Joanna Bristow Watkins

WiccanFestivals

  • Imbolc 2018

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelThursday 1st February & Friday 2nd February is the Pagan Imbolc Ceremony, which is one of the four Great Celtic Festivals (between the Soltices and equinoxes), and which is a Wiccan, Gaelic and Druid Festival of Fertility and Growing Light. Imbolc (pronounced EE-molk) is the old Celtic word, the celebration is also known as Candlemas.

    It is sacred to the Goddess Brigit or Bridie, the power of the new moon, the Spring of the year, the flowing sea, corn dollies and the Great Moon Mother - Patroness of Poetry Making and Healing. Brigid is a triple Goddess, so she can be honoured in all her aspects, she is associated with fire, fertility, midwifery and the young. 

    The Imbolc Festival marks the passing of Winter and the first signs of Spring, with the emergence of new leaves and early flowers such as the snowdrop and crocus, as well as being the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of the Crone to the Maiden. 

    Imbolc is a Fire Festival and it is traditional, at sunset, to briefly light every light in the house. Or light candles in each toom to celebrate the return of the sun. If it's been snowing, take time to enjoy walking in the snow, draw an image of the sun into the snow and relect on the sun's warmth.

    Traditional foods for Imbolc include anything dairy, including sour cream, as the Festival celebrated the calving season. Spicy and rich foods, such as curry or anything made with peppers, leeks, onion, chives and/or garlic are appropriate to celebrate the sun, together with mulled wine and anything containing raisins which also represent the sun.

    It's also a good time to clear clutter and look at what you want to achieve this year and ask Brigit's help in making it happen.

  • Imbolc 2019

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelFriday 1st February & Saturday 2nd February is the Pagan Imbolc Ceremony, which is one of the four Great Celtic Festivals (between the Soltices and equinoxes), and which is a Wiccan, Gaelic and Druid Festival of Fertility and Growing Light. Imbolc (pronounced EE-molk) is the old Celtic word, the celebration is also known as Candlemas.

    It is sacred to the Goddess Brigit or Bridie, the power of the new moon, the Spring of the year, the flowing sea, corn dollies and the Great Moon Mother - Patroness of Poetry Making and Healing. Brigid is a triple Goddess, so she can be honoured in all her aspects, she is associated with fire, fertility, midwifery and the young. 

    The Imbolc Festival marks the passing of Winter and the first signs of Spring, with the emergence of new leaves and early flowers such as the snowdrop and crocus, as well as being the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of the Crone to the Maiden. 

    Traditional foods for Imbolc include anything dairy, including sour cream, as the Festival celebrated the calving season. Spicy and rich foods, such as curry or anything made with peppers, leeks, onion, chives and/or garlic are appropriate to celebrate the sun, together with mulled wine and anything containing raisins which also represent the sun.

    Imbolc altar 2019Imbolc is a Fire Festival and it is traditional, at sunset, to briefly light every light in the house. Or light candles in each toom to celebrate the return of the sun. If it's been snowing, take time to enjoy walking in the snow, draw an image of the sun into the snow and relect on the sun's warmth.

    It's also a good time to clear clutter and look at what you want to achieve this year and ask Brigit's help in making it happen.

    This morning, 9.30 - 11.30, four of us undertook a fire (invoking the Essene Angel Uriel) and water (invoking the Essene Angel Phuel) ceremony to bless some water from the Thames - and some local rain water. We had collected together a selection of crystals representing the elements fire and water, and made a little altar area using a coloured scarf. so We also performed a Druid Ceremony with the White Lady (another name for Bride/Brigid/Bridie) to bless the water. And at 4pm, I returned my river water to the Thames.

  • Monday 1st & Tuesday 2nd February, Celtic & Pagan Festival of Imbolc

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheel

    Monday 1st & Tuesday 2nd February is the Pagan Imbolc Ceremony, which is one of the four Great Celtic Festivals (between the Solstices and the Equinoxes), and which is a Wiccan, Gaelic and Druid Festival of Fertility anfd Growing Light. Imbolc (pronouned EE-molk) is an old Celtic Word and the celebration can also be known as Candlemas. The Pagan Wheel image was purchased from Shutterstock.

    Imbolc is sacred to the Goddess Brigid, Brigit or Bridie, the power of the new moon, the Spring of the year, the flowing sea, corn dollies and the Great Moon Mother - Patroness of Poetry Making and Healing. Brigid is a triple Goddess, so she can be honoured in all her aspects, she is associated with fire, fertility, midwifery and the young. 

    Imbolc Image by Antonia SkeltonThe Imbolc Festival marks the passing of Winter and the first signs of Spring, with the emergence of new leaves and early flowers such as the snowdrop and crocus, as well as being the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of the Crone to the Maiden. 

    Imbolc is a Fire Festival and it is traditional, at sunset, to briefly light every light in the house. Or light candles in each toom to celebrate the return of the sun. If it's been snowing, take time to enjoy walking in the snow, draw an image of the sun into the snow and reflect on the sun's warmth.

    Traditional foods for Imbolc include anything dairy, including sour cream, as the Festival celebrated the calving season. Spicy and rich foods, such as curry or anything made with peppers, leeks, onion, chives and/or garlic are appropriate to celebrate the sun, together with mulled wine and anything containing raisins which also represent the sun.

    So fire and purification were an important part of the Imbolc festival with candles being lit to signify the increasing power of the Sun and the return of warmth over the forthcoming months and Holy wells were visited at Imbolc, and at the other Celtic festivals of Beltane and Lughnasa. All this focus on nurturing warmth and purification plus water to release emotions brings harmony and wellbeing into your life.

    t's also a good time to clear clutter and look at what you want to achieve this year and ask Brigid's help in making it happen.

    Here's a little water blessing you can do with Brigid, given to me by the wonderful esoteric author Christopher Street in 2012. I highly recommend his book London Leylines; Pathways of Enlightenment

    Ideally in a glass container (I use a clean jam jar), collect some water from your local river or pond, if safe to do so, or else rain water or even tap water. Hold it in your hands and radiate love from your heart, via your hands, into the water and say the following Imbolc poem to Brigid: -

    A budding blossom, fair I grow

    The light of youth is on my brow

    Purity of crystal spring,

    and gift of morning flower I bring

    From death and darkness, frost and cold

    a tale of birth and life unfolds

    Healing gifts spring from her bag

    She who was the Winter Hag

    Fruit of the Earth, from Goddess fair

    No man-made gift could be compared

    to that which flows from nature’s love

    and the blessings of the dove

    Then, if you feel inspired, you can utter this apology on behalf of mankind, similar to one that was used at an international water healing ceremony I attended on 3rd August 2008:

    Water, We Are Sorry.

    Water, We Love You.

    Water, We Thank You.

    Water, We Respect You.

    Send the intention that the water in the glass is completely filled with the vibrations of Apology, Love, Gratitude and Respect. As you hold both of your hands against the glass, and visualise that the vibrations of your sincere apology emitting from your heart will be projected into the water and imagine that each water molecule in the glass is healed and sparkling with life like millions of little suns.

    Then, when you feel it's appropriate, put the water back where it came from.  If it was rain or tap water you can pour it into the earth so that the blessed water filters down into the water table beneath the surface or you can return your blessed water to a local waterway or pond/lake.

    Celebration of local customs, such as those at Imbolc, with other members of the Pagan Community was found to be therapeutic; bringing harmony and wellbeing into their lives.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle on Friday 26th February is at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT), and costs £10 (+ £1 Paypal fee). 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.

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    A number of virtual courses are now ready, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    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.

  • Sunday 16th May, Pagan Festival of Lunantisidhe

    LunantisidheSunday 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.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. The next RSE 1 module series started 14th May with Violet Flame of Amenti (late applicants accepted) and 17th May with Chakra Balancing, Axiatonal Alignment and Unity Consciousness.

    If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities following lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle later this month on Wednesday 26th May at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT+1), and costs £20 (+ £2 Paypal fee). 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.

    Other services

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    A number of virtual courses are now ready, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. It's best to first check whether it would be welcomed, before gifting a healing or reading to other individual.

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    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.

     

  • Sunday 1st August, Egyptian New Year & Celtic Lunasa or Lammas

    1st August Khemitian New YearSunday 1st August marks the Ancient Egyptian New year, traditionally marked the start of the Nile flood, started by the tears of Aset (Isis) over the death of Asar (Osirus). The exact correlation of the Egyptian New year to the modern calendar is disputed, but I favour the linking with the heliacal rising of Sirius (dawn visibility of Sirius) as this star, known to the Egyptians as Sopdet (pronounced Soppday) was closely associated with Aset. 

    The indigenous name for Ancient Egypt was Khem. Khemitology is the study of Ancient Egypt according to the indigenous tribal elders & oral tradition wisdom keepers; which is quite different to traditional Egyptology though there is some overlap.  See Events & Courses for more about studying Khemitology as a stand alone online module or as part of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy healing

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelIn the Northern Hemisphere, this is also the Pagan Celebration of Lunasa (also known as Lammas), this is the start of the harvest, season of pregnancy, ripening, transformation and peace. This marks the height of the northern summer, when the Earth is most alive. Spellings vary for this Celtic/Gaelic Festival, which can be called Lughnasadh or Lúnasa (this latter 'Irish' spelling ironically appears closest to what most English-speakers would regard as the phonetic pronunciation — luu-na-sa), see atriptoireland.com for more on this. It is certainly the great festival of Lugh, or Lug, the great Celtic Sun King [Egyptian origins spring to mind here] and God of Light, with August is Lugh's sacred month.  As someone interested in etymology (the study of words) I am thinking that surely the word 'light' (especially with the peculiar silent 'gh' which came to be identified with a host of other rhyming words in English such as sight and fright) comes from 'lugh'?

    According to Celticdruidtemple.com, Lughnasa translates as "the games of Lugh" (pronounced as Lou or sometimes Luff) and alludes to the assembly for games coinciding with the first of three harvests. The month of August is apparently called Lughnasadh in Gaelic and it marks the last day of summer. This was a specifically Gaelic holiday and many of the other Celtic cultures also celebrate an autumn festival known by a range of names.  As Beltaine on 1st May marks the start of summer - Lughnasa marks the end of summer. Lughnasa is historically linked with Lugh, a leading Celtic deity and hero. These games with a bull sacrifice and major feast [with interesting echoes of the Egyptian Bull cult where Ausar (Osirus) was portrayed as a bull-headed deity), which I believe led to the unfortunate Mediterranean Bull Fighting tradition], and for some it was the start of a trial marriage.

    In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, this festival for honouring Lugh is known as Lammas (see thoughtco.com). Allegedly, the word Lammas derives from an Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, translating as loaf mass. Lammas was an annual ritual, recogniing a community's dependency on what Thomas Hardy referred to as 'the ancient pulse of germ and birth.'"

    By keeping traditions, Pagan communities and those in Ancient Egypt retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives. 

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. If you are interested in Ancient Egypt, Joanna Bristow-Watkins (Harmony Healing) is a Reyad Sekh Em® Egyptian Alchemy Healer and Teaching Mentor. 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.Two RSE 1 modules start in July/August month with Khemitology (the study of Egyptology according to the local oral traditions) on Tuesdays 20th (recorded so late starters can be accommodated), 27th July and 3rd August and Essene Angelology on Tuesdays 10th & 17th August. The other two modules have recently completed but can be studied with the next series.

    Within Surrey and south London, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest bathing+ sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits (see Forest Bathing+ section of this site on the purple navigation bar above for more about this concept and dates of our events).

    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 on Monday 20th Septemberat 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT +1). 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. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    During these monthly 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. And, most importantly, it's a step towards making a difference to the global predicament.

    Other services

    If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    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.