Kim Morey Feeney has a new vision for the historic overseer’s cottage at Lambert Corner. The white clapboard colonial, circa 1790, has been reincarnated as Lantern House, a “center for holistic healing and spiritual learning” that also offers an “eclectic collection of spiritual gifts,” according to Ms. Feeney, the founder and owner.
But the history of the house aligns with its current purpose, according to Ms. Feeney. “In the Christian Scriptures, ‘overseer’ is used interchangeably with the terms shepherd, presbyter, bishop, and pastor,” said Ms. Feeney, who is a graduate of the Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University with a master’s degree in systematic theology. “This is a place of spiritual learning, teaching and healing. In early Christian history, that’s exactly what overseers provided.”
Underscoring this theme of continuity is the name “Lantern House,” which evokes “bearing light” for the purpose of seeing, she said.
Ms. Feeney opened Lantern House, or the Center for Seraphic (”angelic” or blissful”) Living, in the fall of 2011 because she felt it was important to create a space “that would give validity to spiritual paths in general. I saw a need for a spiritual center and gift shop that did its work responsibly and ethically,” she said. “I also saw a need to apply an academic pedagogical model of some sort to this kind of spiritual learning. I had studied advanced theology and religion, and I had studied and experienced a lot in terms of spirituality, energy healing, psychic ability, and more. So I brought them together. The response has been incredibly wonderful.”
Lantern House offers readings, holistic healing, yoga, massage, consultations, and classes such as astrology and crystal workshops and a series on “The Language of Dreams.”
Ms. Feeney, a Norwalk resident, who also taught high school theology in the Bronx, is facilitating the dream workshop, which is ongoing now, until Tuesday, Feb. 19.
“I am also facilitating a private women’s group that was created to examine elements of the divine feminine in our time and culture,” she said. “And I am currently working on the development of a few other classes, including a series of classes on human relations — how we as individuals establish relationships with the self, work, money and possessions, our potential for creating and learning, sexuality as a whole, and romantic relationships.”
Other teachers at Lantern House “have included Tony Russo, a retired corporate attorney who is a Reiki practitioner and teaches energy classes there, and Gigi Benanti who owns the Angelic Healing Center in Norwalk.”
The events, workshops, meditations, and classes at Lantern House have attracted a wide audience, according to Ms. Feeney, with participants coming from as far away as the Bronx and Yonkers. “The primary customer and client base spans Fairfield County, with visitors coming from Greenwich, Westport, Darien, Stamford, Fairfield, and, of course, Wilton.”
But, she added, “it seems that Wilton residents are still just discovering Lantern House and everything it has to offer. Every day I’m meeting local residents who often tell me a similar story — that they’ve passed by dozens of times, and finally just decided to stop in one day to see what exactly Lantern House is.”
Ms. Feeney said she has “been psychic my whole life. When someone finds out what I do for a living, they pause. And then they eagerly start asking questions. By the end of a conversation, they take the notion of ‘psychic’ a little more seriously, because the stereotype is lessened by our discussion.”
Contrary to the stereotype, Ms. Feeney said, she does not wear “long colorful skirts, a headscarf and gaze into a crystal ball. … In creating and opening Lantern House, I wanted to bring a different approach to the metaphysical. I wear jeans. I drive a Honda. My husband is a volunteer firefighter. I’m like anyone else, I look like anyone else, I talk like anyone else.”
Lantern House also has “a wall of memories,” or “a place to honor those who had passed on from this life,” said Ms. Feeney. “People who are part of the little community here have brought pictures, or prayer cards, to be placed there. Some write their loved one’s name in the intention book. I light a candle and say a prayer every day for those names, the people in those pictures, and for their families.”
The idea for this came when Ms. Feeney was preparing to open Lantern House in the autumn of 2011. “At this time, my personal health suddenly declined, several family members passed away within days of each other, my niece was born three months premature and was very ill. … In our grieving with our friends and family for their losses and ours, it became clear that we wanted and needed a space to honor our loved ones, the special place they hold in our hearts, to acknowledge the part of them that remains a part of us every day,” she said.
Lantern House also offers a gift shop of “unique, beautiful, eclectic items that you really can’t find anywhere in Connecticut,” said Ms. Feeney. “Many pieces I collect are truly one-of-a-kind. Much like every human being, each piece here has a story. I love watching certain gifts go home with someone, because I know that item will bring happiness to that person every time they look at it or use it. One of the readers at Lantern House pointed out to me some time ago that I am ‘a collector of beauty.’ And I love offering that beauty to others to bring into their home.”
Many items are imported from Tibet, India, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Morocco, Italy, Turkey, Greece, “and a few other places,” she said. “Sometimes I import them directly; other times I will ask people I work with to bring back certain pieces from their trips overseas. Many things I find and bring in from my own travels.”
“For instance, half my crystal collection came from a Brazilian miner whose family has owned a large number of the crystal mines in Brazil for generations. He makes two trips to the U.S. every year,” Ms. Feeney said. “I love being able to purchase beautiful items directly from the hands of the person who cut them out of a cave in South America. The quality is outstanding.”
Some of the jewelry and artwork is designed and created by local artists from New Canaan, Shelton, and Long Island, according to Ms. Feeney.
“I also design and create some of the spiritual jewelry, candles and ‘artsy’ pieces myself,” she said. “I’m currently designing a series of spiritual and religious candles as well as working on releasing a line of therapeutic sprays, oils and baths.”
Upcoming classes at Lantern House:
• Energy healing classes start in February on Thursday nights.
• Monthly Meditation with Channeled Messages, first Monday of every month.
• Workshop series in examining human relationships.
• Spring equinox celebration in March.
• Guest readers every weekend.
• Other services available by appointment throughout the week (including Thai massage, Reiki, tarot readings).