Bird Vibes in Sedona
by Catherine Bastedo
author of the Bird Vibes meditation deck
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Sedona was surely lying on my back on Airport Mesa, feeling the reverberations of the drumbeat of our guide, an “American born Toltec,” coming through the rock right into my body, passing down from my eardrums as far as my toes, hearing the coyotes call back, the warm sun on my body, colours dancing in front of my closed eyelids.
A raven flew right over my head as I lay there, and called to me. I felt as if I were one with the raven, shape shifting into that powerful symbol of magic and mystery, ready to fly off the edge of the high rock mesa.
My colleague Julie Desmarais and I had led a spiritual group on a visit to Sedona for a program called “Tribe of the True Self,” where individuals profoundly connect with their true nature, in nature, deepen their connection to the Creator, and purify body, mind, emotions and spirit on energy vortexes.
The program includes meditation, hikes, energy work and visits to ancient and sacred aboriginal sites. We stayed in Oak Creek Canyon, in rustic cabins by the beautiful creek at Lo Lo Mai Springs Outdoor Resort, a rich oasis in the midst of the desert, surrounded by huge cottonwood trees and a myriad of birds, lizards, raccoons and even gentle skunks.
One day I heard a Red-winged Blackbird, but thought it sounded a little odd. I assumed that, as with some other birds, the song varied somewhat from one part of the continent to another. But still I thought it was curious as the creek was not the kind of territory that the blackbirds at home sought. The question was solved when to my delight I spied a Northern Mockingbird in the tree branches and realized that it was imitating the Red-winged Blackbird, and so well that it just sounded as if it were just having an off day!
Another morning I took a few people bird watching at Lo Lo Mai, a special treat for me as so many birds in Sedona are different from those I see in Quebec, and so colourful. We were fortunate enough to spot, amongst others, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks at their nest, Gila Woodpeckers feeding their young in the cavities of the cottonwood trees, a beautiful Black-headed Grosbeak, a flash of orange as it flew, and Wood Ducks with their amazingly vibrant colours.
The most magical moment for me that week was at Montezuma Well, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water, where more than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. Prehistoric Hohokam and Sinaguan cultures lived here and the foundations of the dwellings can still be seen. The ruins, the water and the huge Arizona Sycamore trees have a very special energy.
I was sitting on a beautiful flat rock at the top of a path that led down to the well, absorbing the atmosphere, the water running over the rocks below, the little lizard that joined me on the rock. There are barely words to describe the serenity of this place–the sun-dappled rocks, the old stone walls, the sycamore trees with their large umbrella-like leaves and grey mottled trunks, like elephant skin, the lush greenery near the water. On the far shore of the stream the ground rose, arid and brown.
A sense of calm came to me, inside as well as outside, a sense of peace that came from the Well of Spirit, whispering to me, and that was the only voice I heard. The sounds of people talking, their footsteps on the path, these floated by me. The truth lay within, the oneness of all things. This shook my being so that all else disappeared except for calm, serene peace—the sun on my back, the scent of honeysuckle, the gritty surface of the rock. The earth spoke to me, as it speaks to each of us if we are open to listening.
I lifted my binoculars to my eyes to take in the details of the scene, and as I watched, a gorgeous hummingbird flew into my line of vision, a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, I believe. It had dazzling, iridescent, green upperparts, with a glossy emerald head, and I was able to follow its flight back to a crook of a tree, where it lit and sat in its tiny nest, head peaking out.
I watched it for a long time, lost in its beauty. When I finally lowered the binoculars I wanted to see it again, but it was impossible to find. The green feathers blended perfectly with the leaves. The tiny nest made of plant down, held together with spider webs and barely two inches wide, was not meant for human eyes.
What better way to connect with our true essence than to visit these sacred places, surrounded by the beauty of nature? And now Sedona bird vibes live in my heart, at my Centre.
2008 © Catherine Bastedo
Catherine Bastedo, author of the Bird Vibes meditation deck, was raised in northwestern Ontario and resides in Gatineau, Quebec. Catherine holds a master’s degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University, is certified as a Reiki Master and Holographic Energy Master, and has been practicing Reiki since 1998. She welcomes all special stories of encounters with birds and asks that you send them to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catherine Bastedo now teaches a Chakra Basics Class
Spiritual Insight Through Birds
Treat yourself to this new meditation deck!
• Receive positive, uplifting messages about current life situations and meditation paths
• Gain spiritual insight from the text on each card
• Learn more about the 8 chakras
• Discover interesting facts about 50 birds of North America
• Enjoy the 54 beautiful and unique paintings of birds and the four seasons
Bird Vibes is based on 54 birds that may be seen in various parts of North America, grouped by eight chakras according to the bird's colour, habitat or other characteristics.Each card shows a different bird through paintings commissioned from Ottawa nature painter, Heather Bale. Use this deck to gain insight into current life situations, to connect with Nature, and the Universal Life Energy around us and within us.
“Bird Vibes has become my deck of choice with my
readings lately and I find people are so empowered by them. Thanks for
your double creativity!”
Julie Desmarais, Holographic Energy Master, Reiki Master Teacher Trainer
Order Bird Vibes in our Bookshop
new Chakra Basics Class
taught by Mentor: Catherine Bastedo
This class provides you with a basic knowledge of 7 chakras, from Crown to Root; facilitates your connection to your chakras and understanding of your chakras’ health; provides suggestions for ways of chakra clearing.
This class will help you learn the location of your seven major chakras and their attributes, as well as the state of health of your own chakras and how they affect your emotional and physical health. You will learn how to sense your chakras, connect with them and techniques for clearing them, through quick exercises and assignments. Since this is a “Basics” class, it emphasizes the attributes of the chakras, and ideas for clearing them and aligning them, without going into specialized therapies such as crystals or aromatherapy.
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About the Mentor: Catherine Bastedo teaches Usui-Holographic Reiki at all levels, facilitates healing through energy sessions, and holds spiritual nature workshops and retreats. She is the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck based on the chakras and our spiritual connections to birds. This deck helps to understand daily life situations and deepen our connection with the universal energy in us and around us. Catherine is a Reiki Master and Holographic Energy Master, and has a M.A. in Canadian Studies (Carleton University).
Catherine held leadership roles as an executive in the Canadian Public Service and then as the Executive Director of the International Council for Canadian Studies for a number of years. Catherine Bastedo uses archetypes, myth and nature totems to help people reduce stress, release and transmute old patterns, restore balance on the physical, mental, and emotional levels and develop new ways of looking at life and the patterns in their lives. Her clients appreciate the wisdom, experience and love of nature she brings to her work.