Andrew and Enrique talk about the power of presence. On how to listen to the world around you for messages. The power of birds and a lot more. An essential listen for folks looking to deepen their ability to read for themselves or others.
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Andrew: Hey folks. Welcome back to the hermits, that podcast. I’m going to be running six episodes on back-to-back weeks for the coming six sessions starting with today. And I want to just take this moment. Thank everybody for listening, of course, and remind folks that there is a commitment to accessibility that I have with this podcast. And so I’ve been working to make sure that there are transcripts for every season, every episode, moving forward from the point that I took that on and we did really great last season in the spring where people pitched in using either buy me a coffee or through e-transfer or PayPal, both of which are available in the show notes so that you can help make sure that everybody who wants to partake in this great conversations that are going on here gets a chance to, and I also want to thank everybody who takes the time to share to comment and to even rate the podcast in its various homes. These things go a tremendous way to reaching people. Whereas all the social media is, and these days tend to deprecate any attempt to promote that where they have money attached to them. And let’s be honest, this stuff is worth sharing.
Welcome to another episode of The Hermit’s Lamp podcast. I am hanging out today with my friend Enrique Enriquez. Really, I always think about why do I want to have somebody on the podcast? I think that kind of in this time we’re in, is COVID winding down? Is it not winding down at least in North America, what’s going on? It’s such a chaotic time.
I thought, what better time to have a poet on. What better time to step out of maybe talking about things in the way that we’re always talking about things, with details and facts and ideas. And maybe step into this sort of other way of looking at the world. As a way of sort of seeing ourselves through the next step of this journey, seeing a way out maybe and all of those kinds of ideas. Enrique has been on a number of times before. I will include the previous episodes in the show notes. The Enrique, number one thanks for being here. And number two-
Enrique Enrique…: No thank you Andrew, it’s always fantastic to see you and to talk with you.
Andrew: Yeah and you too, you too my friend. So we talked a little bit before, it’s been a while since we recorded one of these. What are you up to? What are you doing these days? Is poet even a word you still resonate with?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes. I will trust the wisdom of my daughter who tells everybody that I’m a poet. So now I have to live up to that, just not to disappoint her. But yeah I actually like that word, because I think that word implies that everything you say is open ended. For many years I have made a living as a fortune teller so to speak and that means that everything has to come to some sort of solution, conclusion. Something you give them like a pill that will solve something.
Enrique Enrique…: I feel freer it’s just poetry, it’s more like looking at the … I think a lot about the … You know the line the waves draw on the sand, when the waves come into the sand they draw this line that is constant but it’s always different. I think that a way poetry is like or I hope to live a life that is like that.
Andrew: Well I think-
Enrique Enrique…: So poet works.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it’s complicated for people to deal with stuff that’s open ended. Again, thinking about this time that we’ve been living in, it has been uncertain and ambiguous, right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: Which is not the same as open ended, even though it’s open ended right? Or maybe it is the same I’m not sure. But it’s been difficult for I know for myself right? When is it going to end, are my kids going to go back to school, what’s going to happen with my store front? There’s so many unknown things, but that’s not quite the same as what I feel like you’re talking about here, right? This open endedness?
Enrique Enrique…: No, because I think mainly what I have been doing for the last couple of years is going back to the garden. I keep waiting for something which I never know what it is, but now I mostly wait in some garden. I go around the city and borrow gardens because I don’t want to be a gardener, so I don’t want to work and keep it. But I can sit there for a little while and just be happy. The other day I was sitting at this garden and at the same time I had a bee landing on my left hand and a fly landing on my right hand. I realized that I couldn’t be the same thing for both of them.
So, that’s what I mean with open ended, I think it has a lot to do with something that is generative. You generate possibilities and we learn to live in that realm of possibility. Rather than just not knowing or feeling complete panic of reality or the future. I mean do you know I was talking to this biologist the other day and he told that maybe the original language, the first like primordial language is humming. He said if you go to microorganisms, if you go all the way back before human language emerged, everything that was tiny hummed. Then when you go into a microscope and you have [inaudible 00:05:12] everything is humming.
So, I thought it was rather nice to think that maybe this life where we are uncertain, which is so anchored in our personality, it’s just an exile from that humming. Then of course that is the return to the primordial humming, we go back to that line, which I find rather pleasant. Of course, it’s a little gloomy to say, but it’s not open ended we’ll end in the same place.
Andrew: Sure yeah.
Enrique Enrique…: Let’s say we’ll end back in the same humming.
Andrew: Yeah. Well maybe it’s time to turn in your bird calls for a kazoo or something else?
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah well lately I mean I mostly if I could I will stop speaking I just want to chirp. It makes me very happy, it makes people happy, which curiously it is not a notion that is really well aligned with western poetry or art. You don’t listen, you don’t hear artists or poet say I just want to make people happy, there is always a concept in that.
Enrique Enrique…: [inaudible 00:06:29] wanting to be the first. I just want to be happy, make people happy. But at the same time I am constantly surprised at how, if you take people out of language, they find their own way back and that’s the surprise. So you could say yes it’s something like bird song is open ended in the sense that you are not conveyed any semantic content, but at the same time, that rhythm carries everything within it. So, whoever listens to it find that thing they were looking for.
So, it is very pleasant and on top of that lately my actual conversation with the birds has become more active. So there is something there that is … I mean the other day, I saw this bird, she was behind this fence and I started calling. He went down on the ground, the grass and then he kind of crouch and peak with his neck to look at me. He would jump, leaping around until he … I just kept making the same sound. Finally, he flew on the fence on top of my bed for a little while and looked at me.
There is something nice about thinking that eloquence could be just that sense of being able to sustain your voice. It’s always not saying a lot, it’s not about saying weird things or beautiful things. It’s just sustaining your voice, so the other finally can find it.
Andrew: So the other has another has a nice place to land?
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah of course.
Andrew: Right yeah.
Enrique Enrique…: But it’s nice actually you say it like that. I mean maybe our voice is a nice place to land.
Andrew: I think so right? I mean that’s certainly one of the things that I really sort of appreciate. I like being calm, I like calmer things, I mean except when I don’t. But I think that sort of having being able to hold that calm space for people right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: To sort of make a space where they can make sounds. Sometimes, it’s not even about the words they say, they’re going to say a lot of words but it’s about more about that exchange where it’s like, you can come, you can sit on my hat, I’m going to make arrhythmic noise and you’re going to do whatever you need to do here. And then your;e going to go, and you’re going to feel changed by that situation.
Enrique Enrique…: That is exactly it. I think it has a lot to do with understanding presence, not only us paying attention which we always hear okay you have to be present you have to pay attention. But it’s about becoming a presence. That you become a drop of water, but when it hits the surface it makes waves.
Enrique Enrique…: So you change the configuration of the space only by being there. You don’t really have to be make an extra effort even to be noticed.
Enrique Enrique…: Which I guess is part of I feel in this constant retreat toward just being there like a rock. And now and then you say something but because also there is pleasure in it, even speaking.
Enrique Enrique…: We mold sounds and forms with our mouth and then they come out and it’s just so pleasant to do it, to feel the words right there in your ear humming. But yeah I guess it’s a lot about just being there not doing much.
Andrew: On the weekend I went out of town to the forest and wandered around by myself for several hours. I didn’t see any other humans which was lovely, probably because it was raining when I arrived and nobody wanted to go hiking in the rain but me. Your comment about presence reminded me about this experience I had. So I was walking along, and I’m not making a lot of noise. I’m walking kind of quietly, I’m looking, I’m listening to birds, I’m seeing if I can see the birds when I hear them. All of a sudden two ground birds shot off and I think they were pheasants but I didn’t get the best look at them. But they were obviously startled. I had no idea they were there because they were in the brush, right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: The sound of their wings, not even them moving through the brush because they weren’t touching anything, just the sound of their wings, sounded like something large driving straight through the forest right? I screamed, maybe I squealed I’m not sure which it was. Then I started laughing. Even that kind of presence, right? I became a presence for them which was-
Enrique Enrique…: Yes, of course you were the drop of water.
Andrew: Yeah right. So, it was such a lovely moment and I think because I’ve been thinking about my time. Because I arrived and I was kind of hungry for an experience. I had an experience recently and I was curious if I could sort of recreate it or reconnect with that energy. I was aware that I was hungry for it and that being hungry for it wasn’t necessary the best way for that to happen. Thinking about it as I’m talking to you now, I certainly was talking to myself being like just relax, maybe you’ll have it, maybe it won’t happen maybe whatever. But I think that that moment where the water drop hit the forest and the bird flew off into the trees and I squealed, I think that was the moment at which I released my desire for that.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes [inaudible 00:12:59]
Andrew: Then afterwards the experienced changed not too long after that.
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah that’s beautiful. I had the opposite in a way. The opposite experience a year ago in the woods we were working on this trail suddenly I just look up and I saw an owl crossing. Of course there was no sound just this big thing just drawing a line without making a sound. I actually told everybody look an owl and they missed it completely. I only saw it because I just turned in that precise moment. Then we couldn’t even find it, we couldn’t even find the owl in the tree.
But yeah I guess maybe we are not necessarily aware of how much we contribute or affect our reality just by being there but we do. Perhaps there has been work to be done in terms of understanding if we should amplify that effect or minimize it depending on the case.
Andrew: Yeah I’ve started working on learning Spanish.
Enrique Enrique…: [Foreign language 00:14:20]
Andrew: [Foreign language 00:14:20] I have been getting together with a friend of mine who speaks Spanish and I’m teaching them how to read the cards and they’re teaching me how to speak in Spanish about the cards. So, I would like you to help me with an interpretation on this. I know I don’t tell futures anymore, but whatever comes from it.
Enrique Enrique…: Okay.
Andrew: So we are sitting there, we were talking about the Emperor and I noticed and I’ve spent a lot of time in their space and I’ve never seen a bird do this before so it stood out to me. Then a bird came and landed on their windowsill. Despite all those spikes that are supposed to keep it off, right. It was sparrow so it could kind of weave around. It sat there and it was obviously looking through the window at us. So, what does it mean? What does it mean Enrique?
Enrique Enrique…: Well, it means itself, right? I mean it is what it is. But I think it’s interesting because the Emperor at least in the Marseilles Tarot you could have him looking to the right or looking to the left, depending on the deck you are working with. In Ornithomancy telling fortunes or finding signs when you look at birds you have this idea that either the bird appears to your right, or it appears to your left. Usually when it appears to the right, that means yes, when it appears to the left that means no. So, I just see the relationship between all those things and of course I don’t know if the bird landed right or left.
Andrew: To the right yeah. To my right.
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah so it was probably confirming everything you said. There is an old I guess superstition in Spanish, cartomancy that says, that if you’re reading the cards and a dog barks in the distance, everything you say gets reversed. Which here in New York we never hear dogs barking so we’re safe, I guess it’s similar. Yeah it’s nice to think of tarot, it’s just a presence. I mean a sense, a presence is in itself an affirmation.
Enrique Enrique…: Is the bird cannot be not bird.
Enrique Enrique…: There. So you could take it as a yes. That’s something I have been thinking a lot and it kind of free my mind that when we talk about signs, signs only say yes or no. Everything else is psychoanalysis. We move it away from this harsh truth of the yes or the no. And we say well maybe a yes is not a yes. Maybe a yes is this, and this and this and that. So we use language as we think to run away from the reality of the sign. Because, truly we can’t function like that anymore. I mean not I guess at a logical social level. We can’t just get dressed to go to a meeting, and then because we saw a bird fly into the left turn around and say, no not today. It’s hard for us to do that. But in a way, if you want to play the game of signs, you are hoping for a yes or no.
Andrew: Well I think that that’s often what we are looking for right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah.
Andrew: We have these elaborate questions, but what do we want? It’s a yes or a no right?
Enrique Enrique…: Well yes.
Andrew: Even if we ask an open ended question, how will it go if I do this, right? Well the answer we’re still looking for is, am I going to do this or not? Should I do this or not? Will it be good if I do this or not, which is all yes or no questions right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah. Actually we want a yes or no in terms of how if the experience is going to be fruitful that is in itself a positive response, that is a yes even if the word we use to define it is not a yes. If the experience we fear is not going to be positive, then that’s a no. But it’s funny because I think many times we are looking for a yes or a no until we get it. The moment we get that answer we’re going to the symbolic to minimize the impact, because it’s too much to just accept.
Andrew: Or the psychological right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes, the psychological which I think change the game in the 20th century. But I have been looking at for example Artemidorus who wrote the Interpretation of Dreams in the 12th Century which is the one that inspired Freud to write his book. Or Synesius Cyrene which was this Libyan bishop in the year 400. And they fundament their interpretation as any kind of sign and an analogy. Things are like other things. Psychology or psychoanalysis changed that and we went to the symbolic. So there is no real correspondence, visual formal between the thing we see and that thing it represents it becomes a standing for an instruction which allows to escape from reality into this inner world that is pretty much made of language.
Andrew: One of the conversations that I remember most from my time at art school was with the head of the sculpture department this guy Ian Carr-Harris who was a post modern sculpture up here. And we were talking about this prolonged conversation about metaphor, right? Finally, we got to post-structualism lots of words, blah blah. Finally Ian said to me, he goes “Well Andrew what’s the difference between metaphor and reality?” I thought about it for a moment and I’m like, “There’s no difference, it is the mechanism through we can actually understand and relate to it.” right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah.
Andrew: I think that that idea, has, well for me has permeated my career, right? It’s been such an integral part of it. I think that that understanding is why I find Orisha traditions and their tendency towards proverbs and stories as being so deeply fruitful. Because either we’re going to use a metaphor, or a story. It’s like well this is like this story when this thing happens. Or the other side of the Orisha tradition is, if you want to a yes or no answer here it is, but there’s nothing else.
Enrique Enrique…: Exactly.
Andrew: Should I do this? Yes or no? Yes okay done, end of conversation. No why, no explanation no analysis just boom go.
Enrique Enrique…: Well I guess that’s the … I do find something reassuring about that. I can see how especially in the tarot world to be the thing at hand, the movement has been against that and many times when I’m teaching people they always recoil when we say, but that’s a yes or no question, we shouldn’t ask yes or no question. You say, but what else is there? Because we are being trained to think that, that’s to be avoided, because in a way there shouldn’t be yes or no questions. Going back to the beginning I think that it’s all, when we move away from presence or absence which is yes or no, all we have is language which means that we are in the realm of the imaginary.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Enrique Enrique…: So of course it can go either way which is where it is difficult. Because eventually you find the answer you want to hear because you twist the words until they come around in a different way which is the way that is more pleasing. But it’s not necessarily I guess you will say honest.
Andrew: Yeah. Well you’ve been spending your time in gardens, especially starting this summer where I live they’re doing work on the parking garage so they’ve ripped out my garden, so I’ve been spending time in the woods for the most part, or out in nature somewhere, by the water and so on. I’ve been having a lot of presence with a lot of very interesting beings. I have a lot of people ask me well what did it say to you, what did it mean right?
There are definitely ideas that come from that experience, but as you say, it’s really about the presence you know? We rode out to this place and sat on this point out on the lake me and a friend of mine. We talked and we watched the sunset for like an hour or an hour and a half. It was the most crystal clear of days and the water was stunning. And the light the way it went down it was just perfect, picturesque and perfect. This fox kept coming to say hello to us.
I noticed it first behind me. Then as it got used to us being there, and I think especially as we got quieter and quieter as time went on, it would get closer and closer right? It spent the whole time kind of circling back and checking in on us, circling back and looking at us and so on. What does it mean? Certainly to me it means it’s a yes, right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: It’s like a big yes, what do you need? Yes this more of this, more of this wonder, more of this awe, more of this worldlessness, right?
Enrique Enrique…: Exactly.
Andrew: Most of this with the person that I was with, this real presence and real honesty right? That uses words and silence. Yes to all of that.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes and exactly. The fox becomes reality saying yes to you accepting you. And at the very end that’s what we want. We want to be part of reality in a bigger scheme, why not just here and there. And it will be silly to say well, in the Lenormand deck fox is a cunning individual that is going to rob me or something.
Enrique Enrique…: So now the message that you will get from this experience is that somebody is going to cheat you of your money tomorrow.
Enrique Enrique…: That trivialized the experience and makes it small.
Enrique Enrique…: So you just accept the presence. Also, I think what has become very important for me is to be able to look at something without expecting anything from it. Because the moment you do that, that thing reveal itself in all its [inaudible 00:26:38]. When you are aiming at an answer message something, you only get to see the part of that thing that looks like you.
Enrique Enrique…: You get this reflection and you say got it, go home. No, no that thing is not about you and it’s more complex than you, or more complex than you can imagine. So it expands your reality jut by looking at it.
Andrew: Yeah and I think that, that’s a big challenge in magic for people, right? People are often looking for a reductionist point of view. This is this God and this God is about this thing and I do this with them or the orisha or whatever, like all of these things are the fox. Those things from my point of view are completely separate entities with their own full scope of experience and presence. So if I arrive to the fox and say, you’re a sneaky guy and you’re warning me about sneakiness but that wasn’t its behavior, it wasn’t being sneaky, it wasn’t sneaky up on us at all.
Once it realized we saw it, it didn’t hide from us, there was no sneaky us. It didn’t try and whatever. I think there’s a sort of challenge where tarot or Lenormand can be a metaphor for the world but the world isn’t a metaphor for those things.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes exactly.
Andrew: Right? It’s an order of scale problem I guess or-
Enrique Enrique…: That’s the point that I think is very important. Many times you have people who they see something on the street and they say, that is the tower that is the sun.
Enrique Enrique…: It’s not necessarily a useful exercise because it’s important to look from the table into the world. That’s an expansive gesture. But look at the world and we’re talking it down to the table it’s great option gesture that only trains our mind. I have a whole video about sigils because I think that what most people do with sigils is tricking their minds. Because you may think that today you are hoping for love, or tomorrow you are hoping for a car. But what you are really doing is taking something large and making it small.
Enrique Enrique…: So in terms of our unconscious or whatever you want to call that thing. The gesture is the same, the actual name of things is anecdote. So if you spend your life doing this all the time, you’re just tricking your mind, your spirit everything. I think the gesture is as you just perfectly said we have to go out and not imagine that reality is there to remind us of the cards.
Enrique Enrique…: Because then we are trapped, we are really trapped on the table.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it’s a very helpful student tool.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: What in my world this week was like the tower? What in my world this week was like this? But that’s where it ends right? It’s-
Enrique Enrique…: [inaudible 00:29:59] it is a great tool to understand analogical thinking. To understand the analogy between the experience you have and the [inaudible 00:30:08] or vice versa. But eventually you realize that this relationships can be drawn in reality without using any cards. Whenever we understand the relationship between these great set of elements and then we can draw an analogy between that relationship and daily life we are divining, we are doing divination. It doesn’t matter what it is.
Andrew : Hey folks. I just want to jump in here for a second and Remind people that The Hermit Lamp is also a store. So I have an online store and an in-person store in Toronto that sells over 400 Tarot Decks 300 kinds of crystals and incense, incense holders, candles, oils, and all the magical goodies you might want for whatever spiritual practice you were up to. I think we have great prices on stuff. Everything is sourced to the best of my ability to be authentic, and we offer pickup or in store shopping when it’s not COVID in Toronto and we offer delivery just about anywhere in the world. So do me a favor next time. You’re thinking about stuff drop by thehermitslamp.com. Check it out. See if we’ve got something you need there, because I always appreciate that support.
Enrique Enrique…: So, having to pass always through the cards is like taking one step back. At the same time I acknowledge that for a lot of people they just want to play with cards and that’s different.
Andrew: Which is lovely.
Enrique Enrique…: It is lovely, yes. So, that’s different because then what I’m saying brings no solace, you just want to play with cards and compare this cards with the other card, that’s a different game. I’m interested in and having a, as you say something I think it’s important. There are yeses and nos as we walk through reality. But I don’t even think they feed or they respond to question. They respond to our inner dialogue. We got something going on. Maybe we can even put that into questions. It’s just what we are experience and suddenly these presences or absences fit into that and you feel validated or not, or encouraged to pursue this avenue and not the other. This is an entire dialogue that mostly happens at a symbolic level that is not even something you can bring down to language which is [inaudible 00:31:51] it’s very hard for most people.
Andrew: Well I don’t read the cards for myself so much these days. But when I do, it kind of proceeds along that arch. Like obviously sometimes I use cards for business decision and I’m like should I teach this class or that class? Flip, flip, yes, no, yes no, whatever. But the thing that I do for myself in some ways could be described as taking myself from wherever I am in my head, in my emotions, grumpy because I haven’t had my coffee yet who knows right? And moving towards that state of presence, right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: So, I will do a quick open ended no question divination with playing cards and then I will do a quick three cards, trumps only, Tarot of Marseilles and from there then I will move into this Land of the Sacred Self Oracle that I made the surrealist landscape kind of thing. Then I will proceed from there into really what amount to a state of being, a state of presence. There might be, as you say notions and ideas and sometimes some of the stuff from the other cards will flow through and there’ll be something to it.
But really, what I’m doing is I’m aligning myself towards presence, by sifting through the day to day, my mind, my heart and other bits and pieces and documenting those things and I never reread my readings, they’re just journal process right. Even though there might be something in them. If it’s important I’ll remember it. Then moving into this state and to me that work much like my work with sigil magic. Most of my sigil magic is working into that state of presence and then seeing if there is anything left right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: If there is a desire that expressing that, even though it might become wordless and just purely visual.
Enrique Enrique…: Well, I guess the key issue here is how do we differentiate or separate signal from noise? So you’re surrounded by all kinds of things and then we say well but that’s a sign. Is it is a sign? Is it just noise? For example when people used to divine with birds, I realized that their strategy is either to define a field which is what they overstate they do a think room in the sky. So they say, it is within this frame when the birds crosses the frame that is the sign, everything else is not.
Enrique Enrique…: Or they will have specific birds that are the ones who give you the signs. So famously we have crows which they have a horrible reputation and people mostly dislike them or they assume they are bad signs, bad omens. Then we have pigeons which are good and again we have this almost you find other thing white and black which I find the same because I have had fantastic conversations with crows. Again it’s like it’s really … I see and I’m quite amused and also a little concerned. Because if I am talking to some crows in public, people get freaked out.
Enrique Enrique…: They don’t like that. So I see them, they dislike the fear and it’s all build in this nonsense that they are bird of good omen. But I understand the strategy behind it. You have to reduce the field where you get your signs from, so it’s only that bird. In Taiwan, they have one bird and it’s a little gray bird and that’s the bird that speak so you and it’s a sign. All the others are somehow complimentary to it, but they are not the sign giver, right?
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Enrique Enrique…: This is like a commonality in many places. Also, this idea of riding left seems to appear everywhere.
Enrique Enrique…: Weary enough again we have the idea of the sinister hand which is bad and then the right hand which is good. But in any case my own way to understand a sign is the insistency of a form in time. So I could see something once and that’s okay, but it’s not yet a sign. Because I’m not looking really for an answer, I’m looking for a process to engage with reality. So I need to find that thing again and maybe again and of course it reappears through analogical appearance. I mean maybe now it’s red bird that’s a red toy or just a woman wearing red you realize I have to pay attention to this.
That presence somehow is in dialogue with whatever it is that I’m thinking. Which is never in my case too practical. I’m always entertained with nonsense. So they fit my nonsense and they inform my nonsense but it’s never about if I should order fish or chicken at the restaurant. The other day somebody was working with me on an exercise through the cards and they say well I asked the cards if I should ask something to the cards. So for that to really be something, it will be like flipping a coin to know if you should flip a coin.
But you should do it for the rest of your life in such a way that you spend the rest of your waking your life drawing cards to see if you should draw more cards and then you become [inaudible 00:38:12] and that’s something. Otherwise you-
Andrew: You become like an extra drawing.
Enrique Enrique…: Exactly, yes. [inaudible 00:38:18] you gave your life to this powerful image and that somehow can inspire or amuse. That sense of having to ask something, the cards the coin, the [inaudible 00:38:32] about every single step a person is going to take is almost like a mental illness.
Andrew: Sure and it’s also I think very common that people start with that, right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: I remember a stage where I was more on that side of things versus where I am now. I think that a lot of things that we’re talking about they’re almost like, if we think about them as like developmental stages.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes, absolutely.
Andrew: We’re moving towards presence right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: I think that it’s more like do we get stuck in that one or do we continue? Not that we’re continuing towards anything as such, right? I don’t mean it in a hierarchy kind of way, or in a over it goal but in a like, in order to learn we have to take on postures and things that aren’t ideal to be sustained forever.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: But they’re very functional as a part of the journey and then we can shed them.
Enrique Enrique…: Exactly we outgrew them and then we keep going.
Enrique Enrique…: I think that part is very important because we all start with the same questions.
Enrique Enrique…: How can I do, whatever it is that we want to do?
Enrique Enrique…: Then we get answers, we manage the one who wants to learn to read shells learns how to read the shells or you learn how to read the tarot or you learn how to write a [inaudible 00:40:10] whatever it is. Half way, I mean if you stop there and that’s maybe a problem a lot of people have, is that they think the moment they answer those questions they know. If you keep going you find other questions that you can’t foresee when you are trying to figure out how to do that thing.
We all saw this because we you start wondering [inaudible 00:40:37] cards and all these stuff and then you go and you are reading and your mind is blown because the other person actually gets it or believes it or they are there. [inaudible 00:40:49] this actually works. Eventually you move into deeper questions which come with a sustained practice. As you keep working new questions arise and in a way you move on. I think that going back to something you were saying, I see now the tarot is a wonderful scaffolding for the [inaudible 00:41:12]
Enrique Enrique…: If you build this thing that sustains and teaches you how to look at reality.
Enrique Enrique…: The moment you acquire that ability to look at things, you basically dismantle the scaffold which is what people do here with buildings. A lot of people move to live into the scaffolding.
Andrew: Sure yeah.
Enrique Enrique…: Actually I cannot even convey this really but where I come from, nobody is paying that much time and effort and materials building the scaffold, they are kind of crappy. So you look at them here and say somebody could actually live there, they’re beautiful. Actually around here, there are more modern scaffoldings that look like works of art. So that will be-
Andrew: In Toronto, I don’t know if they’ve been resurfacing the building or what they’ve been doing. But they put up the scaffolding and then they wrapped the whole building and I mean like a 20 story building. They wrapped the whole build in fabric. So people are inside in a tent attached to the inside of the building via scaffolding right.
Enrique Enrique…: Exactly so it’s like that. You realize yes this is a wonderful construction but it serves a purpose for the moment. Again the main issue there is to understand that some other people are still at that level. So I tried my best not to discourage people’s love for the tarot excitement. Because we always felt that but it’s also I need to kind of to hint at the fact that there is more. That is not it.
Andrew: Isn’t that poetry? Doesn’t poetry invite us to see that there is more wherever we’re looking? There’s always something more.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes and in our stands in reality there is a yes a deeper but at the same wider way to interact with the world, just not just looking at little cards on the table. Because physically if you think about it, if every time you have to look at reality we have to look down it’s a little weird because everything is out there.
Andrew: Yeah. You know what’s funny about that for me? Is so, I made an agreement with reality at one point, that I would not do this super ended interpretation. The red in your pocket scarf is not the same as the cardinal, that I would not do any of that kind of thing. That I would not look at numbers and this and all these other things. That the only thing that I would accept as a sign from the universe is a plain card found on the street.
Enrique Enrique…: Okay, yes
Andrew: That’s it, the only one, right, that’s the only thing. So, for me, and this is old, like I’ve been doing this for maybe 20 years now, right? It’s a long time. So for me, when I’m in the woods when I’m deliberately doing like doing stuff then I’m doing what you’re talking about, right? I’m exploring, I’m open, I’m feeling the pattern, I’m looking and seeing what’s going on. One thing leads to another, metaphor becomes autonomy, becomes spiritual presence in relationship to the world right?
But when I’m walking around my life, I’m not thinking about any of those things often, I mean unless I’m chewing on them for some other reason, until I see that card on the ground. I look down at the card, but on the ground not the table. Then I interpret it, not as a yes or a no, but as a predominantly through their relationship to tarot cards, because I don’t really read playing cards that much.
So I go the opposite direction, right? I take that a moment where the cards say, here Andrew now it’s a time to look at a card and look at a meaning and explore and understand what this means for you. So it’s kind of, it leads to the same place but it takes a different route which is interesting.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes of course. I know actually many people who do that. And again it could be anything. That’s an actual agreement through the signs. Because we go back to the idea of how to separate sign from noise and disable everything else in a way it’s noise and only when the car appears that is the sign.
Andrew: I like-
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah.
Andrew: I like that it’s rare.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: Sometimes I’ll find them for a period of time. But often it’s maybe like three or four a year. It’s not a lot.
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah exactly well it depends.
Enrique Enrique…: Because here it will be a rare occurrence unless we’re walking on china town. Because you have all these illegal gambling places so you’d find a lot of decks, full decks of cards. So, again you can’t say that it’s a sign it’s not. You can’t with six decks of cards throw on the ground because somebody ran away because he saw them. So yeah it’s a weird situation that you know that is just noise.
Where we all the time we’re trying to differentiate that. Actually that’s I guess the main question, when people commonly ask you something, they say it’s not only what those piece mean but the first question in the mind is this is a sign or this just noise?
Andrew: Yeah. I think the other thing that stands out for me in regards to that too is, so in Canada we don’t use pennies anymore, we round up or we round down, right there are no more pennies. So, whereas before we did this, you’d find a penny all the time. There were a meaningless currency that if you drop them, people wouldn’t even bother to pick them up they’d be like it’s just pennies. But now if you find a penny, well it’s really rare because nobody uses them for anything. I have a pile of them in my house that I use for ceremonies. But it’s interesting too how these signs change over time right?
Enrique Enrique…: Of course and again it has to do with, I do feel that its scarcity is important. That’s why for example people who say, only ravens or hawks or eagles are to be used for divination. Because you don’t see one of those every day.
Enrique Enrique…: It will be harder to think of sparrows as a worldly sign because I have seen tons of them-
Enrique Enrique…: Or pigeons yes. But of course at the same time it all depends on the context. Because when you are in that situation when you are looking at this card and then the bird comes to you, you accept that that presence is there, I mean it’s not just a bunch of sparrows in a café. But I had wonderful friends luckily. So I was having coffee with one of them and I left and she sent me this little video a minute later. I stood up and left, we were sitting outside. As I left the sparrow came and landed on my place on the table.
So, she decided that the conversation wasn’t over, I had just changed my voice. She kept present, she kept talking to the bird. Of course, I have wonderful friends who they entertain my nonsense at that level. But again it’s not the same all the sparrows on the ground, as the sparrow that comes to the table after I left.
Enrique Enrique…: So a key to understand to tell signs from noise is that the scarcity or if it’s rare. I mean when you see a fox in the woods, even if they’re supposed to live there, it’s a very rare occurrence, people don’t do that. We don’t see foxes all the time. So you understand that it’s a presence worth contemplating.
Andrew: Yeah or like the owl right?
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: They’re silent so not only can you … You need to be not only there but looking in the right direction. I had an experience last summer where I was riding along this bike path and I saw this giant bird fly across this field and landed in a tree just in front of me in a small tree. So I slowed way down and when I got within about 10 feet of it I could see that it was this owl. We just sat there for I don’t know how long a long time just looking at each other and then it left. I was like what a wonderful experience Just that moment we were both headed in the right direction. Our things aligned and we had our moments and that’s it.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes for example a couple of months back I was around Lake George in the Mountains and I realized something, I spent most of my time looking up, because I’m looking at the birds or talking to the birds. But every time I looked down, there was some sort of creature on the ground, it could be a moth or a beetle or something. So, the entire trip became about remembering the ground. This idea that yeah, you’re all time up here and look for this thing, but at the same time if you are not careful, you are stepping on something that is equally alive and is down there. So that sense of correspondence or awareness became the message. It became what I learned.
Which again is not necessarily, it allows you to understand how to be in the world. But it’s not necessarily a solution or a close ended answer that says, okay that is what I do now. No it is in that sense, right? I mean you understand that in a way, you’re looking here if there is something going on there. There is always this sense of, understanding that our attention and even our intention doesn’t limit nor define reality. Reality is way bigger than that.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean in some ways I think reality is an invitation to be bigger.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes exactly.
Enrique Enrique…: Yeah because the other day I had to walk with this friend of mine who was really upset for a couple of days. When I said goodbye to him, I walked back home and I notice this sign on a wall there was an advising for a beer. The brand or the image of the beer was a badger, so it was like the head of the badger with the mouth open. I thought this is an odd brand for a beer but I guess they run out of pirates or whatever.
Enrique Enrique…: So I kept walking then I saw another big head of a badger on the back of this truck. That turned out to be the image for a company that drills in the ground. It’s like badgering. I saw it and I thought to myself it became a sign, because it’s not something that I saw once but it came back to me. Because when you’re looking at signs this way, time doesn’t move in a linear way, it allowed me to understand my friend. So I texted to him and explain to him, I saw this and I saw that and you are the badger. Because he actually spent two days badger not me, because I was just listening, but everybody else in his life.
I think that the key there is that the moment you grab that sign and you say as he did, yes I am the badger. The moment you take it, there is the implicit idea that you can let it go. So you can be the badger today not necessarily tomorrow. I think that in that sense, it was useful for him but I guess I’m in this weird situation in which even if people expect me to give them that, I am at the mercy of chance. I didn’t know what to tell him, I just listen to him and eventually I got two badgers in a row and I say okay this is what I’m.
Enrique Enrique…: So I wait and I in a way, I don’t think I can really, I notice things if I notice them actually modus operandi is to wait until something happens. If it makes like the bee and the fly if I manage to put that in language, if I write it down in a way that it conveys what it was, I pass it along. So my daily work is that, I look at something if I can present it in language it pass along to different people, randomly in the sense that it will be the people who come across me that day. Whether go to me or send me a message.
That is the sign [inaudible 00:55:31] I’m giving you this open thing which is not an image, or a closed thing, it’s just a sentence usually a description of the situation.
Andrew: Well they’re part of the signal right?
Enrique Enrique…: Of course.
Enrique Enrique…: Then they are set in place by the other person. The other person take that thing which is open ended again and they find okay that fit in my context this way. It’s fantastic because for me it is different every time. Even the same thing that I’m describing is different for 2, or 3, 10, 20 people. And it’s similar when I usually only do it on the weekends now that I go around I take a long walk with my daughter and then I record myself talking like a bird. I send that, I share that with people and everybody who wants to actually get my bird messages just have to message me and I will remember them. But then-
Andrew: You should do that it’s a lovely thing to arrive in your inbox.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes so it appears in your inbox out of nowhere and you’re not expecting that, so it really defines your reality for a moment, you can say this came right when I was doing this or that. Actually I just remembered something that I thought was really lovely. This friend of mine told me that there is this lady in her town that they call the blessing lady.
Enrique Enrique…: There’s this homeless woman and she was throw blessings at you or curses because you can’t have one without the other. But the way she does it, is that she speaks to her hand and then she flings the sentence at you as if the words were some sort of object. Which I think is absolutely brilliant. So I asked my friend, okay but can you give me an example of the things she said? She said, “Well one time she time, the asphalt is as hot as the sun. Beware of the number seven and cellphones.” Of course, it’s okay whatever. I realized that that lady just right there she drew the perfect class on how to look and find signs.
Because the first half of the equation said, the asphalt is like the sun, so what she’s saying is all about understanding the relationship, analogical relationship between things that feel and look the same. So you could say, the asphalt is to the sun as the number seven is to X. The point of the operation is to find the value of X.
Enrique Enrique…: Now you have the awareness of this. For example again going back to the badger and looking at this weird beer that has a badger on it I now became aware of that so, in such a way that I am more prone to recognize it again if I see it. That I think is mainly what happens with cards or that kind of oracles. We find an image on the table and by imagine I don’t necessarily mean the tower or the Emperor I mean the construct of the [inaudible 00:59:14] we see these things.
Now we become aware of that image in such a way that we can recognize it when we find it again. As we find it again it’s never the same. So, that new incarnation of that image expand what we understood about the first one and vice versa. Then we find it again and that understanding get expanded in time. So we are truly in a dialogue with reality.
Enrique Enrique…: I think the beauty of this is that when you find this recurrence of a form, what you really find is a rhythm. That rhythm is like the sound of a bird, there is no difference.
Andrew: Or it’s like the sun going round making asphalt molt letting the cooling down, making the asphalt hot, letting the asphalt cool down.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: Well maybe that’s the perfect place to leave it for today. Go ahead and look at the asphalt people see what happens.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes.
Andrew: Solve for X, what is it? Let us know.
Enrique Enrique…: Yes. It’s such a pleasure to talk to you always.
Andrew: Thank you, you too. For people who want to find you who want to receive your lovely bird conversations where do they hunt you down?
Enrique Enrique…: Well I’m only Facebook I don’t post or share much but I am there. So if you send me a message I will basically know you or be aware of you and then when I make a bird message I will happily send it to you, wherever you are.
Andrew: Perfect, yeah so good. All right, well thank you so much it’s been a delight as always.
Enrique Enrique…: Same here. Thank you.
Andrew: All right.
Andrew: Well folks, I hope you really enjoyed that podcast. I certainly always love getting to talk to people and you know, find out what they’re up to and, you know, often rediscover more about what I’m up to in those conversations. Do me a favor at the end of this episode as mentioned the beginning, please do go check it out, supporting the transcription process so that everybody can partake in these conversations and, you know, give it a share, give it a like, do those things, right. Go back and re share it with people and let people you know who would be interested in this about it. Because I think these conversations are important. I think a lot of these conversations that we’re having on this podcast are rare and and I think they need to be out there in the world. And really the only way that gets to happen these days is by you lovely listeners sharing and helping other people discover this stuff. All right, I’ll be back next week to have a conversation with Aunt K of The Land Back Tarot discussing indigenousness and tarot creation and all sorts of stuff along those lines. All right. Talk to you soon.