Joanna Bristow Watkins

CelticFolklore

  • Friday 30th April, Beltane Eve in Pagan Tradition

    Beltane 30th AprilFriday 30th April is the Eve of Beltane; Pagan celebrations begin with people singing and dancing clockwise around the fire. The name 'Beltane' derives from the Celtic Deity 'Bel' (definition = 'the bright one') together with 'teine' – the Gaelic word for fire.

    The combined meaning is 'Goodly Fire' or 'Bright Fire', hence bonfires were lit to encourage the Sun to nurture the forthcoming harvest and to honour Bel ask for his protection of the local community.

    Bel seemingly required human effort before providing support so traditionally all community fires were extinguished and two Tein-eigen (translates as need-fire) bonfires were specially kindled for Beltane.

    Cattle were driven between the fires to purify them with the smoke and bring fertility. People jumped over the fire (not the huge ones I presume) to cleanse, purify and enhance fertility.  

    Couples pledged themselves to each other by jumping the fires together and to bless their union. After the celebrations, which ran from sunset 30th April to sunset on 1st May, the villagers took a bit of the Teineigen to start fresh fires in their home hearth.

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelBeltane is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Lughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc - as shown on the Pagan Wheel on the right, courtesy of Shutterstock (licence paid).

    Dew gathered at dawn from the grass is traditionally used in potions for luck and it is thought to be lucky to roll naked in the dew!!!  I remember collecting the dew at dawn for luck as an adolescent but I didn't try the rolling naked in the dew so can't testify to whether that works for anything other than risking (indecent) exposure.

    On Beltane itself, it's traditional to drink from a well before sunrise, then wash in the morning dew, 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 together with blackberry, elderberry, dandelion wine (or cider) being drunk. Visits are made to sacred springs where healing water is drunk. 

    Thanks also to Glastonbury-based Goddessandgreenman.co.ukwebsite who also credit Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred as their information source. There are always amazing annual Beltane and May Day celebrations in Glastonbury, though this year if there are any they will probably have to be virtual.

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

    Joanna's Harmony Healing activities - not involving any rolling in the dew celebrations - are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. 

    The next RSE 1 module series starts 14th May with Violet Flame of Amenti and 17th May with Chakra Balancing, Axiatonal Alignment and Unity Consciousness.

    If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities following lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle on Wednesday 26th May at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1), and costs £20 (+ £2 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.

    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 voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    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. It's best to first check whether it would be welcomed, before gifting a healing or reading to other individual.

    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.  

  • Monday 3rd August, Holly Full Moon plus Hindu Festival

    Image of Gabriel by Richard Rockwood fro Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards

    Monday 3rd August @ 16.59 is Full Moon (Holly Moon). Tonight, I'm holding a Virtual Harmony Healing Circle, 7.30-9.30pm UK time, £11 (half price to VFoA/RSE graduates).

    The image left is from Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards, and also in A Harmony of Angels book, both available from the Harmony Shop.

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

    Between this date and the next New Moon is considered as a good time energetically for detoxing the body. I recommend an oil pulling technique, with coconut oil, which must be from a glass container for best taste.

    The Druids and Celts had names for each Full Moon of the year. The Druids, venerated all nature and to them this is the Holly Moon,an evergreen which reminds us of the immortality of nature. This Full Moon was also known by the Celts as the Tinne,pronounced chihnn-uh';they saw hollyas a potent symbol of masculinity and firmness. Weapons were often constructed from its wood but it was also revered for its protective magic. A sprig of holly can be hung in the home, or used as a charm, for safety and good luck. Holly water was created by soaking leaves overnight in spring water under a full moon, then used for protective blessing. I wonder if it was the origin of 'holy water'?  More about this at the Celtic Weirdness website.

    © Surub | <a href="https://www.stockfreeimages.com/">Stock Free Images</a>Similarly the Native American tribes named each moon to keep track of the months and seasons. The Full Moon in August is the Sturgeon Moon. 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 this as the Sturgeon Moon as it was the month when the fish were typically abundant in North America. Although once plentiful, sadly now they are rare enough to be considered endangered. Sturgeons can grow enormous - they can reach over 2 metres long and weigh up to 90 kilos, plus they can have amazingly long lives, the males up to 55 years and the females up to 150 years.  Sturgeons have a strange grey-green colouration, a pointed snout and feature a cat-like pair of tactile whiskers above their mouth (amazing photo by © SurubStock Free Images) and are sometimes referred to as 'living fossils' as they are part of a genus of fish which has existed for over 135 million years! See more at timeanddate.com.

    Other tribes knew this August Full Moon as the Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon, Barley Moonand Fruit Moon, as it was the month when these various crops were harvested. American Farmers have adopted these titles so that they are still used today. (See article in the Telegraph for more on this).

    Monday 3rd August is also Raksha Bandhan, the Hindu festival honouring the bond between brothers and sisters.  Celebrated on the day of the Full Moon in August, see Wikipedia for more on this.

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

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony. A number of virtual courses are now ready and starting again at the end of July (final chance to catch up on the two RSE modules which are on week 2 of 3), including Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 (which is now fully available as interactive training modules) 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.

    If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, 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.

  • Saturday 14th September, Equinox Micro Full Moon @ 05.53

    Image of Gabriel by Richard Rockwood fro Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards

    Saturday 14th September @ 05.53 (Friday night/Saturday Morning) is the Equinox Micro Full Moon. This year it's also the Equinox Moon because of its proximity to the Equinox which this year is Monday 23rd @ 08.50, which will be the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (including the UK) and the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.

    A Micromoon happens when a New Moon or Full Moon coincides with the apogee; when the Moon's orbit is farthest away from Earth. Because the Moon orbits Earth on an elliptical path, one side of the path is always closer to the Earth than the other. See  timeanddate.com for more about this.

    Click here for Angela McGerr's Full Moon Meditation with Gabriel. Between this date and the next New Moon is considered as a good time energetically for detoxing the body. 

    Image of Gabriel by Richard Rockwood from Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards, available from the Harmony Shop (signed by Angela).

    Between this date and the next New Moon is considered as a good time energetically for detoxing the body. I recommend an oil pulling technique, with coconut oil, which must be from a glass container for best taste.

    The Celts had names for each Full Moon of the year, and associated each with a tree; this is the Vine Moon (thoughtco.com). All over the northern hemisphere, at this time of year, the fruits of the vine are ripe for harvesting and ready for the first stages of wine production. The vine is a symbol of passionate emotions whether expressing either joy or wrath. The Celts called the month Muin (Neopagans call it Mabon) and typical celebrations would include magical workings connecting with gardens involving both ends of the emotional spectrum (such as exhilaration and rage) acknowledging also the darker aspects of the Mother Goddess. Vine leaves can be used to enhance goals and ambitions. This year, being very close to the Equinox, the Vine Moon will carry the frequency of balance and harmony embodied by the Equinox when light and dark are in perfect balance. 

    Similarly the Native American tribes, and indeed Anglo-Saxon and Germanic Tribes, named each moon to keep track of the months and seasons. The Full Moon in September is the Harvest Moon. 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. Whilst some believe that Harvest Moon was a Native American expression, the term has been recorded in Anglo Saxon and Old High German languages since the 700s. See more at timeanddate.com.

    Other Native American tribes knew this September Full Moon as the Barley Moon and Full Corn Moon to signify when these crops are at their most ready for harvesting. Many American Farmers have adopted these titles so that they are still used today. (See article in the Telegraph for more on this).

    For a list of Joanna's forthcoming Harmony Healing events, see this recent Harmony Healing Event Update

    To receive regular Blog updates (always 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 j (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 1st May, Celtic Pagan Beltane plus Roman Bona Dea

    May Day BeltaneSaturday 1st May is May Day and Beltane - a Celtic word meaning 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic and Gaelic Deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. Celtic Priests, as well as other high ranking officials in Celtic society, were called Druids. Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community.

    In springtime, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a fruitful year for their fields and hence also their families. Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening.

    These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately or in the coming summer or autumn. 

    Beltane is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Lughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc.  See yesterday's Blog for more on the meaning and festivities of Beltane.

    Bona Dea 1st MaySaturday 1st May was also the annual Roman Festival of Bona Dea. In Roman mythology, Bona Dea (literally "the good goddess") was the goddess of fertility, healing, virginity, and women.

    She was the daughter (or wife/sister depending on sources) of the nature-god Faunus and was associated with supplying medicinal healing herbs in her temple garden.

    Bona Dea was also invoked for freedom from slavery; many of her worshippers were freed slaves and plebeians, and many were women seeking aid in sickness or for fertility.

    This Festival was celebrated by women only, with men being barred from any knowledge of her mysteries!

    This would have comprised part of the six day Roman Festival of Floralia, commencing on 28th April (Julian Calender equivalent), detailed on my earlier Blog.

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

    Joanna's Harmony Healing activities - not involving any rolling in the dew celebrations - are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life!

    The next RSE 1 module series starts 14th May with Violet Flame of Amenti and 17th May with Chakra Balancing, Axiatonal Alignment and Unity Consciousness.

    If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities following lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle later this month on Wednesday 26th May at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1), and costs £20 (+ £2 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.

    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 voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    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. It's best to first check whether it would be welcomed, before gifting a healing or reading to other individual.

    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. 

  • Sturgeon Full Moon, Bank Holiday Weekend, 26th-27th August 2018

    Image of Gabriel by Richard Rockwood fro Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards

    Sunday 26th August is Pagan Full Moon at 12.58.

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

    © Surub | <a href="https://www.stockfreeimages.com/">Stock Free Images</a>The Sturgeon 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 the Sturgeon Moon as it was the month when the fish were typically abundant in North America.  Although once plentiful, sadly now they are rare enough to be considered endangered. Sturgeons can grow enormous - they can reach over 2 metres long and weigh up to 90 kilos, plus they can have amazingly long lives, the males up to 55 years and the females up to 150 years.  Sturgeons have a strange grey-green colouration, a pointed snout and feature a cat-like pair of tactile whiskers above their mouth (amazing photo by © Surub | Stock Free Images) and are sometimes referred to as 'living fossils' as they are part of a genus of fish which has existed for over 135 million years! See more at timeanddate.com.

    Other tribes knew this August Full Moon as the Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon, Barley Moonand Fruit Moon, as it was the month when these various crops were harvested. American Farmers have adopted these titles so that they are still used today. (See article in the Telegraph for more on this)

    Similarly, the Druids and Celts also had names for each Full Moon of the year. The Druids, venerated all nature and to them this is the HazelMoon,as it's the season when the hazelnuts appear, and they were associated with protection and wisdom. Druid folklore revered the hazel for its connection with the sacred wells and magical springs which was home to the salmon of knowledge.  This August Full Moon  was also known by the Celts as the Coll Moon,which means 'the life force inside you'. It's considered timely to focus on wisdom and knowledge, dream journalling, divination and dowsing. Painters, writers and musicians might find it a good time to re-kindle their intuition after a possible artitistic block, try writing a poem or song this month. More about this at the Celtic Weirdness website I happily stumbled upon.

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

    Image of Gabriel by Richard Rockwood from Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards. 

    I recommend an oil pulling technique, with coconut oil, which must be from a glass container for best taste.

    Sunday 26th August is also Raksha Bandhan, the Hindu festival honouring the bond between brothers and sisters.  Celebrated on the day of the Full Moon in August, some might celebrate it on the 25th August this year.  See website for more.

    Monday 27th August is the Summer Bank Holiday in the UK.

  • Sunday 16th May, Pagan Festival of Lunantisidhe

    LunantisidheSunday 16th May is the Night of Lunantisidhe, a Celtic Festival honouring the fairy spirits of blackthorns. 

    From a website called selkywolf.com (no longer live), which featured extracts from 'A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk' by Edain McCoy, it seems that Lunantisidhe is a curious blending of the Latin word 'Luna' meaning 'moon' together with the Gaelic 'sidhe' which means 'faery'. They are the guardians of the blackthorn tree from which humans (and Leprechauns!) make shillelaghs, a walking stick indigenous to Ireland

    These fairies are - according to an AngelFire site - 'Wizened little stick creatures with long arms and fingers for climbing between the thorns'. Their sole purpose for existing seems to be to protect the blackthorn trees from human encroachment. The only time they approach the tree is to pay homage to the Moon Goddess at the Esbats (a specifc Full Moon Wicca Ceremony which may have it's origins in Celtic folklore), perhaps explaining why their name has a lunar connotation.

    According to another very informative site ecoenchantments.co.uk, unlike the majority of great mystic trees, the Blackthorn appears to be revered only in the British Isles (Celtic folklore of both Itish and Scottish tradition) with there being little or no association with the mythical traditions of other ancient civilisations.

    The Blackthorn, latin name Prunus Spinosa, is a tree of profound magical lore in the Celtic tradition. It is one of the designated Eight Chieftain Trees on the Ogham Tract, where its name is Straif (strife, said to be where the word came from in the English dictionary) and translates as ‘Increaser of Secrets.’  I feel it brings a whole new meaning to 'trouble and strife' the Cockney rhyming slang for wife!

    The Blackthorn is also know as sloe (after its fruit), sloe plum, snag, spiny plum, wishing thorn, faery tree, (dark) mother of the woods, pear hawthorn. Within the UK, the trees are an ancient, native pioneer species, with evidence that the fruits were eaten by early man. Blackthorn was used in Iron Age communities (c3400 yrs ago) as remains have been found, buried in a straw filled pit (believed to be used for ripening and preserving the bitter sloes) near Glastonbury in the Lake Village (recorded in a catalogue of findings by the excavator Arthur Bulleid).

    Blackthorn is also wellknown for its medicinal benefits, having been catalogues by both herbalists, John Gerard in 1597:  ‘The juice of sloes do stop the belly, the laske and bloodie fluxe, the inordinate course of womens terms, and all other issues of blood in man or woman.’

    Whilst Nicholas Culpeper, in 1653, recommends a decoction of the powdered bark of the roots, or of the fresh or dried berries as a cure for ‘lask of the belly , or stomach, or the bloody flux, and to ease the pains in the sides or bowels.’  He also recommended a distilled liquid of the flowers steeped in a highly honeyed mead, which he described as 'A most certain remedy, tried and approved, to ease all manner of gnawing in the stomach, sides and bowels, or any griping pains in any of them, to drink a small quantity when the extremity of the pain is upon them.’

    Undoubtedly Sloe Gin is still enjoyed today (made annually by my husband's Uncle Ron, aged 83, with sloes collected from the countryside).  Perhaps the continued popularity is due to its therapeutic benefits.

    As part of the Lunantisidhe festivities, holy trees marking sacred places and wells are acknowledged and new scraps of cloth are tied to their branches. 

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

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. The next RSE 1 module series started 14th May with Violet Flame of Amenti (late applicants accepted) and 17th May with Chakra Balancing, Axiatonal Alignment and Unity Consciousness.

    If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities following lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle later this month on Wednesday 26th May at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1), and costs £20 (+ £2 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.

    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 voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    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. It's best to first check whether it would be welcomed, before gifting a healing or reading to other individual.

    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.

     

  • Sunday 1st August, Egyptian New Year & Celtic Lunasa or Lammas

    1st August Khemitian New YearSunday 1st August marks the Ancient Egyptian New year, traditionally marked the start of the Nile flood, started by the tears of Aset (Isis) over the death of Asar (Osirus). The exact correlation of the Egyptian New year to the modern calendar is disputed, but I favour the linking with the heliacal rising of Sirius (dawn visibility of Sirius) as this star, known to the Egyptians as Sopdet (pronounced Soppday) was closely associated with Aset. 

    The indigenous name for Ancient Egypt was Khem. Khemitology is the study of Ancient Egypt according to the indigenous tribal elders & oral tradition wisdom keepers; which is quite different to traditional Egyptology though there is some overlap.  See Events & Courses for more about studying Khemitology as a stand alone online module or as part of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy healing

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelIn the Northern Hemisphere, this is also the Pagan Celebration of Lunasa (also known as Lammas), this is the start of the harvest, season of pregnancy, ripening, transformation and peace. This marks the height of the northern summer, when the Earth is most alive. Spellings vary for this Celtic/Gaelic Festival, which can be called Lughnasadh or Lúnasa (this latter 'Irish' spelling ironically appears closest to what most English-speakers would regard as the phonetic pronunciation — luu-na-sa), see atriptoireland.com for more on this. It is certainly the great festival of Lugh, or Lug, the great Celtic Sun King [Egyptian origins spring to mind here] and God of Light, with August is Lugh's sacred month.  As someone interested in etymology (the study of words) I am thinking that surely the word 'light' (especially with the peculiar silent 'gh' which came to be identified with a host of other rhyming words in English such as sight and fright) comes from 'lugh'?

    According to Celticdruidtemple.com, Lughnasa translates as "the games of Lugh" (pronounced as Lou or sometimes Luff) and alludes to the assembly for games coinciding with the first of three harvests. The month of August is apparently called Lughnasadh in Gaelic and it marks the last day of summer. This was a specifically Gaelic holiday and many of the other Celtic cultures also celebrate an autumn festival known by a range of names.  As Beltaine on 1st May marks the start of summer - Lughnasa marks the end of summer. Lughnasa is historically linked with Lugh, a leading Celtic deity and hero. These games with a bull sacrifice and major feast [with interesting echoes of the Egyptian Bull cult where Ausar (Osirus) was portrayed as a bull-headed deity), which I believe led to the unfortunate Mediterranean Bull Fighting tradition], and for some it was the start of a trial marriage.

    In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, this festival for honouring Lugh is known as Lammas (see thoughtco.com). Allegedly, the word Lammas derives from an Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, translating as loaf mass. Lammas was an annual ritual, recogniing a community's dependency on what Thomas Hardy referred to as 'the ancient pulse of germ and birth.'"

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

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. If you are interested in Ancient Egypt, Joanna Bristow-Watkins (Harmony Healing) is a Reyad Sekh Em® Egyptian Alchemy Healer and Teaching Mentor. 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.Two RSE 1 modules start in July/August month with Khemitology (the study of Egyptology according to the local oral traditions) on Tuesdays 20th (recorded so late starters can be accommodated), 27th July and 3rd August and Essene Angelology on Tuesdays 10th & 17th August. The other two modules have recently completed but can be studied with the next series.

    Within Surrey and south London, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest bathing+ sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits (see Forest Bathing+ section of this site on the purple navigation bar above for more about this concept and dates of our events).

    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 on Monday 20th Septemberat 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. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    During these monthly 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. 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 voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    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. 

  • Sunday 22nd August, Sturgeon Full Moon plus Buddhist and Hindu Festival

    22 August Sturgeon Full MoonSunday 22nd August @ 13:02 is Sturgeon Moon, Blue Moon by old definition (the third of four Full Moons, when there are four in one season rather than the usual three). The Sun enters Virgo at 22:35  There's no Full Moon meditation this month.

    Between this date and the next New Moon is considered as a good time energetically for detoxing the body. I recommend an oil pulling technique, with coconut oil, which must be from a glass container for best taste.

    The Native American tribes named each moon to keep track of the months and seasons. The Full Moon in August is the Sturgeon Moon. 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 this as the Sturgeon Moon as it was the month when the fish were typically abundant in North America.  Although once plentiful, sadly now they are rare enough to be considered endangered. Sturgeons can grow enormous - they can reach over 2 metres long and weigh up to 90 kilos, plus they can have amazingly long lives, the males up to 55 years and the females up to 150 years.  Sturgeons have a strange grey-green colouration, a pointed snout and feature a cat-like pair of tactile whiskers above their mouth and are sometimes referred to as 'living fossils' as they are part of a genus of fish which has existed for over 135 million years! See more at timeanddate.com.

    Although the Celts, wth their Druid priests, were believed to have revered nature, the idea that they also had tree names for each Full Moon of the year, is neo-Pagan, having been introduced by Robert Graves in the 1948, which I find rather charming. So, according to Robert Graves's imaginings, this is the Hazel Moon, as it's the season when the hazelnuts appear, and they were associated with protection and wisdom. Druid folklore revered the hazel for its connection with the sacred wells and magical springs which was home to the salmon of knowledge.  This August Full Moon was also known by the Celts as the Coll Moon, which means 'the life force inside you'. It's considered timely to focus on wisdom and knowledge, dream journalling, divination and dowsing. Painters, writers and musicians might find it a good time to re-kindle their intuition after a possible artitistic block, try writing a poem or song this month. More about this at the Celtic Weirdness website I happily stumbled upon.

    Angel Gabriel by Richard RockwoodOther tribes knew this August Full Moon as the Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon, Barley Moonand Fruit Moon, as it was the month when these various crops were harvested. American Farmers have adopted these titles so that they are still used today. (See article in the Telegraph for more on this).

    The image left is taken from from Angela McGerr's Harmony Angel Cards, and also in A Harmony of Angels book, both available from the Harmony Shop.

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

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

    22 August Chinese Hungry Ghost FestivalSunday 22nd August is the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, which is the Buddhist Festival of All Souls or the Festival of Hungry Ghosts, when offerings are made until before the next New Moon (7th September) to spirits who have not yet found rest.

    The Hungry Ghost Festival, also known as the Zhongyuan Festival, takes place on the 15th day of the Ghost Month (which starts at a New moon), so it naturally co-incides with a Full Moon. 

    22 August Hindu Raksha Bandan FestivalSunday 22nd August is also Raksha Bandhan, the Hindu festival honouring the bond between brothers and sisters. 

    Celebrated on the day of the Full Moon in August, see Wikipedia for more on this.

    Brothers take a vow to protect their sisters, whilst sisters pray for a long long life for their brothers, sealed by tying a thread around their right wrist.

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

    Violet Flame promoHarmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony. If you are interested in Ancient Egypt, my Violet Flame of Amenti interactive evening course runs for three consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning 21st September, £88 including a healing attunement. 75% reduction to anyone who has studied RSE 1 or Violet Flame before.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest bathing+ sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits (see Forest Bathing+ section of this site on the purple navigation bar above for more about this concept and dates of our events).

    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. We are skipping August, so the next one is on Monday 20th September 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 (small admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    During these monthly 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. And, most importantly, it's a step towards making a difference to the global predicament.

    Other services

    Our Essene Angelology interactive online evening course starts Tuesdays 10th & 17th August. Recordings are made so that it is possible to join after the course has commenced. This is a standalone course but also forms part of the Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 introductory programme. 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.

    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? 

    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 30th April, Beltane Eve

    Beltane Bonfire image

    Tuesday 30th April is the Eve of Beltane; Pagan celebrations begin with people singing and dancing clockwise around the fire. The name 'Beltane' derives from the Celtic Deity 'Bel' (definition = 'the bright one') together with 'teine' – the Gaelic word for fire. The combined meaning is 'Goodly Fire' or 'Bright Fire', hence bonfires were lit to encourage the Sun to nurture the forthcoming harvest and to honour Bel ask for his protection of the local community. Bel seemingly required human effort before providing support so traditionally all community fires were extinguished and two Tein-eigen (translates as need-fire) bonfires were specially kindled for Beltane. Cattle were driven between the fires to purify them with the smoke and bring fertility. People jumped over the fire (not the huge ones I presume) to cleanse, purify and enhance fertility.  Couples pledged themselves to each other by jumping the fires together and to bless their union. After the celebrations, which ran from sunset 30th April to sunset on 1st May, the villagers took a bit of the Teineigen to start fresh fires in their home hearth.

    Dew gathered at dawn from the grass is traditionally used in potions for luck and it is thought to be lucky to roll naked in the dew!!!  I remember collecting the dew at dawn for luck as an adolescent but I didn't try the rolling naked in the dew so can't testify to whether that works for anything other than risking (indecent) exposure.

    On Beltane itself, it's traditional to drink from a well before sunrise, then wash in the morning dew, 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 together with blackberry, elderberry, dandelion wine (or cider) being drunk. Visits are made to sacred springs where healing water is drunk.  The image above shows a Beltane Fire on Calton Hill in Edinburgh and is taken from the Wikipedia page on Beltane.

    Thanks also to Glastonbury-based Goddessandgreenman.co.ukwebsite who also credit Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred as their information source.  There are always amazing annual Beltane and May Day celebrations in Glastonbury.

    For a list of Joanna's forthcoming Harmony Healing events - not involving any rolling in the dew celebrations - see this recent Harmony Healing Event Update