‘Cosmic Botany’: La Jolla author’s first book encourages connecting to nature through plants and crystals

"Cosmic Botany" is the first book by La Jolla native Tanya Lichtenstein.

La Jolla native Tanya Lichtenstein has authored her first book, “Cosmic Botany,” which teaches readers “how you can work with plants and crystal energy to create certain vibes in your life.”

Lichtenstein, who attended Bird Rock Elementary, Muirlands Middle and La Jolla High schools as well as UC San Diego and now lives near the university, said the idea for “Cosmic Botany” came from her fruitless search for a crystal-ornamented planter for her plants. Noticing a lack of resources for “pairing plants and crystals together,” she began writing about the topic to help fill the void.

“Cosmic botany is the joyful practice of combining plants and crystals and creating a unique, energetic blend that’s perfect for you,” Lichtenstein said. The book is based on the premise that “we can all use a little more cosmic harmony in our home.”

Plants and crystals are “soul mates,” she said. “Plants appear healthier and more vibrant when there are crystals near, and crystals are recharged by the plants.”

Harnessing that symbiosis is “the basis of cosmic harmony,” Lichtenstein said. “Plants help you root into your purpose, and crystals offer vibrational support to nurture your dreams.”

Her book is presented “in recipe-book format,” she said, segmented into four chapters that deal with a range of topics from emotions and motivation to self-care.

“From there, there are 48 plant and crystals combos,” she said. “It’s a really fun read.”

Tanya Lichtenstein, who grew up in La Jolla, has written her first book, about pairing plants and crystals for better "cosmic harmony."
Tanya Lichtenstein, who grew up in La Jolla, has written her first book, about pairing plants and crystals for better “cosmic harmony.”

Lichtenstein said growing up across from Calumet Park and “being so close to the ocean, being thrown right into nature, inspired me.”

She’s also had a “lifelong fascination with crystals and gemstones. Over the years, I would learn more and more about it. I wrote the book feeling I had a really stable knowledge base about crystal energy.”

Research for “Cosmic Botany” involved looking “at the structure of plants” and learning about their “energetic signatures,” she said, as well as visiting “nurseries and crystal and gems fairs.”

The book was published in late April and includes illustrations by Lichtenstein herself.

Lichtenstein believes now — amid the coronavirus pandemic — may be an important time for readers to explore the concepts in “Cosmic Botany.”

“People are stuck inside a lot. We’re craving more natural elements in our lives because we want to restore the connection we have with the earth. We’re longing for a connection with nature,” she said.

“Plants, crystals and natural elements … nurture the part of us that longs to be wild. We want those natural elements in our life,” she added.

For people who may want to try plant and crystal pairings at home but feel intimidated, Lichtenstein suggested starting with “a sweetheart hoya, a heart-shaped succulent with a single leaf that has the potential to branch out and grow other leaves. It’s about knowing that you’re always growing and blooming, even when you feel stuck.”

She suggested pairing that plant with rose quartz, “a soft and nurturing stone. It will help you relax and be OK in the moment.”

Lichtenstein said she shops at an often-visited crystal and gem show (before the pandemic-related closures), as well as online at sites like Etsy. For plants, she recommended Pigment, which has San Diego locations and a website, as well as local farmers market vendors and larger chain stores.

Lichtenstein hopes people will explore what she said is a long-term trend. “Most people have been greening their spaces for years,” she said.

Using plants “is a powerful way to bring well-being and a sense of peace into any space, and adding crystals to the mix amplifies their vibrational energy and elevates those benefits to the next level.”

“Cosmic Botany” is available through various sellers and is listed at