Sedona is the location of a natural phenomena called energy vortexes that visitors claim drive artistic expression. Interestingly enough, the Juniper trees grow in a spiral pattern near these vortexes. I thought maybe I'd have some sort of psychological experience from the visit, a feeling of peace or that my writing would be exceptionally vital. I was surprised the vortexes had an undeniable physical effect. After visiting, I felt like I'd ingested a large cup of coffee.
Anyway, the city of Sedona is peppered with mystics, psychics, and shops that sell things like crystals and Tarot cards. I recognized Christian,Wiccan, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist and Native American influences. You might think those things don't belong together but in Sedona it works. There's a new age/universalist mentality that's pervasive there, they say drawn by the energy of the place.
Now if you've read The Soulkeepers you know that a red stone plays an important role in the story. What you may not know is the same stone makes an appearance in Weaving Destiny and Return To Eden. I decided to look for a red stone that was reminiscent of the one in my story. I visited half a dozen shops with no luck. There was plenty of turquoise and one shop had stones in every color of the rainbow except red. Oh I found a ruby necklace that was several thousand dollars but that wasn't what I was looking for. The stone Jacob gets was pulled from the earth by a peruvian medicine woman. I needed a stone that had character, that looked like it could alter the course of someone's life.
Past the fudge shops and the Dirt Shirts (T-shirts purposefully stained with local red dirt), I saw a little shop called Spiritstone. It was weirdly empty. The other shops had been brimming with people. I walked to the back and there it was sitting on top of a pile of stones, the only red one in the bunch, and round like the one in my book. The price was reasonable so I brought it to the counter to make my purchase.
A tall man with an amethyst amulet as big as my fist offered me a card to explain what I was buying. "Sure," I said. "Why not?"
Here's what it said:
Red Jasper -Stone of Counselors and Healers
Used for grounding and strength both emotional and physical. Can assist in providing rescue in situations of danger. Helps facilitate the interpretation of dreams to allow the dreamer to remember aspects which could be consequential in ones life. Helps one learn to progress and to eliminate digression.
I couldn't believe it. It was the Medicine Woman's stone! Even more interesting, when I got home I looked up Red Jasper and guess what? Red Jasper is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible for having these qualities. And since The Soulkeepers is based on Christian mythology, it gave me a chill to think of the similarities between what I had written and the real thing.