When Susan Moen relocated to Sarasota in 2013 she brought her business, The Crystal Cave, with her. The shop, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, originated as a bookstore in Massachusetts. Now located off Fruitville Road in downtown Sarasota, Moen uses the its cozy rooms to carry all the things she loves; crystals, books and art supplies. A metaphysical haven, guests can easily lose themselves in curated baskets of gemstones or find a new favorite tarot deck.
It was a childhood fascination with science and geology that first sparked Moen’s interest in crystals. However, it wasn’t until her first son picked out a special stone just for her that something clicked. “I met a piece of quartz and realized that this was more than geology,” she explains.
For Moen and her clientele, there is an important connection to be made between science and the metaphysical.
“Specifically, it’s mind over matter—stones are formed from the earth and pull its energy," she explains. "I like to stress that this is not medicine, but you can tap into their electromagnetic energies to feel their frequencies.” By focusing on the properties assigned to a particular stone, Moen says one can work on manifesting creativity or eliminating stress within themselves. Her favorite stone is larimar, a blue gem from the Caribbean that's used for channeling relaxation and gentle communication—though she is partial to calming turquoise as well.
After hours, you can find Moen leading Zoom Zentangle courses, a meditative drawing process using repetitive shapes and designs. She finds inspiration for her imagery from the natural world and the international trips she takes with her husband (pre-pandemic, anyway). A big fan of Halloween and the Dio de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), you’ll find many colorful sugar skull motifs around the shop and in her artwork.
So, does she carry “rocks” in her purse?
Well, of course, but Moen’s delicately hand-painted Anuschka bag holds much more than that. In addition to a wallet, she has a checkbook and a business card holder, both embossed with dragons. There is a toothbrush and toothpaste because one should never forget the importance of dental hygiene. Along with art supplies—Moen loves a good pen—you’ll find a pop-up fan, some lip-care essentials and peppermint oil, which she uses as aromatherapy. An organza bag holds a brass pendulum for divination, and there’s a magnifying loupe for inspecting gemstones. A well-loved book, Animal Spirits, provides insight into the symbolism of various animals she spots.
Then there are her “doo-dads,” each representing an important person, location or memory throughout her life. There is the very special piece of quartz her son picked out when he was just a 1-year-old, and which she has carried the decades since. A pipestone bear totem from Arizona lives alongside a Big Foot medallion from Seattle. Two small pouches contain a multitude of treasures picked up along on her travels, including pressed pennies, a bottle cap, a charm with the Eye of Horus, seashells, nibs of coral, a gemstone scarab and a turquoise skull—all proving that even something small can carry great meaning.