Creating a Healing Landscape 

By Jen Frey 

The term Landscape comes from the teachings of Rocio Alarcon. Some may refer to these as altars or mesas. For me, a Landscape is slightly different.

The Landscape is the place where you begin to manifest your intentions, your prayers, your dreams. 

In other words, through a Landscape you create the landscape of your intentions, prayers, and dreams. We live in a three dimensional world, we need a three dimensional place for our intentions to begin to manifest. This is what we are creating. 

Therefore the term Landscape seems rather appropriate.

When creating a Healing Landscape, we think of the helpers and the qualities that are required. We work with the elementals and the unseen forces. We think of what can feed our Loved one or our client or for whomever we are making a Landscape.

As we think of this, we begin to gather our materials. Sometimes the items may be quite literal. For example, we want the help of a certain entity and we have a picture or statue for this. As in the Landscape above, which contains Kwan Yin.

Other times, we may include a specific plant or seed to symbolize a quality. For instance, we include Roses because we want to surround someone with Love or Achiote (Annatto) for protection. Often we include materials that simply “feel right”.


The more we work with the Landscape and the items around us, the more sensitive we become to the energies and we begin to create based on these properties.

Generally, symbols of each of the elements are included in the Landscapes (candle for fire, bowl of sacred water, feathers for air, rocks for Earth). Healing tools and Sacred objects are also placed on or around the Landscape, especially if we are doing deep work. 

In this picture, you can see that the Healer included many of her tools.

As students of Rocio, we often have Palo Santo and seeds in our Landscape. The Palo Santo is used to smudge and to offer protection. The seeds are included for several reasons. Probably the most important one is for what they symbolize, the potential. These seeds are chosen because on their cultural or ancestral importance, their color, their size, their sound, their texture, their aroma, their shape, their healing qualities, and their relationship to the creator of the Landscape or the client.

Rocio teaches that it is important to know from where your items come. It is best if you or someone you Love has grown and harvested the seeds you use. The more personal relationship you have with each of the items, the stronger the energetic bond. That being said, sometimes we need an item that we have to buy in a store.

Sometimes you start with one or two items, these are your seeds. The remaining Landscape is built around these. For example, when I was building the Healing Landscape for ONE, I knew that there would be a bowl in the center to hold the prayers, a candle to light, a bowl of sacred water, and Palo Santo. I placed the prayer bowl, then the candle, then the water. After doing this, it became evident that Earth and Air needed to be included. I placed the Rock, but was unsure how I wanted to represent Air. I then chose to include the 2 Popcorn ears. After this, I knew that I wanted to include Achiote (the tiny red seeds), Huayruro (the little red and black seeds), Tobacco, Cornmeal, and Sunflower seeds. I placed Achiote first as a ray sending energy into the bowl and providing protective energy to the prayers. As I placed these, I could tell that something was missing. I added Mugwort, one of my main allies and a great energy mover. I then decided on including feathers, which I added. When I placed the Palo Santo, it was obvious that something else was missing. But who? I sat with this awhile, asking whose energies were needed for this Landscape. The answer came as Grandmother Cedar, which was the last item added. Well, almost last, I then started to write the prayers and place them in the bowl.

Once a Landscape is created, it is important to continue to interact with it, light a candle, pray with it, add items. These are dynamic creations. The length of time that you work with a particular landscape is up to you. Some work with the same Landscape for months. Other Landscapes may be created for a specific day.

Landscapes can also be made outside, either using a cloth or directly on the ground. This is a wonderful way to interact with Nature.

The items are placed on a special cloth or fur. Special in that it has significance for the creator(s) of the Landscape. It is best that this cloth be made of natural materials. The cloth acts as the container, holding the intention. There is no particular placement or order for the items. However, as you do this, you will discover the placement will effect the overall energy of the Landscape. You may discover that a certain pattern is required for your Landscape.

The above Landscape was made to help the creator as she received chemo.

Landscapes can be created for intentions other than healing. This one is to help find a new home.

Or this one to celebrate the Solstice.

I hope that this inspires you to create your own Landscape. If you do, please send us your pictures!

Thank you to all those who contributed the pictures of their beautiful Landscapes.  Thank you to Rocio Alarcon for sharing her wisdom and her Heart.