Joanna Bristow Watkins

GaelicFolklore

  • Friday 19th May @ 16:35 UK time is New Moon & Black Moon by old definition

    .Pagan Dark Moon 13th 2Friday 19th May @ 16:53 is a Black Moon = third New Moon in a season with four New Moons.

    Several definitions exist for a Black Moon;it's not an astronomicalterm but has been popularised by astrologers and Wiccan proponents via social media. It can be the third New Moon in an astronomical season with four New Moons or the second New Moon in the same calendar month. The former definition applies in this case.  More at timeanddate.com

    Traditionally a Blue Moon was when a 4th New Moon or Full Moon appeared in a season where there would normally be three, now it is taken to mean when there are two New Moons or Full Moons in the same calendar month. Because this doesn't happen very often (only if a moon phase happens very near the beginning or end of the month), the expression 'once in a Blue Moon' in the UK refers to something seldom happening.

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

    It needs to be after the New Moon because the moon should be waxing (getting bigger again) to carry the manifestation energy. 

    There are video instructions on my Facebook Page or You Tube Page.

    Any New Moon is a fabulous day for creating a personal or corporate Vision Board. 

    Gardening by the moon has been practised for eons. It's not about planting at night, it's about being in harmony with the natural growth patterns of plants.
     
    The moon progresses through four ‘phases’ or ‘quarters’ , each of which lasts about 7 days. Starting with the New Moon (today), the moon waxes (grows larger) and more visible.
     
    There is a daily increase in light until the Full Moon is visible. After Full Moon, the light wanes (reduces) gradually back until New Moon, completing the lunar cycle. In the same way that the moon influences the rise and fall of the tides, it has gravitational impact on the moisture in plants (sap), the soil and water table. These effects are aligned with the lunar cycle. 
     
    For sowing and harvesting, we need to be in harmony with the flow of moisture as it is drawn up the plant into the stem and leaves, fruit and seeds. Or down into the root zone with the gravitational pull of the moon for root vegetables. New Moon is not a good time to plant in your garden.

    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.

    By keeping traditions, Pagan communities retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their 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, £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 (started 16th May, it is still possible to catch up by video), 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 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).  

  • Thursday 16th May, Pagan Festival of Lunantisidhe

    LunantisidheThursday 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. 

    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, £20. The next one is Thursday 23rd May, book at the 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 Angelology.Missed sessions are fully recorded so that registrations are possible at any time. 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. 

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    The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, then there will be frequent mailings. 

    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 20th April @ 05:10 UK time is New Moon and a Hybrid Solar Eclipse

    Insta images inc moons 21

    Thursday 20th April @ 05:12 on Wednesday night/Thursday morning is New Moon and a very rare Hybrid Solar Eclipse. A hybrid solar eclipse is a one that transforms from annular to total and vice versa along its path, they only occur about once every decade. During this century, hybrid solar eclipses will account for only 7 out of 224 (3.1%) of all solar eclipses. The eclipse will reach its maximum at 05.17 BST (GMT/UT+1). Sadly, as best viewing is in the Southern Hemisphere, it won't be visible in the UK.

    Even if we can't see much (or anything at all from some parts of the globe) there will still be an effect energetically.  Eclipses can bring suppressed emotions up for examination, clearing and release. Events, which caused ill-feeling at the time, but which have been long forgotten can raise their heads for resolution.

    This hybrid solar eclipse, the first of 2023, is visible from the southern hemisphere, see Earthsky.com for details.

    During a partial solar eclipse, the Sun, Moon and Earth don't align in a straight line, and the Moon casts the outer part of its shadow (known as the penumbra), on Earth. From our perspective, it appears as if the Moon has taken a bite out of the Sun.

    The term eclipse magnitude, refers to the size of the eclipsed area. Occasionally, the Moon covers only a fraction of the Sun's disc. At other times a partial eclipse can look similar to a total eclipse. More about partial eclipses at timeanddate.com

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

    It needs to be after the New Moon because the moon should be waxing (getting bigger again) to carry the manifestation energy. 

    There are video instructions on my Facebook Page or You Tube Page.

    Any New Moon is a fabulous day for creating a personal or corporate Vision Board. 

    Gardening by the moon has been practised for eons. It's not about planting at night, it's about being in harmony with the natural growth patterns of plants.
     
    The moon progresses through four ‘phases’ or ‘quarters’ , each of which lasts about 7 days. Starting with the New Moon (today), the moon waxes (grows larger) and more visible.
     
    There is a daily increase in light until the Full Moon is visible. After Full Moon, the light wanes (reduces) gradually back until New Moon, completing the lunar cycle. In the same way that the moon influences the rise and fall of the tides, it has gravitational impact on the moisture in plants (sap), the soil and water table. These effects are aligned with the lunar cycle. 
     
    For sowing and harvesting, we need to be in harmony with the flow of moisture as it is drawn up the plant into the stem and leaves, fruit and seeds. Or down into the root zone with the gravitational pull of the moon for root vegetables. New Moon is not a good time to plant in your garden.

    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. 

    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, £20. The next one is Friday 5th May, 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 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).  

  • Tuesday 30th April is Beltane Eve in Pagan Tradition

    Beltane 30th AprilTuesday 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. 

    There are always amazing annual Beltane and May Day celebrations in Glastonbury and a 4-day Jack in The Green Festival in Hastings culminating on the May Day Bank Holiday (the first Monday after 1st May, this year = Monday 6th May).

    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.

    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, £20. The next one is Thursday 23rd May, 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 registrations are possible at any time. 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. 

    Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

    The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, then there will be frequent mailings. 

    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. 

  • Wednesday 1st May, May Day, Celtic/Pagan Beltane plus Roman Bona Dea

    May Day BeltaneWednesday 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.

    Beltane is one of the four nature-connected Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Lughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc.  

    1st May Jack in the Green Hastings 2022'Jack in the Green'was revived as an annual festival in Hastings in 1982 and this year it's Friday 3rd May to Monday 6th May. Image right was taken at the 2022 festival.

    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. See yesterday's Blog for more on the meaning and festivities of Beltane.

    Bona Dea 1st May1st 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!

    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, £20. The next one is Thursday 23rd May, book at the 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 Angelology.Missed sessions are fully recorded so that registrations are possible at any time. 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).