Joanna Bristow Watkins


  • Monday 8th January, Plough Monday in British Tradition

    Plough Monday the Monday after EpiphanyMonday 8th 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.

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

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

    Other services

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

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

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