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Awareness Magazine
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The Sanctuary... Your Hero’s Journey Awaits

By Corinne L. Casazza


Imagine yourself on a moonlit night gathered with a group of people around a fire, a backdrop of mystical red rocks behind you. The group chants and drums around the fire while a Shaman leads you through a ritual designed to free you from that which no longer serves you. This may not sound like traditional therapy, but it’s one of the many offerings at the Sanctuary in Sedona.

In this transitional time on the planet, people are going through challenges they never expected. The basic necessities of life that we took for granted are no longer a certainty. Because of this instability, people really need to come into their own being, their own connection, their source. The Sanctuary at Sedona helps people wake up from their dark night of the soul — whether that’s an addiction, feeling empty or alienated, having depression, anxiety, or any other ailment.

Dean Taraborelli, Founder of the Sanctuary at Sedona says, “We’re all on an amazing hero’s journey right now whether we’re conscious of it or not. Everybody is being pushed to their limit and that’s the dark night of the soul. We’re pushed to within inches of our lives and those of us in the shamanic realms go on journeys and are confronted with ourselves. In moving through that hero’s journey, we come out the other side empowered.”

The Sanctuary was born from Taraborelli’s own journey. “I finally shifted by working with the mind, body, soul, and spirit. The energetic realm. I made my own shift by doing the stuff we do at the Sanctuary. Kelley Alexander, Director, and I had both gone through it and developed our program by living it.”

Alexander had reached a crisis point in her life. She didn’t have a presenting issue like substance abuse, she just felt devastated. “My heart was aching, and I thought there had to be more. The minute you reach the bottom and ask for help, everything changes. The right people came along and I found myself in Peru going through this process, and everything changed. I literally left everything to come up here (to Sedona) to share the experiences I had.”

Taraborelli says his training for the Sanctuary came from, “all the dark places I found myself in. I had a parallel life where I’d traveled around the world a few times. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I found myself in all those sacred sites. I was getting some kind of a download, but my literal life was continuing to go in a downward spiral, so I’ve probably been in more therapy than most therapists, just by virtue of my path in search of wellness.”

Once he began attending conferences and workshops, Taraborelli found he resonated with earth-based shamanism. He realized, “We’re not limited to just this physical range of perception. We can open ourselves up to more. (The Sanctuary came) from dedicating the last eight years of my life to this soul vision.”

The Sanctuary has a team of about 12 people, an onsite garden and two chefs. Their offerings include bodywork and physical fitness like yoga. For the mind, they employ a psychologist and psychiatrist, both of whom also do energy work. The psychiatrist is an acupuncturist as well. “We have a nice bridge from the traditional allopathic to the more holistic healing modalities,” says Alexander.

“We get people back to the sacred. The inner voice or the heart, this part of ourselves that wants to come forth,” adds Taraborelli. “The language of the soul is completely different from the language of our literal mind so we work a lot in the realm of the soul, in the deep subconscious mind, to help bring that forward bringing balance, and our soul back to its path of destiny.”

This work is done through the use of ritual. “We do a lot of ritual, a lot of ceremony. A lot with fire and mandalas. We also use art, music and poetry, allowing people to tap into their own soul song,” says Alexander.

Taraborelli elaborates, “No two people are the same. Your energetic signature, your soul song is different than everybody else’s. That means there’s something you can say better than anybody else. When we’re in resonance with our soul song, we can open up amazing opportunity, amazing possibility.”

Clients usually stay at the Sanctuary for a month, however shorter rites of passage are available. “When people come to us, they’re in their old stories, in shadow, those parts of ourselves that we haven’t been comfortable allowing into the light. These are unconsciously propelling us ahead and it takes a little bit to clear that out and release it. In the second half of their stay with us, they’ve made space to tap into their soul song, the wholeness and connection that’s possible. It takes time.

You don’t have a lot of pressures. You’re held very sweetly at the Sanctuary. It’s a very safe place. The land itself is a sacred spot. I’d say that everyone feels it’s a safe, sacred, beautiful womb in which to have this rebirthing, reawakening process happen,” says Alexander.

“This work is not about stopping whatever is causing your discomfort. It’s about getting to know what your soul wants to express. We help people feel better and open up to more, then we work on what they want to create with that platform,” Taraborelli adds.

In these challenging times, the work done at the Sanctuary allows people to connect to their own source of power, their sacred Self. The Hero’s Journey brings us to who we truly are and allows us to thrive whatever the external environment.

For more information visit: TheSanctuaryAtSedona.com. Dean Taraborelli will be speaking at the Heart Wisdom conference in Sedona March 2-4, 2012. To learn about this conference and The Sanctuary’s Yucatan Equinox trip in March 2012, please visit www.StellarProductions.com