This week will mark my 9th year in attendance at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, where all the world’s crystalline wonders come together in the desert for a few weeks of sparkly, spendy fun.
It is my perhaps delulu belief that the goddess herself brought me to my first gem show.
It was early 2015. I’d just received my tarot deck, adopted a dog, cut off all my hair, and was generally in the midst of an identity crisis in the thick of a brutal NYC winter. I knew even then that nothing would ever be the same, that I was in the hands of The Magician, following the leap of The Fool. My reality was shifting underfoot, doors upon doors upon doors opening into unknown and beautiful spaces.
It was so chaotic, honestly. I remember feeling overwhelmed, disoriented, unknown to myself, guilty that I couldn’t give more time to a then newly-adopted Zadie — even though I took her to the dog park every day in the middle of winter for at least an hour which is how Autumn and I met! Doors upon doors I tell ya.
A friend in my therapy group invited me to Arizona. She was visiting a friend in Phoenix, and told me about the trip less than a week before. I’d never been to Arizona before, and I didn’t really have the funds for a last minute flight. Still, I booked my ticket within the hour.
A few days later we were in Phoenix, a city I remember nothing about except all the soothing beige, the flora and fauna of succulents and cacti growing in abundance on the side of the road that I would pay a fortune for in the Flower District near my office, and the nice weather. I’d been in possession of my tarot deck for only three months so naturally I was bringing it with me everywhere and making it my entire personality. When I pulled cards for her friend she mentioned offhandedly that there was a gem show down in Tucson that happened every year and we could go for the day if I’d like.
Can you literally imagine a person who has never heard a single utterance of the gem show walking into Tucson for the first time? I didn’t own Everyday Magic, she wasn’t yet even a glimmer in my eye. I didn’t know what to do about all of the beauty I beheld. We spent the entire day at a single show and didn’t get through half of it.
For the first and last time at the Tucson Gem Show, I shopped with only myself in mind. My budget was $200. I bought a bunch of Clear Quartz from Brazil, a Rose Quartz tower from Madagascar, a Shiva Lingham from India, a piece of sandstone screen-printed with the divine mother, a colorful wool runner woven in Oaxaca, Mexico. I could barely comprehend what I was experiencing.
Though I never could have predicted what came next, I knew that would not be my last time in Tucson.
What happened next happened very quickly. I quit my job to read tarot full time in April, my ex’s sister was diagnosed with cancer in June, and we moved to North Carolina in November. In December, I signed the lease for the first Everyday Magic location and the next month I found myself back at the Tucson Gem show, hunting for treasures to fill a sunny little corner storefront in Durham’s historic downtown.
The treasures I found there would come to sustain me for the next decade, returning to the desert every year in search of gems, friends, and mem(orie)s.
It is so rare in the world to come upon true instances of wonder, real evidence of magic, and Tucson manages to serve it up every single year.
The glimmer in my eye when I came upon our first storefront is singlehandedly due Tucson. Had I not accepted the invitation, booked the ticket and taken the ride I would have had no conception of how to fill a shop with crystals, and the open storefront I walked past would not have registered to me as anything other than a vacant space.
Stay tuned for our annual trip to our origin story and our happy place, we will be taking you along with us here and on our socials.
Thank you, goddess.
A tripper on a trip,
Leave a comment below and let us know what you'd like to see in our Tucson haul this year!