Joanna Bristow Watkins

HogmanayCelebrations

  • Friday 31st December, New Year's Eve & Hogmanay

    31 Dec Happy New YearFriday 31st December is New Year's Eve and Hogmanay in Scottish tradition. Many Scots had to work over Christmas because celebrations were virtually banned in Scotland for around 400 years, from the end of the 17th century to the 1950s. The Protestant Reformation led to the Presbyterian outlook, branding Christmas as a Popish or Catholic feast which was therefore prohibited. As a result, their winter solstice celebrations took place at New Year when family and friends gathered for a party and exchanged presents, especially for the children, which came to be called Hogmanay. Historians believe that the Vikings who, coming from even further north than the UK, paid strong attention to the passing of the shortest day and hence may have initiated the post-Solstice celebrations.

    There is no definitive view on the origins of the word Hogmanay. Many Scottish words have derived from Flemish, so one popular view is that Hogmanay came from hoog min dag which means 'great love day', whereas the Scandinavian word Hoggo-nott described the 'feast preceding Yule' (itself a Scandinavian word commonly used in Shetland where the Scandinavian influence was strongest).

    Alternatively, Hogmanay could source from the Anglo-Saxon, Haleg monath, 'Holy Month', or the Gaelic for 'new morning', oge maidne. Phonetically, a good candidate night be the similar sounding French expression Homme est né which means 'Man is born'. Also, in France the last day of the year when gifts were exchanged was aguillaneuf, though specifically in Normandy presents given at the year-end were hoguignetes.

    In Scotland a similar practice to that in Normandy was noted, rather disapprovingly, by the Church.

    "It is ordinary among some Plebians in the South of Scotland, to go about from door to door upon New Year`s Eve, crying Hagmane." 
    Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, 1693.

    I'm not sure what will happen this year, but common Scottish practices on 31st December, before midnight, have involved a thorough cleaning of the house (including taking out the ashes from the coal fire) plus the superstition to clear all your debts. Immediately after midnight, the long-held tradition to sing Robert Burns's For Auld Lang Syne has now evolved into a popular international custom.

    31 Dec Hogmanay by Chris FlexenMany areas of Scotland have previously developed their own local Hogmanay rituals such as the fireball swinging rituals in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, in northeast Scotland. Chicken wire structures - filled with old newspaper, sticks, rags, and other dry flammable material  - are attached to lengths of wire, chain or non-flammable rope. When the Old Town House bell marks the New Year, the balls are set alight and the celebrants set off along a heritage route, swinging the burning balls around their heads as they go. At the end of the ceremony, any fireballs that are still burning are cast into the harbour.

    In the Scottish Capital of Edinburgh, in the past they have really gone to town with a world famous 4-5 day New Year Celebration starting on 28th December and lasting until 1st or 2nd January, both of which are bank holidays in Scotland to allow folks to fully recover!

    The Edinburgh festival is centred around the main shopping area in Princes Street where they traditionally held a lively street party. At the stroke of midnight, the cannon is usually fired at Edinburgh Castle, followed with a massive fireworks celebration. The image left shows Hogmanay fireworks over Edinburgh Castle by Chris Flexen.

    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 in 2022

    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.

    New Year New Vision is a mentoring programme through the first full lunar cycle of 2022. This includes distant attunements to the Moon (New Moons on 2nd January and 1st February plus Full Moon on Monday 17th January), and ending with an elemental ritual Imbolc ceremony on the Chinese New Year of the Water Tiger (1st February). Costing £155, find out more via our YouTube Video.

    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. 

  • Saturday 1st January, New Year's Day & Quadrantids Meteor Shower

    31 Dec Quadrantid MeteorsSaturday 1st Januaryis New Year’s Day and is a Bank Holiday in the UK since 1973 (phew, no-one would turn up for work on time if it wasn't, although now many are working from home perhaps they would dial in briefly) and time for New Year’s Resolutions!  According to Isiopolis, here in the Northern Hemisphere, Sirius (known to the Egyptians as Sopdet, the Star of Auset/Isis) reaches its highest point in the night sky at midnight on New Year's Eve, making it a perfect time to embark on our own personal rites of renewal and reorientation.

    QuadrantidsSaturday 1st – Wednesday 5th January (peaking on the 3rd, 4th January) is the Quadrantids Meteor Shower; visible from 1st – 5th January after midnight and peaking in the early hours of the 4th. Typically, 40 or so bright, blue and fast (25.5 miles per second) meteors will radiate from the constellation Boötes (near the Big Dipper in our sky) not far from Boötes’ brightest star Arcturus; some blazing more than halfway across the sky. The meteors will radiate from the northern sky, but appear in all parts of the sky. A small percentage of them leave persistent dust trains. This shower usually has a very sharp peak, usually lasting only about an hour. See earthsky.org for more details.

    The particles that cause the Quadrantid meteor show originate from the asteroid 2003 EH1 an asteroid that is probably a piece broken off from an obsolete comet. Since the orbit of 2003 EH1 is highly inclined to the orbit of the Earth, the Earth passes through it very quickly. Thus, the Quadrantid meteor shower is an extremely short one, lasting only a few hours. With the New Moon fallng on Sunday 2nd January, htere could be great viewing htis year.  

    Even if you can't see anything, there will be an impact energetically.

    Zikiel Image by Richard RockwoodYou can invoke the Angel Zikiel (Angel Guardian of Meteors and Asteroids) to help bring in new ideas. The image of Zikiel (left) is by Richard Rockwood from Angela McGerr's Heart & Soul Angel Cards.  

    Zikiel guides the comets and meteorites in their eternal passage through space, tracking man's galactic origins. Zikiel therefore offers you a visionary flash of inspiration from the Sky.

    You can invoke Zikiel by calling his name three times (pronunciation = Zick ee el) and adding 'I call upon you to be with me now, in love & light, in love & light, in love & light'. 

    If you have a clear quartz, you can programme it with Zikiel's name and keep it with you to help capture any inspirational thoughts channelled from the heavens tonight and also to help your heart to make the right choices.  

    This ritual is taken from Angela McGerr's An Angel For Every Day - now out of print and in short supply. However, we do still have some of Angela's out of print titles (generally also personally signed by her) available via Harmony Healing Shopwhich has collectable signed copies of the Heart & Soul Angel Cards for £66 plus postage and packing, as well as some pre-loved fully complete sets for £30 + postage and packing. An Angel For Every Day is currently available on our flash sale at £30 (paperback) or £50 (hardback) plus postage and packing. 

    Aligning ourselves with community celebrations is very therapeutic and is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our lives.  Start the year with some direction and support from a nurturing group of like-minded individuals. New Year New Vision is a mentoring programme through the first full lunar cycle of 2022. This includes distant attunements to the Moon (New Moons on 2nd January and 1st February plus Full Moon on Monday 17th January), and ending with an elemental ritual Imbolc ceremony on the Chinese New Year of the Water Tiger (1st February). Costing £155, 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 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

    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 in 2022

    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.