EP104 Fortune Telling, Physics and the Void with Toni Puhle
Play • 59 min

Hey folks. Toni and I talk a lot about connecting and grounding, our lives as readers, the role of science and mystery in this process, and Toni's ideas of the Void! This one goes deep so buckle in for the ride. 

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Andrew McGregor: Welcome to another episode of the Hermit's Lamp podcast. I'm here today with Toni Puhle. And I met Toni at Readers Studio, which is a big card reader convention event in New York City in the spring every year, and I really enjoyed their approach to working with the cards, because unlike some of the more maybe popular stuff that I was running into or had been running into, Toni is deep into the fortune-telling side, deep into the sort of more European practices and decks like Lenormand and other things that have been going on for a long time, but for some reason never really gained their popularity in North America, but have been doing so in the last number of years. So for those who don't know who you are, Toni, why don't you give us a quick introduction?

Toni Puhle: I am Toni, I'm also known as the Card Geek on social media and founder of the World Divination Association. I teach systems, I teach students around the world how to to read systems like Kipper cards, gypsy cards, and also Lenormand and how to go back to basics and do the predictive-style reads of the old-fashioned fortune tellers. On top of that I teach the spiritual side of life, such as pendulum dowsing, pendulum healing, also symbol healing, all kinds of courses that I have through my years learned and what I ... I tend to teach what is important to me or important to me as a person, and I am a practicing Hoʻoponopono teacher, and if you mix all that in together with a super practical person who loves theoretical physics, who loves the theory of everything and try to break my brain daily on quantum physics, quantum field theory, and how we can actually explain all this amazing spiritual stuff we are doing, but in a super practical way.

Toni Puhle: And then if you throw in some Marvel characters and generally a whole heap of superheroes, you've got a rounded version of who I am. I'm from the UK, you can tell by the tone, but I'm currently living in Munich, Germany, so speaking German and English. So if I do lose a word as we're talking, it's probably because my mind is in German mode.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), totally fair. Well I'll just remind you and you can be like "Oh yeah, yeah, English."

Toni Puhle: Exactly.

Andrew McGregor: Okay, so very important question.

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Current favorite Marvel character?

Toni Puhle: Oh, I have so many, I can't choose one. I love Dr. Strange, I love Thor. Iron Man is my all time favorite and-

Andrew McGregor: Of course.

Toni Puhle: ... that will never change.

Andrew McGregor: Yes. Spoiler alert, he saves the world.

Toni Puhle: And I also love Loki, I like both sides of the coin in Marvel.

Andrew McGregor: Nice. Yeah, Marvel stuff gets a lot of play around my house.

Toni Puhle: I also have two boys and I've pushed them in that direction so I can actually watch more.

Andrew McGregor: For sure. Well that's your job as a parent, right?

Toni Puhle: Exactly.

Andrew McGregor: I remember there was a time probably around when my kids started being like five and six where I was like "How about we not watch that, how about we try this instead? Hey look at this Spider-Man thing, hey look at Scooby Doo, these are great."

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: As opposed to some of the other stuff where you're just like, "If I have to listen to that again my head's just going to melt right out of my ears, I can't deal with it," so ...

Toni Puhle: I absolutely love going back with the kids as well, because Lloyd, my eldest, he is sort of a retro kid, he loves to go back to what I used to watch as a kid and then talk through it with me. And we talk daily on the way to school, we talk daily about the theories of Marvel and who or what movies are coming out next and the properties of each superhero and how we would use that property if we had it in our lives, and I think that's also a spiritual side to life where you also consider what you would do if you could.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah, well, and I think that that's one of the parts of magic, right? What would we do if we could, and then how can we?

Toni Puhle: Yes. And that's also throwing the physics in there, because there is the practical sense to it as well, is there any way we can explain how we could possibly do that in the future?

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. My eldest, we always have these conversations after stuff, like the Ant-Man movie where they end up in the "quantum realm," right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: And my eldest is just like "That's not how it works, that's not even a thing. They just made that up so it'd look good in the movie."

Toni Puhle: But I love it that she thinks that.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah, for sure, right? And they really, it was one of the things that when they started homeschooling, they went to the library and one of the first books they checked out was Quantum Particle Theory.

Toni Puhle: Amazing.

Andrew McGregor: I was just like "That's awesome. You're 10 and that's what you want to read, great." Rock on.

Toni Puhle: Amazing.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure. So maybe let's start with this. Hoʻoponopono, what is it?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: It's a lovely-sounding word, what does it mean and what's it about?

Toni Puhle: It is. It's actually quite misunderstood, it's called the art of forgiveness. It comes from Hawaii, and I actually learned about it probably eight years ago, maybe more. And I started doing the prayer, and the prayer is quite simple. "I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you." And like most people who start with Hoʻoponopono, at the beginning I thought I was sending people into balloons or bubbles and light and letting them go into the distance, the art of forgiving other people.

Toni Puhle: But actually when I researched it and started living the Hoʻoponopono prayer, it is about taking responsibility for our actions right now in this moment in time. It's a belief system that we are all one, the collective consciousness if you like, the return to zero, the null state at which we are born in spirit, and then returning to that. Because everything that's incoming these days, all this information, social media especially, everything that's incoming is all something that we deal with, we react to something, and they're actually only physical things in the physical human existence, but if we return or if we can find a way to return to our nullness, our voidness, then we don't need to react. The need has gone, and you react in a very different way than you would have before. You may act angry or you may act hurt. We're taking responsibility for any problem that arises and we're saying "Okay, we're here and we send the prayer up to this nullness, this void."

Toni Puhle: Some people will call it God, other people will call it void, but you send your prayer up and you are taking responsibility for your part of returning to void. And the more we cleanse, the more we return to void. Cleanse is just saying the prayer, technically. More you return to void, and the more even and more neutral you are as a person, I had times where I would have outbursts, et cetera. If I'm in the car and somebody had annoyed me while driving, I was not the calmest person. And it was when I realized that I actually needed to sort me out first, and that's where Hoʻoponopono really sent me on the path of accepting responsibility for me.

Andrew McGregor: I think it's so important, right? I think that we all need to find that understanding of where we are and what we're responsible for and what we control, and all of those things in a way that allows us to be freer to be in the moment, maybe is a good way to put it.

Toni Puhle: Yeah, exactly. And I think also, there is this part of me that does want to break my brain and learn as much as possible, but it's also important to filter out which bit of that learning is important for now.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah, for sure.

Toni Puhle: And taking responsibility for learning the right parts for you, and also taking responsibility to accept that you don't know everything.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, and I think that my question for you then is, right, so if you're returning to null and to void, or whatever we want to call those things, where do you exist in that? What are you in that?

Toni Puhle: I am null and void. I am a part of the void. It's not commonly accepted, and the physics world don't like to hear it, but I strongly believe that quantum field theory will give us more information on the null state, more information on the void state. They call it a field, I call it a void. And I am part of that void, as we all are. My human existence is completely separate to that void at times, when I lose sight of who I really am. But then the ... Sorry, go ahead.

Andrew McGregor: Well, so are you nothing, then? Are you nobody? Are you just that void state?

Toni Puhle: No, I am-

Andrew McGregor: Where's the part of you that is driven to start this World Divination Association? That doesn't sound very null or void. What's that distinction?

Toni Puhle: The distinction is that when you are in null or void, that is when the inspiration comes in. That's when the information comes in that is useful. We're so used to hearing white noise all the time that we can't actually hear, null or void may be the wrong word for it, but we can't actually hear the information that is important. So until I enter my state of null or void, the information that's coming out of me may not be the best information for everybody else.

Toni Puhle: And the WDA was a spark of inspiration. The Kipper book I wrote was something that came to me and I had to do it and I had to do it immediately. And it feels like a drive, and I use the word void because I can't explain it, in my psychic development courses, I can't explain it in any other way than your head has to be empty. There has to be no external information coming in except that spark from above or except that message, if you want to call it a message. So the returning to void is more of a state than a being.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah, it reminds me of the idea that we need to just find that deep, deep silence, right?

Toni Puhle: Yeah.

Andrew McGregor: And we don't just mean, by deep silence we don't just necessarily mean stop thinking, but actually-

Toni Puhle: No.

Andrew McGregor: ... stop identifying with anything, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: You know, and there's a meditation that I often do with people where it's like, you go through and sort of dissociate from your body, dissociate from your emotions, dissociate-

Toni Puhle: Exactly that.

Andrew McGregor: ... from your thinking, and your memories and so on and so on and so on, dissociate from the world, and then you get to a place where there's something left. And it's-

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: ... definitely you.

Toni Puhle: That's you, that's what I call void.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Toni Puhle: Personally, and I think people who have or suffer with depression actually understand that feeling a lot better without even realizing it than people who don't. So I think depression has a lot to do with spirituality or where we are on our spiritual journey, and that emptiness isn't ... Sometimes a horrible feeling if you aren't used to it, it is an emptiness, like you say. And there's something leftover, but you're not sure what.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah, I mean, it can be that long Dark Night of the Soul piece, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Like who wrote that, St. John of the Cross? There's a book on that, right? And that place where it's like, you find despair so that you can find the light.

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: But I think that that's one of those touchy areas where it's like, sometimes that's true. Sometimes this world just sucks, right? Or biology or whatever-

Toni Puhle: Sometimes life just sucks.

Andrew McGregor: ... and so there are lots of ways to look at that. So if you're listening to this and that doesn't feel helpful to you, just [crosstalk 00:15:08]-

Toni Puhle: No, this is true.

Andrew McGregor: ... It's a particular kind of relationship to that for sure, in the same way that shamanic sickness or near-death experience for some people and in certain situations can really open up to a similar kind of thing or other kinds of experiences. It doesn't mean that everything is that way. But yeah, for sure.

Toni Puhle: No. And like I said before, I think we have to accept that we don't know everything.

Andrew McGregor: For sure, right?

Toni Puhle: Whatever we talk about, we can talk about until the cows come home, but at the end of the day we can't prove it.

Andrew McGregor: No, for sure. Well, the proof is in the practice, I think, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Is it helpful, is it getting me somewhere, is it helping me move forward? Am I making real change or sustaining the life that I have that I want? I mean I think that to me those are the, the longer I journey on a path with divination and magic and other things, those become the real measures of what seems helpful or important.

Toni Puhle: That's very true, and for one person it'll be different to another person's journey.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure. For sure. So how did you find Hoʻoponopono living in Germany, or maybe you found it while you were in the UK? Did you visit Hawaii, did someone bring it to you, how did it show up in your [crosstalk 00:16:35]-

Toni Puhle: No, like most things in life, it turned up on my doorstep. I think the paths or the routes that we go down just happen to either turn up or you've made a cosmic order for a certain path to go on, and they show up at your door. And honestly, when I first started reading about it, I used it as a coping mechanism at the time. And it was shortly after I had my first boy, Lloyd, and I think it was more of a getting through the day coping method, and I didn't truly understand it as a lifestyle until recently.

Andrew McGregor: ... Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Toni Puhle: So it was, like everything, it showed up.

Andrew McGregor: Well, and I think that spiritual paths are often like that, right?

Toni Puhle: Yeah.

Andrew McGregor: They take us where we need to go, not necessarily [crosstalk 00:17:51]-

Toni Puhle: Whether we want to or not.

Andrew McGregor: ... whether we expect it or not, right?

Toni Puhle: Exactly.

Andrew McGregor: Like even when we grow up around stuff, I think it's always difficult to truly understand what's going on in someone else's experience, and so as we become a practitioner or a leader or teacher or whatever, it all starts to change and grow and we grow through that too, right?

Toni Puhle: The reason I like Hoʻoponopono for that is because you aren't projecting your ideas on anybody else. The taking responsibility yourself means that you look at the person who's sat opposite you and you aren't seeing them through your own experience, you are seeing them through a, I'll use void again, through a void experience where there are no expectations or no preconceived ideas. And you don't actually need to understand their journey, but you can still play a part in it.

Andrew McGregor: I think that's actually a really interesting point, too. I find when I'm reading for people, there's a sort of idea that people put towards me that I understand everything about them, or even everything that I'm saying, right? And sometimes, there are times where I have a deep level of understanding about it, and then there are times where a peculiar phrase that I wouldn't normally use comes out, or I use a metaphor that I don't remember ever using before. And there's something in that process that emerges that makes a ton of sense to them, but to me I'm kind of like, if someone asks I'm like "I don't know, I just said it. I was just doing the work and letting the work come through me," right?

Toni Puhle: I presume also that you forget those reads very quickly afterwards as well, because you've probably passed on the message that needed to be passed on, and it didn't have to become a part of you.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure. I forget a lot of readings.

Toni Puhle: I do too.

Andrew McGregor: It's too hard to hold onto them, it's like, I'm just going to just be super loose about this and let it go, and then-

Toni Puhle: I think that's the only way when you do regular readings.

Andrew McGregor: ... Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure. Okay. So on one side we got the void, and on the other side we've got time, space, and prediction.

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Right? What's the relationship? For you. Or if you want to share some math or something.

Toni Puhle: I have a super dodgy relationship with predictions and fortune-telling, et cetera, because while I do have this side of void and spiritualism, et cetera, I have this side where I use systems, and I actually use systems for a reason. And I probably haven't shared this many places, but I use systems so I don't have to channel. When I channel, I don't ... I can do it all day long if I want to, but I have built up barriers through the years to stop the channeling happening, because I am more comfortable passing on a predictive read and a fortune-telling read when it's clear in the cards.

Toni Puhle: I think this is this duality within me that I need proof, and the physics side of Toni, and then the void side of me that is letting loose and letting everything happen. So I have this two sides of my relationship with cards and spirit that at times I struggle with, personally, but that's because my physic hat comes on one day and I think "Oh my goodness, how can I tell them that that's going to happen when the only proof I have is a system in front of me?" But I do it anyway, because that's part of being a fortune-teller and part of being a predictive reader. And when I get emails back saying how wonderful and it's amazing that you will predict, because I think a lot of readers these days don't want to predict, they want to use it as a psychological tool or some kind of tool for making people feel better, which is awesome of that's the root or aura person that you are.

Toni Puhle: I'm not that person, I want to know what's going to happen next week when I go to the shop down the corner. I'm quite simple, a quite simple person. I want to know if I'm, for example, moving house this year. I want to know where my journey is going and I want the building blocks along the way. I want to see exactly what's happening. So I do the predictive side of it, and I do have my void side of it where I will channel and I will bring in messages, but I prefer the systems because it's in black and white in front of you, and that's probably the proof that I require for my physics hat person. I require the proof of the system in front of me.

Andrew McGregor: I think that looking for evidence or corroboration in what you're doing is one of the most important parts of doing divination. When I'm reading cards for people, I'm pointing at the cards and I'm saying "Look here, you can see it yourself. Look at what this person's doing. This is you, this is this." When Carrie and I teach mediumship through charm casting, right? We're looking for that corroboration. It's like, well, okay, you want to speak to your grandmother, it's like, "Oh, here's the gardening tool, me and my gran used to spend all our time out back puttering with the flower pots." It's like, okay, now we've got some corroboration, right? Now we've got some evidence.

Toni Puhle: Exactly that.

Andrew McGregor: And I think that channeling and open receiving messages is great too, and there can be evidence in that process as well.

Toni Puhle: There can be.

Andrew McGregor: Depending on who you're working with and how that's coming, but yeah, where there's no evidence, where there's no relationship. Something lovely might be going on there, but I don't actually know and understand what that is, and therefore I'm skeptical.

Toni Puhle: Exactly. I do teach, I can't say I don't do it. I teach automatic writing, I teach all the qualities of becoming a great medium, or some people want to call a great psychic, for the predictive reads. But I think it's super important for that corroboration, but I also think it's important to have a process that you go down for that. So that yes, I do have information coming in, but I make sure that information is coming in when I'm in void. I'm very much controlling my environment and myself so that I have the physics me who is in human existence and controlling it, but then the other side, when I am in void. So I am controlling when I am entering void, and I can do a very practical and physics-minded predictive read using systems, because it's all there in front of you.

Andrew McGregor: So when you're channeling, right, what are you channeling? Nothing? The void? Something else?

Toni Puhle: No, no, sorry. The void that I am in is my free space for messages and for spirit, for ancestors, for any form of fae, garden people, any elementals is probably the better word, or other species. So the void is creating the place for me to do that, it's creating a null zero in me. It's basically my spirit, but not using the words.

Andrew McGregor: Right.

Toni Puhle: It's my free spirit and my free place for people, or people is probably the wrong word, for spirit to come in and give me the information that I need.

Andrew McGregor: Sure. Entities, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Yes. Although some people get nervous with that word, I think it's the best word, to be honest. Because it implies an autonomy that some other words that people choose sometimes get rid of, right?

Toni Puhle: I think the problem with me is that I'm always looking for the right word.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Toni Puhle: And maybe I like void, it's a word that makes sense to me. It doesn't necessarily make sense to anybody else, but it's a word that I've given it that actually makes sense in my existence.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. I mean I think that it makes total sense, right? I think of it this way. When I'm going to work or channel for people, I center myself in a really sort of deep, compassionate place ...

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: And I open up myself to what wants to come through, right? And people always like "Well how do you read the cards?" Or "How do you do whatever?" I'm like "Well, it's psychic, it's ancestors, it's my guide, it's psychology."

Toni Puhle: It happens.

Andrew McGregor: It's my 30-odd years of study, it's blah blah blah, and it's like, I don't seek to control anything around that. I just sort of point it towards the process, right?

Toni Puhle: Yeah, it's more like-

Andrew McGregor: And then what needs to emerge emerges.

Toni Puhle: ... preparing the place, yeah.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah, and it's not about deciding ahead of time, at least for me, well, this is going to be where we're going to be really strictly this way, because I only read one system of cards. All I work with is Marseilles cards, so I don't do anything else with people in general. But one of the things that I love about that deck is that for me, it also is, to steal your word, a void space, right? To me the beauty of the Marseilles is that it will accept all of those things and feed into all of those processes in a way that personally I find other decks harder to hold that energy, because they're more deliberately specific.

Toni Puhle: Yeah, and I think we, you said a really nice thing, that we're holing a space for that. And I explain it sometimes like, when we're born we come in with no expectations, no preconceived ideas, and it's like returning to that state.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Toni Puhle: And that's when the information is incoming or the reader incoming or whatever word you want to put it, the entities are incoming.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure. So we had a lovely heap of questions that kind of came in on Facebook, and if you listen to the podcast and you don't follow me on Facebook, you might want to, because it gives people the opportunity to pose questions that I look over and try and bring some of them anyway to the thing, to the podcast and to the guest. So a some of the questions seem centered around ideas of measuring or discerning or categorizing different things. Somebody was asking about the ghosts or the spirits in their house, somebody was asking about how do we measure their own energy, and other things along those lines. And so I guess what I want to sort of try and summarize that question as a starting point is, how do you discern the qualities of the energy or the entities that are around you? Or when you're working?

Toni Puhle: The first thing I do is return to void for me, and return to nothingness so I can sense what's around. So the inside me or the spirit of me can actually feel, I guess feel's the wrong word, there aren't words big enough for that. But when it comes to spirit, there are so many different feelings that come attached to them for me personally, and I explain it like personalities.

Andrew McGregor: Yes.

Toni Puhle: So you will have people in your life who just rub you up the wrong way, and sometimes a spirit will come in and they'll do exactly that, they will rub you up the wrong way. Then fae, for example, they come in and it's more of a buzzing mosquito type energy that you are dealing with, and the way I discern what's around or even the energy within the environment that I'm in, I bring myself back down, as you say, your centering, but I bring myself down where I can feel what level that energy is at.

Toni Puhle: And once I discern what level it's at, whether it's a high vibration or a lower vibration ... I work with pendulums, obviously, the word vibration, obviously I work with vibrational healing as well. And so an entity will come in for me with a vibration, and it is that vibration that I then, I detect it, but then I also assimilate to it, so that my energy can then accept the energy that's incoming or can accept them in order to receive a message or in order to understand why.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And do you categorize them, good and bad?

Toni Puhle: I don't categorize them in good or bad, I think there's a fine line between good and bad, and I-

Andrew McGregor: But if you're working with the fae, there's no line, there's just chaotic, right? Or whatever, right?

Toni Puhle: That's exactly what I-

Andrew McGregor: There's no morality, per se.

Toni Puhle: ... That's exactly what I teach. And they really don't like me at times, they can be really onerous, the-

Andrew McGregor: Sure.

Toni Puhle: ... fae, to deal with, and they aren't really fond of me. But I-

Andrew McGregor: When you were talking about sort of spirits, I think you said something like spirits in your garden or whatever, right? But the first thought that came to me was the idea, what's the message? "Get off my land." They're like "Why'd you build this crap here? Get out of here. Why isn't it wild?"

Toni Puhle: ... I had a problem when I moved in this house at the beginning, because I stepped over some lines in the garden. And my youngest can actually see elementals, and he saw quite a few in the garden who weren't really pleased with our presence.

Andrew McGregor: Right.

Toni Puhle: But going back to good, bad, dark, light, it's all a different level or a different vibration, and I deal in vibrations rather than what's good or what's bad. If something has a vibration that I am uncomfortable with, it doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. I have had higher beings, I don't know what you want to call them, come in who actually, your instant reaction is "Oh my God, what on earth is this?" But it's a being that can help you on your path, not necessarily something who's there to do harm.

Andrew McGregor: One of the things that I find myself more and more interested in when I'm talking to people around this kind of work these days is people are very focused on what is the message, right?

Toni Puhle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew McGregor: Which is 100% understandable. But I'm actually always really curious about why this is going on. Especially if it's a more negative, for that person, experience, right? I'm like "Well, that's cool that this thing," or uncool or unpleasant or whatever it is, right, "That's interesting that there's this thing happening, and you're having an unpleasant experience with it," and certainly we can deal with that, there are plenty of ways to resolve that.

Andrew McGregor: But what I'm most interested in, because I'm like, "Why is that happening? What's the mechanism that's causing that to occur?" Because these things, they're not random. It's very rare that a person strolls down the street and acquires a random thing, if people walk down the street and acquire a random thing, it's because of something in their energy that permits that or encourages that.

Toni Puhle: Yeah.

Andrew McGregor: But they're also not necessarily destined in the way that people also talk about that, right? People are like "Well, it just had to be that this thing showed up at this time to make this happen." It's like maybe, possibly, but often there are other reasons at play. So I'm always really fascinated at sort of the mechanisms of why that happened, why has it happened now, what are the situations that brought this about? It's like your physics mind, right? It's my sleuth mind, I'm like "Okay" ...

Toni Puhle: What I don't understand is why everybody thinks there's always a message, or why they always have to be sent to the light. There's instant reaction, "Oh, we need to get rid of them." And again, going back to my beliefs in quantum physics, the field theory, I really think it has something to do with fields, and the filed in which spirit are, the field in which we are, coexisting somehow. I obviously can't explain it until a good physicist pulls his finger out, but I did actually write into a podcast and ask one of these CERN physicists why or how we can explain this quantum entanglement and whether that could explain me doing something and then it having a ripple effect at your end, for example. They answered, but they don't know the answer.

Andrew McGregor: For sure.

Toni Puhle: So I want to know why. I'm like you, I don't necessarily need to hear a message.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah. I think that this idea of messages and the universe constantly talking to us and so on, it is and it isn't, but I think that it's, why would it be different than all the input of ... I live in Toronto, I live in a very big, metropolitan center, right? There's a constant input of information, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes, that's exactly it.

Andrew McGregor: 99.99% of it is noise.

Toni Puhle: That's exactly it.

Andrew McGregor: Some days 100% of it is noise.

Toni Puhle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew McGregor: It's not for me-

Toni Puhle: That's right.

Andrew McGregor: ... I'm just around and it's happening.

Toni Puhle: And that's where Hoʻopo comes back in again, because it is that white noise, that constant white noise. And whether it's white noise from spirits or white noise on the physical level of life, it is still white noise. And only when we are free of all that constant information can we actually hear what we need to hear.

Andrew McGregor: Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure, right? So a lot of the questions, the other thing here was this question, right, or this idea of intention in the questions. A lot of questions that sort of centered around how intentions impact readings, how does being clear about intention affect the process, so on and so on. How does, for you, right, so the void state is, sounds like a very neutral state, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: You're not actively generating anything, because you want to sort of be-

Toni Puhle: Received.

Andrew McGregor: ... be present, and/or receive, right?

Toni Puhle: Mm-hmm (affirmative), true.

Andrew McGregor: So what's the active component of that, what's the intention component around your practice or your life in that?

Toni Puhle: I teach to nail down intention so far so as if you were a lawyer.

Andrew McGregor: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Toni Puhle: So I am a huge Judge Judy fan, and I will watch her just to see how she nails down people so they can't give a squiffy answer. But the reason I do that is not because of going against void or anything like that, it's because you can't go wrong. If you have asked a clear question, you can expect what kind of answer. So when you are learning to read cards, when you are learning to do anything, if you are clear in your intention, it's for you only, it's you that wants the answer. So you are doing it for yourself to make sure that there is not an inch of leverage in the cards and their interpretation so that you can be 100% sure that you've nailed that predictive read. Because if your intention is skewy in the first place, it's for your mind only. How can your mind be understanding an answer if it hasn't been clear on what it's asking?

Andrew McGregor: So number one, go watch Judge Judy everybody, get yourself an education.

Toni Puhle: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew McGregor: I love it. There are lots of things that are ... I learn from so many different places. And I remember way back in the sort of newsless days of the internet, I was on this Thelemic group and there was this person there who, I don't know, they had a PhD in something or other, and all they would do though was they would just read people's posts, and then explain the logical fallacy in their statement, right?

Toni Puhle: Okay.

Andrew McGregor: And I spent a long time reading a lot of posts from this person, and taking notes, literally, I'd be like "Oh, that's a neat one, what's that one? That's a neat one, what's that? Oh look, this is where I do that," until I started seeing them in the rest of my life, the logical fallacies. Because we think that we are, it's easy to feel clear, it's easy to think that we know what we're asking or how we're asking it, right?

Toni Puhle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew McGregor: But it's so woodgy-woodgy in our brains, like it's not as crystal clear as we think at all.

Toni Puhle: I also think, too, because I speak, well, three languages, I think when you are a language-speaker you understand the nuances in language a lot more than somebody who is just a pure English speaker. That does not bemean in any way, I just mean you understand that there aren't words that exactly incorporate the meaning of what you're trying to intend or come across with.

Andrew McGregor: For sure.

Toni Puhle: So what our intention is may not be clear to somebody who's sat next to us, which means, in turn, it may not be clear when we lay the cards. So if we learn how to formulate our language as if it were a legal document, then you are covering all the bases to make sure that you have clarity when it comes to the answer.

Andrew McGregor: That makes a ton of sense to me. It reminds me of, there's an author called Milan Kundera, wrote a book called The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but they wrote other books, I can't remember the specific ones now. But a lot of their books sort of start with this thing, they're like "Well, if you spoke Czech, there's this word. And this word kind of means this." And then the whole story is an explanation of that, and when they circle back a the end of the book and be like "See? Blah. This word."

Toni Puhle: Yeah. Well I've noticed it most in speaking German, obviously. They will speak English with a different nuance than I will speak German. There will be the same words when you look at them in the dictionary, but they mean different things, they feel different. So when you say one word in English and you say the translation in German, it will feel different, and that means the message is already on a different level.

Andrew McGregor: No, for sure. Yeah, absolutely. So intention as clarity of question, right?

Toni Puhle: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

Andrew McGregor: Intention as clarify of self around question.

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: And Judge Judy will teach us the way.

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: I feel like we need to make some saint candles for Judge Judy now. "Please Judge Judy, give me the clarity to ask a solid question and get a solid answer."

Toni Puhle: I watch her just so I can see how she nails them down.

Andrew McGregor: For sure, right? And I think that that's such an interesting and helpful process. When I read for people, there's definitely these times where they ask this question and I'm like "So what I hear in your question is that you want me to tell you that everything's going to be okay." And then they're like "Well, maybe." I'm like "Well, that's 100% fair. Welcome to being human, we all have that. But also if we open the cards, I can't tell you what we're going to see."

Toni Puhle: I think it's-

Andrew McGregor: We're going to see what we see.

Toni Puhle: ... similar to, I have a few pet hates. They're not really hates at all, but there are questions that I think a newbie who is reading shouldn't use at the beginning, because it harms their future predictive reads. For example, "Should I do something?"

Andrew McGregor: Yes.

Toni Puhle: Who is to say whether you should or you shouldn't? Who is spirit to decide what you should or shouldn't do?

Andrew McGregor: Well, I have an idea about that.

Toni Puhle: Go ahead.

Andrew McGregor: So I actually love that question.

Toni Puhle: Really?

Andrew McGregor: Yes. Right? But, I love that question because of my religious practice. So as a priest in the Lucumi tradition, in Afro-Cuban lineage who has studied and practices divination within that system and so on, the idea of should we do this thing rests in the beliefs that we have some kind of destiny, that we're not here with an open-ended clean slate of everything that anything could be on target, but only certain parts of the buffet are actually in a real deep level of alignment with who we are and why we chose to incarnate at this time.

Andrew McGregor: So for me, the should question, especially in the religious context, is one that makes a bunch of sense to me, because I feel like there are things that at certain decisions we should and shouldn't do if we want to stay in alignment with that actual purpose.

Toni Puhle: But is that not in line with your own guide and already having the relationship and the knowledge of your guides, who they are, who your ancestors are, and this long learning process of understanding who they are and that they are working in your best interest, rather than somebody who's coming to the table and asking the "Should I?" question and not knowing who they are requesting that information from.

Andrew McGregor: I mean I think it really depends on what the nature of the should is, or the nature of that question is. I was just talking about this with my elder recently, because we were talking about the context in which me making sure that I'm divining about stuff makes sense for me in the coming year, because of what came out in the reading. And it makes sense for me to think about all those things, it makes sense for me to be clear about them. It makes a ton of sense to not use the should question as a scapegoat or permission or abdication of control ...

Toni Puhle: Yeah, exactly that, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew McGregor: But it comes to a place where there are things that are beyond knowing, we butt up against that mystery, and does it make sense for me to make this change in my business in a certain direction? And I have a bunch of ideas-

Toni Puhle: But you see, that's a slight nuance in question, asking whether it makes sense to do something rather than asking for the permission to do something.

Andrew McGregor: ... I don't think of should ... I think that some people use should questions-

Toni Puhle: Maybe it's a language thing again.

Andrew McGregor: ... Well, I think some people use should questions as point of permission, right?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: "Should I break up with Betty?" Look, if you don't like Betty, break up with Betty.

Toni Puhle: Exactly.

Andrew McGregor: Just get over it. If you're already asking that question, there's something you need to figure out there and the cards don't need to tell you that. But I think that there are lots of questions that, "Should I do this thing?" We could phrase them in different ways, "Is this in alignment with my true self to do this?" So on, right? "Is this the time for this to happen?" But for me should, and by the time I get to a should question, it's only those things. It's only the level of question.

Toni Puhle: Well that's perfect for me as long as you have that understanding already. I think it's coming to the table and asking permission to do something that I ... The only reason I see it as an issue in new readers is because they see it as a strict yes or no, "Yes you should," "No, you shouldn't." And there is, then, in the answer, it's often unclear, then, to a new reader, whether the cards are positive 100% yes or whether they are a nuance of yes, or whether they are a strict no. And I think the intention when they sit down to ask those questions when starting colors the read, then, afterwards with their own emotional projection or on ... It allows a looser read, or allows emotions to come in.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah. I'm definitely with you. If you're going to ask a question like that, there's no space for ambiguity-

Toni Puhle: No.

Andrew McGregor: ... in the question, in the process. There's no space for open-endedness. It's like look, I'm going to do this or I'm not. Am I going to do it?

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Does it make sense, yes or no? And that's where diligence and discipline ...

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: In the reading of the cards. Because for me it's like, if I'm going to ask a yes or no question, I'm only going to read the cards in a certain way. I might go do another spread if I want other information.

Toni Puhle: That is it, exactly that.

Andrew McGregor: But I'm like, that's it.

Toni Puhle: And actually, in my book, I used the yes and no question, which uses the least cards in the deck, I did it as an advanced spread in the back of the book for the reason that they have to, or readers have to understand that there is a difference in the way that you're reading.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah. And just to pull it full circle, maybe, I think that your capacity, anyone's capacity to be good at those kinds of questions rests on your ability to be clear about what you're asking and your ability to be centered in what you would call the void space.

Toni Puhle: Yes.

Andrew McGregor: Right, or what I would call [crosstalk 00:54:23] different-

Toni Puhle: Yes to that.

Andrew McGregor: ... because if you can do those two things, then you can rocket out with that stuff.

Toni Puhle: 100%.

Andrew McGregor: But if you can't do those things, then it's like, you're moving towards my metaphor of how Ouija boards work for people who don't have a lot of experience with spirits, right? It's like, pick the busiest town square that you got, go there, put on a blindfold, and then out loud ask for an answer to your question. Wait for somebody to tell you, and then wait a while and leave, never knowing who that was. Who was that person? Do they have something valuable to add?

Toni Puhle: It's also similar to dowsing, because we all can influence the outcome of dowsing by our own experiences, and carrying that into the question.

Andrew McGregor: Yep, yep. And our subconscious and shadow have direct control to our nervous system, so therefore it's pretty easy for unresolved stuff to make its way there too, right?

Toni Puhle: Exactly.

Andrew McGregor: Yeah.

Toni Puhle: Yes.


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