Mystical Ojai and its crystal shops

Ojai is renowned for its special energy and spiritual undertones. Many stories have been told about the healing energy that Ojai and its famous vortex exude.

But this is not yet another story about Ojai. Instead, we focus on three local women — Aleta Parrish, owner of Sorenity Rocks, Kara Bauer, owner of The Crystal Corner, and Meg Goodwin, owner of Nutmeg’s Ojai House — and their crystal shops. It is interesting that Ojai is known for its feminine energy, and that all of these shops are owned by women. All of them believe, as many ancient peoples did, that crystals are a sacred and powerful tool for healing from deep within Mother Earth.

There is documented use of crystals as far back as Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, in Ayurvedic traditions in India as well as Ancient Greece and Rome. Crystals are known conductors of frequencies that absorb and emanate energy to help us to heal, to tap in and feel soothed, grounded, and guided. Different crystals hold different energy, and all three proprietors have noticed that people seem to be organically drawn to the crystals that hold benefits for them, without even knowing it. That’s the magnetic power of crystals, their innate intelligence and connection to us — and why they have been used for healing for thousands of years.

 

Sorenity Rocks

Aleta Parrish moved to Ojai when her friend and now business partner, Lenise Soren, owner of Sorenity Rocks in Malibu, asked her to take over the store at the little yellow house here in Ojai.

“Without even walking into the front door, I said ‘Yes’ right away,” Aleta says. “I feel like Ojai pulled me in, and I instantly knew I was going to live here. The land here is sacred with its powerful vortex, and to be able to be a part of it and to bring all these powerful crystals that amplify this beautiful energy, to be able to offer them to this land, to this property, to this town, is very special to me.”

Aleta’s store is so beautiful that it almost takes my breath away when I walk in. Honoring her environment is very important to her, so the feel of her store is “Ojai-centric,” which she explains is a mix of Native American, Boho chic, rancho, and cowboy — that laid-back, but elegant, Ojai feel. Here, you will find artful and unique home decor pieces, many handmade by Aleta, and a vast inventory of crystals of all sizes with some of the biggest crystals I’ve ever seen. Aleta often gets crystals from long-time collectors who bring in crystal estates to sell. She also has direct connections to mines from 50 countries, so she knows how the crystals are sourced.

Aleta loves searching for the unusual and helping people find just the right crystal for them, whether small or large. “I really love that people can come here and bathe in the energy of these beautiful crystals. That’s really the main reason that we are here,” she says.

Sorenity Rocks offers more than just crystals, however. The store also has a dry flower bar with gorgeous vases to choose from, so you can either make your own arrangement or have one made for you. You’ll also find great gift ideas, sacred sage and crystal bundle sets, and “crystalized” succulent vases. She takes immense pride in what she creates, in the feel of the store and her new line, Love, Ojai, which is a reflection of the style and vibe you’ll find in Sorenity Rocks.

Aleta is not a designer by trade but by vocation, and every corner of the store reflects her natural gift for beautification. As part of the business, she also offers design and decorating for your home, office, or any other space.

Aleta is currently in the process of expanding the shop over the next year. “We will be creating a healing community space with an expansion of the side area into a beautiful patio and outdoor space to host events like sound baths, educational talks, Tarot readings, classes, and small catered parties.” She adds, “The idea, once it is all set up, is to have people come here and linger and have a cup of tea and listen to a meditation, a place to come and BE in the energy of the crystals and find comfort and healing.”

Find Sorenity Rocks at 900 W. Ojai Ave. For more, call (310) 589-7625.

 

The Crystal Corner

Originally from Seattle, Kara Bauer found her way to Ojai after traveling extensively and living in several big cities around the world. She had always dreamt of having a healing community space, but it wasn’t until she came to Ojai that the dream finally seemed to take root. “I came to see Ojai, invited by a friend, and just a few weeks later I moved here,” she says. “Everything was easy, and I know that when things are flowing and seem to align without much mental planning, it’s a confirmation from Spirit that you are on the right path.”

Hence, The Crystal Corner was birthed, at the corner of Ventura and Matilija streets.

Kara is a healer, and her passion for all things in that realm is palpable. She has a master’s degree in transpersonal psychology with an emphasis on spiritual psychology, and she has studied many different healing modalities. She is also a health and wellness coach. She had remarkable success selling crystals with her online company, Crystalya, but has since sold it to focus on her dream of creating a crystal store and community healing space.

When you walk into to The Crystal Corner you will be met with an elegant, open and light-filled space, with an incredible array of crystals, jewelry pieces, books, Tarot card decks, and spiritual accessories of all kinds. You can also get a variety of readings and services here, such as 15-minute Chakra readings, starseed and sound healing sessions, Tarot readings, psychic readings, Akashic records, human design, I Ching, and dream analysis.

Walking into this space, visitors often say they feel an instantaneous shift in energy, a complete relaxation of the nervous system. It’s the crystals, Kara will tell you, working their tangible magic.

“The crystals,” she explains, “are a very important aspect of all that I offer. They hold specific frequencies and emanate positive energy that activates healing. They’re an amplifier of energy — a bridge, if you will, and so conducive to healing.”

Taylor, Kara’s manager who is also a healer, says visitors often comment on the energy they feel in the shop. “It’s so powerful that sometimes people get teary unexpectedly as they have spontaneous releases. The frequency and beautiful energy that emanates from the crystals bathes you with a sense of connection and safety so you can let go, and to me it feels sacred, it is very much akin to a temple space,” Taylor says.

There must be something to it, because The Crystal Corner won the of Best of Ojai award in 2021 and 2022. And it’s about to get even better, with expansions on the horizon for this lovely shop in the works. They will be offering educational classes and more spiritual community offerings of all kinds in the near future.

Find The Crystal Corner at 201 N. Ventura St. For more, visit thecrystalcornerojai.com or call (805) 272-8402.

 

Nutmeg’s Ojai House

Meg Goodwin, owner of Nutmeg’s Ojai House, is one of the most compassionate and kind human beings I have ever met. She really cares about people, her community, and the planet; her beautiful energy pervades her whole shop and sets the tone.

Nutmeg’s Ojai House has been a downtown fixture since 2000 — and many would agree the same could be said for Meg herself.

When entering the store, you’ll be met with eclectic and beautiful objects all around: sacred statuary, spiritual art, singing bowls and journals, wind chimes, candles, knickknacks, salt lamps, and great gifts of all sorts. In the next room is an extensive array of crystals, and almost every corner of the room has something for the eye’s delight. Jewelry, Mala beads, Tarot cards, essential oil sprays, and political satire to balance it all out. Visitors often laugh as they read a funny card or bumper sticker. The energy here at Nutmeg’s is vibrant and jovial, and, at the same time, spiritually enhanced by the powerful energy that comes from the crystals and the stately 400-year-old oak tree in the back patio.

The shop also has a room for Tarot and astrology readings, which is filled with more crystals, statuary, and sun catchers with multi-colored crystals hanging in the window that splash rainbow colored light everywhere. It’s a perfect space for readings.

Step out the back door, and you will find a large and beautiful patio filled with garden art and statuary, from Buddhas to gargoyles, and of course, the expansive ancient oak. The tree is so big that it almost canopies the whole back patio. Everything I have heard about the tree feels true — it infuses me with a sense of peace and belonging as I sit under it and add my story to the many told of this tree’s energy.

Although not quite as old as the tree, the shop has its own fascinating history. Built in 1914, it was once a house and has had several additions in the century since. “The upstairs was added on in the ‘70s by a Druid man who built the skylights so that the solstice and the equinox moons would go right over them,” Meg says. The house needed a lot of work, and she recalls being rather daunted by the task at hand. But looking around this upstairs part of the property she realized, “Oh my God, I can see that oak tree from every window.” And in the quiet and awe of that moment, she heard a voice that said, “Buy it, you’re going to be okay.” Meg is not a psychic, and had never had any experiences like that before, but in that instant, she knew it was the tree communicating with her, and she knew the voice was right.

Her eyes light up when she speaks of her love and enduring relationship she has with the magnificent oak tree. “Everyone feels its healing energy and power, and it draws people in. Just sitting under that tree is so healing.”

Meg claims that she didn’t come to Ojai for the spirituality; she loved the peace and quiet and beauty here, and the spirituality found her. She had never had a Tarot reading or an astrology reading before moving here. In 2002, a friend approached her and asked if she would be interested in carrying crystals and having readings there.

A week later she went to a gem show and fell in love with crystals, and she has had crystals and readings in her store ever since.

And more is to come, including an expansion of the back patio for spiritually oriented community events, and two more wheelchair accessible rooms for readings. “I’m turning it into a community healing space, as it was always meant to be, a place where people can come and relax, sit under the tree and possibly get pertinent information that helps them on their path, with either a reading or healing session,” Meg says. “A place that people can come heal and possibly awaken.”

Nutmeg’s Ojai House is at 304 N. Montgomery St. For more, visit nutmegsojaihouse.com or call (805) 640-1656.

In talking with all of these ladies, I realized that there’s a spiritual renaissance happening in Ojai. These shops are run by heart-centered people who understand the power of the healing vortex that is Ojai, and want to positively contribute to it. They are all very passionate about creating community healing spaces, with the powerful crystals at the heart of it all. They all felt guided and pulled into Ojai and they used their intuition and their hearts to allow things to fall into place more easily than they could have ever planned it. This is certainly a shift of perspectives from our world, it’s a more feminine way of moving through our lives, and if we can attune ourselves to following what we cannot hear with our ears, but can sense with our hearts, we find that that is where the “magic” happens.

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