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Let body needs dwindle and soul decisions increase. Diminish what you give your physical self. Your spiritual eye will begin to open.”—RUMI

For more:Ruminations of a Timeless Mystic

Dear ONE,
To kick off your fullest enjoyment of the season, let’s start with some sorely needed good news: On July 28, Jupiter, the Great Benefic, stationed retrograde in action-oriented Aries with an auspicious New Moon in warm-hearted Leo in attendance. This means that the planet of good fortune is encouraging us to go within to rediscover all the hidden treasures of what truly feed our souls rather than endlessly seeking to fill ourselves up from external sources. Here’s a personal story that exemplifies the energy of this transit:

Many moons ago, I was having lunch with a dear friend, Gerry, at a lovely outdoor café.
The back-story is that Gerry, at that time in his late fifties, had been clinically depressed and on various medications for decades. However, over the last year or so, the drugs had stopped working even at the highest doses and, the last time I saw him, he had fallen into a deep pit of despair.
So, with my encouragement and the support of his psychopharmacologist, Gerry had fully weaned himself off the pharmaceuticals over several months and successfully switched to taking SAMe, well known in Europe as the most popular nutritional supplement for depression.
Over lunch, Gerry was, not just stabilized mentally and emotionally, but feeling “over the moon,” as he had fallen madly in love with a woman more than thirty years younger than himself.
As he gushed about “How all the colors were brighter and he’d never felt more alive,” I intuited that this love affair was not going to last too long and that it really wasn’t meant to.
But rather, it’s true and deeper purpose was as a catalyst to reactivate endorphins and pleasure, joy and bliss molecules in Gerry’s brain, which had been dormant for so long.
I shared these psychic downloads as skillfully as I could with him while viscerally transmitting the information energetically and, simultaneously, realized that I was feeling more alive and all the colors of Life had gotten brighter for me as well.

For those of us who have ever tasted the technicolor brilliance, unity consciousness and blissful aliveness that various hallucinogenic drugs can be a catalyst for, this story might resonate. For, just as with the experience of falling in love, these life-changing experiences may activate intense and powerful feelings of pure aliveness.

On my earliest LSD trip in 1972 at age nineteen, my perceptual universe cracked open irreversibly as I spontaneously channeled my very first psychic reading. This five-minute transmission viscerally awakened an awareness of everyone’s eternal nature, which has never left me. Furthermore, as my soul mate and tripping partner, Jim, shared later in an interview: “Joan’s psychic capabilities appeared to have emerged fully intact from her past-life development.”
I can honestly say that I’ve never come back from that trip. In fact, I’m still on it! As a consequence, my journey since then has been on learning how to develop the personality/ego on the emotional levels especially, so that all parts of me are balanced, integrated and raised to the same vibrational frequency as my ps opening/soul consciousness.

But, alas, in the majority of cases, the blissful aliveness of hallucinogenic trips or falling in love doesn’t last as, sooner rather than later, we come back down to our default level of consciousness and emotional setpoint, which come from our habitual karmic rut of identity.
Consequently, if we want to maintain the “high” of these evanescent states of being, we’ll need to cultivate them internally. For, all mood-altering substances and external circumstances are governed by the ephemeral nature of the Earth Game, in which everything is always changing—especially, for most of us, our emotional states—as an integral component of the Flow of Life.

This was proven to me irrevocably when, in the summer of 1982, I decided to start a daily meditation practice in my garden at a time when all was extremely stable in my life externally.
One day, over the course of eight hours, I experienced the cyclical and continuous rising and falling away of the full range of emotions—from hysterical laughter to heart-wrenching weeping, from joy and bliss to unspeakable sadness, loss and pain—with no external triggers and no attachment to highs and lows—as it was all witnessed as pure aliveness.
Since then, through daily sitting practice, I’ve reached a point where the habitual cycling of emotional samskaras (aka karmic grooves) has unwound almost completely. This means that I experience sitting in the inner emptiness of the Void most of the time, with nobody home and no samskaras arising. From this state, peace and equanimity permeate as my primary emotional tone, which then allows pleasure, joy and bliss to spontaneously bubble up, with no external spark.

When I do psychic counseling about romantic relationships, I remind clients that unless we make our relationship with all of Life, Source or the Divine our primary bond for feeding our souls with pure aliveness, (which I call our “cake”) and allow any romance to be the delicious icing, we’re setting ourselves up for a lot of heartache. For, while we’re entitled to have a preference for being in partnership, icing does tend to come and go, but we’ll always have our cake.
This stance allows us to be more resilient, anti-fragile and flexible in the Flow of Life and not quite so devastated for such an extended period of time when icing becomes, at least temporarily, unavailable or presented in a form or flavor which doesn’t meet our preferences.
I’ve known some very sad cases in which some especially sensitive souls chose to completely give up on love and shut down their hearts after having them broken open through a romance that didn’t endure, rather than ever risk such pain and heartache again.
When, instead, they could have used the growing pains of their broken-open hearts as the catalyst to be in love with all of Life, as well as enjoying in the future some more and different icing from a place of inner fullness, time and again, always at the perfect time.

For instance, in 2005, I initially went into deep shock when a long-term relationship ended without warning (or at least, without my choosing to focus on the quite evident warning signs—as even a psychic can have a blind spot in the romantic area:)).
Nevertheless, within the course of one day, after continuously repeating the mantra “I’m stable at the core,” which came to me spontaneously after the news, as well as doing some standing chi gung to ground, I was really feeling quite at peace. Also, having a dear friend come over to rub my feet with lavender oil and getting an acupuncture treatment to calm me down accelerated my ability to dissolve the shock fully.
In fact, in the Taoist water-method system, shocks are considered “gifts from the gods” as they can loosen up deeply embedded blockages of emotional shock that have not been resolved, so we can dissolve them as well. For more: Taoist Practices MP3s

Over the next 4 months, as the baggage of the old karmic bond continued to fall away, I lost over 40 pounds effortlessly and arrived at my ideal weight. And, within a month of the parting, I found a new spiritual teacher whom I studied with for years, that changed my life immeasurably.
He was the last spiritual teacher I ever felt I needed as I was ready to fully integrated his teaching to “Own my inner guru.” Now that’s what I call icing my cake with an entirely new flavor:)! For more: On Spiritual Teachers: Buyer Be AWARE!

As I always like to say: We’re all made up of the same cocreative Source energy and this energy is made up of pure consciousness. So that, at the highest levels of Truth, there is only ONE BEING with billions of faces.
But now it’s time to add this caveat: Even though we’re all made up of the same cosmic or divine substance, on the relative levels of truth in 3D, our capabilities to use this energy as cocreators varies greatly. This is dependent on many factors, but especially on how well we’ve healed and unwound our allotted karma—aka limiting beliefs and ruts of identity—we’re playing out in any given incarnation.

Accordingly, we’re all on a steep learning curve in Earth School. The curriculum involves: Bottoming out on our addictions to people, places, things, circumstances and substances as the only or even primary way to activate our innate aliveness and bliss body. Choosing to refine our addictions to more life-force enhancing ones rather than those that feed our death urge and numb us out. Recognize that relying on too many outside fixes to feed us becomes junk food for the soul, and that owning our innate love and joy in Being is a full-time inside job with no more external triggers needed . . . although still mightily enjoyed:).
Most of us start out, in out teens and twenties when hormones tend to weight our choices, with seeking out those things that make us feel more alive. For me, it was a judicious use of consciousness-expanding drugs, as well as a, not so judicious, fascination with life-threatening adventure sports, and for the cherry on top, enjoyably spinning as many plates in the erotic/romantic arena as my psyche could tolerate and then some.
I bottomed out on mood-altering substances to feel more alive—after they turned on me and I went into a downward spiral—when I got sober at 27. And then, through my thirties, I hit another bottom when I realized I had an addiction to sick excitement (aka as drama, or level-five rapids vs calm waters) through intense relationships of all sorts—from friends and clients, to lovers. For more, please enjoy my memoir: Cosmic Sugar: The Amorous Adventures of a Modern Mystic

While unwinding this last self-destructive addiction, I choose to study Taoist and Tantric energy arts as more refined vehicles to activate my innate inner aliveness, which has worked for me, on this learning curve I’m still on, ever since.

Ultimately, we’re here to experience pure aliveness—regardless of external triggers, whether pleasant or not so pleasant—from an inner owning and attunement with what has been in us all along. We can still fully enjoy our pleasant externals as they come and go, as long as we’re clear that external catalysts are the trigger and not the source of the pure aliveness that truly feeds our souls.
My favorite story on this theme is from the Upanishads, a most ancient Vedic text:
“There once was a Musk Deer who very early in her life began to notice this heavenly scent in the air. Intoxicated by its smell, she set out to search for the source of this divine aroma. She searched high and low and everywhere she went she could smell it lightly in the air, but its source always eluded her. She searched the depths of every forest, smelled around every tree, tasting every blade of grass and still couldn’t discover where this scent was coming from. She remained determined because the scent was so glorious she knew deep down that she would be profoundly happy once she finally found it.
She ended up devoting her entire life to her search and one day felt exhausted onto the forest floor. As she fell one of her horns pierced her own belly. Suddenly the air was overwhelmingly flooded with this divine heavenly scent. After a lifetime of searching, in the presence of the final moments of her precious life she realized the scent was coming from her, the whole time.”

From the perspective of the Void everything that occurs in the earth plane IS pure aliveness—whether good or bad, light or dark, pleasure or pain, loss or gain—it’s all the same once we let go of our habitual preferences.
Then we can embrace the duality of 3D as a teaching tool to help us replicate the complementary/oppositional nature of existence into the fullest range of our own human emotional repertoire, which is one of the purposes of the reincarnational cycles after all.

This happened to me while going through a divorce at age 33 when I experienced viscerally what I had always feared most—someone I loved stabbing me in the heart. But, amazingly, in the midst of this pain, I realized I’d never felt more alive!
Since then, it has been the same with other physical and emotional pains which I’d previously fed with fear or aversion, including excruciating toothaches and scary surgeries.
In the midst of these events, I was surprised to find that—once I let go of resistance to what is—I never felt more alive. Or, at least, just as alive as when galloping on wild horses, scuba diving in risky situations, or enthusiastically entering dangerous liaisons.

Over time, our journey of conscious awakening becomes one of choosing to unwind our addictions that have become, through their habitual use, merely junk food for the soul.
This includes a daily dose of “recreational” drugs or “social” drinking which, not only soften the edges of reality to numb our consciousness, drive and ambition but, over time, create a stagnation of life-force energies so that we’re sleepwalking through life as a form of living death or hell realm. And how many people do you know that this describes?

This millennium has brought new junk foods for the soul as addictions to smart phones, social media, heartless entertainment and other mindless distractions to being truly present existentially are rampant in the culture.
Too much of a “good thing” can turn on you, even Zoom, which became such a panacea during the quarantine and still is for work without the need to commute. But when, through denial, delusion or sheer laziness, it starts to replace in-person human interaction entirely, as a form of ersatz connection with others when used for personal group teachings, etc., this reality “lite” misses out on all the growth challenges that being in a real live shangha can provide.

Oliver Sacks, the famous neurologist and one of my favorite thinkers, said that social media and smart phones are a “neurological disaster” for the generations raised on them, as too much habitual use is a delivery system for dumbing down the mind, numbing the consciousness and diminishing our capacity and desire for true human connection and intimacy.
Added to this, the daily use by millions of people, especially teens whose brain development is still a work-in-progress, of new and powerful levels of high-THC marijuana does little to feed the soul. Sadly, its chronic misuse is effectively devolving our culture—through lowering the mentality of the mass consciousness— already the lowest common denominator—to a new low of a more-zombie like level of automatons than ever before.For more: The Nature of Addiction It’s Only Human

The most important and impactful transit affecting us all throughout July and August, is a very rare triple conjunction of Trickster of Awakening Uranus/Node of Destiny/Mars in safety and security-loving Taurus, exact on July 31. This planetary event last occurred in Taurus in 324 BC, and this time will be challenged in a square by Karmic Teacher Saturn in Aquarius.

Every single one of us will be forced by global and local political, economic and, now especially, climate circumstances to change the habits of a lifetime, our lifestyles and what we have come to consider as our essential entitlements.
This means that we’re all going to have to choose to diminish what we think we “need” and get very clear on what’s truly important in terms of the most basic body and material necessities, tighten our belts and spending, and keep things very simple in terms of our wants, desires and indulgences going forward.
So, while we need to preserve our personal security and resources for the future as best we can in this crucial time, we also need to remember that the only thing that’s absolutely safe in the end is physical death.
As the planet continues to heat up, some may succumb to feelings of hopelessness. Therefore, maintaining the timeless soul’s witnessing perspective, with a dose of cosmic humor, if at all possible, is the way to be here now and affect others via the ripple effect. More on this next time.

Uranus has been in Taurus since May 15, 2018 and will continue through the sign until April 27, 2026. It’s awakening us to reevaluate and refine what truly gives meaning and value to our lives, beyond the mundane levels of safety, security and comfort. With this Summer’s catalytic triple conjunction, we may be called (or pushed through shocking events) to take action from a new soul-centered criterion based on a higher perspective of Life’s purpose.

As Divine-orderly chaos and volatility ramp up as the theme for 2022, it may get even crazier and more intense as inflammatory Mars is ruling the skies as the catalytic agent in this triple threat.
Events could move incredibly fast with shocking news coming from all sides, throwing us off balance daily, especially if we watch too much global news. So how we handle this all is the key to our future karma and destiny.
Because all this is happening in earthy Taurus, the path of sanity and stability at the core can only be maintained through daily grounding practices in Nature, as is always the way with the physical body—the only way out is through.

Encouragingly, Jupiter comes together with the North Node in Taurus in May and June 2023, which indicates a loosening up of some of this intense volatility, especially around scarcity of resources.

In the meantime, we can use all these shocks to the system as a form of spiritual resistance training (aka life pushing at us to make us stronger) as well as an evolutionary accelerant.
For, instead of feeding ourselves with fear and defiance by clinging to entitlements, indulgences and luxury problems that no longer serve us or the planet, we can choose to focus on appreciation and gratitude for the miracle and wonder of the poignant preciousness of what still remains.
Our power lies in focusing on the glass as always half-full. This way, as external events continue to incite feelings of powerlessness, our inner soul power rises.

“Getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.”—Pema Chodron

“Wise beings can be peaceful in the midst of chaos, experiencing delight in the changing play of forms.”–Ram Dass

In closing, we’re in the midst of the USA’s Pluto Return, which kicked off with the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, challenging the USA to more proactively support this defense against tyranny, as it continues to affect resources and supply chains globally.
And now, most of us are still reverberating from the shock of the reversal of Roe V Wade and girding ourselves for action by being sure to exercise our voting rights as well as supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood.
This reversal is what I call a spiritual cha-cha—two steps forward, with the defeat of Trump, and now one giant leap backwards. But I trust that, with 20-20 hindsight, we’ll see how this temporary setback lit a fire under more than enough voters to flip the switch towards the Light in the elections to come. And that what might appear as bad news in the short-term, will be good news in many more ways—long-term—then we can yet imagine right now.

When I do health readings, it is repeatedly clear that our personal body karma arises in ways that no lesser shock or challenge in the form of illness or accident could have gotten our full attention that a course correction is indicated.
So too, in the body politic, no lesser shock or challenge than the reversal of Roe V Wade would suffice to get our attention to rise up out of complacency and stagnation to take action for a course correction aligned with “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as espoused in the Declaration of Independence.
This Pluto Return will be ongoing for years. It’s function, by exposing our collective shadow, which I would call the illusion of separation (aka us vs “them”), is to own this our own dark sides (and we all have one) and transmute it through action into the Light of Unity consciousness.
This is the most powerful transit for transformation there is, and its deeper purpose is to help the USA awaken to its fullest potential on all levels, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

“Which is worth more, a crowd of thousands or your own genuine solitude? Freedom or power over an entire nation? A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable than anything else that could be given to you.”—RUMI

In summation, our souls truly thrive on pure aliveness as our food of choice and have no preference for the package it comes in. This means that:
Volatility, chaos, insecurity, heartache, death-defying adventure sports, life-threatening illnesses, near-death experiences and dangerous erotic entanglements all truly ring the soul’s bells.

Conversely, junk food for the soul, which will do no permanent harm if partaking of occasionally as a “treat,” has the characteristics of:
Anesthetizing and creating a buffer between us, others and life and, over time, regressing us to a point where we lose any capacity to be emotionally present and, instead, make our ever-deepening addiction to our numbing agents our primary relationship.

Jung described the craving for alcohol as a: “Low-level search for the divine.” This could also be applied to any lower-chakra addiction. How exciting that we get to choose to get on with our spiritual vocation as seekers on the highest-level search in town . . . especially since its destination has been inside us all along:).

So, our job, if we choose to awaken more, is to upgrade and refine our addictions to more and more life-force enhancing habits—like mind/body/spirit practices, spending time in Nature, healthy eating and more discriminating choices for who and what we surround ourselves with.

Firstly, we need to own and cultivate more joy in Being internally as our divine and human birthright and do the inner work to unhook any limiting beliefs about worthiness to enjoy all good things. Then, we can stop allowing our monkey-minds to sabotage pleasure, joy and bliss when they do arise—whether by external triggers or spontaneously by being at peace with what is. For more: On Pleasure, Joy and Bliss

This way, we can expand our tolerance for handling more joy in our emotional bodies until we are overflowing with it as one of our primary emotional tones, affecting all those in our lives and the earth plane itself.

Wishing us all an accelerated learning curve on this most important course in our earth school curriculum, so that when others come in contact with our joy in Being, they’ll say to themselves: “I’ll have some of that!”


"If you don’t try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it’s too late for all you could become.”—RUMI

For more: Favorite Quotes

Author's Bio: 

JOAN PANCOE is a gifted trance channel, karmic astrologer and spiritual teacher in private practice in New York City since 1976.

She is the creator of psychic therapy, ™ a ten-session intensive that utilizes altered states to help release karmic blocks and experience and integrate the soul level of consciousness.

Joan is the author of Openings: A Guide to Psychic Living in the Real World and Cosmic Sugar: The Amorous Adventures of a Modern Mystic, under the pen name, Leela Jones.

In addition, she is a teacher of Tantric and Taoist energy arts and has had three solo shows of her art in New York City.