Interview with Camomilla

What first drew you to Tarot?

As long as I can remember I have been drawn towards myths and fairy tales. I went to a New Year’s party when I was 26, and a friend had brought tarot cards, a standard Rider-Waite deck, and she read for us. That sparked something in me, the side of me that really want to believe that there is something more between heaven and earth, the side of me that just loves mythology, and also my fascination for synchronicity. Later I lived in London for a few years and fell in love with Watkin’s bookshop – for the same reasons, and that was where I got my first cards, Rider-Waite, and the Tarot of Prague. Since then I have collected a lot more…

What is your favourite deck right now?

One favourite at the moment is the Tarot de Aux Arcs by Lori La Page, a new version of the Marseille, because of its fantastic and unusual colours that make even the pips come alive in a very special way. I also have a penchant for the Spolia Tarot by Jen May and writer Jessa Crispin. which is inspired by both Rider-Waite and the Minchiate-style decks. It has 97 cards instead of the traditional 78, one for each of the four elements, and one card for each of the astrological signs. At the moment though I am turning more and more towards the Tarot de Marseille, and discovering all the fine nuances in these old decks. Being absolutely no expert, I love to discover all the minute differences in colours and style between the different schools. And not to forget the absolutely adorable La Corte dei Tarocchi, painted by Anna Maria d’Onnofrio and printed by il Meneghello. This is a beauty in naïve style with muted colours.

Tell us about a card that means something special to you.

They all mean something special to me! I will put the Hanged Man in the spotlight I think – the poor guy. Camelia Elias had a very interesting essay on the Hanged Man: “When the World hangs you” where she firmly rebukes the notion that the Hanged man only is about finding another perspective, she says that it is about looking at the inverse of the situation. How can you respond when you are immobilized? Maybe the Hanged Man also is the card that best represents the situation that we all now find ourselves in, this limbo where we really can’t take initiative and act in the ways we want, we just have to hang in there and wait. “It can’t be helped” – we just have to accept the situation as it is, and this is the necessary condition to be able to move on.

What is your favourite, or go-to spread?

I do love just simple, plain three-card spread because you can gain a lot of information from them, and it’s possible to do one every single day. I would like to dive deeper into old-fashioned spreads with lots of cards though, but I haven’t had the chance to do it yet.

How do you think Tarot works best?

When the question is clear as glass. A good question yields a clear answer. I also believe that the tarot can act as a great starter for creativity. One could easily use the cards as writing prompts. It is all about the story, of being able to express the narrative that the cards show us in pictures, in words.

Why did you decide to become a Free Reader for TABI?

It is such a wonderful opportunity to practice! And I like having a certain amount of pressure to deliver. I also enjoyed the mentoring process, I learned a lot from that. I think the Free Reading service that TABI offer is quite unique. There is a professional and sincere attitude to the way TABI’s Free Readers do their readings that I appreciate a lot.

What do you like best about giving Tarot readings?

I like the fact that it is a bit like solving a riddle. You get a question, pull the cards, and then the brain starts searching for the right connections and is probably rewiring itself a bit in the process. And then you have to formulate the reading in a way that hopefully will speak to the querent. It is lovely when you have nice feedback, and of course not so lovely when you don’t get any. I find that this is also a way to practice not caring so much about what other people think, but rather look for new solutions the next time, try a different approach and see if you get different results. It is a never-ending and fascinating journey – like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope.

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