By Pauline Raphaela | September 2014

When I booked my trip to Sedona for a four-day writer’s workshop, I had no idea that one day into my stay I would find myself sitting alone on a mystical red rock, just feet from a poisonous rattlesnake.

Before I left, my friend Amanda told me, “Sedona will have her way with you, and once you’re there, you can’t escape it.”  Intrigued by her comment I wondered how it would play out for me.  This was my first visit to the magical town.

The shuttle picked me up from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and the journey began.

I arrived on Wednesday, a day early, with plenty of alone time to soak up Sedona energy and do whatever came to mind. As the shuttle approached the quaint little town, I saw a huge red rock formation for the first time. It took my breath away, and I knew I was in the presence of something divine and sacred.  I’d seen photos of Sedona, but to be immersed in its energy surpassed anything I could have imagined.

As we drove through town to my hotel, more red rock formations came into view, and I was in awe.  Those rocks have energy in them and they are like transformers sending out signals and messages to unlock the soul’s potential. Those rocks speak to you … if you can just listen to the soft whisper of their energy.

I sat on the balcony of my hotel room and stared at the exquisite red rock view for an hour. I was mesmerized. It had a hold on me and was conveying a message.  After a while, I felt the need to stroll around town, explore the shops and get familiar with the Sedona experience.  As I walked into each shop I felt at Home.  I was at Home with myself, here 2000 miles from my physical home, yet I felt completely safe and familiar.  Home is where the heart is and as long as you are connected to your heart, you’ll feel at home.  That was the message. What’s interesting about this is that prior to visiting Sedona, an angel card kept showing up in my readings, HOME.  My heart felt full of joy.

I ate dinner at a local pizza restaurant. Sitting outside, I could see  red rock formations  everywhere I looked, and they  captured my attention. They pulled me into their grasp and did not let go.  I was seized by red rocks, and I felt happy.  I was falling in love. I was being called Home.

The next day, I meditated on my balcony while the red rock transmitted energy into my heart. I felt love, pure love of heart and the message was: fall in love with yourself!  A love affair was growing between me, myself and I.  Deep connection with my soul solidified in a way I had never experienced.  I’m a teacher of self-love and have walked this journey for a long time, and yet another layer was revealed.  The message, it’s okay to have a love affair with myself.  To be so in love with myself is to awaken inner strength and courage to prevail no matter what.  The trust in myself and God to create, provide, and manifest the soul’s path became so clear I felt elated, and high on life! I needed no one during this time, no text messages or phone calls or connection to anyone but me and those rocks!  The only thing I felt was love for myself in deep connection to God.  This is what soul love feels like.

I decided to explore other areas and had a taxi driver take me on a scenic ride.  He drove me to an overlook where the panoramic view was incredible. The red rocks continued to speak.  A feeling came over me to sit on the rock and meditate for a few moments. I closed my eyes and felt energy flowing from the rock into my buttocks! The energy seeped into my body and I began to relax. Then I heard it. A noise coming from fifteen feet across the pavement. I looked up and saw nothing so I closed my eyes to resume red rock energy transmission into my body.  The warm energy flowed into my root chakra and I felt grounded.

I heard the same noise again, but this time I realized what it was–a rattle! “Oh my goodness,” I thought, “it’s a rattlesnake!” I couldn’t see it, but again I heard, rattle…rattle.  My first thought was to run away but oddly,  I did not feel afraid.  That snake saw me, but did not reveal itself.  A message was coming through.

Again, I closed my eyes to continue the transmission of red rock energy into my body and again I heard, rattle….rattle.  Three times was enough … so I decided it was time to finish. But for just a few moments I felt I became one with the snake.   Sharing my experience with the taxi driver, this is what he said, “Shamans say that a rattlesnake is symbolic of transforming poison into something higher.  If you have the ability to take the poisonous bite and live, you have the ability to transform energy from negative into positive.”

How profound was that since I am an energy healer, a transformer for myself and others and was on a transformational visit to Sedona!  How magical that a snake came to visit with such a powerful message.  Snakes also represent primal aspect of human beings and so my feeling was that it is a basic, primal need to love oneself very deeply.  By being so in love with ourselves, we transform the poison of others into the power of love for the whole.  Love is beyond fear.

For the rest of the day, I felt in love with me, myself and I.  I was having a love affair with myself, my Light, my Shadow, my Body, my life, and a snake!  Sedona had her way with me. She raised me up and I felt complete, in love and at peace.

We all have the ability to transform, to be the alchemists of our own life, to turn base metal into gold, and to turn poison into love.