Joanna Bristow Watkins

EnglishFolklore

  • Monday 10th January, Plough Monday in British Tradition

    Plough Monday the Monday after EpiphanyMonday 10th January is Plough Monday in England!  Traditionally Plough Monday (the Monday after Epiphany when The Zoroastrian Magi visited the infant Jesus) is the day for setting aside the remnants and excesses of Christmas and "putting one's hand to the plough"; in other words, starting work on a project of some sort.  

    A traditional delicacy from Norfolk, eaten on Plough Monday, is known as 'Plough Pudding', which is a boiled meat, onions and suet pudding.

    In some areas of the UK, particularly in Northern and East England, traditionally this was the day folk went back to work after the Christmas festivities. There were regional variations in the customs observed on Plough Monday, but commonly a plough would be hauled in a procession from house to house, collecting money. Musicians, such an old woman or a "Bessy" - a boy dressed as an old woman - with a man playing the role of the "fool" would accompany the plough.  

    Amongst the more bizarre UK traditions, across the Isles of Scilly (off the Cornish Coast), locals would visit their neighbours, cross-dressed, and make jokes about local events. There would be general revelry and dancing in disguise, which became colloquially known as Guise Dancing or Goose Dancing!

    Although Plough Monday customs declined over a hundred years ago, in some areas they are being revived, such as at Malden in Essex where Molly Dancingis carried out. This seems to have derived from the recent revival by the Cambridge Morris Men,associated with the Whittlesea Straw Festival (held near Peterborough in Camridgeshire) which is also held to honour Plough Monday.

    Aligning ourselves with community celebrations is very therapeutic and is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our 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 next interactive training course series will start soon. 

    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 Monday 17th 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

    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. 

  • Monday 14th February, Valentine's Day

    valentine heartMonday 14th February - is Valentine's Day and is all about love and compassion, which includes Universal Love for all other living things and also Self-love which is so often overlooked. 

    Some bitterly refer to it as Singles Awareness Day and blame card manufacturers and our materialistic society for love being ritualistically forced upon us every year at this time. However, although it may have the fee of a mordern folk tradition, the first Valentine's Day was celebrated in AD 496 and it's celebtated in a number of other countries as well as the UK.

    However, although the story of 'Saint' Valentine long precedes Hallmark et al, the origins are somewhat blurred as there are historical references to the existence of several different Valentines. Folklore indicates that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage as he believed that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. Valentine, however, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages in secret. Claudius found out and Valentine was imprisoned, where one version of the legend indicates he befriended a jailer with a blind daughter and he may have somehow managed to restore her sight, resulting in the jailer converting to Christianity. Claudius ordered that Valentine be executed on February 14th and allegedly before his death sentence was carried out, he sent a note to the jailer's daughter and signed it, "From Your Valentine." Hence Valentine's Day is celebrated in his memory. 

    However, his death day and his association with lovers and notes may have been convenient for Roman Christians looking for ways to blend existing Pagan/Roman celebrations into their Calendar. Many believe it replaced Lupercalia (15th February); a pre-existing Roman Festival where men dressed up as wolves and roamed the streets looking for partners. More on this tomorrow... 

    I would be delighted if you choose to share this blog with others who might enjoy it, you can use the social media share buttons at the top.

    Aligning ourselves with other members of the community through mutual celebration is very therapeutic and is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our 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 next interactive training course series starts with Khemitology on Thursday 17th February and Violet Flame of Amention Wednesday 23rd February, followed by Mindful Chakras starting 10th March and Essene Angelology starting 16th March.

    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 16th 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.

    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. 

  • Thursday 14th April, ideal day for a Zadkiel Abundance Ritual

    Thursday 14th April is an ideal day for a Zadkiel Abundance Ritual

    Jupiter is the planet ruling Thursdays and Zadkiel is the Angelic Guardian of Jupiter and Thursdays as well as abundance, success, wisdom and kindness. The period between the New Moon and Full Moon is when the Moon energy is supportive of abundance and manifestation, with the energy getting stronger as the Full moon approaches.

    Whilst this abundance practice can be carried out on any Thursday, the Thursday immediately before the Full moon is the most energetically supportive. With the Full Moon happening on Saturday 16th April (see below for details of our online Full Moon guided meditation), today is a great day for this Zadkiel ritual.

    Our Full Moon Global & Personal Healing Meditation is Saturday 16th April, 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1), and costs £20. 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 the Harmony Shop.

    RITUAL FOR ABUNDANCE WITH ZADKIEL

    Zadkiel Abundance RitualFirst consider your life, and what sort of abundance you are seeking. Bear in mind that you could wish for abundance of health, happiness, money, love, spiritual development - the list is infinite. Here is an example affirmation:

    "I am grounded and safe and with the help of the angels I open my heart both to receive and to radiate Love and Light to the Universe. Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit nourish and heal me, and in return I share this with Mother Earth and all sentient life. As Microcosm I strive to grow in spiritual consciousness and as Macrocosm I am part of All, for the spark of the Divine is within me. The Waters of Time flow through me and will bring me the abundance I need, sometimes in surprising ways. In accordance with the Universal Laws I shall return good for good as an expression of my eternal gratitude to the Creator. As Above So Below, As Below So Above."

    • Carry out the ritual during a waxing moon, near full moon if possible.
    • Make an altar cloth. This can be in any colour (or shape), such as white (for angels and purity), gold for healing and the sun, blue or turquoise for Zadkiel himself. Choose the colour and shape which appeals to you personally. Place suitable crystals in the centre; you could represent earth/air (smoky quartz/amethyst, water (aquamarine/malachite) and fire (amber) with crystals or just use clear quartz (an all purpose crystal)
    • Use a feather to represent the link with the angels, and spiritual Truth.
    • Now select a deep blue or turquoise candle (or white) for Zadkiel; etch into it the sign for the planet Jupiter (bringer of abundance, wisdom and joy) or doubled to represent Zadkiel (see below).
    • (optional) Anoint the candle with a drop of frankincense or myrhh to aid your quest.
    • Make an arc of your arm as you light the candle and call on the Angel Zadkiel to assist you to send your Affirmation in the name of the planet Jupiter, in Love and Light, Love and Light, Love and Light.
    • If you have one and wish to programme it, hold in your left hand a lapis lazuli or turquoise crystal (for Zadkiel) to bring wisdom to recognise opportunity when it presents itself.
    • Next read your personal Affirmation three times.
    • Ask the angels of the elements: Phuel, Lord of the Waters, Uriel, ruler of Fire, and Ariel, of earth and air to carry your Affirmation to the Universe
    • Ask Ruhiel, Guardian Angel of the Winds, to carry and speed your Affirmation on its way.
    • Let it go. Send it and then forget about it! Do not interfere with it!
    • If you can, leave your candle to burn out. If not pinch or snuff out, as you lose forty per cent of its energy by blowing it out.
    • Thank Zadkiel, and all the other angels you invoked, for their support and assistance.

    It should be noted that this Affirmation should work within a few weeks of its release, and things should start to change for the better from this point onwards. Remember to also give thanks to the angels and the Creator for any abundance that you subsequently receive, and to spread it around you to others who need it.

    Jupiter symbolZadkiel symbol png

    This ritual is taken, with permission, from A Harmony of Angels by Angela McGerr, published by Quadrille, 2001 (available together with her other publications from the Harmony Shop), later updated on Angela’s Blog on www.angelamcgerr.com and with additions from Joanna.

    Conducting rituals and remembering traditions is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our lives.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wide spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing and to connect with nature and the moon cycle. We hold monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations - the next one is tomorrow, Easter Saturday (16th April),  £20. 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.

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

    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) and is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our lives. For full immersion with moon energy join one of our New Moon New Vision, Lunar Cycle Alignment Programmes. These generally run between the New Moons in Jan/Feb, Apr/May and Oct/Nov.

    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).