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Basic Rules of the Camoin Method of Tarot Card Reading

NOTICE: this method has been copyrighted in its entirety in the year 1999 and published in several countries.



This Method makes it possible to use a large number of cards without knowing in advance either their position or their number. The spread can end after three cards or it can grow to more than a dozen. Cards can be upright or reversed. The positions of the figures, the direction of their Regards, similar symbols appearing in multiple cards, the colours, etc. are all taken into account. This Method can be used in spreads of three cards at the outset, or more according to the variant used. Philippe Camoin advises using the three-card variant. (See Variants of the number of cards)


In the teachings of Philippe Camoin, we have seen that The Fool indicates the direction of movement, from the left of the card toward the right; in this way we are shown a reference point that defines movement both in space and in time. PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE.

The querent asks a question before drawing the cards. She selects three cards and places them before her, from left to right. The cards are read as facing the querent; the Tarot reader sitting across from the querent will see the cards upside down. What is important is that the person consulting can understand the story unfolding before her. The card placed on the left from her perspective represents the past, in the center the present, and on the right the future.

Then the following rules must be followed:

1st rule : It is always the person asking the question who shuffles the cards and selects the cards. The cards are placed face down, and it is the Tarot reader who turns them face up at the appropriate time.

2nd rule : When a card is in reverse position (of course from the perspective of the querent) it means that the energies of that card are blocked. If there is not already a card directly above (or below when following a variant method - see Upward and Downward Spreads) the reversed card, another card is drawn and placed there. The new card is always placed upright. It indicates the solution, the direction to take, what needs to be done to remove the blockage of the reversed card below it. It is the card that "cures" the reversed card.

3rd rule : When a figure in the card gazes, or "regards", in a direction where no card has been placed, another card is drawn and placed next to the first in the direction of its Regard. This card can be either upright or reversed. For instance, if the Pope is upright in the future position and it is looking at an empty space without a card, another card must be drawn to see what the Pope is regarding. This new card can be either upright or reversed.

4th rule : When a similar symbol appears two or more times in the spread, it is important to pay attention to that symbol. For instance, in The Empress, The Emperor and The World, an eagle appears three times.

5th rule : When the problem related to the blockage in a reversed card is resolved through the Tarot reading, and/or in dialogue with the querent, the reversed card can be placed upright. The situation thus transforms and the new reading appears which corresponds to what is occurring now that the problem has been remedied.

6th rule : When all the cards have been placed and there are no more cards to draw, the spread is in principle finished. However, it is possible to continue to read the cards in the spread in relationship to information that surfaces during the discussion. For example, a certain card might represent a member of the querent’s family, a work colleague, or another person related to the question. Another reading can be made based on the card representing the particular person The new reading will give an idea about the life and surroundings of that person.

7th rule : Variations are of course possible using the Minor Arcana or with other structures than the standard spread beginning with three cards; for example, the Cross spread, spreads with more cards in a row horizontally, or any other spread.

8th rule : When using the Minor Arcana, the rules expressed above equally apply, in particular those on the direction of the Regard for the figures in the court cards: Page, Queen, King, Knight.

NOTE : The combination of the above rules form a new and original method (work) never used before, the inventor of which is Philippe Camoin.

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