Joanna Bristow Watkins

WiccanWheel

  • Beltane and Bona Dea, 1st May 2018

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelTuesday 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 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. Beltane is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals; along witLughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc - as shown on the Pagan Wheel on the right, courtesy of Shutterstock (licence paid).

    Tuesday 1st May was 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 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 1st August, Egyptian New Year & Celtic Lunasa or Lammas

    Saturday 1st August (or 19th July according to other sources) 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. 

    I have two course Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 study modules started this week [it IS possible to catch up at this point in time, if you feel inspired) to co-incide with this Ancient Egyptian Festival also known as the Days out of TimeThis is Violet Flame of Amenti = 1 unit (£88) - next series, 3 x Tues mornings 10-12.15 (UK time = GMT +1), 28th July - 11th August & Khemitology Course = 1 unit (£88) - next series, 3 x Wed mornings 10-12.15 (UK time = GMT+1), 29th July - 12th August.

    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.  

    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 utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony. A number of virtual courses are starting again this week, including Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 (which is now fully available as interactive training modules) 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.

    If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, 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.

  • Saturday 1st May, Celtic Pagan Beltane plus Roman Bona Dea

    May Day BeltaneSaturday 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.

    These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately or in the coming summer or autumn. 

    Beltane is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Lughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc.  See yesterday's Blog for more on the meaning and festivities of Beltane.

    Bona Dea 1st MaySaturday 1st 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!

    The next RSE 1 module series starts 14th May with Violet Flame of Amenti 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. 

  • Wednesday 1st May, Beltane and Bona Dea

    shutterstock 114601966 Pagan wheelWednesday 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 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. Beltane is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals; along witLughnasadh, Samhain and Imbolc - as shown on the Pagan Wheel on the right, courtesy of Shutterstock (licence paid).

    Wednesday 1st 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.

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