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“Once we have a real understanding of the cause of our unsatisfactory experience of samsara {aka the continuous cycle of life, death and rebirth}, then we can engage with it in a light-hearted manner. We play with our life experience, rather than feeling like a victim of our circumstances.”– Ngak’chang Rinpoche

For more:The Wisdom of Dzogchen

Dear One,
Summer Greetings! The themes you’ll find in these newsletters are initially set in motion by a combination of astrological transits, cosmic and galactic frequencies, clients’ issues, as well as whatever I most need to hear for myself in any given season. Then they’re downloaded (aka channeled) through me and off we go!

To get us started, here’s an excerpt from my website about my metaphysical philosophy:

“One of the trickier parts of the Earth Game is at the time of our births. That’s when a portion of our soul consciousness enters the baby’s body as it’s coming out through the birth canal. There’s a moment when our consciousness becomes locked in for the ride of this incarnation. This is what I call the “Oh, shit, what have I done!” moment, when we’re struck with the enormity of the task we’ve taken on.

Immediately following this moment, comes the “master erase” when we’re moved into “deep cover.” In other words, we’re on assignment, we’ve just forgotten what it is‒and the game of cosmic hide-and-seek begins again in earnest!

At any given time, the vast majority of the human race is under deep cover. After we die, aka drop our bodies, our soul reviews the incarnation we just left to see how we did with our original intentions. There’s usually a lot of metaphorical head-smacking and saying, “Shit, now I’ll have to do it all over again.”

Consequently, our karma continues to wind and the wheel turns. This is because the deep cover rule applies until we become awakened to our true identity and soul purposes while in an incarnation.” For more: LEELA

There are about eight billion souls incarnate on the planet right now. At any given time, according to various spiritual teachers and traditions throughout the ages, approximately 99% of humanity remains under deep cover, never awakening to their true nature and soul assignment and thus sleep-walking for their entire lifetimes. With this in mind, cultivating a very-long range Taoist perspective on the whole Earth Game in which everything is evolving perfectly in the Flow helps one maintain equanimity (much less sanity).

This also means that, at present, there are about 80 million souls in a precious human incarnation with enough allotted good karma pre-loaded with the probable opportunity to become seekers on the path of awakening to their soul assignment and true nature at a more advanced level of the game.

The above statement does not negate in any way the higher level of the truth in which all beings contain innate Buddha nature aka enlightenment as their divine birthright. But we live in a relative plane and the relative truth is: Most human beings are sleepwalking through life.

In between lives, for most souls, because of the weight of their karmic baggage, there’s little choice but to volunteer to be pulled back into the Earth Game–because this is where the action is, karmically speaking. It’s the only dimension in which the laws of karma–aka cause and effect–apply as the ruling force.

So, there are literally long lines on the other side for souls waiting to get into any human incarnation–even those with much struggle, suffering and powerlessness and mostly operating at the instinctual levels of security, survival, comfort and greed. But, at least, in most cases (unless one has been very very bad:)), there is not a devolvement back to the animal kingdom.

To the degree that the weight of our karma is released with awareness while in the earth plane in a human incarnation===to this degree are our souls able to fly higher when not incarnate into higher frequency dimensions as Light Beings.

Deep cover may also include most of the 60% of human beings who espouse a belief in reincarnation (according to studies) as these beliefs are inculcated from the culture and religion they were born into, and not necessarily a sign of awakening.

I look at this 1% of humanity who are in a high-quality incarnation in which there is an easier probability of awakening as exceptionally karmically fortunate. Does this mean that they’re all exceedingly mindful and grateful of the opportunity they’ve been given and see it as a gift from the Divine as well as well-earned from their own development? Not necessarily–and, in fact by far NOT!

However, this 1% is still the pool of possible clients who might seek me out for services and for whom I’m targeting my writings. Most importantly, this is also the pool from which we all need to more consciously seek our true karmic/soul family as friends in the Tao or fellow travelers for the journey of this incarnation.

Our families of origin, blood relations etc., are usually chosen by our souls to first activate and then over time heal our allotted karma for this life, and many of these family relationships are karmic bondages that we’re here to unwind. For only a fortunate few can say that they were raised by parents capable of unconditional love.

In addition, many of us, usually until half-time in the game (aka age 50/Chiron return) continue to manifest relationships–personal and professional–that are similar types of karmic bondages–in an attempt to heal in disguised form that which we have not yet fully cleared with our families of origin.

So, that means that, for at least half our lives, we may still tend to choose relationships of karmic bondage where there is something to heal by going though it and out the other side with lessons learned and, if remembered, (this is a big if), no need to repeat again.

Nonetheless, at any age, once we’re consciously awake and free enough, we can cultivate a more intuitive discriminating mind when choosing relationships based more on a soul level affinity and karmic heart bond, rather than bondage.

Many times, especially in romantic bondages, the person may come disguised as an irresistibly sweet gift, at least until the wrapping paper comes off. And then, what we’re left with, once the karmic crazy glue wears off, is poisoned candy.

Imagine the earth plane as an oasis city within a vast deserted Universe. And all eight billion human beings are moving through this oasis like an almost infinite number of caravans–all moving in different directions, at different speeds and speaking different languages. Our job, once we awaken enough from deep cover, is to choose our companions for the journey of this life based on the criterion that we’re moving in the same direction at the same speed and speaking the same language. And what a trip it is once we do this!

And, of course, all relationships need to be reevaluated seasonally and cyclically based on the above criterion as our journey evolves, moving from the solely personal levels of our horizontal ego/personality development towards the continuously accelerating spiral of our vertical expansion (back to the soul and beyond).
This higher-center development (from the midpoint of the heart center up) governs transpersonal or universal love, communicating from our higher selves rather than ego, as well as psychic and spiritual communion with higher dimensions and Source. And again–wow, what a trip!

In each 30-year karmic Saturn cycle, we hopefully evolve and awaken in a natural organic process through the horizontal and onto the vertical by our 3rd cycle starting around age 58-60, which I call the victory round. Its ideally not either/or–it’s and/and both.

Over the course of our lifetimes, integrating our lower and higher centers into a balanced whole allows us to dissolve the illusionary boundaries of space/time and horizontal/vertical as we move to the next quantum level in our soul evolution.

In choosing our karmic family to travel through life with, I’ve found the most useful tool is in developing the discriminating mind and intuition to be able to hold a split screen in our view of all others.

This means that, on one side of the screen, we see each person at their highest soul potential, as well as containing their innate buddha/enlightened essence at a higher level of the truth. Then, simultaneously, on the other side of the screen, we also need to witness the relative truth of where each person is at on the level of the personality/little self/ego in this chapter of their soul’s story.

Before we choose to get involved–personally or professionally–we need to be unconditionally accepting of the whole package of their range–wounds and all–with the understanding that they may never totally fulfill their soul assignment and awaken to their soul potentials in this lifetime . . . and certainly not on our ego timetable! This is especially important when considering a commitment with a prospective life partner.

Holding this split screen between relative truth and higher truth will help to accelerate our awakening process as it also opens our hearts wider with compassion for those under deep cover. For once we can witness others with no judgment, then unconditional acceptance and appreciation that everyone is doing the best they’re capable of becomes our default view.

This also allows us to cut ourselves a break if we’re carrying survivor’s guilt for having a high-quality incarnation with relatively minimal suffering, even if it’s a gift from the divine to be grateful for. Because, if that is your case then, believe you me, it’s well earned through past lives of suffering which cracks the heart open with compassion for self and others, as nothing lesser could ever do.

After this, it will be easier to choose to abide by the rules of what I call karmic al-anon (rather than idiot compassion): “We didn’t cause anyone’s karma; we can’t control it and we can’t cure it.”

Therefore, we need to look at why we’re choosing to be with someone and take full responsibility for the choice. It’s really not a question of their potentials or where they’re at in realizing them–for they’re always at exactly where they need to be at for their own karmic healing. The only question really is: “What are you doing there?”

If we feel that the person is one of “ours” karmically–aka feeling some type of debt owed–then so be it–but at least we’ll be going in with open eyes.

For those of us not leaping for joy yet or at least smiling at our lot in Life aka allotted karma for this incarnation–cultivating gratitude and a glass half-full perspective is the optimal antidote. To help those of you that don’t have an innately sunny glass-half-full disposition or are in a slump emotionally, I suggest reading two of my mainstays:
Victor Frankel: Man’s Search for Meaning
And Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

And yes, while I’m a Taoist and Tantrika and almost recovered hedonist, with a karmic pleasure rut of self-indulgence that I’m still unwinding, I’m also of a stoic temperament (go figure) with Saturn, Lord of Karma, ruling my chart.

We’re all here, after all, through our reincarnational cycles to develop the fullest range of the human repertoire of experience, first in separate karmic cycles, and then in culminating ones which combine the fullest range of all the cycles into one lifetime.

In the Buddhist tradition, Nirvana is not some external divine place, but the purified state of consciousness in which we’re free of all negative emotions. Being in Nirvana or heaven (aka a fully awakened state) has four characteristic features:

A state of cessation of disturbing emotions from one’s mind.
Absolute peace, a state of total tranquility of disturbing emotions.
Exuberant satisfaction, which is free from all forms of dissatisfaction.
Definite emergence, when one will no longer relapse to an unenlightened state.

There has only been one Being who I had the privilege of sitting darshan with in India many moons ago who appeared to emanated all four characteristics of realization. Besides this ancient One, who radiated the Void, most of the highest spiritual teachers that I’ve had direct experience with have attained the first three out of the above four characteristics. This means that, when they’re teaching or giving direct transmissions, they ARE at a level of consciousness that emanates a realized state of Being. But when they’re not at their highest then . . . not so much.

However, when one is in their presence at its highest one can definitely get a “hit” of this energy and it feels GOOD. The danger is that it can feel so blissful that one needs to watch out for an addictive hook of dependency that arises from the limiting belief that this bliss can only be gotten from this teacher and is not attainable on one’s own.
For more: On Spiritual Teachers: Buyer Be AWARE!

So, in addition to not judging spiritual teachers (all you need to do is be clear on why you’re there), it’s important that we also cut ourselves a break with the spiritual materialism of being goal-oriented about enlightenment. But rather, to accept, as I emphatically have that, while at times on any given day I do experience three out of the four traits listed above, especially during and after my sitting practice or when I’m operating as a channel, I certainly return to lesser states ALL the time!

If truth be told, I’ve become somewhat demoralized of late while dealing with the spiritual materialism of some of my clients and feel like I’m repeating myself endlessly to help them hold the split-screen with themselves as to where they sit on the continuum of awakening–so that they can enjoy the trip more as human Beings rather than as human doings. Sigh.

I’ve never felt quite this way before, in over 50 years as a spiritual guide in this life, and it has “encouraged” me, (ah–another FGO, aka fuckin growth opportunity) To recommit to the Bodhisattva Vow:

Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them. Desires are inexhaustible; I vow to put an end to them. The Dharmas are boundless; I vow to master them. The Buddha Way is unattainable; I vow to attain it.

For not only are seekers beginningless and endless in their questions and need for guidance, but so too is the maintenance of the physical vessel, home and personal reality. Therefore, it behooves me to reboot the screen of my perceptions daily–so that I can begin again and start over with a fresh eye to appreciate all the people, places, things and circumstances in my life. Cultivating a fresh eye is one of my favorite tantric practices . . . I just forgot!

Now that I’m in my 8th decade and viewing it ALL fresh with my new almost 20-20 vision (after recovering nicely from two cataract surgeries in the last few months,) I can see that a daily recommitment of my vows and reboot of my perspective are perfectly timed in the Flow.

It’s not uncommon after a several-year Pluto transit over a personal planet (or, in my case, over the ascendant/north node of destiny) to experience a death of the old before a birth of the new. Consequently, there is the inevitable lag time, in which we find ourselves sitting in the inner Void with nobody home.

But now, I’m in the process of reclaiming my innate enthusiasm for the trip by playing the role as galactic cheerleader/travel guide and catalytic agent for those that come to me. For, as my channels have reminded me: “Your enthusiasm is your greatest gift, even more so than being a crystal-clear channel.”

And so, we might as well welcome this truth for each of our seasons and cycles of Life:
“Impermanence is a cause for celebration. Impermanence is our opportunity to discover presence. Present moments are infinite. They will never end. We will never cease to have opportunities to start again. We will never cease to have opportunities to experience presence.” –Ngak’chang Rinpoche

In the Garden by the River–Joan Pancoe

“If we come back into form from having merged with God, what the Buddhist call nirvana, we are in the world but not of it. We play the cosmic sport. We fill the forms though there is no one home, it is just more lila, the dance of God.”–Ram Dass

Finally, I’m extremely happy to share the astrological news of the season that jovial Jupiter, the planet of good fortune and abundance on all levels, just started his transit through juggler Gemini on May 25, 2024, which will run through June 9, 2025.

For me personally, with Jupiter in Gemini in my 5th house of romance and creativity in my birth chart, having this placement has always been quite the gift in terms of my enjoyment of the banquet of life with all types of romantic partners and creative outlets.

And, while too much Gemini in the birth chart, especially personal planets, can make one a bit overly ditzy and scattered more of the time, particularly mentally and in communications, this transit allows us to try new things and diversify what feeds our sense pleasures, higher mind and soul especially in whatever house, or area of the life, one has Gemini in our birth charts. Just as wherever we have Jupiter natally charts gives us a lucky edge of good karma.

For example, when I have clients with Jupiter in Gemini in the 10th house of career natally, I encourage them to enjoy adding to their vocational tool kit by learning various modalities in their line of work that they have a passion for–as with this placement of Jupiter they will find ways to enjoy and use them all in various permutations with great success.This is especially so if there are alternate indicators in the birth chart of a desire for single-focus mindful depth. For example, a strong Pluto placement and/or other Scorpionic influences.

This energy is not quite the same as having Awakener Uranus say in the tenth house, where it is boredom that inspires these types to have the longest resumes, as wherever Uranus is in the birth chart there’s a desire for the almost constant stimulation of new things to keep one’s interest and help stay awake and mindful.
But, with Jupiter in Gemini this year, we can all benefit from embracing our inner paradoxes and contradictions and releasing habitual mental ruts of identity by trying and tasting more variety when partaking from the infinite abundance of the banquet of Life.

For, we’re all multi-faceted beings, and this transit is the perfect opportunity to allow us to embrace our fullest range of being. It’s a year of stretching open and trying out a more diverse range of people, places, things and circumstances than ever before. For more:
INFINITE ABUNDANCE: Owning Our Inner Jupiter


“To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle”–Walt Whitman

At the moment of his enlightenment, The Buddha, said it best:
“How strange—all living beings have the fully awakened nature, but none of them knows it. And because of that they drift and sink from lifetime to lifetime in the great ocean of samsara, in suffering.”

Author's Bio: 

JOAN PANCOE'S experience as a gifted trance channel, karmic astrologer and spiritual teacher in private practice in New York City since 1976 gives her a unique perspective in reading the soul's secrets and helping people remember and get on track with why they're here.

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 and beyond.

Joan appeared in 2012 in the new A&E/Biography channel documentary series, The UneXplained, demonstrating past-life regression therapy for healing karmic issues.

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