We spent our last, blessing filled day here in Mesa Verde National Park, yesterday, exploring 6 miles of walking trails on Wetherill Mesa that lead to various ancient ruins and as we wandered we were greeted by wild horses, ravens, giant fuzzy caterpillars, red-tailed hawk, mule deer, and even a mountain lion. Walking through both forest fire and Juniper and blossom filled areas we got to experience Badger House Community, Two Raven House, Kodak House Overlook, Long House Overlook, Nordenskiold Site #16, and more.
The weather shifted back and forth between cold rain and wind and hot sun and clear skies, having us layered up and then looking like pack mules with our layers wrapped around us along with our packs and water.
At times walking through the burned forest with no one in sight, not a sound, and ancient ruins around us, I felt like we were the last people on Earth.
The ruins were some of the most intact we’ve seen and the animal guides were plentiful.
We came upon two groups of three wild horses each – one was a family with a foal. And at one point a stallion ran right across our path trying to keep away another younger, less robust male from his mare.
And while we were viewing Kodak House that’s when mountain lion appeared across the canyon.
I’ve been holding the intent of seeing one – I put it out there I wanted it at a safe distance, so a canyon between us I guess was that. 🙂 I watched her slink down the cliff rocks, her long thick tail swaying in balance behind her, into a tree shaded area, which may have housed her den or perhaps she became aware of us and ducked out of sight, as it is so rare to catch a glimpse of them. Even Dave had trouble seeing her when I tried to point her out, only catching her at the very end before she hid.
That was truly a gift, powerful medicine, and so cool to see her near the cliff dwelling. I reworded my intent that the next sighting of a mountain lion is a little closer, half that distance, but still safe, so that Dave can see better too. 🙂
We also heard the haunting calls of ravens, as we watched one fly into the cliff dwelling and behind the structures where it must have had a nest of little ones, making this ancient site their home..their cries echoed through the canyon.
So far all of my intents with animals have come to be. We have been so blessed by their presence.
The day ended with Red Tail Hawk close by on a Juniper tree and then taking off, displaying his red tail and following alongside us while Mule Deer appeared making their way down a hill…the last one wagging its tail and reminding me of Cosmo and the way he does the same.
We spent some moments at the last cliff dwelling sight taking in the view and saying our goodbyes, as we likely won’t see ruins again, or at least ones like this for some time now.
On our way out from leaving the last cliff dwelling I saw this burned figure of a tree that reminded me of an island statue or totem, looking like it’s blowing a kiss goodbye.
And so we say goodbye to this ancient area that holds rich energy and connection with our Earth Mother.
These people lived in harmony with her and the Cosmos and it seemed a perfect way surrounded by so much diverse beauty, powerful energy, and animal spirits to celebrate these ancient ones and their relationship to Nature on this day – Mother’s Day – as it reflects for us a way of embodying the same.
This is a time for honoring and integrating within, the Divine Mother Energy and recognizing and honoring it in all others, the Earth herself, and as the Universal source of creation and love that it is. And when we merge this Divine Feminine energy in integrative partnership with the Divine Male, we create the impetus for a New Earth experience.
“We’re sitting on our blessed Mother Earth from which we get our strength and determination, love and humility – all the beautiful attributes that we’ve been given. So turn to one another; love one another; respect one another; respect Mother Earth; respect the waters – because that’s life itself!” ~Phil Lane, Sr.
There was something powerfully activated yesterday from our intuitive and rewarding exploration of another incredible area – Canyons of the Ancients National Monument – so much so that the top of my crown chakra felt like it was splitting open. This area is like an “outdoor museum”, but also like a treasure hunt, as most of the archaeological sites are not apparent to the untrained eye and precise locations aren’t publicized.
Canyons of the Ancients contains more than 6000 Anasazi – Ancestral Puebloan and other Native American cultures – archaeological sites and in some place, up to 100 per square mile.
They recommend stopping first at the Anasazi Heritage Center before beginning your exploration, to get maps, guidebooks, orientation, etc., as although the Monument is open to explore on foot, there are few and limited marked foot trails and no indication of where things are or what to look for.
When you arrive there is just a small sign that says Canyons of the Ancients and has a general trail map of the area to choose from.
As I said, we decided to just explore without info and let ourselves be guided. We had a window of about 2 hours, so we also wanted to maximize that.
It proved very rewarding, as the trail routes we took, our spidey senses, and knowing what to look for, since we’ve been exploring so many ruins already, led us to find quite a few sites.
It’s a really remarkable area and less traveled, as we found only about 4 cars parked at the main trailhead, but only came across a guide and one person with him on mules and two mountain bikers, briefly at onset and end.
The rest of the time we were completely on our own in this vast sacred area walking in the ancient footsteps of these people and exploring their dwellings and temples.
I decided to stay more grounded and let Dave do the climbing and upper explorations, while I scanned the cliffs for more sites and directed him to things I could see to go check out from his higher ground.
We found cliff dwellings, what appeared to be walls of surface dwellings on the tops of the rocks, and temple sites.
We also found the perimeter walls of lower dwellings on the ground below the cliff dwellings.
This seemed to be quite the location for so many communities, one after another.
While Dave would climb up, I’d explore below and many lizards came to greet me.
We also had a raven flying into the large cliff dwelling we found, as we were leaving it, and when we came to this most intact dwelling, hummingbird appeared.
I heard a very loud buzzing and felt chills of energy around me, realizing then there was a hummingbird buzzing above my head and circling me.
Then it flew off in the direction of the cliff dwelling.
Right after exploring, we stopped on a nearby rock under the shade of a tree with view of that site, to drink some water and have a snack and two hummingbirds found us. They came buzzing again around us and landing in the tree’s branches above us. They were very intent on finding us and making sure we knew they were there.
The ancient ones were definitely welcoming us. It reminded me of when we were in Peru and arriving at the Sun Temple when a hummingbird appeared to welcome us.
Can you find me in this panoramic shot on the right looking out at the cliff dwelling ruins lining the inside and tops of the cliffs at center?
We really enjoyed our intuitive expedition, not knowing what to expect or what we’d find, but it was perfect. And being that we but scratched the surface of all that is there, we feel we will likely return in the days remaining.
The next time we’ll stop at the Anasazi Heritage Center first since we’ll have more time and it is Southwest Colorado’s premier archaeological museum of the Anasazi and has a ton of things to see and learn about, as well as will provide information on more things we may want to explore at Canyons of the Ancients.
If you have the time and can do both exploration on your own and go to the Center, I’d recommend doing so, as it will give your intuition, presence, and observational skills a good exercise before getting info. My guess is you’ll still be using some tracking and other skills even with info, as nothing is marked except the main trail heads.
As I mentioned at the start, something took place, as when we arrived back home the very top center of my crown chakra started aching.
I don’t get migraines and rarely ever get head aches…usually it’s an energy thing if I feel something.
But OMGoodness did my head hurt and would worsen no matter what I did. I even laid down for a bit and it just increased. I drank water to make sure I was hydrated and it increased. It was literally like my head was being knocked open with a sledge hammer right at center.
I tried Reiki and it increased.
Dave was sitting outside reading and I went to sit with him and told him that I felt like something was happening from the energies. My crown was expanding, shifting, and/or opening.
I told him that I was feeling a shift literally inside tear me open and it was making me very emotional and wanting to cry – and did – and it was not due to the pain, but an activation.
He asked if I wanted him to do Reiki on my crown and I said yes, so he did, as I closed my eyes and tears ran down my face and my legs started shaking, which happens – the shaking that is – when I’m going through something like a kundalini experience, but for me this energy is coming down through the crown now and not up – mirroring what the channeler/reader in Sedona has told me the last two times I visited him there that this would be my new experience from now on of things channeling down through me, not up.
And while I sat there in pain, tears of opening, and shaking in my legs, we heard what sounded like owl hoots in the tree in front of us and I caught glimpse of a bird moving on the branches…then two.
They sounded just like an owl, but as they moved more I saw that they were Mourning Doves cooing in a way that sounded incredibly like hoots.
Their presence seemed symbolic bringing the deepest kind of peace, promise, and purification.
Mourning Doves help us to release any deep traumas stored in the cellular memory, which can be assisted by sound channeling through your voice and body. In this way they are also helping to clear and cleanse so that renewal can take place.
Their melancholy coos remind me of Celtic keening and similar to the sound healing and mourning I shared in my video.
They are also connected to the transitional times of the day’s cycle, as in morning and night – we heard them at nearly 8pm – times when veils between physical and spiritual worlds become thinner. And so they are messengers from other worlds and can help to reveal the hidden energies and provide calming peace and hope with the process.
They seemed to be, for me, helping me to peacefully embrace this shift taking place and to “be” with the growing pains and opening, breathing into them rather than allowing the emotional cleansing to cause anxiety in any way, as it felt at first to be cropping up as, along with frustration and more.
After seeing them, Dave giving me Reiki, and brushing my tears from my cheeks I felt a lot better, but it was first by going through a process of it increasingly getting worse – my crown hurt SO much.
I was then able to go back inside and shower, as well as bathe Cosmo and with the physical cleansing things continued to balance out.
I knew another big change was upon me and I’d be implementing some more major decisions that feel necessary at this time in my life – crucial and timely.
I’m sitting with it for now, but will share more when it settles completely in body.
(Also feeling significant to add, today 5/5, would have been Gaia (my Russian Tortoise’s) 13th birthday and it was also the day that Nestor’s ashes came home to me)
It’s been an amazing weekend, as we continued our exploration of the ancient ruins of the Anasazi here in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado and the Aztec Ruins National Monument, New Mexico.
There is an incredible amount of well-preserved cliff dwellings, pit houses, and temples in Mesa Verde (over 6,000 ruins in the 55,000 acres, of which 600 are cliff dwellings that were inhabited) that take you right back in time if you allow yourself to immerse in the energy and receive the whispers flowing through the doorways of these sacred sites.
If you’re interested in exploring amazing archeological sites of peoples who have an important role in our lives, Mesa Verde is recognized as “one of the premier historic destinations in the world” and is “the only U.S. park dedicated to human culture.”
You’ll find it quite special, I think.
And if you do go, please make sure to do one of the tours so you can actually step inside one of the ancient villages and feel what it was like.
There are three you can explore in this way.
Spruce Tree House is open all year, although right now is closed due to falling rock.
The other two are seasonal.
Cliff Palace is open to tour 5/27 – 9/11 and Balcony House is open 4/10 – 10/29.
We were excited to be arriving here just as Balcony House has recently opened, as it also is considered one of the most intimate and adventurous tours at the park.
Adventurous because it may challenge people with fear of heights and small spaces, since you descend a 100-foot staircase into the canyon, climb up several ladders, including a 32-foot one at start, crawl through a 12-foot and 18-inch wide tunnel, and then climb up another 60 feet on ladders and stone steps.
(These two photos were taken of me by Dave, as we were ascending the last ladder out of the Balcony House. Look at the incredible light coming down on me and across, creating a cross. Something was activated here within me by my physical visitation.)
The climbing and crawling will bring you into a more intimate connection with the 40-room dwelling with two kivas, which are sacred ceremonial chambers of the Anasazi.
I strongly connect with the kivas and constantly find myself being drawn to them most.
Balcony House is the only cliff dwelling that also has a protective tunnel to access it. This was the only way in, but they discovered it was created later in time, after they’d been living there for years. This indicates that for some reason, they had the need to protect themselves from the outside. It is not clear as to what may have caused this change.
Was it a change in social threat? Were they needing to protect their valuable water resources? What made this small village of about 30-35 people feel the need to close themselves off from the outside world?
Balcony House is where we visited on Saturday, taking the one-hour guided tour – although we had an amazing and passionate tour guide/park ranger who went well over time sharing – which was quite amazing.
I just kept receiving flashes of the people living in the dwelling going about their daily lives.
There is even a piece of wall art that is still intact inside one of the rooms that mirrors the snow capped mountain peaks that are in the distance just across the canyon of their expansive vista from this home and sacred site.
From there we had lunch and then explored the six mile Mesa Top Loop road that takes you to twelve sites along paved trails and includes an interpretative guide with wonderful information about each.
Here you’ll explore at your own leisure the pit houses, surface dwellings, and cliff dwelling overlooks, including amazing views where 12 cliff dwellings at once can be seen.
(Look in the alcoves and between the crevices of the canyon walls to find them in the photos.)
Highlights include Square Tower House, House of Many Windows, Sun Point Overlook, views of Cliff Palace from Sun Point, Fire Temple, and Sun Temple.
The pit houses give you an intimate look and up close feel for the kivas as well and show you what life was like living below the Earth before they began building the cliff dwellings in the sides of the canyon.
You can’t get inside of the Sun Temple, but you can look through windows and from a rock behind I was able to reach up and get snaps of some of the inside layout.
We ended our day doing the Spruce Canyon Trail loop, which takes you down into the canyon and along the edge behind Spruce Tree House. A way to connect with how it would have been for these people, as they ventured from their dwellings to gather, hunt, explore…
And yesterday we made our way over to the Aztec Ruins National Monument that takes you just across the border into New Mexico, since we’re near the Four Corners.
Our RV host had highly recommended these ruins and we were glad we went, as they were truly remarkable.
The name is misleading, as these are not ruins of the Aztec, but of the ancestral Pueblo people (Anasazi) who lived here centuries before the Aztec empire prospered. The ruins were named by settlers inspired by popular histories about Cortez’s conquest of Mexico and thinking that the Aztec built these structures.
The grounds are huge and sprawling with varied rooms, living areas, kivas, storage and burial rooms.
You begin the self guided tour at the Great Kiva, which has been partially restored to look like what it might have been like in height of this thriving civilization.
You are able to walk through some of the rooms, crouching through the small doorways and getting a chance to see what it would have been like living in them.
There is a long corridor of dark rooms you can also explore that are thought to be the storage and burial rooms.
They connect to and look out on living and community areas that are closed by glass to preserve them yet allow you to peer through on what it would have been like.
In one case part of the original mat still hangs in the same place it once did, as the doorway covering.
You can even still see the original ceilings inside.
In this dark succession of rooms is where I really felt the energy shift. There was a heaviness in my chest, heart, and throat I felt the entire time walking through these sunless rooms that lightened as soon as we stepped back up and out.
It’s quite intense to be in the energy of these sites and it is reminiscent of walking the temple grounds in Peru, Mexico, and even Egypt.
There are similarities to connect dots across civilizations, including how they build to align with the Sun.
Every step of our days in exploration of these sacred sites was potent, as we walked with intent and honor of these people, retrieving the ancient parts of ourselves that are still alive and carried within us.
I remarked to Dave how interesting it is that our life is somewhat mirroring these ancient peoples who were nomads that migrated to find homes to set up their villages where the land supported them with the resources needed to begin agriculture and create home bases centered around their spiritual beliefs and connected to the Earth and Cosmos.
I love that the weekend started with sightings of the wild horses and ended with mule deer just steps away from our RV site to greet us back home.
I haven’t gone into too much detail here of the personal experiences, as it’s just too much to expound upon, plus I believe that the best way to explore the energies are via your own heart and intuition.
While we have read and have been told a lot of information about these peoples, truly we find what makes the most sense by what resonates with our souls.
We have latent memories we can recall if engaged.
But I wanted to provide an overview of things so that you can then explore the photos yourself and see where they take you and what they bring up within your own ancient heart and soul.
I took tons of photos, but can’t possibly share them all here, so I only chose those that felt most important to include. (still quite a bit though)
We ended our weekend visiting the historic downtown of Durango that is lined with shops, galleries, museums, breweries and brewpubs, and boutique hotels. It’s best known for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which we saw, but did not take.
This is a heritage railway, which travels from Durango to the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado on steam-powered trains with rolling stock dating back to the 1920s and before.
We took in a late lunch, finding a couple of vegan options at the Diamond Belle Saloon that gives you a feel of stepping back in time as well – a very different time, mind you, than the ancient Anasazi ruins will take you too. But a bit of nostalgic history nonetheless. It’s revered as one of the most famous original ragtime piano bars in the Wild West and the waitresses (dressed as costumed dance hall girls) and bartenders are costumed so that the Old West comes alive. It is connected to the 140 year old Strater Hotel and you’ll find museum items throughout both to make your time there feel more authentic.
Durango is nestled in the Animas River Valley surrouned by the San Juan Mountains and we decided to take a stroll along the Animas River Trail to complete our day walking next to the rolling river and rapids, as we reflected on our time and talked about the remarkable things we’d seen and how they remind us to remember.
Or, as the literature we read at the Atec Ruins said:
“The People would ‘remember to remember’ their relationship to the natural order of the universe.”
I loved the information on two of the pages of the guide book so I photographed them to share them here, as they expound a bit on “resonance” and “the sharing” of these Ancient Ones so that you can feel into things more and allow your imagination to take you back, retrieve, and then embody what YOU remember.