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“I have a large seashell collection which I keep scattered on beaches all over the world.”—Steven Wright
“He’s like a pearl on the deep bottom, wondering, inside his shell, where’s the ocean?”—Rumi
Just after the Winter Solstice heralded the return of the Light on December 21, we synchronistically kicked off one of the main themes of 2022 and beyond with the advent of the true Dharmic/Karmic Lunar Nodes into Taurus and Scorpio. This transit only occurs every 18.6 years for 18.6 months. During this time, we’ll be presented with some especially challenging spiritual lessons which can either greatly accelerate or decelerate our karmic evolution.
This particular FGO (f**kin growth opportunity) has to do with raising the level of our game in relation to how we master and unhook ego attachments which no longer serve us—to people, places, things and circumstances—rather than continuing to allow them to control and define who we really are and how we feel in any given moment.
This means that everything in samsara (aka 3D, the phenomenal world, or the earth plane) that affects our ego—including our relationships, bank accounts, possessions, resumes, achievements, our “looks” and even our identity on the personality levels—will be coming up for review.
For, if we truly want to live with the equanimity and inner peace that comes with making the timeless perspective of the Witness/Soul our primary identity, we’ll need to choose to let go of clinging to being “somebody” through our attachments to our external “stuff” and journey into the realm of being “nobody” where true bliss spontaneously arises.
Before we allow an ego-induced uproar take us over in a knee-jerk reaction to the dangerous (but only to the ego:)) implications the above choice could lead to, please know that this game-changing decision is not an entirely “either/or” one, but rather more of a reprioritizing of choosing to lead with our true “face” and only utilizing all the different facets of our personality as skillful means for navigating situations when called upon in the Flow of Life.
For, as the Dalai Lama has said: “No attachments, no compassion.”
Therefore, I’m not suggesting anything other than a reevaluation of our attachments to review whether any have devolved to only feeding our egos as they give us an illusion of control over the ephemeral nature of 3D or are truly feeding our souls in ways that provide deeper spiritual meaning, purpose and value in our lives.
So, if you’ve become sick and tired of basing your love and acceptance of yourself and your unique karmic journey on external ego comparisons with how others are playing out their karma, and feeling “less than” and unhappy with your lot in life, then this is the perfect time to release the fruitless limiting belief that “If only I had some of what they’re having, then I’d be ok.”
The reason this review is so relevant now is because the Taurus North Node of Dharma (aka wisest path forward of Truth) is the natural ruler of the 2nd House of “what we possess,” which has two primary levels.
The mundane level governs our attachments to the more tangible objectives of having enough financial security and, beyond that, to things that feed our ego as some form of cash and prizes. So, if you’ve been acting out from the shadow side of Taurus by seeking only material rewards for your efforts and have noticed you’re becoming increasingly more stubborn, stingy and rigid in this regard, then it’s time to raise the level of your game.
This is especially true if you’ve reached the point where diminishing returns are making you feel more and more empty on the inside. As Ted Turner said, after acquiring his first billion: “Money is an empty bag.” In fact, some of the unhappiest clients I’ve ever done readings for have been billionaires and super-models, always afraid that any love they’ve attracted was primarily based on their external “assets.”
The higher-level of the 2nd House rules what gives value and meaning to our lives by feeding our soul on the more intangible but eternal levels of the Being. This is best expressed from the higher more positive traits of fixed-earth Taurus (which is after all ruled by the planet of Love, Venus) of being affectionate, generous, steadfast and loyal.
So, while I lovelovelove and appreciate my body, home and garden, creative and psychic work, friends and family, and especially my sweet life partner, I also know that, sooner or later, all of these will fall away, one way or another—and definitely not on the ego’s timetable. One of my all-time favorite quotes from the movie Shadowlands applies here:
“The pain later is part of the happiness now.”
This awareness makes each moment ever more poignant and precious as I cultivate gratitude for it all in the Eternal Now. I’m very cognizant that everything as it plays out in each of our lives, while well-earned karmically from reincarnational cycles is, also and always, simultaneously a priceless gift from the Divine that is perfect for karmic healing and soul growth.
I’ve been pruning external attachments, once they’ve become distractions that no longer serve my highest good, for decades. Consequently, at this point, the majority of tangible aspects of Life which I’m still most attached to also feed me on the soul-level as they support my dharmic path of enabling me to fulfill the levels of karmic work I took incarnation for. As for cash and prizes and more stuff beyond basic necessities? Not so much anymore, and less and less as time goes on.
If you haven’t already awakened to the reality that money has only a limited power to make us happier and our lives better, consider the hierarchy of needs proposed by the psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow believed that people tend to focus on meeting their needs in a particular order of urgency.
We start with root chakra survival needs such as food, shelter and safety. Once these have been met, we can turn our attention to social and emotional needs, such as love and heart-centered connections with others. And finally, we focus on higher-order needs such as self-actualization and transcendence—in other words, looking for life’s meaning.
“He who knows he has enough is rich,” Lao Tzu
Instead of amassing more than we truly need out of greed and/or the insecurity and emptiness of the hungry ghost mentality, if we allow ourselves to feel full with the abundance of what really matters in our hearts and souls we can live with genuine contentment.
The corollary quote by the Dalai Lama to the one mentioned above is: “Without pain, there is no compassion.” So, yes, attachments are a double-edged sword and quite the balancing act. This means that, while we can fully enjoy those that feed our heart and soul and expand the full range of our humanness, we also need to accept the reality that everything material falls away sooner or later in the physical plane. How could it not be so?
This reminds me that, when I do past-life regression therapy, the lives re-experienced with the most pain and loss are also the lives that have the most potential for soul growth. This comes through allowing our most challenging circumstances of powerlessness over external factors crack our hearts wide open with compassion for ourselves, those who have harmed us, and ultimately for all human suffering—as nothing lesser could.
We don’t get to choose to have only good feelings or good sensations, which I tried my hardest to do in my party-girl 20s when I was a slowly recovering hedonist:). We’re here ideally to embrace the full range of our human emotional repertoire as a package deal.
The only other option, if we want to avoid emotional pain, is to take our marbles and go home. However, if we refuse to play by the rules of the Earth Game of accepting to the fullest extent what it means to be human on the heart level, then we’re never truly alive, but rather numbly subsisting as a form of living death.
The good news is that, on the inner levels of Being, all the heart connections and soul qualities we develop in any lifetime are never truly lost, as we get to carry them with us on our journey of awakening on the wheel of karma in 3D, as well as in other dimensions of consciousness outside of linear space and time.
So, if you haven’t already figured it out, growing pains are definitely an integral part of the trip. But ongoing suffering—well, that comes when we cling to what is no more and resist surrendering to what is here now, just as it is.
On a personal note, as I approach my 50th anniversary as a trance channel, still fully embodied and in NYC, no less, I find myself primarily sitting—at the core of Being—in the formless emptiness of the Void, out of which all forms spontaneously and continuously arise and fall away.
From this multidimensional timeless space, I get to watch the divine dance or cosmic play of Leela unfold as I play the role of “Joan” on the personality level and “Joan Pancoe, Modern Mystic” on the professional level, while at the same time being aware that there is actually nobody home. My life-partner every so often reminds me of this while looking into my eyes.
This dichotomy became hilariously evident in 2020 when it was necessary to upgrade my website for technical reasons, as the old site was becoming obsolete. As I was designing the next level of my “brand” of being a “modern mystic,” which I first created in the early 90s after being in the psychic profession for over 20 years, I was also simultaneously sitting in my “nobody home” true identity. Cosmic humor indeed!
This was the finest and most fun instance to date of allowing the little mind/personality/ego function as a translucent tool in 3D with no attachment to outcomes in the Flow. As Adyashanti says, “Life is in control of what’s happening, not the ego.”
It seems, as time goes by, that my identity has expanded its range from the eternal witness/soul perspective, to include the galactic light body of “One Being, billions of faces,” all the way through to the Void. Now, I get to enjoy viewing the wonders of 3D unfolding from the “nobody home” perspective of the Void where ALL THAT IS is pure conscious aliveness. And while the personality continues to play her roles when called to in perfect time in the Flow, in this spacious present moment, bliss is allowed to spontaneously arise more and more.
My favorite quote on this is from Ram Dass:
“If we come back into form from having merged with God, what the Buddhists 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.”
For more Ram Dass and other favorite quotes:
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The South Node of our Karmic Past is in depths-charging Scorpio, which naturally governs the 8th house of other people’s money and value systems, as well as sex on the mundane levels. On the higher levels, the 8th house rules our relationship with healing and spirit, through raising and transmuting the sexual energies to the higher psychic centers as a vehicle to merge with the Divine.
One of my spiritual teachers taught that greed is the number one affliction of the human race. That always wanting “more, different or better” is the root cause of the most suffering from the hungry ghost level. I would add to this that comparing our lot in life (aka our karma) with anyone else’s, also causes the most suffering.
This theme will be coming up big time so that we can heal it by raising the level at which we operate karmically from the Scorpio South Node. And, let us not forget that Scorpio, ruled by Transformer Pluto, operates through cycles of death and rebirth. For more: Owning Our Inner Pluto Before… It Eats Us for Lunch.
To see where you’ll really get tested this year so that you can prepare, in terms of your attachments, it’s a very good time to have a reading to see which aspects of yourself and your life will be most affected: KARMIC ASTROLOGY.
The lowest level of Scorpio energy can be totally destructive, expressed through being a user of friends for personal gain, as well as a psychic vampire and complete egotist. But we are much less likely to incur karma from the Scorpionic depths of our karmic past if we’re focused on value fulfillment rather than cash and prizes accumulation, in whatever forms suit our overall predisposition.
Starting this month, as Uranus stations direct in Taurus on January 18, and picking up speed throughout the rest of this year, we’ll be given the opportunity—courtesy of some rare and powerful planetary transits—to jettison some major ego attachment baggage we’ve been lugging around for lifetimes.
This Summer, as Trickster of Awakening Uranus aligns exactly with the Dharmic North Node in Taurus, the message is clear: It’s time to let go of attachments to habitual patterns and limiting beliefs, especially around the theme of continuing to make cash, prizes and material security (beyond what we need) our priority, as it keeps us from fulfilling our destiny–aka soul assignment, mission or purpose. And, you can be sure that if we’re not proactive about this reprioritizing, Uranus may “encourage” us to get this lesson in a more arduous way.
This can be an especially painful process, especially wherever we have Scorpio in our charts, as well as if we have a lot of personal planets in passionately possessive Scorpio.
Thich Nhat Hanh taught:
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety, or possessions—we cannot be free.”
Scorpio has three levels of conscious spiritual evolution: the scorpion, the eagle and the dove. Gurdjieff’s spiritual philosophy was rooted in the idea that although our default state is a sort of waking sleep, we are capable of waking up. Just as a scorpion level of unconsciousness can evolve over time to the awakened state of the dove. But, if one is still at the embryonic scorpion stage, you’ve probably already stopped reading this—as you’d much prefer to be busy attempting to acquire other people’s stuff.
The middle level of Scorpio is the eagle, which is epitomized by enlightened self-interest on the ego levels. And the most evolved level is the dove, exemplified by consciously choosing to take the high road karmically without ego attachment to outcomes.
This means that, as we view other people’s karma playing out via their attachments to their belief systems, we need to keep in mind that we’re powerless over anyone else’s evolution. Therefore, because we didn’t cause their karmic predicament, can’t control it, and certainly can’t cure it, it’s not our business to engage in judgement here—as this harms no one but ourselves. I call this perspective Karmic Al-Anon:). This doesn’t mean that we don’t have compassion for other’s difficulties, just not “idiot compassion” as Chögyam Trungpa called it, but rather what is called “tough love” in 12-step programs.
Adding to this theme, one of the other major transits of 2022 is a rare conjunction (not seen since 1856) of spiritual Neptune and abundant Jupiter conjuncting in humanity-loving Pisces on April 12, 2022. These energies will support an elevation of our personal belief system and philosophy of life to one that is more heart-centered with the compassionate tone expressed by the Bodhisattva Vow:
“Suffering beings are numberless; I vow to liberate them all. Attachment is inexhaustible, I vow to release it all. The gates to truth are numberless, I vow to master them all. The way of awakening is supreme, I vow to realize it”
For more: JUPITER IN PISCES: Dipping, Diving and Dissolving into the Cosmic Ocean of Consciousness
When figuring out what our destiny is, it’s important to clarify three stages:
I. Our personal destiny involves resolving karmic debts that are ripe to be healed in this incarnation. This can mean paying in full, to the best of our ability, family or relationship duties, obligations and commitments. But, most especially now, this foundation level of our destiny–which cannot be skipped–involves letting go of self-destructive, stagnating and life-force- depleting mental and emotional attachments, habits and addictions that reinforce a limiting view of our worthiness to deserve more. For more: The Nature of Addiction–It’s Only Human
II. Our soul-level destiny involves the fulfillment of out soul assignment through growing and expanding in the areas we have the most enthusiasm, joy and passion for. But even as we’re developing the gifts and talents that fuel our soul’s purpose, it’s important to recognize that our experiences of wounding, abuse and addiction may be the accelerant in the alchemical cauldron that determines the course of how our major destiny unfolds.
III. Our ultimate destiny, which holds true for all souls, sooner or later, is to experience merging our identity with Source as co-creators. And while many of us have glimpses of this state of Being from time to time, for this ultimate merger to be realized with no return to lesser states, ALL lower levels of karma must be fully played out. For more: If This Were Your Last Incarnation, What Would You Do?
In closing, Life is the ultimate guru giving us circumstances beyond our control that catapult us out of the ego’s comfort zone into that higher perspective within us that is closer to our true identity. So, the sooner we stop kicking and screaming and get with the “big program”–the more freedom, peace of mind and experience of heaven on earth we’ll feel.
Then we can witness every moment and event in each of our lives as, not just karmic grist for the mill, but also the food on which all levels of our Being can thrive.
Here’s the Earth School curriculum for 2022 and beyond to contemplate (please remember to breath):
I. True abundance resides in the mind and heart, not in our bank account.
II. True stability resides in our grounding to the Earth and core tone of our Beings, not in the roof over our heads.
III. True security resides in faith in our eternal nature, not in any external conditions.
If we can remember to work with these soul lessons every day AND smile, then we’ll be optimally affecting the mass tone by emanating an overflow of joy, peace and Light from the Higher Forces. In the bigger picture, what else is there to do but cultivate this level of Truth and pass it on?
And finally, here are some of my personal New Year’s resolutions (which are an ongoing work-in-progress):
1. LETTING GO: Attachment, aversion or indifference to being fully embodied in a human incarnation keeps us firmly on the wheel of karma—which goes infinitely round and round. The only way out is through.
2. BEING FULLY PRESENT: Any regrets we carry when we drop the body of not allowing ourselves enough pleasure, joy and bliss during our lives keeps us firmly on the wheel of karma—which goes infinitely round and round. The only way out is through. For more see: “On Pleasure, Joy and Bliss”
3. BE WARY OF NOSTALGIA: If we indulge in nostalgia for other planes of consciousness or past times in our lives instead of being fully present here, rest assured that, once we drop our bodies, our longing will be in the form of sincere regret for not embracing the fullest range of our humanness while incarnate which–you guessed it–keeps us firmly on the wheel of karma—which goes infinitely round and round. The only way out is through!
I hope this newsletter hasn’t rubbed too many of you the wrong way.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished? Let body needs dwindle and soul decisions increase.”–RUMI
In the Taoist tradition, there’s no differentiation between the mind and the heart—it’s called the heart/mind. So, I will only differentiate enough to say that the part of the mind connected to the left-brain analytical functions of the little self/personality/ ego—also called the monkey mind in many spiritual traditions—is what we need to learn how to turn the switch off of when not needed as a 3D tool. As only when the superficial monkey mind is still can we access our true identity.
For, at the depths of Being, we reside in the heart, as an expression of the Divine heart, and in the timeless eternal nature of the Witness/Soul, expressed through the higher mind and inner voice. Thus, all choices from the heart or intuition tend to feed our souls—and from the monkey mind, not so much.
Wishing us all many seasons to come of deeply nourishing, if slightly uncomfortable, accelerated soul growth, courtesy of the Quickening and its secret agent, the ongoing pandemic, as we get to choose to make LOVE in all its varieties the dominant variant,
J O A N
“When you have truly embraced the ONE TASTE everything turns to gold.” –NAROPA