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.