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Energies and Elements

Caroline McKenna


Nestled below the Sangre de Cristo, looking out upon the open valley, many people of Crestone talk about the intense spiritual energy present in the area. Some talk about the energy in terms of layers, but a common term is “the vortex”. When people first arrive to Crestone, Colorado, many say they sense a feeling of “goodness” and “enlightenment” liberating their souls. Crestone resides at an altitude of 8,000ft, which many believe explains the radiating feeling of “enlightenment” because it is closer to the heavens. However, a common understanding of the inexplicable energy is in relation to the breath taking geographical surroundings and landscapes. The energies and the geographical landscapes are in an interconnected relationship, producing a sense of stability and balance. When community members discuss their relationship to the land, to the place, they commonly talk about the energetic pull that brought them to the unique town, and the sense of settlement that eased over them upon arrival. Those who have resided in Crestone for sometime mention the degrees of intensity to which the energy can be so overwhelming, “Iit can make you ill.” One way or another, community members recognized a unique energy that is in relation and harmony with the mountains and surrounding geographical features.

The Draw

Joy Kells and Debra Floyd, describe their first experiences of the intangible energies and powers present in Crestone.

“I felt personally right away when I came here that I belonged here that my spirit needed to reside here.” (Joy Kells, member of Cottonhood Sustainable Co-Op. Interviewed by Anna Jackson)

“This place calls people here…Crestone kind of catches you like that, it just reaches out and goes, ‘Ok, I think I’ll have you.” (Debra Floyd, Village Witch. Interviewed by Caroline McKenna and Anne Jackson)

Many people have expressed similar feelings of being drawn or taken in by the area. Darlene Yarborough is a local real estate broker who mentions the commonly occurring conversation with people new to Crestone who say a dream or a message guided them to the remote town. The powerful energy of the area draws people from all over the world to come to the Crestone where a sensation of peace and ease settles over their content souls.

A Unique Environment: The Connectedness of Energy and Geography

Many members of Crestone and the Spiritual institutions distinguish Crestone as a unique, spiritual place because of its permeating energies and geographical landscapes. The energies of the area have called together and created a diverse, peaceful community of spiritual practitioners seeking enlightenment. Drawing upon their surroundings, community members identify and sense the relationship of the energies to the powers and dynamics of the physical landscapes.

“Maa – as soon as she came here – she knew. She said this is one of the most pure places left on the planet, and that these mountains have a strong spiritual energy. We call it shakti – spiritual energy or power – and that shakti is so strong here, it’s like electric.” (Dagini Amba, Humanity in Unity. Interviewed by S. Hautzinger)

Dagini Amba discusses the uniqueness of the area that was felt by Maa, the Divine Mother, Spiritual Master and Spiritual leader of Humanity in Unity. She identifies the area as unique because of the electric “spiritual energy and power” that is connected to the mountains. John Winter addresses the distinctiveness of the area and its energy that brings together a diverse community of individual’s seeking spiritual enlightenment and striving for peaceful, sustainable lifestyles. The five elements of air, space, water, fire and earth are very present around Crestone, as the town opens out onto the San Louis Valley, which generates great amounts of wind. The town is at the high altitude of 8,000ft, close to the burning sun. Crestone is settled over the infamous Colorado aquifers at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Each element produces significant degrees of energy, but balanced as a united force of five, their powerful energies are intensified.

“We talk about the sacredness of the land here, the sacredness of the environment. Crestone as an area is a place where you can practice in a very powerful fashion. We talk about the mountains here being sacred, as a container of a very rounded energy. The aquifer, which lies under us—the water element kind of rounds the energy here. The wind coming from across the valley picks up the water element, hits the mountains and comes back and circles back down.” (Ralph Abrams, White Jewel Mountain Zen Center. Interviewed by V. Richardson)

Ralph Adams discusses the present energies in relation to the elements in terms of “containment” and “circles”. As Adams thinks, the energies exist in a circuitous fluidity moving amongst the five present elements surrounding Crestone. The intensity of having all five elements present balances each other and contains the intensity of energy within a specific space as the energies feed and build off of each element. Many members of the community, living in retreat or in the town, discuss the effects the energies have on their varying practices, as people feel more deeply connected to themselves and their surroundings.

Effects of Exploratory Natural Gas Drilling

While discussing the prospect of exploratory drilling for natural gas, many community members expressed deep upset at the thought of disturbing the sacred, and powerful energies of the land. While using common metaphors, such as ‘raping the land’, many expressed concern of the violent penetration of the earth. Such violence and disruption of the land is believed to greatly affect the levels of energies that are understood to be intensely interconnected to the geographical landscape and five elements.

“If you started drilling here, you would completely disturb the energies at every single level, every single plane here. There are hidden levels to this place that should never ever be touched by outsiders. Drilling is a violation.” (Debra Floyd, Village Witch. Interviewed by Caroline McKenna and Anna Jackson)

“The five elements are an intrinsic part of our practice. If you have gas or exploratory drilling come in here, or gas production, if affects the subtle vibrations of all of this kind of energy here.” (Ralph Abrams, White Jewel Mountain Zen Center. Interviewed by V. Richardson)

Debra Floyd and Ralph Adams both address the severity of drilling affecting not just the land but the intense levels of energy present in the area. The relationship between the energies and the earth will be greatly affected by such a violating and destructive intrusion into the land, thereby disturbing the balance of the energies and creating a serious instability. Crestone, Colorado is a unique place because of the existing energies that fluidly circulate amongst the presence of earth, fire, air, space and water. Such intensity is felt by community members, “Just energetically this place has a sort of clarity, this kind of restfulness, peacefulness (John Winter).” Many consultants expressed great concern for the potential exploratory drilling. As some believe, it will drastically disrupt the powerful harmony between the elements and energies, destroying the area’s sacred essence of peacefulness and enlightenment.


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