When I originally started Moonrise Crystals I didn’t reveal very much about my own background, but I’ve since learned people are sometimes just as curious about me as I am about them. So for those curious ones – I will tell you the story of my own journey to this place.
Nature’s Wild Child
Like many of you, as far back as I can remember I have been in love with the natural world. As a small child, my pockets were regularly filled with pebbles, acorns, pine cones, and other tiny treasures. Every animal, every flower, absolutely everything that is alive and beautiful I wanted to know better. I saw fairies dancing in the garden and felt the spirit of the deserts and mountains surrounding my home.
I was lucky enough to have been born into a loving family who gave me books, took me traveling, and gave me room to grow and learn my own mind. There were two religious traditions in our home, two languages, two cultures. So I have always known there is not just one way to do anything. There are many paths that can lead to God, just as there are many paths to love, healing, peace, and joy.
Lioness of Courage
When I was 9, I met my first spiritual teacher, who was around 50 at the time. It was love at first sight for me! I instantly became her shadow and she tolerated my little self at her heels. Soon enough I was spending hours every week at her home.
She has the most exquisite flower garden you can imagine and all the wild creatures in the neighborhood recognize it as a safe haven. Inside the house, every available surface is covered in crystals, books, quotes, pictures, treasures of all kinds, hanging from the ceiling and stacked on top of one another. A fat goldfish lived in the kitchen sink and cats curled at our feet. There was always time for a cup of tea. In other words – it was magic.
Oh but she is FIERCE! To those who don’t know her, she might appear to be a sweet, eccentric, mostly-harmless lady. But to those who know her – she is a lioness, a regal monarch who suffers no fools, and lives life as a Warrior of Light, armed with the Sword of Truth. It’s really quite impossible to describe her energy or how vividly she lives. She is fully alive!
As I grew up, I absorbed her knowledge and philosophies like a sponge. We spoke only of things that were REAL. In our conversations, you could hear the capital letters. We spoke of Truth, Love, Passion, Freedom, Courage, Integrity, Discernment, Justice, Mercy and all the other names of the Beloved. She taught me how to use my wings and fly.
One day, she told me about the shop where she bought many of the stones that pulsed with energy throughout her home and garden.
I had never encountered a place like Turiya’s before; with its colorful walls, glittering stones for sale, and incredibly peaceful energy. In fact its name, Turyia’s, means “pure consciousness and unspeakable peace.” But the shop did have its dangers. If you weren’t careful you might get distracted with all the sights and trip over a small dog or perhaps the free-flying dove might dive bomb you and land on your head. Of course, the biggest danger was that you might spend every dollar you ever had!
It was a delicious place for the soul. The owner of the store was a fantastically gifted intuitive and a devotee of Amma, India’s Hugging Saint. The store was wonderful, but it was the owner’s energy that brought us back again and again. Although there were incredible stones of every size and shape, I was particularly attracted to the tumbled stones. Soon I was making little crystal medicine bags for myself.
Years passed, and by then I was in graduate school and my best friend/roommate was working part-time at Turiya’s. One day, the owner called in a wild panic. She was having the mother-of-all-hot-flashes and needed to go home immediately! She begged my friend to come, but she couldn’t go. “Is Julie available? Ask her if she will come!” So I went. The owner showed me how to work the cash register and then left me to mind the store. When it was time to close, I called my friend and asked her where the light switches were and then just locked the door behind me. The next day, the owner offered me a job and I took it just for kicks and giggles.
It was such a strange job! We were taught that our number one responsibility wasn’t customer service, sales, cleaning, or anything like that. Our job was to “hold space.” We were priestesses and the store was our temple. We sold gifts of the heart, and sometimes those gifts came free of charge. The owner encouraged my friend and me to learn the stones and their energies. So we did and the knowledge made our souls happy.
Whenever I worked, we often sold an unusually large amount of tumbled stones. What can I say? People would tell me what was going on in their lives (because Turiya’s was the sort of place where strangers talk about deep things), and inevitably I would ask if I could make them a medicine bag or design a crystal grid. I have a natural gift for feeling how the energies of each individual stone interact with others. It’s kind of like being a chef and knowing which spices to use and how to get the perfect flavor. It’s my own odd gift, but working at Turiya’s I had the time and resources to hone it.
Sometimes the owner and I would talk about my future. She would tell me that I had a gift and that she could clearly see that my destiny was to work in earth medicine. I would laugh and tell her she was crazy and I was going to be a college history professor. Turns out, we were both right.
Honing My Craft
After leaving Turiya’s, I spent the next few years working as a teacher, textbook writer, and jack-of-all-trades educator. This was during the Great Recession, and jobs in academia were hard to come by and short-lived. So I cobbled together multiple part-time jobs and made it work. Of course, I loved teaching history, since that was my degree. But the other subject that really captured my fancy was geology. At one point, I was lucky enough to teach for a year at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Can you imagine how fun it is work next to huge dinosaur fossils and a world-class gem exhibit? I loved it! Plus, every now and then I might take a random shift at Turiya’s. Just to keep my hand in and my intuitive edge keen. I loved the work, all of it. But poverty does lose its charm after a while. No one should work all day, every day, and still be struggling to get by. In academia, you work a lot of hours that aren’t paid for.
In the meantime of course, I was having a personal life outside of work.
Suffice to say, I lived fully alive. I drank deeply from the cup of joy and the cup of sorrow. I had experiences, relationships, and realizations that changed everything. Compassion is no longer just a word. I know what it’s like to have your life destroyed. I know how it feels when your heart shatters into a thousand pieces; what happens when the mind breaks down; the body betrays you; and what it means to lose everything. I know what it’s like to find the courage to begin again and what it’s like to make it to the other side. I’ve made it to a place where I am happy and thriving. It’s been a wild ride!
A New Life
Eventually, it became clear that a new career was needed. But what did I know outside of academia? Well… earth medicine. Trust me – it took some time to convince myself that I really was going to do it! It just sounded so… woo-woo. How could I go from being a college professor and textbook writer to a crystal healer and stone merchant? My ego and I really had to do some work and explore a few topics around that!
But as time passed, I began to get more and more interested and comfortable. There was the earth medicine side of things, but also the business side. Having a business is an incredible learning opportunity and my mind has enjoyed all the delightfully crunchy questions of figuring out how to make things work and be successful. I wasn’t expecting to love owning a business – but I do! The business side is interesting and it feels really good to positively affect people’s lives.
At this point, I’m pretty happy dancing down this path as a professional crystal intuitive and Light Worker. But my academic side is still strong and active too. It’s become increasingly clear to me that in the rock business, there are usually two camps people fall into. The glittery spiritual camp and the no-nonsense scientific camp. Rarely do the two camps meet! I strive to bridge those worlds. To delight in pure research and get excited by facts, while also channeling intuitively and cultivating spiritual/emotional intelligence.
As the years passed, I’ve become increasingly aware of and frustrated by complex ethical issues involved in sourcing crystals. There are few things more important to me than integrity. In January 2019, I finally reached my crossroads. I either had to make ethical sourcing the center of my business or else get out of the business altogether. If you’re reading this, you can guess which path I decided to take.
My Journey continues…
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me. I look forward to knowing you!