Marcella Kroll's Sacred Symbols oracle deck only recently popped onto my radar, but as soon as I saw it, it was as though a lightning bolt had struck some deep, dark part of my brain. The cards are deceptively simple, and the symbols they depict are so resonant, it's evident from only a glance how powerful they are! Diving in to the cards is for another day, though - a full review to come. Today, we're going back to the beginning and chatting to their creator, Marcella Kroll, about her work with the deck and beyond!
Photo by Diana Zalucky, for the Modern Mystics Project.
Hi Marcella, thanks so much for stopping by! By now, I think we know that you’re here because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with your Sacred Symbols oracle deck, but before we talk about that, could you tell us a little about yourself, your background, and what sort of work you do?
Hey! Thank you so much, I’m so happy you dig them. My full-time profession is my Spiritual Healing Practice. I’m a professional Empathic Medium, Metaphysical teacher, host of the podcast Saved by the Spell, and Artist.
I’d love to know, what’s the story of the Sacred Symbols deck – where did the inspiration come from, what is your intention for it, and what was your process of bringing it into being?
Over the years, I have kept sketch pads, and journals of random symbols that I have encountered during sessions I have had personally, and have given. Several years back I attempted to create a tarot deck. It was so much work and kept running into blocks when trying to draw or paint. It never flowed. After a series of gypsy caravan style, moving all of my belongings across Southern California, the Southwest, and Northern California I found myself back in Los Angeles. When I finally stood still long enough I just started painting these symbols in my notebooks.
The process of bringing it into being was certainly a channeled one. Once I started drawing and painting I didn’t stop. I should also mention I didn’t have a computer or tablet at the time, just my iPhone 3. So I did all my editing in apps. Yes apps. HA! From start to finish of writing the booklet, it took a total of 40 days to complete. Then with the help of a generous backer and graphic design friend the first pressing was created.
Once the cards were printed it was important to me to really give them a personal touch. So with each pressing I create a grid with crystals, sacred objects, and other tools with the cards in the center. On the coinciding New or Full Moon I charge the cards within this sacred space, reiki charge, anoint, and smudge each deck with the highest intention of their purpose.
How does your own oracle deck fit into the broader context of the work you do? Do you integrate the deck into any of the services you offer, whether readings, or your work with ceremony, shamanism, healing circles, teaching, your podcast, and so on?
I use this oracle deck more than I ever imagined, and not just because I created it. In combination with Tarot, in workshops, healing circles, personal ritual, and daily reflection. I feel like they continue to shift and change how I use them weekly.
Backtracking a little, could you share with us a little about your artistic background, and how that has informed and influenced the way you envisioned and created your deck?
I am a high school drop out. I was fortunate to grow up in a city (Providence, RI) where the arts were encouraged and supported. Immediately ushering me into a professional (i.e.: getting paid) artistic career. My early twenties I was professionally represented and selling illustrations, and silkscreened posters by commission. I did some painting but my style was heavy on the illustrative side. I’ve never played by the rules of how you are supposed to create or go about having a career. I guess that’s how the cards came to being too. By just following my gut and going for it when my psychic channel opened me up to do it.
As much as you feel comfortable sharing it, what roles do tarot and oracles have in your own spiritual practice, and how has working with your own art – both making the deck and reading with it – influenced and shaped your personal spiritual and creative journeys?
For the first 27 years of my life, these two worlds (the psychic and the creative) were completely separate. I never imagined my spiritual work becoming ya know, my work. So marrying the two has been a feat in and of itself. They were different aspects of myself. Often the creative representing my Shadow, and the Spiritual repping my Light. To bring the two together in this way has shifted the idea of separatism on my path, and continuing to challenge my former beliefs that they couldn’t coexist. It’s often challenging but at the same time I thoroughly enjoy. I feel that it’s another aspect that I’m learning about to help others have the same kind of understanding of all their sides, to help find fulfilment in this lifetime.
Apart from your own inspired creation, are there any other decks you love to work with? Have they been an influence on your own deck creation process?
I currently love working with the Golden Dawn Tarot. Other cards I find influential and fascinating are the Medicine Cards, Thoth deck, Sacred Rebels, Tarot Nefetari, the Greenwood Tarot, and on and on and on…I could keep going really.
Finally, do you have any advice, guidance, or insider tips for working with the Sacred Symbols oracle?
Treat the cards well and they will treat you well too. It’s really an energetic tool and relationship that can grow alongside of you. Also don’t be afraid to go outside the meaning of the booklet inside. The book of meanings is brief for this reason. So you can develop your own personal system. Also, allow yourself to have fun with them.
As well as being the mastermind behind the Sacred Symbols deck, Marcella is an artist and spiritual healer, with an impressive resume that ranges from mediumship to shamanism, reiki to curanderismo. You can find out more about Marcella at her website, or follow her on instagram.