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Joanna Bristow Watkins Harmony Healing Director

Roman Festival of Caristia, Friday 22nd February

381px Lar romano de bronce M.A.N. Inv.2943 01 Lara God worshipped for CaristiaFriday 22nd February is the Roman Festival of Caristia.

This was a Feast Day occasion of family reunion, when Roman fathers would pay special attention to their families.

It was a day of reconciliation when disagreements were to be set aside, but the satirical poet Ovid apparently suggested this would be best achieved by excluding family members who caused trouble.

Families gathered together to dine and offer food and incense to the Guardian Deities, collectively known as Lares.

The image (taken by Luis García [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons) shows a statue of Lar carrying a cornucopia from  the National Archeological Museum of Spain.

Full Supermoon, Tuesday 19th February @ 15.53

Gabriel Harmony Angel Card

Tuesday 19th February @ 15.53 Ash Full Moon and this is the second, and brightest, of three consecutive Supermoons.

A Supermoon is when the moon appears larger in the sky because it is reaches the closest proximity to Earth (known as the perigee*) coinciding with the New Moon or Full Moon. Since the New Moon is only a sliver to the naked eye, the Full Moon Supermoons are much more of a visual treat, when the moon may appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than on any other Full Moon occasion. Although it may not seem all that noticeable to us and of course it will depend on good clear viewing conditions; however due to an optical illusion, it will always look bigger and more luminous when closer to the horizon.

*The moon orbits around the Earth in an ellipse which takes just over 29 days, meaning that it reaches points in the year when it is at its closest (perigee, when it is about 363,000 km away) and furthest (apogee, when it is about 405,500 KM) from our planet. Those old enough might be reminded of Bed Knobs and Broomsticks when Angela Lansbury mentions the perigee and  apogee in one of her invocations!

On 14th November 2016, the moon reached its closest to the Earth since 26th January 1948 and it won't come closer to us until 25th November 2034! More at Earthsky Website.

Anyway, whatever the weather conditions, it's a fantastic excuse to get people of all ages outside in the fresh air and re-connecting with nature. Something our modern lifestyles and obsession with technology can distract us from doing ...

If you are an angel fan, the angel of the Moon is Gabriel - see the beautiful image of Gabriel (left) by Richard Rockwood from my sister Angel McGerr's A Harmony of Angels book (and Harmony Angel Cards). Both are out of print and collectible but we still have a few remaining copies via the Harmony Shop. See link for instructions on Angela's Angelic Meditation with Gabriel.

At the time of the Full Moon the Sun and Moon are in opposition. The solar (sun) energy influences our masculine/yang archetypal attributes (our outer world) such as strength, courage, identity, self-esteem, expression, conscious beliefs and determination together with our logical outlook.  Whereas the lunar energy (moon) influences our femininely archetypal attributes (our inner world), such as our unconscious beliefs, hidden emotions, nurturing feelings, creativity and intuition. The Full Moon is a powerful and appropriate time to show gratitude for life and the riches and bounty bestowed upon us by Mother Earth (Gaia).

The Snow Moon, was so named by the Native American tribes who named each moon to keep track of the months and seasons.  there isn't a standardised system however, as some tribes took a year to be 12 moon cycles, whilst others went with 13 moon cycles. Similarly some tribes worked with five seasons per year whereas others went with four. Some Native Americans identified it as the Snow Moon to symbolise the heavy snowfall and challenging hunting conditions at this time of year. American Farmers have adopted these titles so that they are still used today. (See article in the Telegraph for more on this)

Similarly, the Celts also had names for each Full Moon of the year and associated each with a tree. This is the Ash Moon; one of Odin's names in Norse is Ygg, which also means Ash, with the World tree, Yggdrasil, being an Ash.  Odin's spear was made from this tree. The Celts called this month Nion (pronounced knee-un)The Druids, venerated all nature but the three most sacred trees to them was the Ash, Oak and Thorn. The Ash tree features a great deal in Irish and Scottish folklore (the latter also including the Rowan, a form of Mountain Ash).  In the 12th Century, Marie de France wrote one of her famous lais about the Ash. The Ash is associated with rituals (especially ocean rituals), magic and prophesy, making it a perfect choice for divining, prophetic dreams and spiritual journeying for focussing on the inner self. Indeed, traditionally, more tools were made from Ash than any other wood, because it's not only very strong but it also resists shock (better than other hard woods such as oak or beech) making it an ideal choice for tool handles.  Ash berries were placed inside a baby's cradle to prevent the child being replaced with a 'changeling'.  More about this at the Celtic Weirdness website I happily stumbled upon. You will also find information at (thoughtco.com)

Other names for a Full Moon in February are: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon (Northern Hemisphere) or Grain Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Wyrt Moon, Corn Moon, Dog Moon or Barley Moon (Southern Hemisphere). Names for the moon can also relate to the season, so this Full Moon could also be called the Old Moon, Moon after Yule, Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon, Sap Moon, Crow Moon or Lenten Moon (after the Winter Solstice i.e. Northern Hemisphere) or Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon, Fruit Moon or Harvest Moon (after the Summer Solstice i.e. Southern Hemisphere). Source = earthsky.org. 

The time between any Full Moon and the next New Moon is a good time, energetically, to detox the body. As avoiding toxins is recommended for the Ivy Moon, detoxing might also be advisable. I recommend an oil pulling technique, with coconut oil, which must be from a glass container for best taste.

See my Facebook Live from Sunday 20th January 2019.

 

Lupercalia, 15th February 2019

Lupercalia image from Wikipedia

Friday 15th February is Lupercalia in Ancient Roman tradition. Apparently, this was the popular ceremony of fertility, featuring naked men running through the street!  I can’t see this catching on in the UK climate!  

This image of the Lupercalia Festival in Rome by Adam Elsheimer (18/03/1578 – 11/12/1610) is taken from the Wikipedia entry for Lupercalia and shows men dressed as dogs (or possibly Wolves since Lupus meant Wolf) and goats, Cupid and other personifications of fertility. Supposedly, the specially nominated priesthood for the occasion were called the Luperci ("brothers of the wolf"), and during the fertility ritual they paraded the streets around Rome either naked, or near naked, carrying strips of leather which were used to thrash in the direction of gathered audience. It was believed that any pregnant ladies struck by the whips would have an easier birthing process and any other ladies, whether considered barren or otherwise,mwould be granted fertility. 

Hence, some say this ceremony was the precursor for Valentine’s Day (see entry below for 14th February).

Valentine's Day, Thursday 14th February 2019

valentine heartThursday 14th February - is Valentine's Day and is all about love and compassion, which includes Universal Love for all other living things and also Self-love which is so often overlooked.  I would be delighted if you choose to share this blog with others who might enjoy it, you can use the social media share buttons at the top.

Some bitterly refer to it as Singles Awareness Day and blame card manufacturers and our materialistic society for love being ritualistically forced upon us every year at this time. 
 
However, although the story of 'Saint' Valentine long precedes Hallmark et al, the origins are somewhat blurred as there are historical references to the existence of several different Valentines. Folklore indicates that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage as he believed that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. Valentine, however, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages in secret. Claudius found out and Valentine was imprisoned, where one version of the legend indicates he befriended a jailer with a blind daughter and he may have somehow managed to restore her sight, resulting in the jailer converting to Christianity. Claudius ordered that Valentine be executed on February 14th and allegedly before his death sentence was carried out, he sent a note to the jailer's daughter and signed it, "From Your Valentine." Hence Valentine's Day is celebrated in his memory. 
 
However, his death day and his association with lovers and notes may have been convenient for Roman Christians looking for ways to blend existing Pagan/Roman celebrations into their Calendar. Many believe it replaced Lupercalia (15th February); a pre-existing Roman Festival where men dressed up as wolves and roamed the streets looking for partners.  More on this tomorrow ...

Chinese New Year of the Pig, Tuesday 5th February

year of the pig 2019Tuesday 5th February is the Chinese and Japanese Lunar New Year, following the New Moon. (there's still time to do your New Moon Abundance Cheques until 21.04 GMT tonight). Celebrate with vegetarian snacks and fireworks, drums and cymbals from sunset onwards. Spring clean your house in preparation and decorate with strips of red paper with messages of long life, health, wealth & happiness. Visit friends and family, buy new clothes, especially shoes and settle debts.

The actual date of the Chinese New Year (also called the Spring Festival) changes from year to year.  This is because it is determined by the lunisolar Chinese calendar.  The festivities usually start the day before the New Year and continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the New Year.

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals, which are rotated from those in the Chinese zodiac. The twelve animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Similar to the Western zodiac, the Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 houses, but with the major difference being that each house lasts one year instead of one month. 

In addition each year is allocated one of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) and these are changed every two years. So after the New Year has occurred:

Years ending in the numbers 4 or 5 = Wood
Years ending in the numbers 6 or 7 = Fire
Years ending in the numbers 8 or 9 = Earth
Years ending in the numbers 0 or 1 = Metal
Years ending in the numbers 2 or 3 = Water

The Year of the Pig - a joyous year bringing good luck and prosperity - runs 5th February 2019 until 25th January 2020 (image above is licenced by CC0 Public Domain). The Chinese traditionally view pigs as having a beautiful personality and their big ears and chubby faces means they are blessed with good fortune.  The Earth Pig specifically is associated with lightness and abundance however budgets should be carefully managed. It is advised that well-considered actions will be rewarded more than risk-taking in this Pig Year.

The Chinese zodiac signs start with Rat and end with Pig so this is the close of a 12 year cycle. This indicates that it is a good time to take a break and review and learn from the previous 11 years. It should be a relaxing, motivating and happy year for most.  More from Chinesenewyear.net.

New Moon at 21.04, Monday 4th February

Moon Scarletts shot square

Monday 4th February is the New Moon @ 21.04.  The Chinese New Year of the Pig starts tomorrow.

This New Moon Abundance ritual should be carried out within 24 hours after the New Moon.

YouTube Video Instructions

It is a fabulous day for creating a personal or corporate Vision Board for the rest of 2019 to create new goals and release old ones.

In Chinese astrology there is a 12 year cycle and this is the final day of The Year of the Dog which was supposedly a good time to make lifestyle changes (such as moving house, giving up smoking) or for embarking on new business ventures.  2018/19 was The Year of the Earth Dog which is even rarer, and happens only once every six decades.  The earth element made this concluding year one that focussed on the environment, integrity, religion and spirituality. The five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water rotate with each sign every twelve years, so it takes 60 years for the zodiac and element to repeat.

Celestial Forecasts

Forthcoming Events and Workshops

Meet-ups (click on date for details),
Event Stands, talks & workshops:-

Surrey Networking, £10 (advance)
Surrey Therapists Meetup (Walton)
Monday 4th March, 7-9 pm

LONDON Networking, £15 (advance)
London Therapists Meetups
Wednesday 27th February, 6-8pm
Wednesday 20th March, 6-8pm
Wednesday 10th April, 6-8pm

Joanna's Courses & Workshops: -

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE)
Level 1 - Introduction
Mon 28th/Tues 29th Jan

Violet Flame of Amenti
Monday 4th February

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE)
1 & 2 Practitioner Intensive
Mon 18th-Wed 20th February

Introducing Khemitology
College of Psychic Studies
South Kensington
Full day workshop
Sunday 16th June
Details awaited

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