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AprilFool

  • 120px Washing of the Lions April Fools PosterSunday 1st April is April Fool’s Day(as well as Easter Sunday this year).  In France, prior to the year 1582, the New Year was celebrated for eight days, starting with the 25th of March, with the festivities culminating on April 1st.

    With the reform of the Christian calendar under King Charles IX, through the influence of Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Years Day was moved to the first of January. However, due to lack of communications in those days, many people did not receive the news for several years. Furthermore, some obstinate individuals refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st.

    These people were classified as “fools” by the general public and were often subject to some ridicule and were invited to bogus parties; hence, the tradition of April Fool’s Day.

    The image above shows an admission ticket (from the British Museum) for a hoax 'Washing of the Lions' event supposedly taking place at the Tower of London on Wednesday 1st April, 1857. This image is in the public domain because it predates the Copyright Act of 1956.

    Apparently, a popular prank throughout the 18th/19th Centuries, involved inviting folks to watch the fictional ceremony of washing the lions, said to take place annually on 1st April.  Initially the ceremony was purported to take place in the moat area, but later versions involved sending prank victims to the non-existent white gate!

    As well as being April Fool’s Day, 1st April was also the joint celebration of Veneralia & Fortuna Virilis in Ancient Rome. Both festivals appear vaguely connected with Venus, whose advice was sought on matters of love and who was honoured on this day.

    See my Facebook Live 'Has Easter been superimposed onto an earlier Pagan celebration Eostre?' 

  • 240px Washing of the Lions April Fools PosterMonday 1st April is April Fool’s Day.  In France, prior to the year 1582, the New Year was celebrated for eight days, starting with the 25th of March, with the festivities culminating on April 1st.

    With the reform of the Christian calendar under King Charles IX, through the influence of Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Years Day was moved to the first of January. However, due to lack of communications in those days, many people did not receive the news for several years. Furthermore, some obstinate individuals refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st.

    These people were classified as “fools” by the general public and were often subject to some ridicule and were invited to bogus parties; hence, the tradition of April Fool’s Day.

    Apparently, a popular prank throughout the 18th/19th Centuries, involved inviting folks to watch the fictional ceremony of washing the lions, said to take place annually on 1st April.  Initially the ceremony was purported to take place in the moat area, but later versions involved sending prank victims to the non-existent white gate!  The image above shows an admission ticket (from the British Museum) for a hoax 'Washing of the Lions' event supposedly taking place at the Tower of London on Wednesday 1st April, 1857. This image is in the public domain because it predates the Copyright Act of 1956.

    As well as being April Fool’s Day, 1st April was also the joint celebration of Veneralia & Fortuna Virilis in Ancient Rome. Both festivals appear vaguely connected with Venus, whose advice was sought on matters of love and who was honoured on this day.

  • Significant dates from ancient folklore; timings given are UK time (GMT+1)

    Monday 1st April is April Fool’s day. 

    Monday 1st April, in addition to being April Fool’s Day, is also the Roman celebration of Veneralia and Fortuna Virilis. Both celebrations seem loosely connected with Venus who is honoured on this day and whose advice is sought on matters of love.

    Thursday 4th April is Magna Mater in the Roman calendar.  This is the festival of the festival of Cybele, Phrygian Great Earth Mother. Her priests took on female clothes and identities to commemorate her son Attis, who was castrated and died of the wounds but was later resurrected.

    New Moon image cropped toghtFriday 5th April @ 09.52 is the Dark Moon.

    The New Moon Abundance Ritual should be carried out within 24 hours.

    Sunday 7th April is World Health Day.

    Sunday 14th April is Palm Sunday in the Christian Calendar this year.  Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is the 6th Sunday of Lent  and the final Sunday before Easter. Traditionally it marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The name is believed to commemorate the placement of palm leaves on the road to soften the surface for the donkey on which he was riding.

    Friday 19th April is the Christian Festival of Good Friday, which is a Bank Holiday in the UK as part of the Easter break. This commemorates the day when Jesus was crucified. It was not called ‘Good Friday’ until 4th Century and may be a corruption of God’s Friday. 

    Saturday 20th April is Easter Saturday in the Christian Calendar.

    Sunday 21st April, this year, is also Easter Sunday, which is generally taken to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus three days after his crucifixion. Intriguingly, Easter Sunday is not a set date but is calculated according to the Lunar cycle, being the next Sunday after the first Full Moon following the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, so it can move around between 22nd March and 25th April. This points to the celebration being linked to an earlier Pagan celebration, which were all associated with seasons and moon cycles; further corroborative evidence being the name Easter – derived from the Pagan God Eostre; the Easter Egg – reminiscent of the Pagan egg to symbolise fertility and the Easter Bunny – a variation on the Pagan Hare, another ancient symbol of fertility and with a 28 day gestation period very linked to the lunar cycle. In Ancient Egypt the hare is a hieroglyph meaning ‘existence’. 

    Sunrise from Isis TempleMonday 22nd April is Easter Monday, which is Bank holiday in the UK.  In Egypt, the ancient festival of Sham El Nassim (literally meaning "smelling of the breeze") dates back to Pharonic times (about 2700 BC) although it is celebrated on the Coptic Easter Monday. It's not seen as a religious festival as it's a National Holiday for both Egyptian Christians and Muslims. Traditional activities include painting eggs, picnicking, and eating feseekh (fermented mullet).

    Image shows sunrise over the Nile from the Philae Temple. 

    See my Facebook Live 'Has Easter been superimposed onto an earlier Pagan celebration Eostre?' 

    Monday 22nd April is Earth Day, which is heralded as a pivotal opportunity for people, corporations and governments to join together to create a global green economy. It is hoped that coordinated efforts now will be recognized by future generations as a turning point.

    Monday 22nd (late) until dawn Tuesday 23rd April - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids are an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at their peak. These meteors can produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. This year the shower peaks on April 22nd & 23rd, although some meteors can be visible from April 16th - 25th. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation of Lyra after midnight.  Light pollution from the proximity of the Full Moon on the 26th April this year will not help viewing in 2019.  See EarthSky.org for more

    Tuesday 23rd April is St George’s Day in England, celebrating England's patron saint, St George. England's National Day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, which is on April 23rd. According to legend, St George was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess.  The English flag is the red Cross of St. George, which is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity. It's also supposedly Shakespeare's birthday and deathday. However, 23rd April is not a Bank Holiday.

    Friday 26th April @ 23.59 is the Easter Willow Full Moon.

    Between Full Moon and the next New Moon is considered as a good time energetically for detoxing the body.

    Click here for Angela McGerr's Full Moon Meditation with Gabriel.

    Image of Angel Gabriel (left) by Richard Rockwood, is taken from Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel cards; signed copies are available from the Harmony Shop.

    Sunday 28th April is the Roman fertility festival of flowers and crops called Floralia, that later developed into celebration of sexuality, and may have influenced the subsequent celebrations for Beltane and May Day.  Bright coloured clothes are worn (if any!), races and shows are performed.

    Tuesday 30th April, is the Pagan Eve of Beltane; celebrations begin with people dancing around the fire clockwise, singing. Sometimes two fires are set, and cattle are driven between the fires to purify them. Dew gathered from the grass at dawn is used in potions for luck and indeed it is believed to be lucky to roll naked in the dew!!!  On Beltane, it is traditional to drink from a well before sunrise. Wash in the morning dew, and adorn yourself with greenery. Watch the sun come up, dance round the Maypole, and otherwise abandon yourself to the season.  Round Full Moon Cakes are eaten and blackberry, elderberry, dandelion wine or cider is drunk. Sacred springs are visited and healing water is drunk. 

    Acknowledgments 

    Moonwise calendar 2019

    Celestial Forecast is compiled by Joanna Bristow-Watkins of Harmony Healing, using many sources but notably the Moonwise Calendar. Whilst considerable effort is made to ensure accuracy, this is not an exact science and sources are sometimes contradictory!

    Joanna is a Reyad Sekh Em® Egyptian Alchemy Healer and Teaching Mentor. She escorts occasional Private Access tours to Stonehenge (and to Avebury on the same day) plus occasional Harmony Journey Sacred Site Tours to Egypt, Ireland and UK from time-to-time.  She also runs various Meet-up groups in London and Surrey and the London & Surrey Alchemists Facebook Group.

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Celestial Forecasts

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