The Spirit of the Southwest

“Welcome the energy of the South, the direction of the Warrior. Welcome the energy of service, of action in the world in service to the realm. The color of the South is red, the color of blood and of passion, the color of the heat of the noon-day sun. The fear of the South is the fear of losing control. The desire of the South is the desire for power, and the emotions are pride and anger. Welcome the energy of the West, the direction of the Magician. Welcome the energy of introspection, going within to find the gifts of healing. The color of the West is black, like the darkness of our shadows. The desire of the West is the desire for order and virtue. The fear of the West is the fear of abandonment, and the emotions are happiness and shame.” – Taken from Call in the Directions, The Mankind Project.

My close friend Paul called me back in November to say he was planning a road trip to Phoenix. Once down there, he planned to do some adventure motorcycling in the mountains and the desert, along with some hiking. Free accommodation in Phoenix would keep the trip affordable. Paul invited me to join him.

The Southwest has always held an allure. It’s the diversity of the larger-than-life landscapes. Then there’s the moderate climate – always welcome in December. Yet I’m left wondering if it’s the spiritual energy that seems to emanate from there that has me going back so often. With next to no hesitation, I was in on joining Paul on his trip.


  1. Be more conscious and intentional in composing landscape photos without getting hung up on perfection.
  2. Spend a day at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge to photograph birds.
  3. Connect with the energy of the South and the energy of the West.