With tattooed sleeves, leather boots and turquoise jewelry, Gina Kruzel, 61, seems like an average hippie biker. Under the surface, however, Kruzel is a 40-year paranormal worker in the metaphysical field.
Kruzel's love for the metaphysical realm started at a young age. She would read mythology about ancient Greek gods, and books related to religion, myths or the paranormal from the school's library. Kruzel hails from Broadview Heights, near Cleveland, Ohio. There, she and her mom owned Ambergram, a metaphysical boutique that sold herbs, oils, statues, posters, clothes and more. It closed around 10 years ago.
"We had that from the early '80s and it ran for about 30 years," Kruzel said.
Some of her remaining trinkets are scattered around her cabin and on her desk: iconoclasms, small statues and crystal balls fill her space with what remains from her mom's store.
"When I was 18, one of my friends showed me a deck of tarot cards and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that is the coolest thing ever,’" Kruzel said.
Her interest grew even more, and she began performing readings for others. This inspired her to enter the metaphysical field. Kruzel began reading tarot cards and helping clients clear spirits from their homes. She said she could sense what was happening when calling them over the phone or via Zoom.
Her abilities, Kruzel said, help people who are experiencing situations that everyday solutions cannot explain. They call her to clear a house or property and discover what spirit might be trapped in the earthly realm.
"When we die, the brilliant bright light opens up around us," Kruzel said. "If someone hasn't gone into it … they get stuck."
Kruzel said missing this window of light is what keeps spirits attached to a home or piece of land, and Kruzel helps bring them to the light and restores peace to her client's life again. She has even helped animals, from dogs to raccoons, pass over.
Clients trust Kruzel to see the earth-bound spirits and clear them from their residents. She said clients must approach tarot card readings with an open mind to believe the cards can provide insight into their life.
Kelly Lawerance, the owner of the metaphysical shop Chosen Pathways, allows Kruzel to host a monthly group tarot talk and a six-week tarot class inside her shop on East State Street in Athens.
"That was really insightful – I learned so much that I didn't know about tarot," Lawerance said. "It's maybe the most popular of my classes."
The monthly talk allows Kruzel to share her knowledge with people wanting to start tarot card readings. Since the shop opened, Kruzel has helped Lawrence and continued their relationship through her tarot talk.
Kruzel lives on the Wisteria Campground and Event Site in Pomeroy, Ohio, in a cabin that she and her dad built in the '90s. Before moving to Southeast Ohio, she lived in a dilapidated house at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She came to the Appalachian region of Southeast Ohio to fulfill her dream of mountain living. It was once believed that the tallest mountains in the ancient world would bring people closest to God, and Kruzel said there is a sacred history that lies in the mountains.
Kruzel lives with her husband, Rick Weber, in their cabin on the Wisteria site. They met in 2011 at the campground during the Starwood Festival, which held a two-story bonfire. The festival is an annual gathering hosted by the Association for Consciousness Exploration and features music, dance, magic, classes, ceremonies and more. That year, Kruzel was helping to bring in firewood and Weber was part of the "fire tribe." The two hit it off until Weber eventually relocated to Southeast Ohio.
Kruzel said one day, Weber showed up in her life again and revealed he had moved just eight miles away. He said, "Missouri Baby," like the show-me state, which is Kruzel's saying for "no talk, just do," and things developed from there.
Kruzel has also enjoyed motorcycles for the last 10 years, and the pair eloped by riding their bikes up into the mountains of West Virginia. She previously owned a Harley Davidson motorcycle and regularly rode with Weber but has since sold it. However, she has plans to buy a new one. Kruzel remembers the first time she learned to ride her first Harley.
"I went 15 feet . . . got off, laid on the grass for 15 minutes because I couldn't believe I actually rode a bike myself," Kruzel said.
Along with living on the Wisteria Campground site, she was one of the founding members of the property in 1997. They built places for RVs, camping and sacred areas, including a stone circle and turtle-shaped mound on the property.
"It's a special spot to me, I love walking it, I caretake for this area with my husband," Kruzel said.
The property was once a stripped mine and they reclaimed it into their campgrounds to host events like the Starwood Festival. Kruzel helps organize parking, sets up signage and directs people to the right places. The annual Prometheus Gathering event was held this year from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 and featured fire performers on the main stage outside Kruzel's backyard. The gathering, described as "three days of magic and healing through the love of art," has been a source of excitement for Kruzel. She served as the Wisteria President for 15 years of the company’s 26 years of existence and has held roles in preparing for events and maintaining the property.
With her metaphysical touch, Kruzel helps clients seek help beyond this realm and search for answers to their everyday issues. She has built clientele all over the world, allowing her to clear homes of spirits in person and virtually beyond Southeast Ohio. Kruzel said she does not plan on stopping anytime soon, and for a good reason: her gift is rare and the opportunity to use it is everything to her.