Joanna Bristow Watkins

BritishFolkTraditions

  • Friday 16th February, Kissing Friday in Christian Tradition

    Kissing Friday by DarkWorkX from PixabayFriday 16th February is Kissing Friday. The days leading up to and into Lent were Collop Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Fritter Thursday and Kissing Friday (source: Lia Leendertz's2020 Almanac).

    According to historic.co.uk, this bizarre custom was especially popular in the Victorian and Edwardian period and only died out in the mid-20th century. Although unthinkable these days, a schoolboy could kiss a girl on this day without fear of repercussions. 

    Of course, first of all the girl had to be caught and in some instances this involved tying ropes across the street and passing girls would have to pay a kiss for safe passage across the rope. Others would simply chase the girls until they caught them. Indeed, Kissing Fridaywas also the one day every year when girls could leave school early, to avoid being chased home by the boys.

    In the Leicershire village of Sileby, this day was called Nippy Hug Day. Here, if the girl actively resisted a kiss, the boy could 'louse' (pinch) her bottom, a disturbing reference to the action of pinching off lice.

    Similarly, in areas of Cumbria, the day was known as Nippy Lug Day, where the custom involved pinching the ears.

    The date of Lent - which takes place in either February or March but always seven weeks before Easter - varies from year to year according to the lunar calendar which determines when Easter falls. The fact that Lent, and indeed Easter, are determined by the lunar calendar tends to suggest that they were superimposed over Pagan celebrations.

    The Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, approved a 40-day fast duration to celebrate Lent. This was the time period during which Constantine was striving for a harmonious union between the Christians and Pagans within the Roman Empire.

    The start date of Lent was still under debate even after the Council of Nicaea. Pope Gregory, in 601, moved the commencement of Lent to Ash Wednesday (from the fourth Sunday of the year); this being 46 days before Easter. This allowed for 40 days of fasting with the six Sundays counting as feast days, making a total of 46 days for Lent. The tradition of using ashes to create the shape of a cross on parishioners foreheads was also instigated by Pope Gregory. 

    See bibleinfo.complant-lorecom websites for references. The latter website flags up as insecure.

    By partaking in old traditions such as Kissing Fridaycommunities retain a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Our interactive Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 training course modules are recorded, so study can start at any time.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is Saturday 24th February at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (£1 admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers (£35).

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

  • Monday 1st April, April Fool's Day & Roman Festivals of Veneralia and Fortuna Virilis

    April FoolMonday 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!  

    Veneralia Fortuna Virilis 1st April1st April, in addition to being April Fool’s Day, was 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.

    Veneralia was a Roman festival celebrated honouring Venus Verticordia (Venus the changer of hearts) and Fortuna Virilis (Manly or Virile Fortune).

    The cult of Venus Verticordia was established in 220 BC, in response to a Sibylline oracle, when a series of prodigies was interpreted as divine displeasure at sexual offences among Romans of every category and class, including three Vestal Virgins and several men. A committee of Roman matrons selected a young woman as the most pudica (sexually pure) who then re-dedicated the statue which was probably housed within the temple dedicated to Fortuna Virilis.

    During the Veneralia celebrations, her cult image was removed from her temple and taken to the men's baths, where female attendants undressed and bathed it in warm water before garlanding the statue with myrtle. 

    Images created for Harmony Healing by Antonia Skelton.

    By keeping traditions, communities retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1comprises four modules which can be studied at any time.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd April at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (£1 admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

  • Monday 29th May, Oak Apple Day in British tradition

    29th May Oak Apple DayMonday 29th May is the English Folk Festival of Oak Apple Day; held in honour of oak trees after Charles II escaped from Cromwell’s army by hiding in an oak tree. Oak leaves are worn until midday.  This year it's also the Whitsun Bank Holiday in the UK.

    In May 1660, Oak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day was a declared as a formal public holiday, to be celebrated in England on 29th May to commemorate the restoration of the English Monarchy.

    Although it was formally abolished in 1869, until national lockdown, the day was still celebrated in some parts of the country and is alternatively known as Shick Shack Day. Oak and Nettle Day, Yak Bob Day or Arbour tree Day.  

    By keeping traditions, communities retain a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and harmony into your life.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing. If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we hold monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations.During this session, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme. Book at thHarmony Shop.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy Healing. Featuring four online modules of Khemitology (Ancient Egyptology according to the indigenous oral traditions), Violet Flame of Amenti, Mindful Chakra Balancing & Essene Angelology.Missed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations or are possible. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 costs £266 and run about three times a year. the individual modules are stand-alone and cost either £88 or £66, hence the RSE 1 Package offers a cost saving. 

    A virtual Violet Flame of Amenti evening course completes on 30th May at a cost of £88. The Violet Flame is an ancient tool of alchemy and this course features over 6 hours of tuition, a manual and an attunement into the Violet Flame. Since the zoom sessions are recorded, it is possible to catch up or even to study the interactive material after the course has completed.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits. 

    Currently, MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

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  • Saturday 29th February, Leap Day 2020

    Leap Day Image by Peter LomasSaturday 29th February is a Leap Day. During Leap Years, such as 2020, an extra Leap Day - or Intercalary Day - is added on 29th February. Although officially introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, by a decree signed in 1582, this auspicious date is recognised in the Pagan, Gaelic and Celtic traditions as one on which ladies may propose to their beloveds. 

    The right of every women to propose on 29th February each leap year, goes back many hundreds of years to when the leap year day had no recognition in English law (the day was 'leapt over' and ignored, hence the term 'leap year'). It was considered, therefore, that as the day had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that traditions also had no status. Consequently, women who were concerned about being 'left on the shelf' took advantage of this anomaly and proposed to the man they wished to marry.  

    According to folklore (source: Lia Leendertz's Almanac for 2020) St Brigid, who's Saint Day is on Imbolc at the start of this month, is said to have negotiated this with St Patrick to balance the male and female traditional roles. If you are considering proposing to your loved one on 29th February, you might want to wear a red petticoat as this was seen as a lucky addition to the venture. The idea is to flash the red petticoat (or potentially other red under garment if you don't have such an item available) to make your proposal more likely to succeed. This may relate back to when red petticoats were traditionally worn by betrothed women to indicate their status, hence establishing the outcome as pre-ordained.  Believe it or not, at one time it was strongly frowned upon - and was even against the law - to refuse a lady's proposal on this day. Later the law was changed to reflect that if a man refused a woman's proposal on this date he must buy her a pair of gloves at Easter; perhaps this was to cover her embarrassment that she wasn't wearing a wedding ring.

    Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. A leap year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one extra day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. In the Gregorian calendar, February in a leap year has 29 days instead of the usual 28, so the year lasts 366 days instead of the usual 365. Otherwise, nearly six hours would be lost every calendar year; leading to a discrepancy of almost 24 days after only 100 years. Similarly, in the Hebrew calendar (a lunisolar calendar), a 13th lunar month is added seven times every 19 years to the twelve lunar months in its common years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons too rapidly.

    Leap Day image by Peter Lomas, image commissions available via Pixabay.

    By keeping traditions, communities retain a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    For Joanna's events and courses aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life, including Walton-on-Thames Healing Shares, mini-workshops and Forest Bathing+ Case Studies, see this  2020 Harmony Healing Event Update.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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 add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Saturday 6th January, 12th Night or Epiphany in Christian tradition

    6th January 12th Night or EpiphanySaturday 6th Januaryis Epiphany; the name for Twelfth Night in the Christian Calendar. The day when traditionally the Christmas Tree and other decorations should be removed until the following year. 

    Epiphany is defined as 'a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ'.

    In the UK, Epiphany has become associated with an “Aha!” moment. As a literary device, epiphany (pronounced ih-pif--uh-nee) describes the moment when a character has a life-changing realisation which alters the direction of that character's belief structure and hence marks a turning point in the plot which influences the rest of the story. These are moments of great philosophical, spiritual, or personal insight. 

    The term Twelfth Night has been immortalised by the Shakespeare's play by that name. 

    In Western Christianity, the Epiphany feast commemorates principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, whereas in Eastern Christianity, Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

    The traditional date for the feast is 6th January, although some recognise it as the night of 5th January, and since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday following 1st January.

    Popular Epiphany customs included attending church services, chalking the door, having one's house blessed, winter swimming, Epiphany singing. It was traditional to consume Three Kings Cake  or Twelfth Night cake, which would have a pea and a bean hidden within it; perhaps this was a prelude to our tradition of hiding a small coin in the Christmas Pudding. The lady who found the pea would be Lady or Queen of Misrule whereas the man who discovered the bean would be proclaimed Lord or King of Misrule, and roles would be reversed between masters and commoners, possibly explaining Shakespeare’s choice of title for his play although no direct reference is made to this feast within the script itself.

    Aligning ourselves with community celebrations is very therapeutic and is excellent for promoting harmony and bringing wellbeing into our lives.

    Start the year with some direction and support from a nurturing group of like-minded individuals. New Year New Moon New Vision is a mentoring programme through the first full lunar cycle of 2024. This includes distant attunements to the Moon (New Moons on 11th January and 9th/10th February plus Full Moon on 25th January), and including an attunement into Chinese New Year of the Earth Dragon (10th February) and an elemental ritual Imbolc ceremony. Costing £177 (concessions for my students and course repeaters), find out more via our YouTube Video.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is Thursday 25th January at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (small admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy Healing.Missed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations are possible and study can be started at any time.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are available and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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. 

  • Sunday 10th March, Mothering Sunday in UK

    Mothers Day 14thSunday 10th March is Mothering Sunday in  the UK, now viewed as a chance to recognise the positive role of mothers in our lives. Often posies of daffodils are presented.   

    Mothering Sunday is celebrated by Christians  in the UK & Ireland and some other English speaking countries. It takes place on the fourth Sunday in Lent, which is exactly three weeks before Easter Day. It was once observed as a day when people visited their mother church, but has become a day for honouring mothers and exchanging presents with them. Increasingly it's being referred to as Mother's Day, although that name originated as an American secular holiday, celebrated on a different date and quite distinct from the initial UK based Mothering Sunday.

    By keeping traditions, communities retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    Currently, MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers (£35).

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

  • Sunday 19th March, Mothering Sunday in UK

    Sunday 19th March is Mothering Sunday in  the UK, now viewed as a chance to recognise the positive role of mothers in our lives. Often posies of daffodils are presented.  

    Mothering Sunday is celebrated by Christians  in the UK & Ireland and some other English speaking countries. It takes place on tMothers Day 14thhe fourth Sunday in Lent, which is exactly three weeks before Easter Day. It was once observed as a day when people visited their mother church, but has become a day for honouring mothers and exchanging presents with them. Increasingly it's being referred to as Mother's Day, although that name originated as an American secular holiday, celebrated on a different date and quite distinct from the initial UK based Mothering Sunday.

    By keeping traditions, communities retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 -our recent interactive training module Violet Flame of Amenti (completed 9th March). Missed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations are possible.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is tomorrow, Wednesday 6th April at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (£1 admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing+ Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers (£35).

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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. 

  • Sunday 5th November, Guy Fawkes Night in the UK

    05 Nov Guy Fawkes NightSunday 5th November,here in the UK, is Guy Fawkes night, where we set off fireworks and have massive bonfires, with a sinister tradition of burning the effigy of a 'Guy'.

    Some sources indicate that this replaced the Samhain Fire Festival, which was transferred in Britain to the night after the Gunpowder Plot - Guy Fawkes's attempt to blow up parliament in 1605. The ritual burning of the Guy certainly resembles the Pagan sacrifice of the corn king!

    Traditional festivals like this helped communities to feel connected, bringing balance and harmony into people's lives. 

    Reyad Sekh Em® is an ultra high vibration healing system combining ancient Egyptian philosophies, alchemy, angelic elemental healing rays, sound vibration, sacred breathing and etheric crystalline energies. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 features four online modules of Khemitology (Ancient Egyptology according to the indigenous oral traditions), Violet Flame of Amenti, Mindful Chakra Balancing (starting 30th Novemer) & Essene Angelology (started 19th October). Missed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations or are possible. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 costs £266 and run about three times a year. the individual modules are stand-alone and cost either £88 or £66, hence the RSE 1 Package offers a cost saving. Since the zoom sessions are recorded, it is possible to study the interactive material after the course has completed.

    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your wellbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is on Monday 27th November at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (small admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    During these monthly sessions, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme. And, most importantly, it's a step towards making a difference to the global predicament.

    Other services

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucher for a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings  (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings. We also have meditations available.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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. 

  • Thursday 15th February, Fritter Thursday in Christian Tradition

    Apple fritters by RitaEThursday 15th February, as well as being Lupercalia, this year, it is also Fritter Thursday (in Lancashire it takes place a day earlier on Ash Wednesdayand is thus known as Fritter Wednesday). The days leading up to and into Lent were Collop Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Fritter Thursday and Kissing Friday (source: Lia Leendertz's2020 Almanac).

    According to The Free DictionaryFritter Thursday took its name from the custom of eating apple fritters, which were fruit-filled cakes deep-fried in fat, on this day. Image of Apple Fritters by RitaE is free for commercial use via Pixabay Licence. 

    I was surprised that this would be an acceptable dish once Lent had commenced (as 'fritter' suggests batter which would contains egg and milk) and on further research I discovered that inLancashire (source: lep.co.uk) traditionally ‘Shrovetide’ meant the three days before Lent and comprised of ‘Collop Monday’, ‘Pancake Tuesday’ and ‘Fritters Wednesday’ (rather than Thursday) with the fritters being sliced apples fried in batter.

    Confused by this, I contacted Lia Leendertz and asked about her sources for the 2020 Almanac. I'm delighted to say that she kindly responded to confirm that Fritter Thursday is featured in Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones, apparently as a Yorkshire tradition, and that it is also mentioned in the Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson. Like me, she was at a loss to explain how it was allowed as this wasn't explained anywhere. However, she noted that fried pieces of floured applewould be good even without full batter or sugar. Lia also uncovered a 15th century recipe for Lent Fritters in Jane Grigson’s English Food and it was found to contain milk, eggs and sugar! A mystery. Maybe it’s Jane's (non Lenten) version of it.  Thank you Lia for your thoughtful contribution...

    The date of Lent - which takes place in either February or March but always seven weeks before Easter - varies from year to year according to the lunar calendar which determines when Easter falls. The fact that Lent, and indeed Easter, are determined by the lunar calendar tends to suggest that they were superimposed over Pagan celebrations.

    The Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, approved a 40-day fast duration to celebrate Lent.  This was the time period during which Constantine was striving for a harmonious union between the Christians and Pagans within the Roman Empire.

    The start date of Lent was still under debate even after the Council of Nicaea. Pope Gregory, in 601, moved the commencement of Lent to Ash Wednesday (from the fourth Sunday of the year); this being 46 days before Easter. This allowed for 40 days of fasting with the six Sundays counting as feast days, making a total of 46 days for Lent. The tradition of using ashes to create the shape of a cross on parishioners foreheads was also instigated by Pope Gregory. 

    See bibleinfo.complant-lorecom websites for references. The latter website flags up as insecure.

    By partaking in Fritter Thursday, confessing sins and living a modest life throughout the period of Lent, Christian's believed that it would enhance their harmony and wellbeing.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Our live interactive Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 training course modules run periodically htroughout the year, but sessions are recorded, so study can start at any time.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is Saturday 24th February at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (£1 admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers (£35).

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

  • Thursday 29th February, Leap Day 2024

    Leap Day Image by Peter LomasThursday 29th February is a Leap Day. During Leap Years, such as 2024, an extra Leap Day - or Intercalary Day - is added on 29th February. Although officially introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, by a decree signed in 1582, this auspicious date is recognised in the Pagan, Gaelic and Celtic traditions as one on which ladies may propose to their beloveds. 

    The right of every women to propose on 29th February each leap year, goes back many hundreds of years to when the leap year day had no recognition in English law (the day was 'leapt over' and ignored, hence the term 'leap year'). It was considered, therefore, that as the day had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that traditions also had no status. Consequently, women who were concerned about being 'left on the shelf' took advantage of this anomaly and proposed to the man they wished to marry.  

    According to folklore (source: Lia Leendertz's Almanac for 2020) St Brigid, who's Saint Day is on Imbolc at the start of this month, is said to have negotiated this with St Patrick to balance the male and female traditional roles. If you are considering proposing to your loved one on 29th February, you might want to wear a red petticoat as this was seen as a lucky addition to the venture. The idea is to flash the red petticoat (or potentially other red under garment if you don't have such an item available) to make your proposal more likely to succeed. This may relate back to when red petticoats were traditionally worn by betrothed women to indicate their status, hence establishing the outcome as pre-ordained.  Believe it or not, at one time it was strongly frowned upon - and was even against the law - to refuse a lady's proposal on this day. Later the law was changed to reflect that if a man refused a woman's proposal on this date he must buy her a pair of gloves at Easter; perhaps this was to cover her embarrassment that she wasn't wearing a wedding ring.

    Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. A leap year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one extra day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. In the Gregorian calendar, February in a leap year has 29 days instead of the usual 28, so the year lasts 366 days instead of the usual 365. Otherwise, nearly six hours would be lost every calendar year; leading to a discrepancy of almost 24 days after only 100 years. Similarly, in the Hebrew calendar (a lunisolar calendar), a 13th lunar month is added seven times every 19 years to the twelve lunar months in its common years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons too rapidly.

    Many people believe that the day holds significant spiritual power of manifestation, since the 29th of February only happens once every four years, 

    Numerologically 29th adds up to 11 (2+9) and this is a powerful number for manifestation, abundance and spiritual awakening.  The number 2 (which February represents, being the 2nd month of the calendar year) can represent our soul purpose or mission.  Hence when the numerology of 11 (from 29th) and 2 (from the month of February) come together, the combined numerology can represent love, healing, teaching us about ourselves and highlighting our personal and spiritual potential. It's viewed as such a rare vibration, that it causes a ripple effect within us, which can lead us to leap forward in our spiritual advancement, and as this is happening simultaneously to all life forms, it can result in a cumulative acceleration within the wider universe.

    Furthermore, because 29th February is outside our calendar (and technically our legal structure) it is akin to the Egyptian Days out of Time [also known as the Epagomenal Days) created by the Deities to allow events to take place for which there was no time in the usual calendar. Within our own calendar, the date has been added to make up for the quarter day per year misalignment between our calendar and the movement of the Earth around the Sun.

    So, to summarise, this date creates a rare portal for us to realise our dreams and advance towards our full potential.

    Leap Day image by Peter Lomas, image commissions available via Pixabay.

    By keeping traditions, communities retain a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Our interactive Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1training course modules are recorded, so study can start at any time.

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    Most events are currently virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.

  • Tuesday 23rd April - St George's Day & Shakespeare's Birthday

    220px Flag of England.svgTuesday 23rd April is St George’s Day in England, celebrating St George, England's patron saint. The anniversary of his death, which is on April 23rd, is seen as England's national day.

    According to legend, he was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess.  The flag of England is the red Cross of St. George, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.

    Surprisingly, 23rd April is not a Bank Holiday.

    William ShakepeareWilliam Shakespeare - long revered as Britain's, if not the world's, best known author and playwright, also died on 23rd April, but in 1616, in Stratford-upon-Avon, making this the 405th Anniversary.

    He was Baptised in Stratford on the 26th April 1564 and his birth date is not known but it is traditionally observed on 23rd April, Saint George's Day, indicating that he would have died on his birthday. 

    This date, which can be traced back to an 18th-century scholar's mistake, has proved appealing to biographers, it being considered somewhat poetic that he died on his 42nd birthday. 

    Shakespeare has 37 plays and 154 sonnets credited to him, but we don't really know whether he actually wrote them, or was just a merchant, land owner and occasional actor who either brokered the plays or was prepared to be acknowledged as the author to protect anonymity of those truly responsible.

    Certainly writing plays could be dangerous as any plot seen to reflect a political plot not appreciated by the Queen/King could be interpreted as treason.

    Many scholars argue, quite reasonably, that proof of Shakespeare’s authorship is largely circumstantial and sketchy at best; certainly he was better known in Stratford as a businessman [one documented view is that he brokered the plays] and not a playwright.  

    Celebrating national and cultural heroes is a great way of uniting communities, bringing harmony into their lives.

    This year, 23rd April is also the night of the Pink Full Moon (peaking 00:48 on Thursday 24th).  See separate entry. 

    If you feel connected to the lunar cycle, note that our next Full Moon Unity Consciousness Guided Meditation (£20), 7.30-9.30pm (GMT + 1) is on Tuesday 23rd April, when you will be guided though a mindful chakra healing programme, using colours and crystal energy. You will then be connected above (to the Sky) and below (to the Earth) to be part of the Harmony Healing Lightworker collective and start making a difference by sending regular global healing.

    Aligning ourselves with the moon cycle is very therapeutic, hence being aware of the New moon (good for starting new projects) and Full Moon (a good time for bringing projects to a conclusion) is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our lives. 

    The next lunar cycle alignment study course starts on the 1st October New Moon and costs £188. Included are three Attunements into the sun, moon, earth, plus the zodiacs of Libra, Scorpio and the Chinese Year of the Wood Dragon. This includes guiding you through the creation of a 2024/5 Vision Board with the support of the 28 Moon Mansion angels. More at Harmony Shop.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy Healing. Featuring four online modules of Khemitology (Ancient Egyptology according to the indigenous oral traditions), Violet Flame of Amenti, Mindful Chakra Balancing & Essene AngelologyMissed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations or are possible. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 costs £266 and run about three times a year. the individual modules are stand-alone and cost either £88 or £66, hence the RSE 1 package offers a cost saving.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits. 

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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). 

  • Wednesday 30th November, St Andrews Day in Scotland

    30 Nov St Andrews dayThursday 30th November is St Andrew’s Day in Scotland. 

    Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on the 30th November. According to a 2015 article in the Independent, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of fishmongers, fishermen, singers, spinsters, maidens, women wanting to be mothers, as well as the Order of the Thistle, one of the highest ranks of chivalry in the world, second only to the Order of the Garter. Apparently he's also the 'Go-to' Saint for anyone with gout or a sore throat.

    St Andrew never visited Scotland, but has been revered there since about 1000 AD. It was the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 which identified him as their patron saint. St Andrew was crucified in Greece in 60 AD, by order of Roman Governor Aegeas, on an X-shaped cross, hence the flag of Scotland depicts the blue (saltire) Cross, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity. 

    Celebrating traditional fesivals like St Andrew's Day, help to unite communities together and bring balance and harmony into people's lives.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. Reyad Sekh Em® is an ultra high vibration healing system combining ancient Egyptian philosophies, alchemy, angelic elemental healing rays, sound vibration, sacred breathing and etheric crystalline energies. 

    Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) has been modularised so that Level One (introduction) is now available to complete online as 3 units. All the units can be taken alone but together make up the RSE 1 syllabus. Violet Flame of Amenti starts tonight, Thursday 30th November.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is Wednesday 27th December at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (small admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    During these monthly sessions, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme. And, most importantly, it's a step towards making a difference to the global predicament.

    Other services

    We are also running a New Year New Moon New Vision mentoring programme through the first full lunar cycle of 2023. The course will run 11th January to 9th/10th February 2023 and will cost £177 (£155 if booked before the year ends).

  • Wednesday 6th January, 12th Night or Epiphany in Christian tradition and Third Quarter Moon

    Lunar Cycle imageWednesday 6th Januaryis Epiphany; the name for Twelfth Night in the Christian Calendar. The day when traditionally the Christmas Tree and other decorations should be removed until the following year. 

    In 2021, it's also the Third Quarter Moon, the final lunar phase before the first New Moon of this New Year, see the post on the Wonderful World of Wellbeing (WWoW) online Facebook Page for an affirmation you can use.

    Epiphany is defined as 'a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ'.

    In the UK, Epiphany has become associated with an “Aha!” moment. As a literary device, epiphany (pronounced ih-pif--uh-nee) describes the moment when a character has a life-changing realisation which alters the direction of that character's belief structure and hence marks a turning point in the plot which influences the rest of the story. These are moments of great philosophical, spiritual, or personal insight. 

    R Staines Malvolio Shakespeare Twelfth NightThe term Twelfth Night has been immortalised by the Shakespeare's play by that name. This image (left) from Shakespeare's play depicts Malvolio  courting a bemused Olivia, while Maria covers her amusement. 

    In Western Christianity, the Epiphany feast commemorates principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, whereas in Eastern Christianity, Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

    The traditional date for the feast is 6th January, although some recognise it as the night of 5th January, and since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday following 1st January.

    Popular Epiphany customs included attending church services, chalking the door, having one's house blessed, winter swimming, Epiphany singing. It was traditional to consume Three Kings Cake  or Twelfth Night cake, which would have a pea and a bean hidden within it; perhaps this was a prelude to our tradition of hiding a small coin in the Christmas Pudding. The lady who found the pea would be Lady or Queen of Misrule whereas the man who discovered the bean would be proclaimed Lord or King of Misrule, and roles would be reversed between masters and commoners, possibly explaining Shakespeare’s choice of title for his play although no direct reference is made to this feast within the script itself.

    Aligning ourselves with community celebrations is very therapeutic and is excellent for promoting harmony and bringing wellbeing into our lives.

    new moon new vision 5Aligning ourselves with the cycles of the moon can also enhance our lives in unexpected ways and help us connect with our intuition for greater clarity in our vision and goals

    In her book The Angel Almanac,my sister Angela McGerr, introduces the concept of Gabriel (Angelic Guardian of the Moon and Mondays) and Ophaniel (Angelic Ruler of the Wheel of the Moon which comprises all 28 Mansions of the Moon and theor respective Angelic Guardians).  Joanna has developed this concept to create a 28-day lunar mentoring programme detailed below. 

    New Year New Vision

    • define your vision for 2021, utilising affirmations, angelic guidance, attunements and daily practice.
    • learn powerful techniques to create your own vision board for 2021, to take with you into the new year and help focus on what you want to manifest in the year to come.
    • benefit from aligning key milestones in your planning with the most powerful phases of the moon, set your intentions for an abundant 2021.

    Book now via Paypal (includes £5.50 Paypal admin fee) or via online BACS - see Harmony Healing website for details.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle on 28th January and New Year New Vision is a lunar connection programme starting on the first New Moon of 2021.

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion?

    New Year New Vision is a mentoring programme through the first full lunar cycle of 2021. This includes distant attunements to the Moon (New Moons on 13th January and 11th February plus Full Moon on Thursday 28th January), plus a ritual with the elements on the Imbolc ceremony (1st February) and ending on the Chinese New Year of the Ox (11th February). Costing £111, it will be available to just 11 participants, more at the Harmony Website.

    Our next virtual healing circle on Thursday 28th January is at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT), and costs £10 (+ £1 Paypal fee). During this session, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme.

    A number of virtual courses are now ready, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    To receive regular Blog updates (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, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this 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.