Okay I know this seems like a silly question and some may wonder why this post is under “Travel” since I’m born an raised in Vegas but I haven’t lived here for over 15 years so every time I return I am a visitor and there is always something new to learn about this city which has doubled in size since I graduated high school! Growing up I remember politicians playing out the saying: “2 million by 2000, 2 million by 2000” and us locals dreaded it but now it is here and traffic is bad but our culture game has upped big time which makes me very happy:)
Sooooo…. people come here to lose their minds, get drunk, act wild and crazy and I guess to be that person they cannot be at home. (In college I had friends from Cali who would come for a three night maximum because they said they would die otherwise - and it was not just a nod to the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, they were for real, we partied hard). Others come for the plethora of restaurants, health spas and shows while a lesser few come to enjoy the strip’s surrounding nature, beautiful desert valley vistas and native american energy. Yoga is huge here and in recent years there tends to be more conventions around wellness and healing coming to the city as well.
Sekhmet Temple - The Temple of Goddess Spirituality - less than an hour drive from the city in the Mojave desert valley this temple is dedicated to Sekhmet, the goddess of power and change. She is called the Mother of fury and goddess of fertility, she will not allow the destruction of Mother Earth. She holds fire ceremonies and moon vigils; I will be visiting her tomorrow for the New Moon celebration and will post about her powers later!
Death Valley, California - only a 2 hour drive away just over the Nevada state line, I have not been since I was a kid but after reading Paulo Coelho’s the Valkyries, I defo need to go back. There is a history and definite markings of old shamanic rituals and magic taking place here (though very hidden and hard to get to) and people commonly come here to go on vision quests. Humans haven’t lived there for 9,000 years and it gets its name because apparently a bunch of 49er dudes died there during the gold rush.
Red Rock Canyon - I tell everyone to go here when they ask me what to do in Vegas, it is only a 25 minute drive from the strip, rent a convertible, it's so close and so worth it;) Here you get to see some of the most majestic rock formations and colours you can imagine. If you go at sunrise when the ground is still chilly from the night before and there is hardly anyone around you can feel the calming energy of the mountains and the humans who have inhabited the area thousands of years before us moving around you.
Valley of Fire - Another unreal spot for nature but a bit further away from the strip, more like a 50 minute drive, you can climb a ladder to see preserved Native American petroglyphs (rock art) and I am not sure which tribe they are from but the most well known tribes to the area were the Pawnee and the Arikara. I go here less often because it is that bit further away from home and Red Rock has my heart.
Other near-ish sacred sites are Sedona, Arizona, about a 4.5 hour drive and Joshua Tree, California about a 3 hour drive in the opposite direction. I will be visiting each of these world famous energetic vortexes soon and will post about them separately but the point is they are so close to Vegas you’d be crazy to not visit them if you make it this far and are in any way on your spiritual path.
In addition to the breathtaking nature Vegas has always been filled with amazing rock shops and psychics and fortune tellers - some well respected and a fair few others I’d say just trying to make a buck - but the most pleasantly surprising addition to spiritual Vegas is Buddhism and the many temples and meditation groups that have popped up all over the Valley.
There are nearly 20 buddhist temples of varying lineages (Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Indian and hybrids) and meditation groups which take place all over the valley in libraries, community centres and private homes - yes, people open up their homes here to strangers to join each other in meditation!! Despite the burst of energy those exclamation points suggest, I just had a couple tears well up in my eyes with how touched I am by this.
Finally, yoga has grown here considerably with nearly 50 studios around the valley, some more spiritual than others (honestly I haven’t been to all of them but it seems few have a strong spiritual component) and there are a few yoga conventions throughout the year including OmFest and Vegasgoneyoga! which I attended this past weekend with some amazing teachers including, Laura Skyora and some unbelievable sound healers - if you know me, you know the sound healing was my fav part.
Anyway, Vegas is not only to get drunk, eat drugs and go crazy...you can stay sober and go the spiritual kind of crazy too...my new kind of crazy:)
disclaimer: this is by no means an exhaustive list of spiritual experiences Vega has to offer.