Protecting yourself from Negative Energies – Back to Basics

We have all experienced being around negative people and sometimes negative situations.  This could be job, school, family, or even yourself. Of course avoiding negative situations is best, but that’s not always practical unless you want to be a hermit. Today’s IMG_0972post, I’m going to discuss protecting yourself from external negative energies. It should be no surprise that our favorite way of protecting yourself from negativity is through stones.  And one of my personal favorites is black tourmaline.  And here’s why:

I used to work customer service at a large retail store in a very affluent area, and people are used to getting what they want, when they want.  After a couple of months my supervisor asked me why I didn’t seem to get the really disrespectful or difficult customers at my register.  I laughed and told him I had protective stones in my bra. The look on his face was priceless and needless to say he didn’t quite believe me. After a quick trip to the bathroom I showed him.  Amongst the stones was my trusty black tourmaline crystal.  He thought I was weird, and didn’t quite believe me. Until the day I forgot my stones. I swear I had just about every difficult customer that day.  During a lull, he asked me if I forgot my rocks… and of course I had. Apart from being surprised he noticed, it was just reinforcement of what I already knew, the stones have an effect. This is why we call black tourmaline one of the customer service stones.  It has not failed me!

My top three protective stones are black tourmaline, shungite and hematite. I rarely leave the house without black tourmaline and shungite.   If you don’t wear a bra, you can carry these stones in your pocket, wear in jewelry, stuff in your socks or wear a pouch of stones.

But what if you don’t have stones?

You can surround yourself in a bubble of white light. This can work anywhere, or any time.  Try to find somewhere quite if possible and take a few deep breaths.  Close your eyes and imagine the largest iridescent bubble surrounding you.  Sometimes I envision my self blowing bubbles until I have one big enough to surround me.

I also love black tourmaline for protecting spaces. You can keep in in your cash register (add malachite and citrine for prosperity). I also keep black tourmaline by each of our doors.  It not only helps us shed any negativity that may be clinging to us as we cross the threshold, but anyone else too.  We actually keep shungite, obsidian, black touramline and rose quartz by each door. Keep these stones by your desk and in your car.  Handy if to have extras around in case you forget your personal stones.

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like assistance in choosing the right stone or help creating a custom pouch of stones to carry.

Mary and Jennifer co-own The Other Side of the Sun (TOSOTScrystals) an online crystal and mineral store.  We are also Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians.  We have been working with the crystal world since 2001.




When Back Pain Strikes

Our personal amazonite, my go to when I’m in pain!

Mary and I work with clients with back pain on a daily basis, but it really hit home when Mary  “threw her back out”  about month ago.  If you have experienced this, my condolences, it’s a miserable experience that can take a lot of time and patience to recover from. According to some studies it is estimated a whopping 80% of Americans will experience low back pain. (UNC study 2009) And while this ensures job security for Mary and I as massage therapists. It’s miserable for all those who suffer.

There are both physical and emotional (energetic) reasons for back pain.  Pain in general can be highly emotional.  Have you ever broken out in tears over a minor pain and wondered what was wrong with you?  That pain is emotional, and is usually highly irrational!  Pain and depression can also go hand in hand, especially chronic pain. If pain is interfering with your daily life, and your ability to work or have an active life, depression is understandable. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve your back health without surgery.

So let’s just handle the physical back pain for the moment, since that one quite relevant at the moment.  Why do so many people suffer from back pain? The major one is our lifestyle.  From improper diet, to lack of exercise, and increasingly, poor posture.

Staying properly hydrated is important as the discs between your spine are comprised mainly of water. And if you are dehydrated, your body will take water from where ever it can, and the spine is a high candidate for fluid loss.  With the loss of fluids you start to see disc compression as well as other signs of wear and tear on the spine.

Posture! This is where we feel like a broken record, it so extremely important! So many 2146of us sit, whether at a desk or in a vehicle, we sit a lot.  That’s why there is such a huge movement to standing desks, or desks with a slow moving treadmill.  Sitting is bad for us!  Sitting improperly can put a huge strain on our low back.  Slouching while sitting can weaken the core muscles and put excessive strain on the lumbar spine. When sitting, you should always remember to put your behind, behind you.  You should be sitting more on your pelvic bones, you know you are sitting correctly when your back is curved inward not rounded out like the picture.

If you need to, a sitting aid like the backjoy can improve your posture. (this is not a paid endorsement in any way) I also found that moving the seat in my car slightly forward and more upright has made a vast improvement for my back and shoulder pain (We’ll explore shoulders another time!)

Exercise is equally important for back health.  Sitting weakens our core strength and activities like Belly Dancing, Yoga, Pilates and strength training all can improve core health.  If you have had a recent back injury or relapse, please consult with a Doctor before starting any exercise program.  Physical therapy or private sessions with a trainer/instructor might be the best path for you. Here are some exercises to get you started. Even if all you can manage is a 15-20 minute walk, it will get you moving in the right direction.

Of course we use crystals to to help aid through pain.  Citrine, rutilated quartz,

Blue Amazonite Crystal Duo
Rough Amazonite

amazonite, malachite can all aid with pain relief. Amazonite aids with muscle cramps and spasms.  It also helps to balance the emotions and reduce the feeling of fatigue, aiding with the emotional components of pain.

Rutilated Quartz works directly with the body’s nervous system.

Glistening Rutilated Quartz Point
Rutilated Quartz

Rutilated quartz has a strong electromagnetic energy and stimulates flow through your spinal cord and balances your electromagnetic system. This helps to alleviate pain and numbness while aiding cellular regeneration.

Earlier I mentioned the emotional component of back pain which can directly tie into insecurities, either professionally or personally.    Traditionally back pain is associated with Root Chakra and and to some extent sacral chakras.  These are the core of the energy systems that make us who we are.  For now, we are going to focus on the root chakra.

Root Chakra – This chakras mantra is All is one. It is the Tribal Chakra. Here we must honor our physical and familial bonds. More importantly this is also where we develop a personal code of honor. “Thich Nhat Hanh” = we “inter-are”. Violating these bonds (like considering being different = being less) creates conflict in our spirit & body. Issues in the root chakra can lead to dysfunctions such as:

  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Ability to stand up for ones self
  • Not Feeling at home
  • Depression

Crystals and minerals that aid working through root chakra issues are typically red or black.  Some of our favorite are Smoky Quartz, Obsidian, Jasper, and Hematite. Here’s some more information on Smoky Quartz and Hematite

Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz is one of my favorite crystals for the root chakra.  Its energy is gentle yet comforting.  I frequently sleep with smoky quartz, it helps me sleep better.  Smoky quartz can be found in crystals or clusters, but are often found in beautiful complex elestial formation.  These are amazing to use during meditations or journaling helping you to explore the root cause of your issues.

Obsidian comes in many different patterns, from black,

Silver Sheen Obsidian Sphere
Silver Sheen Obsidian

silver sheen like the one pictured, snowflakes, rainbow and mahogany.  Each one has its own unique way of working with the root chakra.  However, obsidian in general is very protective and can help shield you from negative energies.

Please do not use any information in this post as substitute for professional care. If pain persists more than a week or is radiating down your legs possibly including numbness and tingling please see a professional right away.

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like assistance in choosing the right stone or help creating a custom pouch of stones to carry.

Mary and Jennifer co-own The Other Side of the Sun (TOSOTScrystals) an online crystal and mineral store.  We are also Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians.  We have been working with the crystal world since 2001.

When your stones are unhappy… 


Way back in August 2016 Mary and I completed an order of various stones from South Africa.  As shipments go, it was decent, but not huge, around 90 pounds of new material. Labradorite, spirit quartz, calcite, zircons and more.  We were excited.  We opted for surface mail, aka slow row boat via China, because it was the most cost effective at the time.  Estimated arrival date was September, or worst case early October.  Boy were we wrong.  October comes and goes and no stones.  By mid November we are contacting all involved because we are now super concerned (that’s another story).  November turns to December and we are assured that we will have our shipment before Christmas.  But this wasn’t the case.

December 29 arrives and we get notice of attempted delivery! At last we think!  A trip to the post office later and we have both boxes… but there’s a problem.  One of the boxes is light, I mean really light.  It should have 22kg (almost 45lbs) in there, you should not have been able to lift it with one hand!

With a giant pit in her stomach Mary takes the boxes home, as I’m still at work.  With a sinking heart she opens the box to find exactly what she expected by now, it’s empty except for 4 pieces of newspaper.

She turned her attention to the heavier box, which thankfully had not been tampered with.  But the stones, so unhappy!  Their energy is heavy and filled with fear and anger and sadness.  The last time we had a unhappy shipment was when we received multiple broken items.  But everyone was in tact in this shipment, just unhappy.

We will never know what the stones went through in that box, which took over 8 weeks longer than anticipated. What we did know is that we had to help the stones.  We could barely look at them let alone touch them!

We started with the standard saging and a couple of nights under a full moon.  After several heavy saging sessions, we took them outside to recharge in the full moon, where they also experienced a storm and light rain. It helped, yet was not enough.  Energy sensitive clients who also visited the stone agreed, these were some deeply unhappy stones.  Not all of them at this point, but most of them. We were at a loss on what to do next. A client very generously agreed to lend us her very special gold plated crystal bowl that was etched with hieroglyphs!  Maybe just maybe this would help.  We would pick it up at a bowl meditation the next day.

If you’ve never been to a bowl meditation you are missing out on quite the experience. Not only can you hear the bowls, but you can feel them too.  It is a very powerful experience, but I digress. One of the zircons we had gifted one to a friend was at the meditation, hoping that it would recover during the ceremony. But even after all of the crystal bowls, it was still unhappy. I agreed to take it back and and work with it some more with the others. As we were talking I’m holding this zircon, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions, and it became clear, it was the zircons holding most of the sad and angry energy.

Now zircons are some of the oldest minerals known on the planet, dating around 4.2 Billion years old! Zircon is not rare, at least in tiny crystal formations as it is found in granite, but crystals that are a size you can carry are not as common.  Zircons are used to date layers and crystal formations, find out more here from the American Museum of Natural History.

So as you can imagine, it’s not easy to get through to a stone that has seen so much history.  With the loan of a very special crystal bowl and the aid of our Tibetan bowls we were able to break through and lift the energy of the stones. We played the bowls in two 30-minute sessions, and progress has been made!  All the stones feel so much lighter! And the zircons? We they are practically giggling, something we feared we would never achieve. I can’t attach video to the blog, at least I can’t figure it out at the moment. So hop over to the instagram page, and I’ll post a short video there! (@tosotscrystals)

If you’ve never experienced crystal or Tibetan bowls then we highly suggest you do.  Sound healing has been around for centuries.  And we now know that on a human level, sound waves interact with our cell walls to change the shape of what the cells release and uptake, so really it creates healing at a cellular level.  This is what we did for the stones. If you are looking for a crystal bowl event, try a yoga studio, often restorative classes will have crystal bowls. What’s more relaxing that rolling on the floor for a couple of hours listening to them?? If you can’t find one locally, there are many choices on you tube, here’s an example.

So a long story short, as soon as we find some free time, we’ll be working on adding some beautiful new stones to our store!


Working with Depression and Anxiety

The past few months have been quite intense for Mary and I,  and I’m sure for countless others.  The energy has been all over the place, and I think everyone is feeling it more than usual.

Lepidolite Point

And if you suffer from depression and/or anxiety even the small things can be more challenging. This is something Mary and I battle with on a daily basis.  Finding motivation to keep going can be difficult and there are days where getting out of bed is challenging. I’m sure many of you can relate. Living with High Functioning mental illness is more challenging because people around you often don’t even realize it.  Often they just have a hard time understanding this truth, because on the surface, you have it all together.  It’s hidden, and those of us able to function have developed coping mechanisms so others can’t see it.   But let’s back track for a moment and define depression and anxiety.


feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”
 WebMD says “It’s natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.”
It’s estimated that over 19 Million people in the US suffer from depression.  The actual numbers could be higher.
A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Symptoms include stress that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event, inability to set aside a worry, and restlessness.

Here’s an article on The Mighty that outlines how anxiety feels.

Labradorite freeform

My personal history of anxiety really kicked into high gear when I started college.  If it wasn’t for a long range walkie-talkie and following my dad for most of my commute, I don’t know how I would have made it to class every day. On days I didn’t follow him, Mary and I traveled together.  Staying accountable to someone else helped to get me out of the house.  It wasn’t a perfect system, but it worked most of the time.

These days my anxiety often appears in the form of procrastination, and lack of time keeping.  Denial that I need to leave the house leaves getting ready to the last moment.  There have been periods that I have to have alarms for everything, reminding me to get dressed, it’s almost time to leave, time to leave, and crap you are going to be late if you don’t leave RIGHT NOW!  However, I have problems in crowds and social settings also. I try to go to stores during slow times, if it’s too crowded I get overwhelmed and can’t focus.

An inability to function can often lead right to depression, of feeling like I’m not enough, I’m not good enough. I’m not adult enough.  There are times I feel like there is no hope and no point.  Why, I ask all the time. Does it matter?  I don’t make a difference.   The reality is none of those are true, but in the dark times there is hardly rationalizing these feelings.  Battling these emotions on a daily basis, I’m frequently exhausted.

I know I’m not alone. Here’s an article from Huffington Post:

So, what do we do about it?  First, be gentle with yourself.  Remind yourself often that you are worthy, lovable, and capable.  Set reminders on your phone, do daily affirmations, stick post it notes in places.  Reach out to your friends. Take time for yourself.  The pace of our society is quite insane.  We get less time off than others around the world, with many of us accruing vacation we feel we don’t have time (or deserve) to take. We feel that there is so much we have to pack into a day, its just not possible.  So the laundry doesn’t get folded, dusting wait another week.  Is it really important?  It’s okay to let some things slide.

Mary and I use crystals as a part of our way of dealing with anxiety and depression. In fact these anxiety was a a huge reason why we started TOSOTS.  When Mary was at her worst with severe agoraphobia (basically fear of going outside), selling crystals was her primary job as something positive should could do working mainly from home.


Stunning natural color citrine point.

There are a dizzying array of crystals and minerals. Many work towards lots of different goals.  But here’s our go to “Support Stones” and a brief description on why we use them. This by no means a complete list, but a good start. (Please do not stop any medications without consulting your medical professional.  Crystal therapy is not meant to replace any current treatment plans.)



Lepidolite or Lithium in Quartz



Smoky Quartz

Those of you who know us, labradorite and citrine is one of our favorite combinations. These are our go to anxiety combination.  Labradorite brings balance and helps to reduce negative thought patterns.  It is emotionally soothing. Rolling the stone around while focusing on the flash and patterns of colors helps to still the mind. Citrine boost self confidence and balances the mind-body connection as it works solar plexus and crown.  Hold citrine to your solar plexus, located at the base of the stern where the rib meet, breathe in while visualizing white light energy infusing your body.  Breathe out negativity.

Lepidolite and Lithium in quartz play a dual role with the lithium content in the stones helps to counter depression and anxiety.  Lithium in quartz  also a strong heart stone that brings emotional peace.  Lepidolite works more on the physical aspects of the body, while the lithium in quartz works more with the emotional side.

Smoky Quartz

When working with stones for depression, it is necessary to feel grounded, protected and have stones that feed your energy.  Smoky quartz fits the bill on all levels, its energy is rich and warm.  Smoky quartz brings joy, it grounds but doesn’t make you feel heavy, it lifts the spirit.  Its energy gives you a sense of safety and comfort.  Really everyone can benefit from Smoky Quartz! I often sleep with smoky quartz under my pillow or grasped in my hand.  It is always on my nightstand.


Tourmaline is another of our favorites, it comes in a huge array of colors.  But pink, green, black, and blue are most common. Black tourmaline is very protective, helping to ward of negativity and to some degree negative people.  Tourmaline feeds your energy. And for this the heart chakra colors of pink and green work best.  They help to bring joy and foster self-worth.  Their energy is very easy to work with.

Jade also comes in several colors, but for this, green is the go to color.  I prefer the darker shades of green jade. Jade is often associated with abundance and prosperity.  However, Jade is also good for connecting you to the earth energies.  It helps to instill hope and bring greater harmony into your life.

There are many ways to incorporate crystal energies into your life.  Mediation and breathing practices are just one way.  As I mentioned earlier, we often sleep with them, or at least have them at our beside. Carry them in your pockets, wear them as jewelry, tuck them into a sock (smaller the better here, really) or for us ladies, tuck them in your bra. We call it the over the shoulder boulder holder. 😉

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like assistance in choosing the right stone or help creating a custom pouch of stones to carry.

Mary and Jennifer co-own The Other Side of the Sun (TOSOTScrystals) an online crystal and mineral store.  We are also Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians.  We have been working with the crystal world since 2001.

A note about Facebook

If you “Like” us on Facebook and haven’t been seeing any posts from us at all, it is due to a new setting in Facebook. It defaults to people and pages you had interacted with in the days or weeks leading up to the profile changes.

To see what you’ve been missing: Scroll to the bottom of your news feed, select “Edit Options” and change the setting to “All friends and pages” again.

We sometimes post special discounts or stone offerings just for our Facebook members. Come join the fun if you haven’t already!

A Visit with the Twintreess

Last week we were privileged to have Marilyn and Tohmas Twintreess stay with us, teach us new things, and share new stone spirits. They delighted in the sanctuary of our home with the peacefulness of the forest, the colors of the peafowl, and the antics of our koi. We have been truly blessed.

We passed on your greetings and desires to be with us to attend their classes. Although their classes are best attended live, they graciously allowed us to record a message for you all with musings on their spiritual path, honoring your spiritual path, listening to the stone spirits and more. Their video is in 2 parts on You Tube, click here to view their message!

Crystals are Food for the Soul

I was talking to a customer last week, and she asked me some very good questions. Why do people need crystals now more than ever? How can the crystals help us? If you had to only give one message from the crystals, what would it be? Some pretty heavy stuff, but I’ll keep it simple.

Crystals are food for the soul.

Many have figured out that our modern lifestyle needs some improvement. We are relearning the importance of eating good foods, exercise, and even taking time for ourselves (shocking isn’t it?). Yet our spiritual (energetic) side is still often ignored.

Crystals are from the Earth help us reconnect with ourselves, our environment, and our Spirituality. Some have Earth energies, providing grounding and balance. Others raise our energy, helping us to tap into the Divine. As our lives have become more complex, fast paced, and stimulus intensive, and our modern society has become out of sync with life’s rhythms. We are expected to be constantly on the go and over stimulated. This can leave you feeling unfulfilled, drained of energy, and susceptible to illness. Crystals are here to counter the chaos, bringing focus, balance and healing. They are here to guide us through the changing times and help us cope with the energy shifts ahead. Crystals are tangible, they remind us of these things just by being present. Crystals provide a link to our angels, guides, totems and other spiritual aspects of ourselves.

Sale Extended Through Friday!

10% off all order through November 5th! In addition FREE* shipping on domestic orders over $100 via First Class and Priority Mail and international orders over $200 via airmail! No voucher or coupon codes necessary!

Better yet, there are no codes to enter! Shop Now!

*Some restrictions apply where noted. Free shipping is calculated after discount and does not include sales tax. Discount does not apply to lay-a-ways over
30 days.

We had a glitch in our system that wasn’t allowing for free shipping, but we think we’ve fixed that now! Thanks for your patience.

Online Classes are HERE!

After a lot of research and planning, we’re very pleased to announce our online classes! We’re asking for $10 donation to help cover the monthly charges for the service, but any amount is accepted.

You can find out more and sign up here

You can attend the classes online, via the phone, or even through an app on your smartphone. There’s no software to install but you’ll get more details once you’ve signed up.

Our first one will be October 22nd at 3pm.

How Do you Choose a Crystal?

Are you just starting with crystals and don’t know where to start? How do you know a crystal is right for you? Where do you start? And how do you pick crystals for others? These are just some of the questions we’ll help you answer.

More Online Classes – Coming Soon

We’re working hard to bring you more online classes in the very near future. We’d love some feedback on topics you’d like to know more about. We’re starting off with lectures about 1 hour long. Here’s some ideas in the works:

Crystals to use for Protection
Crystals for Abundance
Balancing your chakras with crystals
Formations of Quartz (ie: what is a record keeper, time link, earthquake crystal etc)

What classes would you like to see. Comment below or send us an email ! (oops sorry everyone, I’ve fixed the email address now!)