Probably my most favorite rock formation in Sedona. When I look at it’s grandeur, I get an overwhelming sense of fantacy, peace and magic.
Shamans Cave, also known as Robbers Roost, is a very special place in Sedona that when visited, one should show great respect to land and the people that are meditating and doing ceremony there. It is believed to have been a place where the Shaman of the local tribe would have performed healing and ceremony. Also, it is said that when you meditate in the cave long enough, you can hear messages from your ancestors.
The cave is a very large room, approximately 20 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet high, and open on one side. Inside, there’s a near-perfect, six-foot-wide circular window cut out of the thick rock that neatly frames the amazing view. There are two distinct sets of ruins within this rock formation. There are also several metate’s in the floor where the natives would have used to grind special herbs or corn for healing and prayer.
During a trip to Canyon DeChelly, I was lucky enough to catch this image of a Navajo Homestead in the canyon. A hogan is the primary, traditional dwelling of the Navajo people. Other traditional structures include the summer shelter, the underground home, and the sweat house. A hogan can be round, cone-shaped, multi-sided, or square; with or without internal posts; timber or stone walls and packed with earth in varying amounts or a bark roof for a summer house, with the door facing east to welcome the rising sun for good wealth and fortune.
Today, while some older hogans are now still used as dwellings and others are maintained for ceremonial purposes, new hogans are rarely intended as family dwellings.
Traditional structured hogans are also considered pioneers of energy efficient homes. Using packed mud against the entire wood structure, the home was kept cool by natural air ventilation and water sprinkled on the dirt ground inside. During the winter, the fireplace kept the inside warm for a long period of time and well into the night.