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TraditionalFestivals

  • 240px Washing of the Lions April Fools PosterMonday 1st April is April Fool’s Day.  In France, prior to the year 1582, the New Year was celebrated for eight days, starting with the 25th of March, with the festivities culminating on April 1st.

    With the reform of the Christian calendar under King Charles IX, through the influence of Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Years Day was moved to the first of January. However, due to lack of communications in those days, many people did not receive the news for several years. Furthermore, some obstinate individuals refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st.

    These people were classified as “fools” by the general public and were often subject to some ridicule and were invited to bogus parties; hence, the tradition of April Fool’s Day.

    Apparently, a popular prank throughout the 18th/19th Centuries, involved inviting folks to watch the fictional ceremony of washing the lions, said to take place annually on 1st April.  Initially the ceremony was purported to take place in the moat area, but later versions involved sending prank victims to the non-existent white gate!  The image above shows an admission ticket (from the British Museum) for a hoax 'Washing of the Lions' event supposedly taking place at the Tower of London on Wednesday 1st April, 1857. This image is in the public domain because it predates the Copyright Act of 1956.

    As well as being April Fool’s Day, 1st April was also the joint celebration of Veneralia & Fortuna Virilis in Ancient Rome. Both festivals appear vaguely connected with Venus, whose advice was sought on matters of love and who was honoured on this day.

  • Significant dates from ancient folklore; timings given are UK time (GMT+1)

    Wednesday 1st Mayis May Day andBeltane - a Celtic word meaning 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. 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 in the coming summer or autumn.

    Wednesday 1st Maywas the annual Roman Festival ofBona Dea.  In Roman mythology, Bona Dea (literally "the good goddess") was the goddess of fertility, healing, virginity, and women. She was the daughter of the 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!

    Saturday 4th May is Beltane Dark Moon @ 23.47This New Moon Abundance ritual should be carried out within 24 hours after the New Moon.

    Saturday 4th May, in 2019, is also the festival of theVeneration of the Thorn at which the Hawthorn is honoured. This is a festival of modern origin that may have been adapted from the Night ofLunantisidhe on Thursday 16th May, honouring the fairy spirits of Hawthorns (whitethorns as opposed to the blackthorns venerated at Samhain). Holy bushes and trees marking sacred places and wells are acknowledged and new scraps of cloth are tied to their branches. 

    eta aquarid showerSunday 5th and Monday 6th May is the the ETA Aquarid Meteor ShowerPredominantly, this is a pre-dawn shower, that is one where the meteors may occur in the dark hour before dawn. Image of the radiant point is taken from the EarthSky Website.

    The new Moon close to midnight on 4th May guarantees a darker sky.

    The best display will rain down on the mornings of the 5th (especially favourable because of the New Moon) and 6th May - just before dawn - but it's worth looking out for them on the morning of the 7th as well.

    Sunday 5th May, Ramadan Begins at midnight. Ramadan is the Islamic remembrance of the reception of the divine revelation by Muhammad as recorded in the Qur'an. Complete fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset for 30 days, until Tuesday 4th June.

    Thursday 9th Mayis the Roman Festival ofLemuria.  This involves a ritual by the Master (or Mistress) of the House with nine black beans(!) to honour theLemures – spirits of those who died unnatural or violent deaths.  I wondered if it was connected also to the ancient land of Lemuria and a possible belief by the Romans that the land may have been destroyed violently (legend says that, like Atlantis, a disaster such as volcanic eruption or flood caused its destruction).

    Tuesday 14th May is the Egyptian Celebration known as the Panegyric of Isis, when Aset (isis) found Asar (Osiris) and duly celebrated. Offerings of wine, bread and milk are made and traditionally Auset is praised for her gifts.  It is a happy time for celebrating quests in life. 

    Wednesday 15th Mayis the Ancient Roman Ceremony ofArgei.At this festival, 27human-shaped bundles of rushes, known as Argei are carried in an anti-clockwise procession through the city; possibly in a ritual undertaken as a substitute for human sacrifice.  Finall, the Vestal Virgins throw theArgei into the River Tiber from the Bridge of Sublicius.

    Thursday 16th May, honouring the fairy spirits of hawthorns. Holy bushes and trees marking sacred places and wells are acknowledged and new scraps of cloth are tied to their branches.

    Saturday 18th May @ 22.11 is Full Moon (Blue Moon - third Full Moon in a season with four Full Moons).  Between Full Moon and the next New Moon is considered as a good time energetically for detoxing the body. Click here for Angela McGerr's Full Moon Meditation with Gabriel.  

    Friday 24th Mayis the Romani and ChristianFestival of the Three Marys at Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mar, on the south coast of France.  Here landed Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacob (the sister ofOur Lady) and Mary Salome (mother of James and John). A local Chieftain, Sara the Kali, had a vision of their arrival and by spreading her cloak over the rough sea ensured their safe arrival.

    Monday 27th May is the Spring Bank Holiday Monday in the UK this year.

    Wednesday 29th May is the English Folk Festival ofOak Apple Day; held in honour of oak trees after Charles II escaped from Cromwell’s army by hiding in an oak tree. Oak leaves are worn until midday.  

    Acknowledgments

    Moonwise calendar 2019

    Celestial Forecast is compiled by Joanna Bristow-Watkins of Harmony Healing, using many sources but notably the Moonwise Calendar. Whilst considerable effort is made to ensure accuracy, this is not an exact science and sources are sometimes contradictory!

    Joanna is a Reyad Sekh Em® Egyptian Alchemy Healer and Teaching Mentor. She escorts occasional Private Access tours to Stonehenge (and to Avebury on the same day) plus occasional Harmony Journey Sacred Site Tours to Egypt, Ireland and UK from time-to-time.  She also runs various Meet-up groups in London and Surrey and the London & Surrey Alchemists Facebook Group.

    To receive email notification whenever a new Blog is posted (this will be titled with the theme so you can choose whether to open it or not), place your full name and email in the box at the top of the page.

  • Isis (Auset) ImageWednesday 20th June is the Egyptian Festival of the Burning of the Lamps which was held at Sais.

    This is the third great festival in Sais to Aset (Isis). In an under-chapel beneath the temple, lamps were carried in procession around the coffin of Asar (Osiris).

    It was by the power of light, symbolising the life-giving power of the Moon, that Aset rekindled life in her dead husband.

    Wonderful and informatve laminated poster of Aset (Isis), shown below, by Jacqui Taliesin El Masri available from us.  See our Egyptian Deity Poster page under Harmony Shop

     
  • Thursday 24th May is the Romani and Christian Festival of the Three Marys at Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mar, on the south coast of France.  Here landed Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacob (the sister of Mother Mary known in the Catholic faith as Our Lady) and Mary Salome (mother of James and John). A local Chieftain, Sara the Kali, had a vision of their arrival and by spreading her cloak over the rough sea ensured their safe arrival.

    map of the camargueSaine-Maries-de-la-Mar (Saint Marys of the Sea) is the capital of the Camargue (Provençal Occitan  Camarga) in the south of France. Interestingly, it is noted on the Wikipedia page, from where this map was taken [courtesy of ChrisO (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons], that the village was noted as "Ra" in the 4th century AD by the Roman geographer Rufus Festus Avienus. Ra being the Ancient Egyptian Deity also known as the Sun God, this could reinforce the idea that Mary Magdalene was actually of Egyptian origin (possibly from the southern area of Nubia, where the native people are very dark skinned) and could also have been the revered Black Madonna.

  • Friday 24th May is the Romani and Christian Festival of the Three Marys at Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mar, on the south coast of France.  Here landed Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacob (the sister of Mother Mary known in the Catholic faith as Our Lady) and Mary Salome (mother of James and John). A local Chieftain, Sara the Kali, had a vision of their arrival and by spreading her cloak over the rough sea ensured their safe arrival.

    map of the camargueSaine-Maries-de-la-Mar (Saint Marys of the Sea) is the capital of the Camargue (Provençal Occitan Camarga) in the south of France. Interestingly, it is noted on the Wikipedia page,from where this map was taken [courtesy of ChrisO (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons], that the village was noted as "Ra" in the 4th century AD by the Roman geographer Rufus Festus Avienus. 

    Ra being the Ancient Egyptian Deity also known as the Sun God, this could reinforce the idea that Mary Magdalene was actually of Egyptian origin (possibly from the southern area of Nubia, where the native people are very dark skinned) and could also have been the revered Black Madonna.

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

  • 256px 6 images Makar Sankranti collageMonday 14th January is the Hindu Celebration of Makara Samkranti, which is the Winter Festival of the reborn sun.  It is traditional to wear yellow clothes and eat yellow food. Bathing in sacred waters, lighting bonfires, kite flying, dancing and offering prayers are also traditional activities over this festival, with rural children going from house to house, singing and asking for treats.

    Most ancient Hindu festivals are observed according to lunar cycles, whereas Makar Sankranti is one of the few set by the solar cycle.This means it falls annually on the same Gregorian calendar date (14th January), except on occasional years when the date shifts by a single day, because of the complexity of earth-sun relative movement.

    Collage of 6 Makara Samkranti images is by Ms Sarah Welch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • 256px 6 images Makar Sankranti collageSunday 14th January is the Hindu Celebration of Makara Samkranti, which is the Winter Festival of the reborn sun.  It is traditional to wear yellow clothes and eat yellow food. Bathing in sacred waters, lighting bonfires, kite flying, dancing and offering prayers are also traditional activities over this festival, with rural children going from house to house, singing and asking for treats.

    Most ancient Hindu festivals are observed according to lunar cycles, whereas Makar Sankranti is one of the few set by the solar cycle.This means it falls annually on the same Gregorian calendar date (14th January), except on occasional years when the date shifts by a single day, because of the complexity of earth-sun relative movement.

    Collage of 6 Makara Samkranti images is by Ms Sarah Welch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Rainbow bracelet from Eclectic Shop UK HoveMonday 1st July, in Fasli tradition, is the Zoroastrian Rain Festival of Tir Jashan, dedicated to the star deities of Tir and Teshar.  Give bracelets made of the seven colours of the rainbow (usually silks).  At the end of the festival go to a high place and throw them into the wind.  It's also traditional to dance, make merry and splash each other with water.  This festival is devoted to the divinity Tir and is associated with the dog-star Sirius and the coming of the rains in Iran and the fertility they bring.

    As the Festival is actually on the 13th of Tir, some Zorastrian traditions convert this to 4th July.

    Interestingly, yesterday, here in the UK, it was the end of Pride month which is traditionally celebrated with any rainbow adornments. The rainbow bracelet shown here (actually it's nylon not silk, but you get the idea) is shown with permission from Eclectic Shop UK in Hove, who sell them for £1.95 each.

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

  • Isis (Auset) ImageMonday 24th June is the Egyptian Festival of the Burning of the Lamps which was held at Sais.

    This is the third great festival in Sais to Aset (Isis). In an under-chapel beneath the temple, lamps were carried in procession around the coffin of Asar (Osiris).

    It was by the power of light, symbolising the life-giving power of the Moon, that Aset rekindled life in her dead husband. The exact date is actually the 13th day of the Ancient Egyptian month of Epeiph, so confusion arises when trying to convert this to our Gregorian calendar and some sources give variations especially 21st June.

    Wonderful and informative laminated poster of Aset (Isis) shown here, is by Jacqui Taliesin El Masry (Alkhemi.co.uk) available from us.  See our Egyptian Deity Poster page under Harmony Shop

    Joanna Bristow-Watkins (Harmony Healing) is a Reyad Sekh Em® Egyptian Alchemy Healer and Teaching Mentor. Developed by Joanna, 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. Joanna gives courses, workshops, talks and demonstrations internationally but mainly around South East England, UK. She escorts occasional Private Access tours to Stonehenge (and often to Avebury on the same day) plus occasional Harmony Journey Sacred Site Tours to Egypt, Ireland and UK. For a list of Joanna's forthcoming Harmony Healing events, see this recent Harmony Healing Event Update.

    To receive email notification whenever a new Blog is posted  (always headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters at the top of the page.  Joanna's Blog features New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance. Sometimes Blogs will appear on successive days and at other times there will be no messages for a while. The sender e-mail address is (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.

  • Floralia Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 090 1 Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Public domain via Wikimedia CommonsSunday 28th April was the Roman fertility festival of flowers and crops called Floralia, that later developed into a celebration of sexuality, and may have influenced the subsequent celebrations for Beltane and May Day. Or it could have been the other way around...

    According to Pliny (circa 240 BCE), celebrations were to solicit protection from the Goddess Flora,associated with flowers, blossoming plants and fertility.

    The festival lasted for six days and incorporated Ludi Florae, the "Games of Flora". The revelry was much enjoyed by Plebeian members of Roman society and seems to have involved actresses performing naked as well as other racy behaviour. Brightly coloured clothes were worn (if any!), races and shows were performed.

    Image (above right) from Wikipedia shows the Triumph of Flora by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo [painted ca. 1743, Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  It's a scene based on Ovid's description of the Floralia.

    Thanks also to resource page on Floralia at penelope.uchicago.edu.

    ***

    For a list of Joanna's forthcoming Harmony Healing events - not involving any naked floralia celebrations - see this recent Harmony Healing Event Update.

  • Wednesday 29th May is the English Folk Festival of Oak Apple Day; held in honour of oak trees after Charles II escaped from Cromwell’s army by hiding in an oak tree. Oak leaves are worn until midday.

    In May 1660, Oak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day was a declared as a formal public holiday, to be celebrated in England on 29th May to commemorate the restoration of the English Monarchy.

    Although it was formally abolished in 1869, the day is still celebrated Oak applein some parts of the country and is alternatively known as Shick Shack Day. Oak and Nettle Day, Yak Bob Day or Arbour tree Day.  

    The image to the left, taken from the Wikipedia page [By Photographer: Simon Garbutt, via Wikimedia Commons], shows the Garland King and his consort at Castleton, Derbyshire.

    The right hand image, also from Wikipedia [by Bob Embleton (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons] shows an Oak Apple from Worcester.

  • Sunday 1st July is the Zoroastrian Rain Festival of Tir Jashan, dedicated to the star deities of Tir and Teshar

    Give bracelets made of the seven colours of the rainbow. 

    At the end of the festival go to a high place and throw them into the wind. 

Celestial Forecasts

Forthcoming Events and Workshops

Meet-ups (click on date for details),
Event Stands, talks & workshops:-

Surrey Networking, £10 (advance)
Surrey Therapists 2-hour Meetups
Wed 4th September, 7.30-9.30

LONDON Networking, £15 (advance)
London Therapists 2 hour Meetups
Wed 11th Sep, 7-9pm, Weekday Angels

Joanna's Courses & Workshops: -

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) - £200
Level 1 - Introduction

Thurs 22nd & Fri 24th August

Violet Flame of Amenti - £88 (£44 for RSE Graduates) 
Held in Heathfield, Sussex
Level 1 including attunement

Tuesday 3rd September

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) - £200
Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 - Intro

Wed 4th & Tues 10th September

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) - £450
1 & 2 Practitioner Intensive

Wed 4th - Friday 6th September

Ankerwycke Yew Visit
Meditate at 2500+ year old tree
Sunday 8th September
Runnymede, Surrey

London Event (Southwark):
Awaken the Goddess (ATG) Festival
Saturday 12th October 10.00am - 6pm
Violet Flame of Amenti
Workshop, 11.00 am - 12.30 pm

All day entry: £20 advance; £25 door

 

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