It's been a long, hectic day at the clinic. A patient died of emphysema, the computers were down, the phones rang off the hook, the doctors were behind schedule, and we worked through half our lunch break. It happens.
The clock strikes 5:30...I'm outta' here! Trouble is, everyone on the road wants to get home as much as I do. Finally, I pull into the driveway. Sometimes I think this is all I live for.
I open the door and immediately feel like a baby in its mother's arms. At the foot of the stairs is a fountain. There's a row of colorful nylon feathers hanging above my head. I married an artist; the walls are decorated like an art gallery.
I ascend the stairs, where Michael greets me with a kiss, and my daughter, Lisa, squeezes me hello. Ah, yes, I'm home.
Michael and I step out on the balcony. It has the richness of flowers everywhere, and the walking stick tree is beginning to bloom nicely. The birds play at the feeder. Another fountain softly gurgles nearby. A large statue of Buddha sits quietly amidst the flowers, obviously loving the garden as much as we do. My home, my sacred space. This is my heaven on earth.
The New Times recently interviewed Denise Linn, author of Sacred Space, published by Bal-lantine Books in 1995. Her life is enriched with knowledge passed on to her from various tribes and teachers from all over the world, including from her own heritage with the Cherokee nation. Sacred Space covers nearly every aspect that its title might imply: from clearing a room to correcting and changing energy patterns, and creating an atmosphere that brings peace, harmony, joy, and even fun.
Candy: You've been working for a long time with clearing energy fields and creating sacred spaces. What prompted you to write about it?
Denise: Basically, it came out of the seminars I teach. Quite some time ago, I began to see trends within the rooms we used year after year. People who were meditating were very susceptible to energy within a particular space. I noticed certain areas within a room where, during meditations, people would feel emotions and have emotional issues come up. There were areas in the same room where people just laughed. And other areas where people fell asleep. There were people who liked to sit in front, in back, or wherever they were drawn to. I began moving people around from one area to another, and found that the experience they had was consistent with that part of the room. It made me realize that the spaces that we occupy dictate consciousness!
In my years as a healer, when I dealt with people in individual sessions, I cleared the room first until it felt pristine and sparkling with energy. A person would walk in and start to feel better just being there, and I had to work less in the session! I noticed that when I worked in someone else's space, I had to work a lot harder to get the same results. When the energy was uplifting there was really very little I had to do.
As for the book, I feel that there's a real need for it right now. One reason is because, as a planet, we are accelerating so much faster than our immune systems and psyches are genetically engineered to cope with. That's creating a lot of physical and emotional difficulties. I feel that we need sanctuaries. We need places to go where we feel strengthened and nourished in this accelerated time.
Another reason is because so many people are using the home base for work. A great number of people are using computers and working out of their homes, which means they're living and working out of the same space. To maintain a sense of health and spiritual integrity, we need spaces that really support us.
Candy: How do you manage to accomplish just the right healing energy in a seminar room beforehand?
Denise: If you create a safe space, people in that space begin to heal. With the help of my seminar assistants, we create a safe space. We do it by moving the chairs around, adding things, putting plants in the room, and cleansing the room.
Candy: You can't always do those things, can you?
Denise: No, not always. There are situations where you have to deal with things like fluorescent lighting. Sometimes the presentations are in book stores, where huge shelving cuts off the energy. Sometimes we have to work at balancing the energy of the room for a day or more in advance just to get it right.
I recently did a seminar in Norway in the most perfect location. Fortunately, I was able to get in there the day before to work with the energy. The seminar was fantastic! I didn't bring in a translator, and most of the people didn't speak English. They could barely understand me, yet, the most amazing healings took place! The energy in the room worked fabulously in conjunction with the meditation. The group was easily able to tap into their own energy.
Candy: Would you mind sharing about the theory that everything has a consciousness?
Denise: This is not a new theory. In many cultures around the world, it's common knowledge that everything has a consciousness. I'm Cherokee on my mother's side. It's said that when the Cherokees were forced off their native land in South Carolina and Georgia, they were hugging trees and crying when they had to leave. They were saying goodbye to their brothers and sisters, the trees.I can relate to this. When I was seventeen, I was shot and had a near-death experience. While recuperating in the hospital, I asked if I could go outside. It wasn't an exemplary hospital lawn, yet I could see a light around each blade of grass, and there was a beautiful sound emanating from the grass. Each blade had its own light and its own song! It was a symphony with all the other sounds: the earth, the clouds, and the sky. It had a consciousness.
I can remember watching the leaf of a sapling tree moving in the wind. It made this pure crystal sound. I could see energy and light moving through the tree as the nutrients moved through it from the soil, and as the energy from the sun moved down through it. That tree had a consciousness. It had a consciousness that I could relate to as I loosened up my grip with my own identity. The more I identified with my body, my life, and my past, the less I was able to commune with the consciousness around me. But the more I loosened my identity, the more I could hear the whispers of the wind, the songs of the trees.
We all have the ability to do this because it's genetically encoded in us. When our ancestors lived on the earth, they had those abilities because their survival depended on it.
How do you define consciousness? To me, the world is a much more rich, mystical, and magical universe when you acknowledge the living spirit in all things, and that everything has a life force.
Candy: Do you get the feeling some of the energy balancing techniques, like feng shui, can be complicated at times?
Denise: I don't think it has to be complicated. I think working with the energy in your home or energy in your life should be kept simple.
My dear teacher, Dancing Feather, was a Pueblo Indian. I was with him when he was dying in a hospital in Santa Fe. I knew that a lot of his knowledge was dying with him.I was the person he had chosen to transfer that knowledge to, and here I thought I'd blown it because I knew so little. Then I asked him, "What is the most important thing I need to know?" And he said, "Keep it simple." I was waiting for a hidden message, but that was it: keep it simple!
I think the feng shui techniques get very complicated at times, and it's not necessary. If you have a basic understanding and tune in to your own intuition and trust it, you'll know, and you'll create something perfect! Wha'Æs important is when you realize that you live in this ocean of energy that's flowing and swirling around you. Like feng shui, it acknowledges the mystery and magic of life.
Candy: Can you give us an example of transformation when someone cleansed and made some changes in their dwelling?
Denise: I like working with businesses the most because the results are more measurable. One woman called me to assist her. She was living her life's dream of owning a New Age bookstore. Unfortunately, the store was going bankrupt and she was very upset about it. I helped her make some changes in the store. For one thing, her wealth corner was where she kept her trash! She cleaned up that area, then worked with the energy in the rest of the store by moving things around. She was amazed. By the end of the day, her income had nearly doubled! Not only that, it sustained at that monetary level from then on. She was able to keep her store without going bankrupt.
Another example I run into now and then are couples who can't get pregnant. I help them work on the relationship area of the home, and they are able to conceive afterwards.I got a letter from one woman who said she bought a house with no career area, but it had a terrific wealth area. She couldn't get a good job, but money kept coming to her in the mail and from other sources. She had all the money she needed. She just didn't have a career! (Denise has got Candy thinking at this point)
Candy: I was curious, couldn't the overuse of certain colors or elements, such as water, actually cause one to feel off balance?
Denise: If, for example, someone is very aligned with the water element, they are going to feel stronger if they are surrounded by it. If they have a home with waterfalls and fountains it could be strengthening for them. It allows them to connect to that element that really nourishes them. For someone who has a fire element, too much water may make them feel dampened. It's a very individual choice. The bottom line is what feels good. Keep it simple.
Candy: What kinds of colors, elements, and sacred symbols do you use in your own home?
Denise: When you walk up the front steps, there are two large Egyptian cats on each side. They are very majestic and give a feeling of serenity and peace. I think the entrance is very important because it's the interception of time and space, of inner and outer realities of inner and outer life.In the entry way, we have a fountain with a frog that squirts out water. The moving water gives the yard a sense of freshness. When the front door opens, the entry is painted an auspicious red. It gives the area warmth. We've also put in a skylight, which contributes to making it feel warm and expansive.
Seattle has a high rate of people with seasonal-affective disorders. I feel stagnant when Seattle is gray. I've found a balance between all the mist and rain by using desert colors. We have candles everywhere, and with the help of skylights and mirrors, there is a sense of warmth and light.
We have a lot of angels around; angel statues and angel candle holders. I believe that the more we think about angels, the more alive they are. It's an affirmation to the subconscious mind that they are around. We also have a few hanging chimes, rainsticks, stones, and African masks. We have great big lizards that face the entrance. To me, they are protectors. It's a way of saying, whoever enters through this door enters in peace.
Candy: What do you do with your drums and most sacred objects?
Denise: I actually turned a walk-in closet into a meditation room. It has a small window in it, and my husband put in a skylight for me. I painted one wall a deep dark blue and put stars on it.
Candy: Did you? (laughs) That's great!
Denise: I did! It's nice to have a room where you can feel safe. Everything in that room feels special, and when I go there I can really connect to the spirit world. Everyone needs sacred space.
Candy: So, what's next on your agenda? Any new projects?
Denise: My daughter and I are writing a book about vision quests. The book is called Quest and will be out soon. I am writing another about synchronicity. It's titled, Secret Language of Signs.
Denise Linn has authored a number of books, available at your local bookstore. She also offers training programs in interior realignment and conducts seminars worldwide about various other subjects. Denise can be reached at P.O. Box 75657, Seattle, WA 98125.