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Joanna Bristow Watkins

Insta images inc moons 20

July is the height of British summertime. Time for more garden blooms than we can count, orchids, delphiniums, dahlias, hydrangeas, irises, as well as the  wilder flowers such as foxgloves, forget-me-nots, buttercups, daisies and campion, among many others.  With the warmth, we can note the lingering perfumed scent of roses, honeysuckle, gardenias and jasmine on the night air. The June to August period also provides the greatest abundance of vegetables and fruit in our climate.

For those who celebrate the chance to get outdoors, the Bootid Meteors shower is still visible until 2nd July. We have a Nature Connection Forest Bathing event at 11am-2pm, Harry Edwards Foundation, near Shere (Surrey) on Saturday 20th July.

Monthly Traditions and History 

The month of July was renamed to honour Julius Caesar, who was born in this month. Under Roman rule it was previous called Quintilis, meaning the 5th month in Latin. This was before January became the opening month of the calendar year, when the Gregorian calendar was established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582To the Anglo-Saxons, the month of July was was called Æftera Līþa (after midsummer). 

The old ways of the British Isles celebrated the ‘Wheel of the Year’, marking eight turns: the summer and winter Solstices and Equinoxes, and four other checkpoints.

July is between the June summer Solstice and the celebration on 1st  August of Lammas, also known as ‘Lughnasadh’ (multiple spellings available), which is still a Celtic festival widely celebrated  in Ireland as the time for traditionally bringing in the corn in our islands. It can be considered as the first of two harvest festivals, with the second at the autumn Equinox. So, July comes between the highest energy point of the year, so is good for taking action and using the advantage of early mornings and later nights, and before the celebration and enjoyment of the 'fruits' of our focus.

According to author Robert Graves and 'neo pagans' who follow this tradition, July covers the seventh and eighth months in the Celtic calendar: the Oak Moon takes us 10th June - 7th July and the Holly Moon is 8th July - 4th August. (Ref.  thoughtco.com.)

Oak MoonThe Oak Moon period covers when the oak is approaching full bloom, signifying strength and power, typically towering over its fellow trees.  Oak was highly sacred to the Druids, and is associated with invocations for fertility, strength, power, success and abundance. An acorn is meant to bring luck at interviews or business meetings, whereas catching a falling oak leaf is meant to bring health and wellbeing all year. The Celts called this month Duir, sometimes believed to be the stem word for druid and meaning door. 

Holly MoonThe evergreen holly reminds us that nature is everlasting, and the Celts saw holly as symbolic of firmness and masculine energy. We note in the UK that the months of June, July and August are usually the hottest, and the strength and power of fire are typically linked with masculine energies, which we all have to different degrees (here we are not talking about ‘maleness’), such as being decisive, taking action and protecting. Holly was used by our ancestors in protective rituals. We can wear a sprig on our clothing and hang some in our home for the family’s good luck and safety.  We can make holly water by soaking holly leaves in spring water during a Full Moon, and sprinkle around people and places for blessing, cleansing and protection. It may be seen that it’s a short step to more recent Christian rituals involving ‘Holy water’.

Part of Celtic tradition was the battle between the Oak King, representing the light, and the Holly King, bringing more darkness. While we may still be in the Oak Moon period, since the Solstice we see that are in a period when the light is fighting with the dark for supremacy, showing us that the dark is an unavoidable part of our lives, as the Holly King inevitably wins, and the nights start to gradually get longer.

Meteor Showers & Night Sky

New Moon is Friday 5th July @ 23:57 (Oak New Moon) and Full Moon is Sunday 21st July @ 11:17 Holly Thunder Full Moon), with Joanna's Full Moon Meditation is also on 21st July, 19:30-21:30.

We have the Boötids Meteor shower still visible until 2nd July as well as the Perseids which are visible 14th July to 1st September (peaks 13th August, when Jo's Blog will go up).

Close Encounters of the Animal Kind - Vole

Red Squirrel Image

Katie was recently reminded of one of her most favourite wildlife encounters, by it popping up on social media.

"I recalled the feelings of wonder, privilege and love for this small mammal, and share something of that here. I was walking between the canal and river, and, always curious about where a small track may lead, I branched off. A few yards on I saw a movement and stopped, as a bank vole came onto the path.

I had a little while watching it, then, as it came nearer my feet, I slowly extracted my phone from my pocket to film it from above. I loved it all the more for not realising it was walking across, then sitting on, my foot to clean itself!
 
I realise that one of the things I love about wildlife is when I can watch them doing their thing, and they either don't know we're there, or completely ignore us." The bank vole film footage is currently on our recently created Harmony In Nature YouTube Channel.
 
Voles may live in colonies of up to 300 voles. They reproduce rapidly, but the smaller Field and Bank voles have only a 3-6-month lifespan, often dying within a month of birth. However, the positive is that voles are a key species at the start of the food chain, so are the lynchpin of our whole ecosystem, as food for so many other species. Fortunately for the species, though not for the individual, voles are prolific.
 
So, what's the significance of vole? Self sacrifice and nourishment. 
Perhaps it's your time to step into a new role, offering service or support? Maybe you're aware that the world is not the way you've been told it is, and are working out where you could fit into a newer approach to life? In order to give to others, we need to nourish ourselves, so it's important to do so in ways that are meaningful to each of us, so we can go out into the world as a strong force for good, and for change. 

Events with Surrey Hills Enterprises

Surrey Choices group GT Project 25 4 24On 25th June, we ran an accessible event at Newlands Corner for a group from three charities, through Surrey Hills Society, part of the Surrey Hills organisation. This is the start of an ongoing 18-month Growing Together project to enable time in nature for those who may have more than usual difficulty accessing nature and the countryside. This was a short taster session, with participants from three local charities, plus support workers and staff, so around 25 in total.

As this was so recent, we will report more on this in our August update, when we will have some feedback and more photos available.  Here is Joanna with one of the groups from Surrey Choices, which provides a range of support services, dedicated to improving the independence, confidence and life skills of people with a range of disabilities, whatever their age, in the local community.

Nature in the News

Restore Nature Now Rally, London 22nd June

Hin Nature rally

(Contains Katie’s personal musings on government and nature!) Organised by Chris Packham, the wildlife presenter, and his step-daughter Megan McCubbin, and including over 350 wildlife charities, action groups and businesses in the UK, this seemed like an event we would like to be present at. ‘Restoring nature’ conjures up the idea of returning nature to the more balanced place it was before big businesses made ‘philanthropic donations’ to have governments turn a blind eye to such nature-destroying infrastructure projects as HS2. Who cares if we can shave 20 minutes off a London to Manchester train journey, versus negatively impacting over 1000 wildlife reserves the length of our country, and removing ancient trees along the route that took hundreds of years to grow? Well, a lot of people, it seems DO care about nature being the higher priority.

Around 80,000 signed up to attend, though ‘estimates’ have said 60,000 did so (with no mention of the march the morning after by the BBC). We each chose which section to walk in- Woods, Water, Land and Air. This was an effort to ‘stand up for nature’; to place it higher up the agenda of whichever political party and Prime Minister is elected in July. It was a peaceful, family-friendly rally, and legal (given that recently, disagreeing peacefully with our government in public, especially in groups, can now get you arrested!)  In fact, it was much like others I have attended in the last decade. The inventiveness, craftwork and humour shown in some of the banners were outstanding.  Gathering for speeches, we were treated to three peregrine falcons flying over Westminster and Parliament Square.

This was about ALL of our nature, with the UK being one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, in the bottom 10%. As one banner reminded us ‘We ARE Nature’, and being amongst thousands of friendly people who want the best for our waterways, land and air quality, was an uplifting way to spend an afternoon. The climate obviously benefits, too, but the march was not, as one newspaper put it, ‘Thousands protest about climate change’. An interesting and subtle difference.

ITV's This Morning 21st June 2024

This Morning composite 21st June 2024

We spent an interesting morning at the 'This Morning forest' in Surrey, watching what goes on behind the scenes on a live programme, switching between a studio location and outside broadcast, including having the time frame reduced several times, and the presenter not always being able to hear the studio! Once we knew we were not needed until the last minute of the broadcast, we were able to enjoy reconnecting with other Forest Bathing Institute colleagues we hadn't seen for a while (whispering!) and enjoy the woods. By the time we were on, we'd spread out blankets and spent five minutes watching the glorious tree canopy above us, so we  were exceedingly relaxed. Unlike the presenter, and crew, who operate at such a speed, they REALLY need to do a full session of Forest Bathing!

Don't be fooled when you see This Morning's YouTube video entitled 'Will Best Goes Forest Bathing'. What you actually see is Will interviewing Gary and Olga and trying out four activities, effectively trying to get a flavour of a 2.5-hour event in 2.5 minutes. For those of you who have not yet attended an event, don't be put off by the manic speed that TV  schedules operate under.  We really hope they experience the real thing one day- soon!  

Harmony in Nature Events in Surrey/London - What to Expect

Our nature immersion sessions involve a leisurely amble through woodland, observing and connecting with nature in its current season. Every event is different, though we may see the subtle movements and patterns of nature, smell the scent from vegetation or the earth, touch bark and listen to birds or a breeze.  The session culminates with a treelaxation, our unique nature meditation under the canopy of trees, and an optional woodland tea. We aim to leave you feeling deeply relaxed and rejuvenated.

Forest Bathing is an evidence-based wellbeing activity. Spending time in woodland has been shown to potentially boost our immune system for 2-4 weeks, balance blood pressure, reduce blood sugars, stress and cortisol levels, amongst other benefits. Participants may feel a reduction in anxiety, depression or rumination, and an improvement in concentration, memory and creativity, as well as improved sleep. Connecting with nature has been shown to reconnect us also to ourselves and to others, and this has certainly been our experience.

Several venues are available for private bookings, themed events and corporate sessions, so do enquire for details, and about the possibility of using other venues.

☕ We go out rain or shine, since, with the right clothing and footwear, usually plenty of layers, and a spare, we can happily stay outdoors for hours, especially if we take a hot/cold drink and a snack to sustain us.

Private and Corporate Sessions

If you have a group of friends or colleagues who would enjoy this experience, we are offering 3-hour sessions for up to 10 participants from just £333. See Harry Edwards section below. 

  
Harry Edwards Foundation, Burrows Lea (near Shere)  
 
Forest Bathing at Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Surrey
We will take you on a mindful journey through the private semi-ancient woodland of the lovely Harry Edwards Foundation. Immerse yourself in the healing elements of nature and connect deeply with all your senses. 

Saturday 20th July, 11am - 2pm, £39.77
Sunday 15th September, 11am - 2pm, £39.77
Saturday 12th October, 11am - 2pm, £39.77
Sunday 10th November (Remembrance Sunday), 10.45am - 1.45pm, £39.77
Sunday 1st December, 11am - 1.30 pm, £37.77
Saturday 18th January, 11am - 1.30 pm, £37.77
Sunday 16th Feb, 11am - 1.30 pm, £37.77


Book any of the above sessions at the Harmony Shop 

Private Sessions
£333 for up to 10 participants
Contact us for other group sizes and suggested timings.

We are taking bookings now for private and corporate sessions and themed events during the season (July - October) and beyond, so contact us to discuss dates.

Our other venues are also available, or ask about a venue of your choosing, subject to a suitable route and risk assessment. 

Our Other venues

We also arrange private bookings, themed events and/or corporate sessions at a selection of locations in the Surrey Hills (Guildford, Shere, Woking & Epsom) and South London (SW20 and SW14). Contact us for details on

Katies NC picture 27 May 2021

  • For our full range of Harmony in Nature therapeutic sessions, see www.harmonyinnature.uk (currently hosted on harmonyhealing.co.uk)
  • You can find our Forest Bathing and Nature Connection video, on the diverse wellbeing benefits and our experiences with 'green' social prescribing and business events, on Nadege's YouTube Channel

Our Silver Tent TV Wood Wide Web Discussion - now on YouTube

Our recent discussion on YouTube featured the wood wide web, including what it is, how it was discovered and how it works, and how the members of the panel choose to interact with it. 

Silver Tent is an online global community for women over 50 discovering they have wisdom worth sharing. If you meet the criteria, request your group membership at the Facebook Group Page.

Other Offerings from Jo and Katie

Through Harmony Healing, Joanna runs other online esoteric/energy healing practitioner and self-empowerment courses, as well as  1-2-1 energy healing sessions. Joanna holds online monthly Full Moon Meditations which take place 7.30-9.30pm (UK time) and also produces a monthly Celestial Forecast featuring Moon Phases, Asteroid Showers, Ancient & Modern Festivals. 

Katie offers health mentoring as well as 1:1 places for Nurtured by Nature, One-day Reset Retreats (Facebook link), for those needing a complete mind and body reset from their usual work and duties. Individually tailored, depending on what is most helpful for you, these can include a selection from nutrition, breathing, mindful movement, sounding or chanting, essential oils, ‘de-chemicalising’ your lifestyle, natural first aid, Reiki, as well as concluding by reconnecting to ourselves through sensory nature connection forest bathing practises. Whole day for £366, half days available on request. Message Katie on 07596 830910 to discuss your aims for your ideal day retreat.

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Katie Robinson & Joanna Bristow-Watkins
Nature Connection & Forest Bathing Guides
 

mob. 07596 830910 Katie

mob. 07930 414525 Jo 

Other Offerings from Jo and Katie

Through Harmony Healing, Joanna runs other online esoteric/energy healing practitioner and self-empowerment courses, as well as 1-2-1 energy healing sessions. Joanna's online monthly Full Moon Meditation takes place 7.30-9.30pm (UK time) on Saturday 3rd June, with the Strawberry Moon, £20. Joanna also produces a monthly Celestial Forecast featuring Moon Phases, Asteroid Showers, Ancient & Modern Festivals. 

Katie offers 1:1 places for Nurtured by Nature, One-day Reset Retreats (Facebook link). Individually tailored, depending on what is most helpful for you, they may include a selection from nutrition, breathing, mindful movement, sounding or chanting, essential oils, ‘de-chemicalising’ your lifestyle, natural first aid, as well as reconnecting to ourselves through sensory nature connection practices. Naturally the day ends with a forest bathing session. Whole day for £366, half days available on request. Message Katie on 07596 830910 to discuss your ideal day retreat and possible dates.

Katie Robinson & Joanna Bristow-Watkins
Nature Connection & Forest Bathing Guides

Sign up at https://harmonyhealing.co.uk/newsletter-sign-up  or email    to receive our monthly update and seasonal observations.

To receive regular Blog updates as each event unfurls (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, you can sign up at https://harmonyhealing.co.uk/newsletter-sign-up or at any page of the Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

Celestial Forecasts

Forthcoming Events and Workshops

VIRTUAL EVENTS

New Moon New Vision - £177
Lunar Cycle Alignment
Group Mentoring Programme
Starts 01 October 2024
Held remotely on Zoom
Late starts accommodated

Full Moon Guided meditation - £20
7.30-9.30pm UK timings
Friday 21st June (Solstice Full Moon)

Violet Flame of Amenti - £88
(online courses are UK timings)
Level 1 including attunement

30th Nov, 6th &19th Dec
6¾ hours, 3 x 7.30pm-9.45pm (UK time)
Recordings of each Zoom session available
Late registrations accepted


Worth 1 unit towards the RSE Level 1
Held remotely on Zoom

Mindful Chakra Alignment- £66
(online courses are UK timings)

And reconnect with the Earth & Sky

Tuesday 30th April Revision
(1 day - repeaters only) 
7.30pm-9.45pm (UK time)
Full course (when offered):
6¾ hours, 3 x 7.15pm-9.30pm (GMT/UT)
Recordings of each Zoom session available
Late registrations accepted


Worth ½ unit towards the RSE Level 1
Held remotely on Zoom

Introduction to Khemitology - £88
(online courses are UK timings)

Thursday 2nd May Revision
(1 day - repeaters only) 
7.30pm-9.45pm (UK time)
Full course (when offered):
6¾ hours, 3 x 7.30pm-9.45pm (UK time)
Recordings of each Zoom session available
Late registrations accepted


Worth 1 unit towards the RSE Level 1
Held remotely on Zoom

Planetary & Elemental Essene Angels
(online courses are UK timings)
4½ hour course - £66

Thurs 19th Oct & 9th Nov
4½ hrs, 2 x 7.30pm-9.45pm (UK time)
Recordings of each Zoom session available
Late registrations accepted


Worth ½ unit towards the RSE Level 1

Held remotely on Zoom

Forest Bathing Events
For dates, costs and locations of our
Forest Bathing Events, see
Harmony Shop Forest Bathing


New Meditations Since 2020:

555 Spiritual Expansion Meditation
MP3 555 Numerology written for 2021
Created for 5th, 14th & 21st May

Chakra Balancing & Global Healing
MP3 Meditation Recording @ £9.99
or £4.44 to Harmony Healing subscribers

Unity Consciousness plus Axiatonal Alignment
MP3 Meditation Recording @ £9.99
or £4.44 to Harmony Healing subscribers

RSE 2 available as online modular units
cost is £333

The following are on hold since lockdown:

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE)
Level 1 - Introduction

Next 2-day Course: TBA
A modular version is available (£266)
as separate units taught virtually 

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) - £550
1 & 2 Practitioner Intensive

Next 3-day Course: TBA

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