West Fork Trail, Sedona, Arizona experience!

On 9.6.06, Yolande Grill, Janet C and myself went to West Fork Trail.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here is what I refer to as “Goddess HQ” area. This is a highly sacred area for the sacred feminine. It is a place to heal one’s feminine side (left side) of a man or woman. There is a flat, red sandstone ‘table’ not far away where I love to go eat my lunch, give part of it away to the elementals, insects and animals, and just look at the awe inspiring red sandstone that has vertical colorations of white, red, black and other colors. Not to mention the reflective Oak Creek that once more tells us, “As above, so below….”

This is an incredibly beautiful, other worldly, magical spot about twenty miles up into Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona, Arizona.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
This morning, as I was getting packed for our hike to West Fork,this beautiful fuschia morning glory peeked up and out of the foliage of one of my tropical plants that has varigated green with yellow spots on its leaves–makes for a pretty picture!

You might recall, on one of my first blogs, it was on the Brin Fire, which started just north of Sedona earlier this year–and our greatest fear was that magnificent one-of-a-kind Oak Creek Canyon, would go up in flames. Did you know that this lovely canyon, which is fifty miles long and climbs from 4,500 feet to 7,000 feet at Flagstaff, is our #2 tourist attraction in our state right behind the Grand Canyon. THAT is how beautiful, awe-inspiring and breath stealing it is.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here are the beautiful yellow daiseys that proliferated the main trail head into the Oak Creek area of West Fork.

And West Fork, literally, is the crown jewel of this canyon. The Tibetan lamas from overseas, when they come to Sedona, go first up into the canyon, to West Fork and then to a secret place up on the trail where they hold secret and sacred ceremonies. That is how special this place is.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here is lovely Oak Creek from the bridge that spans it along the West Fork Trail.

I take all my students up to West Fork a number of times over the years to get in touch with the magic of the area. Many medicine people, men and women, bring their students here, too, to train them. It is a major spiritual center no matter what your belief system.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here is Janet C. (left) and Yolande Grill (right) at the trail head sign of West Fork.

And so, the three of us packed our lunch and took off in Yolande’s Honda. As we drove up 89A north, heading for Sedona, you could see the red rocks ahead. And, even more exciting, the monsoon thunder clouds/beings were already amassing at 10:00 a.m. in the morning and I told Yolande she should bring her wet gear–which she did.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here we are driving toward Sedona. You can see the Red Rocks that comprise the Mogollon Rim area. And, look at those Thunder Being gathering so early in the morning. I knew we’d get rain at West Fork sometime in the afternoon!

Yolande and I have traversed West Fork over the years many times and we fall in love with it all over again. This was Janet’s first foray into this incredible gift of Nature. We were already: we had our cameras, our journals, pens and hats and white long sleeved cotton shirts to ward off the intense Arizona sunlight.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here is Janet standing on the trail head leading into West Fork. Look at the rolling carpet of yellow daiseys surrounding her! Notice the Rim which is composed of white dolomite rock and red sandstone. It is a magnificent palette of colors that surround Janet.

I’m going to go through a series of photos and they will tell the rest of the story for the day which was more than just magical!


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
These are scarlet morning glories that were all over the place! It was an amazing thing to see all these little red heads nestled and climbing among the fields of yellow daisies.


Copyright Eileen Nauman
Here is a honeybee working with Scarlet Bugler. These red flowers were intermixed with the yellow daisies and the red Morning Glories.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Down a little ways on the West Fork Trail there were a whole bunch of bustling, big black Carpenter Bees who were working over the Scarlet Bugler as well. I love the Carpenter Bees–they are so gentle. You can actually telepathically communicate with them and they’ll respond. They are gentle giants.


Copyright Eileen Nauman
Here is Fall color already occuring at West Fork….in October, the leaves will turn and this place becomes a breathtaking display that will rival the East Coast/New England area. I intend to get up to West Fork when the leaves are turning to prove it to you!


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
There was a huge stand of lovely Goldenrod along the trail. As a flower essence, Goldenrod lifts the spirit, removes the heaviness you carry on your shoulder and in your soul. I love this as a flower essence because it looks like an explosion of light and joy showering up and outward. It’s great for depression and for those who carry heavy loads who have lost hope of ever seeing light at the end of the gauntlet they must trod.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
As I was admiring the happy Goldenrod I saw one was decorated like a Christmas tree with ornaments–BUG ornaments! Aren’t they pretty? A red bug and a black and yellow caterpiller!


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
And, hidden and almost out of view is our shy little Fleabane Daisy from the Aster Family. Her purple petals are a lovely contrast to all the blaring red and yellow colors that surround her.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here Janet is jotting down some notes from her observation of the Goldenrods


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
We are just about to get to Oak Creek when we see this lovely little wild Geranium in all her magenta glory!


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here is another view of Goddess HQ on Oak Creek on the West Fork Trail. Look at how secluded it is. When you look at it, do you get a sense of peace, calmness and nurturing? You should because those are the major energies that are there and greet you when you step into Her Office.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Yolande Grill is entering another sacred area known as Mother Earth’s womb. This place reminds me of a Japanese garden–one boulder–a lot of sand, quiet, curving, reflective water and the massive red sandstone cliffs that curve upward with white, black, gray colorations. And it is in those sandstone cliffs that come alive, magically, with faces, creatures and things you need to see that reflect something within you. This is one of the most sacred areas along the trail. You can come in carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, but if you will give yourself the gift of meditating by the boulder or on top of it (with the rock spirit’s permission), you will float, not walk, away back to the trail afterward. Such is the nurturing, feminine healing power of this very special spot. While we were there, it began to rain–there had been thunder carooming all around us all afternoon but it never rained. Only when we arrived at Mom Earth’s womb,did the soft, gentle fall of rain begin. And then, as I sat on the boulder and meditated, my palms up, the drops would fall into my hands like the tears I was releasing and giving back to Mother Earth. Such a beautiful moment….


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
All day long, Yolande was seeing snakes. She is at a fulcrum point in her life and ready to close one chapter and open a new one. Whenever we reach this point, a person often feels strung up by their heels, like the Hangman from the Tarot deck, and indecision wars with fears, hopes, dreams and desires. The first snake she saw was a Coachwhip snake, a small brown colored one and it was slithering West, which is the direction of death and dying. And of course, snakes are about death and shedding of the old skin or ways and rebirthing with a brand new more beautiful, colorful skin. Her second snake was a Coral Snake! These red, yellow and black snakes are from the Cobra family and their venom contains a neurotoxin that paralyzes a person and they stop breathing and suffocate as a result. We have Coral Snakes in Arizona. And they are usually very small, thin snakes. Yolande was walking along, saw the snake coming out of its hole near a fallen log and heard it call to her. She went back, looked at it, amazed, and it raised up on its front end to look at her. Then, some hikers went by and the snake dived back in its hole before she could get a photo of it. I asked her what snakes meant to her. Then, we went to Mother Earth’s womb and I happen to look up in admiration and study the faces and figures in the sandstone cliff when I spotted–a SNAKE. I chuckled to myself and called Yolande over. I pointed at it and asked her, “What do you see?” She gasped. Yep, there it was–and you can see it too–a snake, big, dark brown raising up and her head coming forward, her eye white and you can see her tongue coming out of her mouth. So, that was three snakes for Yolande today and she ‘got it.’ She was having a “Snake Day.”


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Coming out of our meditation and healing time with Mother Earth at Oak Creek along the West Fork Trail,we ambled back toward the parking lot. The sky was a churning gray, black and white because it had just rained. Everything had gotten a drink and you could literally hear the singing joy of all the plants and beings who thanked Father Sky and the Thunder Beings for the gift of their life-giving rain.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Along the trail back to the car, I spied something white among the field of yellow. There it was: A sacred Datura! And at 3:00 p.m. it was open and blooming which is unheard of! They open at night and close in the morning dawn. But here she was, strutting her stuff like the queen plant she is. Datura is a hallucinogenic plant and can kill you if you eat it. Her blooms, however, are other wordly and mystical and if you look at it for a bit, you feel somewhere else, too. I pointed all this out to Yolande and Janet. I told them that where ever you find Datura growing, that is sacred ground because this plant spirit, one of the strongest and most self-reliant of all, knows where good energy resides. Also, she looked incredibly queenly with the rain drops still on her petals. I told the girls she was open for them. And we took photos of some of the buds that would most likely bloom that night after everyone had left the park. I also told them that Datura plant spirit is a tough teacher and you can ask to sit with her, to be taught, but you had better know the protocols on how to deal with her or she’ll tell you in no uncertain terms to buzz off and leave her alone. One of the wonderful things about knowing the protocols is having the honor of sitting with this Queen Plant being. She is so wise and knowing. And you don’t have to eat her to recieve her knowledge which she will share with those who are humble, patient and will sit and meditate with her.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
Here is a Sacred Datura bloom that will, in all likliehood, bloom tonight after we leave. Notice the ‘symbol’ in it–the top of the bud. What does it remind you of? For me, it reminds me of a spiral armed galaxy spinning out in space. Or, a chakra in our etheric body spinning its propeller petals bringing in life-giving prana to our aura and self.


Copyright Eileen Nauman 2006
This is a lovely photo to end our hike to West Fork for the day. Janet spied this apple tree–there are many around, the apples dropping, bright red and green. The deer, peccary (wild pigs), skunks and racoons will come around after dark to gobble them up–a true dessert and feast for all of them. What caught Janet’s artistic eye (she has an art degree from UCLA and a math degree), was the one red apple left on this gnarled, old apple tree. Sort of a bansai kind of photo. So, we took it and I hope she enjoys seeing it on the blog. The tree, which is probably near seventy years old, is still bearing fruit. Seventy is VERY old for any fruit tree and at that age, they are pretty beat up and over their fruit bearing years. But not this old grandmother…she was still trucking. We stood and admired her for many minutes because we knew that someday, we’d look just like her and feel like her. We hope that we are still able to bear fruit at that age and I believe we will–she’s proof of it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with us on our sacred hike to a sacred area. One of these days, I hope you can come to magical Oak Creek Canyon and see the everyday magic that exists with every step along the West Fork Trail.

In Spirit….