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In 2014, I had the singular honor to tour several cities in the US singing Claudio Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers of the Blessed Virgin for two weeks with an amazing group of singers and a truly fantastic Baroque orchestra. On the tour, I shared a room with my shamanic friend, Nadia. At each stop we would greet the land, telling the land who we were and why we were here, and thanking it for receiving us so well and for holding us so dearly. We would then begin clearing the energies of our hotel room and opening Sacred Space there. This is always good energy hygiene, and helps calm any previous fields that may have inadvertently been left over by previous occupants.  

Immediately, we began to notice that the energies of each place were incredibly different from each other, certain places were easier to clear than others, and certain places held the clearing longer. At first, I thought I was misperceiving this, until one evening Nadia spoke up. Here are our observations and experiences:

Houston, TX
The energies of the city seemed a bit sluggish and heavy, and the energies of the specific room we were in took a really long time to settle and clear and become less oppressive than they were when we walked in. The room had a strange shape, and we were on a corner of the building, so this could be one of the things that played into our experience here. 

Austin, TX
Austin had a completely different feel from Houston. The energies were more expansive and open somehow. Our hotel was on the river, and our room was on the 7th floor overlooking the water. When we began opening sacred space, I had the distinct impression that the room was tilted and that the floor was slanted toward the river: I was drawn to the window as if by gravity, and felt like I was being drawn into the river. About the time I was feeling this, Nadia said, "is this floor tilting toward the water?" It was the strangest thing. We never did get any response from the river itself when we asked about this.

Berkeley, CA
Berkeley had a lovely energy! Light and happy and sweet. Our hotel room needed almost no clearing at all, and felt wonderful and light the whole time we were there.

Stanford University Campus
While we didn't stay there, we did perform at the incredibly beautiful Bing Auditorium. The energies at Stanford were spare and vast and very quiet in huge contrast to the fun, happenin' energies of Berkeley. If I could name what I felt there, it would be "cerebral". Not surprising. 

As a shamanic person, I had not had that kind of immediate contrast experience of the huge variety of personality of place. Interesting, too, were the energies of the various performing venues that we were performing in. We had 12 different venues for concerts on this particular project, 4 of them in Cleveland and 8 in Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, and California, all of which we covered in a scant 14-day time period once the rehearsals had ended and the concerts began. 

Some of the venues seemed "sleepy", while others seemed very engaged with us and with what we were doing there. We cleared the venues and opened sacredness in those places, too. Since most were churches and dedicated performing spaces, the energies were generally sweet. The venue in Florida was a bit wonky and all over the place, but this makes sense for a space that is used for musical theater, plays, and for sacred and secular musical performances. 

I learned a great deal from these experiences. One, that I am not making up my perceptions! Nadia's were almost always exactly the same as mine. Two, that some places are much harder to clear and maintain than others, and that this seemed to relate to the land on which they resided and to the history of what had happened on that land. Houston stands out in this regard for two reasons: while the hotel and city seemed sluggish and unresponsive, the absolutely amazing cathedral we sang in was vibrant and lively. Berkeley was the most 'alive' place we encountered on our journeys. We both concluded that land likes its participants to be happy! I don't think I saw one sad face in Berkeley. 

I also posit that the cathedral was the one place that we performed which was built as sacred geometry; the template for that shape as sacred space has been around for millennia now, with roots in the greek forum and basilica structure more than two thousand years ago. Spaces made with this shape have been places of worship for millennia, and that Field asserts itself in a building made with that shape. Interestingly, that long shape was used for the Greek public court, too, so there is an overlay of "stay on your toes; anything can happen here" that goes along with it.

About a decade or so ago, I was in Prague with my mom and dad on a trip. Since my dad can't seem to resist going into any church or cathedral, we dutifully went into all that we could find. When I stepped into the Wenceslas Cathedral, the energies hit me right at the door: this was *the* most sacred place I'd ever been in! The energy there was just astonishingly beautiful and strong. I'd never felt anything like it. The only thing I've encountered that has been similar is trekking to the sacred mountains in Peru; their energies are the same beautiful and strongly anchored energy that I experienced in Prague. 

 

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Jeffrey Rich, LMT, is a practitioner and educator in the healing arts living and working in Huntsville, AL. He is a licensed massage therapist, a certified systemic and family constellations facilitator, and shamanic practitioner and instructor.
Being a true Gemini, he has two websites,
www.shining-mountain.com and www.waterwillowmoon.com