Perhaps you’ve heard talk of Marquette or the U.P. in general being referred to as “The Sedona of the Midwest.” Over the last four or so decades, Sedona, Arizona has become widely known for the healing power of energy vortexes found in nature there, drawing healers, those seeking healing, and those simply curious about it to the area. Is it just idle talk that something similar is happening here in our northern climes, or is there something more to this idea? We spoke with some U.P. residents and asked them to weigh in on the topic.
Dar Shepherd: I’ve heard that before. Sedona is Sedona, and Marquette is Marquette. Both are so strong in the beauty of the natural elements. When I was living in Sedona, I’d go in the grocery store, and come outside, and take a breath, just because of being in this bowl of the red rocks. It’s gorgeous. It’s stunning. Here, I can see the lake right out my window, and then, of course, there’s walking Presque Isle. For me, they’re equal in the energy of the beauty.
The energy is palpable in both places. The feeling I get in Sedona—it’s wonderful, big energy, and the same is true of my experience here in Marquette. The people who are drawn to that are artists, writers, and people who are drawn to nature. And it might be easier to feel that inner being in places like these.
I spent two-and-a-half years in Sedona, and the majority of the last 40 years here in the U.P. and there are definitely more yoga classes, more healers, more natural medicines, more galleries, more focus on the arts and authors now than before….” As for the vortexes, “The vortex is within you.
Mary Alice Silverthorn: I moved here about two-and-a-half years ago from Eugene, Oregon. I really didn’t know what to expect, coming from the West Coast. When I came and started investigating all the holistic offerings and spiritual offerings in the community, I was beyond surprised! This is a community that has people doing cacao ceremonies, which I had never even heard of before, 5 or 6 acupuncturists, 3 or 4 cranio-sacral therapists, channeling… Per capita, this place has more in terms of holistic, complementary care, and alternative, metaphysical groups. So, I was and am still in awe of what we have here relative to the size of the area. I would compare it to Sedona because of that holistic metaphysical interest in the area.
Some of the deciding factors for my move were this very nice, huge co-op, and picking up Health & Happiness there and seeing all that’s offered here. It’s amazing. It’s a very healing environment. Looking at Health & Happiness’s directory, seeing just the sheer amount of people doing holistic, sacred work—this might be the place with the greatest number of healers per capita. I don’t say it lightly, having lived in over a dozen different places, and traveling as well. You don’t necessarily expect holistic offerings all the time in a smaller city. We have so much here. I didn’t want to go somewhere where I didn’t have access to holistic healing, integrative healing. Even the doctors here—there are Doctors of Osteopathy working with herbs. That’s not common for a place of this size.
The other piece is the land itself.
Coming from the West Coast, where I’d see the ocean about a couple of times a month, there’s something about Lake Superior, especially the southern shore, that I think is very sacred. I think the exposed rock, the Black Rocks, perhaps the oldest exposed rocks in the world? There is something very special and grounding about them. And going and seeing them, but also just being on the shores of Lake Superior. In this area, unlike where I lived in northern Minnesota, you can go, you can swim. There are sand beaches. It’s not only beautiful and wild, it’s also accessible. It’s welcoming. Of course, you have to be respectful of Lake Superior, just as in Sedona you have to be respectful of the mountains. This wild, sacred, grounding energy—every time I leave and come back, I just give this sigh of relief. And Lake Superior is here, and Mother Earth is exposed.
I’ve not been to Sedona yet, but I’ve lived all around—Lower Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, California, Minnesota, and in various locations throughout those states, as well as Moscow, Russia. The people here are the most welcoming and heart-centered that I’ve ever experienced. There’s definitely major heart energy in this area.
I’m in awe of it, and I could see it being the Sedona of the Upper Midwest with the benefits of it not being commercialized, as I hear Sedona is. It’s still very pristine and sacred.
When I visit cities, I always check out the co-op, libraries, thrift stores, holistic businesses, and rock shops. I think we could even compete with some of the bigger, more well-known cities. In Eugene, I couldn’t find a reflexologist. We’ve got three or four here. We should be known not only for our nature, our trails, but also for the healing arts.
I would also say eventually, and maybe sooner than later, this will be a hub for healing where people can come from afar for a week or two for deep spiritual healing from the nature that we have.”
Cindy Engle: I think it’s the draw of the Lake, and being nestled in the kona dolomite (a pinkish local rock), and the rock cuts, and the Black Rocks—it’s all part of why it’s pinpointed here, I believe. I definitely enjoy talking with NMU students who come up here, and get attached to the lake, and can’t leave. I was thirteen when we moved up here. I got out the car, walked into the little cabin we were renting, and said, “I’m home.” I knew immediately that this was my place in the world.
I think we definitely have a huge conglomeration of talent drawn to this area, drawn to the lake…
Jake Hulce: I haven’t been to Sedona, but if you’re looking for a place with a lot of different energies to it, the U.P. is an amazing place. It’s extremely unique. We have a good diversity of minerals that’s kind of unique to the entire world. The copper in the Copper Country is specific to it—there is no other copper in the world that has the same chemical make-up. That’s why you find places like the Keweenaw vortex and stuff like that up there.
The U.P. has a lot of magic spots in the forests…. It’s a very interesting place energetically. You also have the Great Lakes. The entire Lake Superior shoreline is amazing.
The Keweenaw is one of my favorite places. With work, I was able to get to every corner of the Keweenaw. The copper gives the Keweenaw a very unique energy signature. Copper is a conductor—it holds energy, draws energy, transfers energy, moves energy. If you travel up the west side of the Keweenaw on M-26, you’ll hit a few little towns—Eagle River, Eagle Harbor. If you spend some time on that road, go to the roadside parks there, and face out over Lake Superior to the west, you have all the copper in the ground behind you, the energy of the lake in front of you. That whole west side of the Keweenaw is an incredible place.
Then there’s Kitch-iti-kipi near Manistique with underground natural springs that have formed a small lake of pure clean, clear water coming up at 500 gallons/minute. That place holds a lot of significance to it energetically.
Groundwater is purified by Mother Earth. It’s a natural life spring, life well.
Even in the Bible, the living waters are mentioned. Jesus talks about their being energetically clean because they’ve been purified by the earth. A lot of them have been untouched by man.
Menominee County has a huge vein of gold in the ground. Gogebic County has uranium, which only a few places in the world do.
There’s dense forest up here. Many animal spirits reside in these woods, in state forest and county forest land. Communing with nature out there is absolutely amazing. We have thousands and thousands of acres that nobody touches. The footprint of man in some of these places is actually extremely small. If you want to get out, commune with nature, the U.P. is the place to do it.
From a metaphysics standpoint, lots of these county and state parks are the most energetic.
They hold the most spirit to them. That’s why even those who aren’t consciously spiritually in tune are still drawn to them because their spirit knows this.
As for crystal mineralization, the Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech is open to the public five days a week. It’s all minerals from the U.P.—there’s dozens and dozens and dozens of examples of quartz and fluorite. The U.P. has an immense amount of clear quartz, and white quartz, and some low-grade amethyst.
Then there’s Lake of the Clouds toward Ontonagon. You can go up on some of the big hills we call mountains, and there’s incredible views. The Copper Country has Brockway Mountain. You can see for miles, and miles, and miles. On a clear night in the summer, the stargazing is phenomenal. You can see the whole heavens. Anyone who wants to commune with nature, commune with stars, that’s the place to be. And it’s already a park.
The rivers talk in the U.P. The water spirits up here are amazing. There are so many waterfalls and streams that are so energetically charged.
Roslyn McGrath: Having been fortunate enough to visit Sedona, Arizona, as well as Machu Picchu in Peru, and some other incredible spots in Southern France, I have to say the U.P. definitely has its own magic, with places where the movement of subtle energies is every bit as vital and wonderful in its own way. You know an energy vortex is simply a swirling movement of energy. Our bodies have them (chakras or energy centers) and earth has them, with some definitely more palpable than others. There are places like Craig Lake State Park, spots along the trail at Wetmore Landing, areas in the Keweenaw and Ottawa National Forest, and I’m sure others I haven’t visited yet, that are truly special. And if you make the effort to approach them mindfully, you might just be amazed.
I think this, and the energy of Lake Superior is an important part of it, is a big factor in why so many healers and creatives have been drawn up here, or have lived here all their lives and become sparked to express themselves this way. The amount of artists and healers here has grown substantially since I moved here in 1994. Holistic wellness fairs, such as Marquette’s 21-year-old Spring Annual Holistic Health Fair, the People’s Fair, now held north of Calumet, and newer ones, such as the Keweenaw Summer Celebration in Calumet, Escanaba’s Mind-Body-Spirit Wellness Event, Marquette’s Spirit of the Solstice, and others held at Algomah Acres in Greenland, are blossoming. Holistic complexes are beginning to sprout up, such as Be Well Marquette. And I expect this trend will only continue as part of this nationwide pattern.
Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.