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Spiritual Journeys

by Becca Hensley

Where to find energy sources that recharge your soul

The Aboriginal people of Australia called them Song Paths, the Chinese referred to them as Dragon Lines and the Celts knew them as Fairy Paths. Coined “Ley Lines” by British photographer Alfred Watkins in 1921, when he realized that (perhaps) the landscape around him was connected in mystical alignments, and that the (supposedly) energy-filled lines that linked monuments such as Stonehenge, Easter Island and the Pyramids of Giza to one another (arguably) joined the entire world in a mystical grid.

An unsolved mystery of sorts, ley lines—and the (purported) energy vortexes that occur where they intersect—continue to draw healers, mystics, shamans, skeptics and scientists. Part of every ancient culture’s mythology, energy vortexes or magnetic fields are represented by mountains, standing stones, castles, cathedrals, mineral springs, oceans, deserts, barrows, sacred temples and moldering ruins. These places may seem energizing and healing, imbue vivid dreams, promote well-being, connect believers with the afterlife and recharge the spirit. Invisible, not measurable by scientific tools, the lines baffle scientists and vivify those comfortable with the unexplained—yet palpable—forces of the unknown.

Despite being controversial, many say that ley lines and vortex areas fall into the discernible arena of quantum physics, which has aptly demonstrated that all matter is energy—even inanimate objects. As a metaphor, at the very least, they represent (like the Ayurvedic concept of chakras) a commitment to partake of the under layers, a desire to access and delve into the lessons held in the unconscious, an opportunity to be on the quest. Whether you believe in their mystical foundations or not, the following energy-significant sites offer a world of repose. From India to Arizona, they’re abuzz—and they await you.


Kachina Woman calls me. I hike up to the wind-formed steeple of red rock in Sedona’s Boynton Canyon, throw back my head and note how she extends to the sky. Alone on this sacred rock, I feel my body stretch to the heavens and a sensation as if a kaleidoscope of butterflies were encircling me, sealing my soul in their perfect winged blanket.

That’s a vortex moment—and many before me have felt its uplift and summons to transformation here. A mountain village about 100 miles north of Phoenix, Sedona has garnered a well-respected “new age” following, though it remains, too, a haven for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Stacked with uncanny red rock buttresses, anchored by ponderosa and juniper trees, a spiritual bastion for the Hopi, Sedona today relishes its reputation as one of the world’s most prodigious energy hot spots. With four main vortexes (Kachina Woman, Bell Rock, Airport Mesa and Cathedral Rock), the hamlet supports seekers, and offers first-class spas, crystal boutiques, stupas, labyrinths, churches and meditation spots.

Where to Stay: Mii Amo, a holistic destination spa, located on the verge of Boynton Canyon. miiamo.com

Glastonbury, ENGLAND

Located in southwest England, ancient Glastonbury, once a cathedral town, abounds with mystical legend.The home of many King Arthur anecdotes (near both his birthplace, Tintagel Castle and the alleged site of Camelot), Glastonbury’s velvety green hills have yielded a plethora of megalithic remains, dating back to the Druids.

Today a pilgrimage site for vortex aficionados, the town’s environs boast four vortex points—most notably Glastonbury Tor, a whale-shaped knoll, rife with ruins. At its foot lies Chalice Well, part of the King Arthur tales—also a vortex.

Where to Stay: Delve into history at the Meare Manor, a 14th-century hotel, hear the Chalice Well and Glastonbury Tor. mearemanor.co.uk

Machu Picchu, PERU

Many report a sense of peace and heightened awareness at Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. Viewing the fabled ruins at sunrise or sunset seems to spark a deeper sense of awe—perhaps because the circa 15th-century fortress becomes thronged with groups during the middle portion of the day.

Crowning a mountain near the Sacred Valley, the astonishing city, composed of terraces, tunnels, gates, temples, staircases and caverns, boggles the mind. Said to pulsate with energy (like many sites in nearby Cusco and the Sacred Valley), remote Machu Picchu gleans its sacredness from its location within concentric circles of mountains and the fact that great quantities of quartz comprise it.

Where To Stay: Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, minutes from the site, offers an eight-hour Mystical Machu Picchu Experience, designed to provide guests with deep and powerful insight. sumaqhotelperu.com

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