Return to Mars

Monument Valley, Navajo Indian Reservation, Utah / Arizona Border

Today we return to wonderful and spiritual Monument Valley located on Navajo land in southern Utah. The first time I visited the valley in 2005, I felt I was transported to a very beautiful but alien place. I remember remarking to my son that we had landed on Mars. After spending time there then and more recently, I realize that the true benefits of the valley beyond the landscape was to be exposed to and learn a little about Navajo culture and traditions. The Navajo name for the valley is Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii meaning "Valley of the Rocks". The structures in this image "Yei Bi Chei" on the left and "Totem Pole" on the right hold deep spiritual meaning for the Navajo. “Yei Bi Chei” means Navajo spiritual gods and is viewed as a formation of dancers emerging from a Hogan. A dance called the Yei Bi Chei dance originated in the valley and is performed for healing purposes in a very sacred nine day ritual called the Night Way Ceremony.