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Sacred Ground Feeds the Mind, Body and Spirit

Jun 03, 2024 ● By Sheila Julson
Deneene Florino viewing some of the stones and crystals at Sacred Ground.

Deneene Florino viewing some of the stones and crystals at Sacred Ground. Photo courtesy of Sacred Ground.

It was written in the stars that Deneene Florino would open Sacred Ground, a spiritual holistic center and retail store in Arlington Heights. Since childhood, Florino was drawn to the healing energy of rocks, collecting them on her travels. Raised by parents that embraced meditation and holistic living, they introduced her to the teachings of Edgar Cayce, instilling in her a passion for holistic healing and a desire to make the world a better place.

This nurturing environment led Florino to pursue hospice work as a grief and spiritual counselor for 10 years, bringing this spirit of compassion and care to her community within Sacred Ground. Florino empathizes with the profound grief experienced by many that visit Sacred Ground, acknowledging the weight they carry. At Sacred Ground, Florino’s caring approach aims to provide solace and healing to those in need, embodying the spirit of compassion and transformation.

Sacred Ground features a curated selection of stones, crystals and out-of-the-ordinary gifts, ranging from smaller pocket-size pieces to larger ones suitable for home display. Florino is dedicated to providing A+ minerals and crystals, from thumbnails to large specimens.

Deneene Florino. Photo courtesy of Sacred Ground.

“I carefully choose everything in the store and take a lot of pride in curating what to offer at Sacred Ground,” she says. “A lot of thought and care goes into how things are positioned and presented.”

Most stones and crystals at Sacred Ground are accompanied by informative cards detailing their origins, qualities, potential uses and scientific properties. Florino says their goal is to empower visitors with knowledge to make informed choices and deepen their connection with these natural treasures.

Sacred Ground offers fair-trade and locally made jewelry, including bracelets and pendants crafted in house. Community members also contribute books, artwork and more for sale at the store. They carry organic handmade body care products, oils and sprays crafted by local artisans and a selection of wellness remedies from the Edgar Cayce line.

Practitioners Offer Classes and Workshops

During her tenure as volunteer president of the Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. (Heartland Region), Florino developed partnerships with numerous practitioners, setting high standards for Sacred Ground’s selection process. She emphasizes personal experience with each practitioner’s modality.

Sacred Ground’s practitioners offer a wide range of transformative classes and sessions in reflexology, yoga, meditation, reiki, chakra balancing, shamanic healing, angel readings, Emotional Freedom Technique circles, sound healing and many more. They offer 35 to 40 events each month, providing the community with a variety of modalities and classes to choose from.

Cheryl Arends. Photo courtesy of Sacred Ground.

Cheryl Arends is a yoga teacher and reflexology practitioner who also works at Sacred Ground. In addition to running the store with Florino and booking practitioners, she offers a unique form of bodywork that combines yoga techniques and beneficial breathing with reflexology.

“Reflexology is a good opportunity to teach the nervous system how to relax. Healing happens in stillness,” Arends shares.

Arends has been with Sacred Ground since day one. She’s inspired by how the center has grown, along with the camaraderie among the practitioners and the Arlington Heights community. “It’s been delightful to bring in different practitioners to help people that are beginning or continuing their healing paths.”

Kate Kent. Photo courtesy of Sacred Ground.

Kate Kent offers chakra and energy balancing and aromatherapy at Sacred Ground. In addition, her line of Nurturing Spirit body care products is available at the store. “When I think of wellness, I think of nature—there is no division, they are one. All that I offer stems from the natural energetic world we live in,” she says.

Like Arends, Kent is inspired by how Sacred Ground has grown into a nurturing community. “It’s a place where everyone is welcome and embraced. We share, we learn and we support each other. Having that sense of community brings back that missing element of coming together to move forward as a whole. It is like a second home. I am so grateful to be a part of it.”

Sacred Ground’s new summer hours allow for practitioners to offer weeknight services. Sacred Ground hosts free meditation nights each Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m., with rotating practitioners teaching different styles. Sacred Ground also hosts free community drum circles every third Sunday of the month from 3 to 5 p.m. Some practitioners offer pro bono or reduced fee services to keep holistic modalities accessible.

“The body is fed in many different ways, through the mind, body and spirit,” Florino says. “I also learn from my customers, so it’s a growing experience for everyone.”

Sacred Ground is located at 19 E. Miner St., in Arlington Heights. For more information, call 847-749-3922 or visit

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings.