Earlsfield Talks: to Camilla Royce, local tarot reader
Camilla, thanks for speaking to us, please tell us a bit about yourself..
After university I went to London and trained as an actress. I wanted to join the RSC. However, I had no chance of succeeding because I never gave myself full permission to pursue acting as a career. I was too busy comparing myself to my friends who were speeding ahead (or so I thought) with well-paid careers and logical career trajectories. I decided to escape London for a while and went to live in Paris. I ended up with a very unusual job as an assistant to a well-known actress from the golden age of Hollywood. It was incredible to think that when I was young I had watched her films. I believe that the powers that be were helping me to come to terms with a few things! This synchronistic adventure, although tough at times, taught me to relax and trust that life has a way of drawing you to what you need to learn and what you need to know. I had my first tarot reading in Paris and totally fell in love with it. I connected with the tarot because it encompasses elements that I embodied as an actress: storytelling, intuition, communication and being able to step into someone else’s shoes.
What does Tarot reading mean to you?
Tarot has a mixed reputation but it has been in the press a lot of late. We are living in very uncertain times and it is not surprising that people are looking for reassurance and guidance. Tarot readers interpret the cards in different ways and there are many styles of reading. Finding a reader that you connect with is the challenge.
I have been practising tarot for a few years now and it has brought me an immense amount of fulfilment and joy. It never fails to amaze me how accurate the cards are at illustrating what is surrounding the individual. My job is to put people at ease and to help them articulate their story using the cards as a storyboard. My readings are collaborative. I want to empower people to find their own solutions. I don’t believe in focusing on predicting the future with the cards. This encourages people to become meerkats, constantly scanning the horizon for the handsome stranger they have been told is going to appear. That’s no way to live your life. I want people to be reenergised and able to see themselves more clearly, even if that means confronting a tough issue. Tarot is a beautiful tool which can help you understand yourself better and illuminate what might be holding you back. It is like a mirror to the soul and gets straight to the nub of what is going on. Often the tarot will highlight situations that the individual is aware of, but they need affirmation and confirmation.
I was taught by an outstanding tarot master who spent 30 years documenting what he thought each of the cards represented by asking his clients for feedback. He has retired now. In fact I think I was his last pupil, so I really want to be the best I can be.
What happens during one of your readings?
My readings take about 1.5 hours. I do three spreads in total. The main spread gives me a wide overview which I take time to discuss with the client, and finally, I ask them to choose cards for each of their chakras.
Why did you chose to set up in Earlsfield?
I need to be in a harmonious space where I can focus and I have lived in Earlsfield for 7 years now. I love the green space and trees. Earlsfield has a very easy energy. It is a great place to be.
What have been your best moments? or Why do you enjoy this work?
I am satisfied when people go away with a clearer view and a renewed energy. I’ve also had the opportunity to read for some really special clients but I can’t say anymore than that!
...and your biggest challenges?
I want to be really accurate and sometimes I think about readings too much after the client has gone. That can take up a lot of headspace.
Friends sometimes ask me to read for them and I find it very difficult to be impartial as I often know a lot about their situation.
What advice would you give other businesses setting up in the area?
Make use of all the excellent online community groups. They are a great way to share information and gather feedback.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Follow your own internal GPS. Don’t worry about what other people are doing.
Comparing yourself to others is futile and wastes precious energy.