threes, answer and two confirmations.  I decided to lie down and look out at the sky through the cave opening.

Kiva Ceiling Signs, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
Kiva Ceiling
The ceiling of the cave was covered in black soot from previous fires.  As I continued to breathe and connect, I asked my guides to help me open to this place and its stories. In the distance, I heard a woodpecker drilling its beak into a tree.  Woodpecker, ahhh, opportunity knocking?  Overhead, a hawk soared into view and circled quite a few times.  Hawk signifies something to which you need to pay attention--this is important.  And then, the cool temperature of hard cave floor began to penetrate through my clothes, bringing my awareness to joints and a certain weariness in my body.

Kiva Ceiling, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
Kiva Ceiling
It was as though the ground or the cave was pulling me in, like gravity had increased ten-fold.  This land was embracing me, anchoring me to its long-held secrets.  Cave.  Drawing me in.  Showing me my exhaustion and pain.  Giving me a healing through a heart connection, my heart resting in the arms of Sedona sandstone.   Rest, in nature, it seemed to whisper, along with the song of the breeze through the newly leafed trees.  Surrender.  Allow what is to be.  Give yourself time to rest and integrate.  You're going too fast.  Stop and breathe and be.

I closed my eyes and gave in to the healing embrace.  I don't know how long I stayed there.  Perhaps a couple of hours.  The candle had gone out by the time I began to shift out of the meditative state.  Body cold and stiff and feeling very heavy.  Looking out from the kiva, I saw a turkey vulture dip and dive beyond the ridge on the other side of the canyon.  Turkey vulture medicine is new beginnings.

Yoni in Canyon Wall, Copyright 2012, Kaliani Devinne
Yoni in Canyon Wall
I sat up and gathered my belongings and took a couple of pictures so I'd remember the space.  I wrote a few things in my journal and then began the trek down from the kiva.  I called to my guide, who appeared on the trail silently ahead of me within 30 steps.  He quietly joined me as we made our way back along the creek bed in quiet awe of the beauty surrounding us.

As we reached the clearing near the road, he stopped me, and gave me his message, the signs that had appeared to him while I was in the kiva.  He told me of the animals who passed by, a deer who must have come while I was meditating (gentleness), and the same birds I had seen.  He'd come across a snake and lizards, too.

And then, he reached into his pocket, and pulled out a sandstone rock.  Natural.  From the place he'd chosen to sit and wait while I did my ceremony.  It was in the shape of a heart.  A red rock heart.  For me to take home.  Along with a wonderful picture he'd taken of me.

Kaliani Arriving at Kiva
Kaliani Arriving at Kiva
I don't usually take rocks, especially from sacred areas, but I asked my guides and left offering, and the answer appeared to me to be a resounding "yes," this is yours.  The rock is one I use on my relationship altar to this day, to remind me of the day when my heart was healed; fully and deeply connected with the earth in a kiva in Sedona.


Such a beautiful story. I was totally engulfed all the way to the end. This post has come at the right time, when I feel like I a asking so many questions right now! I may ned a day quest. Thanks Kaliani!

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