Vivien Interviews Joanne Franchina – I believe in making the world a better place by making myself better

Joanne Franchina:Life Coach, Medium, and Teacher

Crack in the Egg
How to Use Signs
When God Speaks

Listen to the entire Schapera Show broadcast on 10/13/2023 here

Listen to the extracted recording of Vivien talking with Joanne


Vivien: Hello and welcome to The Schapera Show where Viv and Neil explore this big adventure called Life.
Our guest today is my friend and colleague Joanne Franchina. Joanne is a Life Coach, Medium, and Teacher, and she is the founder of Inner Compass, a Cincinnati-based intuitive life coaching practice. Hi Joanne, thank you for coming on the show.

Joanne: Thank you, Vivien, I’m glad to be here.

Vivien: Joanne, I’m really pleased to get this chance to interact with you, because you are one of the iconic figures in the metaphysical community of Cincinnati, and you are one person in particular who “got me comfortable” with accepting my own identity as a metaphysical person. You see, I don’t find the “woo-woo” image at all appealing and didn’t want to be identified as a “woo woo” person – but when I saw how you and your mom, Jaccolyn, carried off your identities, I felt “safer.”

Joanne: Yes, that’s right! I come from a long line of clairvoyant mediums and energy healers. I was born down the road from a small town in New York called Lily Dale, a mecca for Spiritualists. And a mecca for me. I have returned there nearly every summer of my life. But I grew up a typical kid in a happy home – actually, many happy homes as my father’s career in retail management meant our family moved households twelve times before I was graduated from high school.

Vivien: That’s the thing, isn’t it – we’re regular people aren’t we! We also go to school and college, get married, have children. Even though we’re able to connect with the etheric realm, we still have to live a “normal” life here on the earth, like everybody else. In this “normal” life, did you go to college?

Joanne: Yes, I did. And it’s true – I had to come to my identity on my own, in my own way, building it for myself. I received a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I gained extensive corporate experience in telecommunications and information technology as a technical writer, training course developer, and quality assurance manager.

In fact, it was the stresses of juggling motherhood and a successful professional career that brought me to learn meditation and life-coaching skills in 1996. My extraordinary experiences with meditation and the power of intention led me to further studies of metaphysical and spiritual subjects that ultimately resulted in a career change of a higher order.

Vivien: So, then when did you begin your career in metaphysical pursuits?

Joanne: In the second class that I took in Lily Dale we did a group meditation and I described what I saw – it made no sense. The class was on the 7 rays. I signed up because my mom said it looks interesting. The point was to get an idea of our purpose and our spiritual path. There was a group meditation led by the instructor and “a guiding presence.” My guiding presence was holding clear glass with crackles in it, like antique china and he was out in the cosmos, holding the glass so I could see the stars behind – and seeing the stars in the background turned out to be an important element. I told my husband (of the time) about this at home, and then I forgot about it.

About a week later I was in a book store, when a book literally fell on the floor in front of me and the title was A Crack in the Cosmic Egg! The book was about the mind. One of the things that I took from the book – which was the whole point of the book – was to understand the inherent nature of belief. The egg symbolized the belief. For example, we can believe that the earth is flat. Then someone has the thought: “Maybe the earth’s not flat,” and that puts a crack in the egg. The term the author used for collective belief is “metanoia.” The author’s name is Joseph Chilton Pearce and the full title is The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: New Constructs of Mind and Reality.

This is a long story – and I have to admit it makes me feel vulnerable – but the path that took me to become a spiritualist minister was one that I resisted all along the way. In that class, the teacher, Sharon Anne Klingler, also did individual mini-readings. We answered questions on a form and drew a picture. She looked at my picture and asked me: “Are you going to become a minister?” I explained to her that I was thinking of writing a book, but 6 months later I did find myself enrolling in seminary. And how that happened was, from following a series of breadcrumbs, with the meditation being one incident that revealed that path of breadcrumbs.

Vivien: Joanne, may I ask, what were the other breadcrumbs? What actually happened?

Joanne: I was traveling with my mother to a funeral for my great aunt. We were in the car, almost at the funeral, listening to a tape. All of a sudden, I hear this voice inside my head and the voice says: you’re going to be a minister and you’re going to go to Fellowships, which is a school/seminary. This stopped me in my tracks, and tears started coming down my cheeks. I didn’t say a word to my mom. It was such a very profound moment of experiencing God talking to me.

At first, even more resistance kicked in, because what I wanted to become was a certified Life Coach, not a Healer or Medium. Plus, the school was 7 hours away. I started bargaining, saying “I’ll go to a closer school.” I researched my options, but nothing else was working out.

I still didn’t tell my mother who was actually a minister herself, but I did say it out loud to myself. Then later, to a group of women who attended a development circle that my mother led. When I mentioned it 2-3 of the women said, “we want to go too.” So, once I didn’t have to make that drive by myself, the possibility of attending Fellowships became more tenable.

I said I would order the booklet to get the details of the seminary, and I ordered the information packet. I decided I needed to tell my husband, expecting him not to be keen on the idea, but when I mentioned it to him, he said: “Oh, OK … don’t know where we will get the money, but I’m not against the idea.”

The money did come – in the form of an unexpected tax refund – within $100 – for the first year of a two-year program. The clincher was that the check arrived on the same day, in the same mail, as the packets with the details of the seminary – Spirit wasn’t taking any chances!!! My husband came home, I showed him and he said: “Well, I guess you’re going!”

Vivien: So even though you were steeped in these topics, you still needed just as much “persuading” via extraordinary personal experiences as the rest of us!!!

Joanne: Yes, that’s right! I became a certified clairvoyant medium, certified spiritual healer, and ordained Spiritualist minister through Fellowships of the Spirit in Lily Dale, New York, in 2006.

Vivien: And what have you done with this training?

Joanne: That same year I founded Inner Compass, an intuitive life-coaching practice based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then I have helped thousands of people to create fabulous and fulfilling lives for themselves by using their inner wisdom in everyday situations. I have coached people to navigate major life changes, explore their spiritual path, use their intuition, find meaningful work, cultivate fulfilling relationships, and experience healing. I have led workshops on meditation, mediumship development, creative manifestation, and other metaphysical disciplines.

In 2012, I created an extensive certification program of mediumship development, the Mediumship Mastery Program. At the same time, I established Inner Compass Academy to further the educational focus that Inner Compass has had since its inception. The academy has featured many renowned instructors over the years, most notably Rose Vanden Eynden, Chad Seibert, Victor Paruta, Sharon Anne Klingler, Sandra Anne Taylor, Martie Hughes, Sherry Lee Calkins, Gretchen Clark, Virginia Collins, and the late Jaccolin Franchina.

Vivien: Joanne, let’s go back to this topic of persuasive experiences. I think one of the things metaphysical people are always talking about is “signs.” And it seems that signs feature in your personal story. Can you tell us more?

Joanne: Yes, I would love to talk about signs. A technique that I teach my students that I learned from Sharon – how to use signs to help you get an answer.

For instance, these synchronistic things happen spontaneously. Somehow a rainbow got associated and they kept finding rainbows as clues. A rainbow showed them the property and on a business card.

When you actively ask for a sign, choose an ordinary object e.g. a door or a car. Then, assign it something unusual like a purple door or a yellow car and then you let spirit/universe know that that’s your sign for whatever the project is or whatever you’re wanting to manifest or find out.

For example, I explained this to my husband, and began with: “Tell me what you want – like audio speakers – which were expensive, with the question being ‘is this a good time to purchase these?’” I told him to take an everyday object, and he chose tennis shoes, with the unusual aspect being the color: electric blue. That meant seeing electric blue tennis shoes would indicate “Yes, get the speakers.” That same afternoon, at Kings Island, we were walking around when my husband said: “Oh you mean electric blue tennis shoes like those” pointing to electric blue tennis shoes. The sign appeared on the very same day! So, therefore he had to accept the sign when he got it!!!

Vivien: Thank you, Joanne, that’s really helpful. Very clear information about how to set a sign, and also how quickly the sign does appear once a rare but manageable sign has been determined. But it’s quite hard to accept a sign in my experience, because once you accept a sign you also have to accept that there’s a whole other dimension out there honoring the signs. I’m thinking about how much it took for me to truly, truly accept the life-altering implications of what I was experiencing, and that makes me wonder: What kinds of changes do you see in the people who train as mediums?

Joanne: Yes, good point. There are so many changes in people when they go through the training. We have a “warning” for prospective students. They think they are coming into the program to learn how to become a medium. But their souls have another agenda and they may or may not be privy to that agenda. They may need to discover what spirit wants them to do with their ability or gift.

I don’t like to say, in case people will say: Oh, I don’t want to do that that training then. People have changes – they realize stuff. People have traumatic things happen in their lives. Like the loss of a loved one. The program is supportive not causative, but different choices get made because of being in the program. Our lives become very different when there is so much input from the spirit dimension.

An issue from childhood comes up. They thought is was already healed, but then in the program another layer(s) gets revealed. So, now they’re on the path of new healing as well as being in the program. E.g. abuse as a child – now the issue is revisited and now there is another layer, forgiveness, self-empowerment, insight, perspective – gets thought about again differently.

Your soul has an agenda. You’re not privy – not consciously privy, that is. We don’t become aware of what is in our unconscious until the time is right. Another example, somebody has no idea that they will be so successful. If they thought about that, that can scare them.

Vivien: Hmm, yes, success is a very scary dynamic. That’s true and thank you for pointing it out. Joanne, I see we must take a break soon. Before we do that, can you tell everyone how to get in touch with you and find out more. Do you have a website?

Joanne: Yes, I do have a website, and it explains my work as well as the mediumship school, and it is:

Vivien: Thank you, Joanne, when we come back after the break let’s talk some more about both your experiences as a medium, as well as the experiences of your students. Thank you everyone, you are listening to our guest Joanne Franchina, here on The Schapera Show, where Viv and Neil explore this big adventure called Life.

Commercial Break

Vivien: Hello and welcome back to The Schapera Show! We are speaking to Joanne Franchina, Medium, Life Coach and Teacher, and she is sharing some of her life experiences, including what she sees in her mediumship training. Joanne, what do you think is the most common obstacle for students of mediumship?

Joanne: There is a fairly common dynamic among our students – the apparent obstacle – call it coming out of the cabinet – telling people that you do this stuff. People think you’re imagining, you’re crazy, (I couldn’t have had a more supportive family) but I didn’t tell my corporate colleagues, nor all my friends. It’s hard for people who don’t have supportive families – how do you tell people whom you love? How will family and friends accept this?

Vivien: And mediumship isn’t just one thing, is it? There are different kinds of mediumship and different roles within mediumship, is that right?

Joanne: Yes, that is right and that is why we have a feature in our program – a personal project. This is a way for the student to make the mediumship their own. E.g. if they love crystals or herbs, they can incorporate this into their mediumship in some way. This helps students progress on their path, and makes each student unique as well. It’s everybody’s favorite because it is so important that it not be one solution for everybody. There are stylistic differences. Some mediums work with:

  • Active grief – comfort in loss, reassurance, not alone

  • Everyday problems

  • Soul path – that’s my thing

Mediumship is essentially getting a message to the other side and delivering a message from the other side, and there are many different kinds of messages going back and forth.

Vivien: We seem to have entered a new era when it comes to metaphysical interests and knowledge. Are you seeing a difference in the students that come now, compared to how students used to be, say, 20 years ago?

Joanne: Yes! There has definitely been a “climate change!” We really have to stay on our toes – people know so much more than before. They know about meditation, know about chakras, and their abilities are more developed. We have an introductory course called Spirit Speaks so people can get a taste of what the training is going to be like. Students are asking questions that we don’t typically teach until the second year of the program. We definitely do have to alter the program and the content to meet a changing dynamic. Typically, we teach psychic work before teaching mediumistic work, because you need some of the psychic aspects under your belt. There always has been a student here and there with experience, and the ratio is much higher now. People aren’t as afraid to engage and try.

Vivien: Joanne, it sounds like your work is very rewarding!

Joanne: Yes, my work is gratifying in so many ways… and I can say that it is inspired teaching that gives me the greatest pleasure. I absolutely love working with groups (something about the energy), and my favorite part is when I am actively using my intuition and mediumship during the delivery of the material.

In many of the mediumship development circles I lead a meditation that is inspired by Spirit in the moment. I recall one particular circle that a new participant attended, and after the meditation she said she had interacted with me during the “silent time.” I had no conscious awareness of the interaction, as I was “out” myself during that part of the meditation. It’s an example of how Spirit is so intelligent, and how they weave together these threads of personal experiences to create amazing tapestries. It’s also a wonderful reminder to live in the moment, that it’s not necessary to plan everything out in detail ahead of time. 

The work is humbling – it feels like I’m watching the work of God. I once had a client who wanted to know if there was hope for her in her life. She had a history of mental illness, and had had ECT multiple time. She was afraid her family would do that again and she wondered if she was ever going to get better. There was no question for me, but she needed someone to believe in her. I made sure she worked with a therapist as well. I was able to watch her gain hope again, while I was holding space for her, and she did get better over time This is different from doing a reading for someone who is in active grief, but equally profound.

Vivien: Joanne, from your perspective as a medium, what do you think the universe is asking us to become more aware of?

Joanne: That we are ONE. No man is an island. We are so connected to every other person and every other being. We are all part of something much bigger.

Still, my approach is pretty simple – I’ve got to mind my own business. What can I do in my world? The biggest thing is to be aware – aware of what we’re thinking. An intention to be aware and grow as a soul. We are souls temporarily inhabiting these bodies, we are not bodies with a soul, but souls currently in a body. For example, I limit access to news, but I’m not against it. I ask: is there something for me to do? Should I send a blessing? Say a prayer? Call somebody? Take an action?

I believe in making the world a better place by making myself better.

Vivien: Joanne, that’s fantastic! Yes, I agree with you 100% — we are the slice of the universe that we have been given to take care of and to make the world a better place, we must become the best self we possibly can. Thank you! Joanne, we’re going to have to stop soon, and before we do, please can you tell everyone how to get hold of you, and very importantly, how to find out more about your mediumship school?

Joanne: Yes, my website includes the mediumship school information, and my website is:

Vivien: Wow, Joanne, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing such lovely, comforting information with all of us. For me personally, it is very soothing and uplifting to feel these bonds of connection and to palpably experience this aspect of our universe through your mediumship.

Everyone, you have been listening to Joanne Franchina, Medium, Life Coach and Teacher, on The Schapera Show. We’re going to take a break now, and when we come back, Neil will give us his report from the spirit realm.