Joanna Bristow Watkins

Zoroastrian

  • Angels - not just for Christmas

    This Guest Blog by Joanna Bristow-Watkins first appeared at Wonderful World of Wellbeing online.

    Angel Gabriel by Richard Rockwood from Angela McGerrs Harmony Angel CardsThis morning, as the last lyrics of ‘Hark the Herald, Angels Sing’ faded away on my car radio, I was briefly transported back to 1998. I could hear my Reiki teacher recommending that I call in the Parking Angel should I need to a manifest a space in an overflowing car park. Frankly, at the time, I thought she‘d lost the plot; as surely angels were ‘just something for Christmas’.

    Describing myself as spiritual rather than religious, I can appreciate the supportive role institutional religions can play in the community but personally I’ve never felt aligned with the strict doctrines to which some faiths expect believers to comply. So, on reflection, I wonder whether that was my initial resistance to involving angels in my life.

    I’m embarrassed to admit, that at the time, I found the beaming, winged and chubby pre-Raphaelite image of Caucasian angels a little hard to take seriously other than as an adornment on the annual festive greeting cards.

    My sister Angela McGerr was on the same 1998 Reiki Mastery course. Her attitude was markedly different to mine. She told me later her first reaction was not to ‘call in’ anything that she couldn’t fully understand. So, she decided to investigate them. And that’s exactly what she did, almost obsessively for the next 18 months. In fact, she later admitted that she suspects she was hi-jacked by the angels themselves to create a way of making angels accessible in today’s fast-paced society.

    17 years later, in 2015, Angela’s 10th angel book was published, and with cumulative sales nearing one million copies, she was firmly established as a UK best seller in this niche market. She’s since retired from designing angel card sets and writing books but continues to be involved with all things angelic.

    So how did she win me round? Initially my ‘interest’ was purely sisterly support of her growing fascination and success, and I was still lukewarm (to say the least) on a personal level. But over time, I came to appreciate the accuracy of her angel readings and their loving support in my life. Now they are an important feature of my mentoring programme and practitioner teaching courses.

    The first step was to realise that angels have a much longer history of interaction with humanity than we might think, they certainly pre-date most of our contemporary organised religions.

    Angels in Contemporary Culture

    Many people are familiar with the angels in the Christmas story, especially Gabriel, central to the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian faith. However, Gabriel also appears as an archangel in the Jewish faith, first described in the Hebrew Bible.

    The traditional Shema prayer of the Jewish faith sites Gabriel as one of four archangels called on for protection through the night. A translation would be:

    Michael to my right side, Gabriel to my left, Uriel before me, and Raphael to my back.”

    Indeed, Muslims assert that the Quran was orally dictated by God to the final prophet, Muhammad, through the Angel Gabriel (known to them as Jibril). They believe this took place, in stages, over a period of some 23 years, commencing when Muhammad was 40, in month of Ramadan; and concluding in 632, the year of his death.

    The Nativity is where many people of the Christian faith, whether Protestant, Catholic or other (or no faith!) will first be introduced to angels. Gabriel is one of the most sought-after parts in any school Nativity!

    Returning to the aforementioned cherubic angel images, these are purely representations by the artists of the time so that they could tell a visual story, both in murals and fine examples such as the celebrated fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy.

    Where did that idea come from? And why are they so often blond and Caucasian in appearance?

    Leaving aside the politics of the time, and possible colonial influence, these depictions were an attempt of the current popular culture to represent beings that are much, much older.

    The concept of angels predates Christianity by more than four thousand years. Winged figures were depicted in the earliest recorded civilisation (Sumeria, circa 4000 BC) and Colonel Churchward reported the first glyph representations of angels as being even earlier, in Lemuria, though the existence of Lemuria is not universally accepted. It seem that the term angelology, stems from the Essenes, a healing sect living in the Dead Sea area contemporary with Jesus.

    It may be that our conventional interpretation comes from our brain’s need to recognise what it is seeing as a familiar sight – a bright light surrounding a ‘floating and wraithlike being’ may well be interpreted as a halo and wings. Perhaps this even started with Mary herself, in her attempt to explain what would have been an almost impossible experience to relate to others.

    Angel Raphael by Richard Rockwood from Angela McGerrs Harmony Angel CardsSo, what are angels?

    My personal interpretation of angels is as ethereal light beings, a construct shared by many others including my sister Angela, who chose to represent angels in her Harmony Angel Cards and other richly illustrated publications (sadly mostly now out of print, though I still have some signed unused and pre-loved editions available at the Harmony Shop) as images blending the colours and talismans associated with each angel in folklore with the suggestion of feathered wings, rather than humanoid depictions.

    That’s not to say that any other representations are of any less value – perhaps the angels themselves chose to represent themselves in a way that we humans could connect with, as one consensus that most people can agree on is that angels are benevolent and seek to help us.

    On the whole, they are androgenous beings, though some carry more masculine or feminine traits than others. Did you know, that despite our traditional view, Gabriel may well represent more of a feminine energy than a masculine? Gabriel is in fact the Angelic Guardian of the moon and Mondays (the weekdays governed by the moon). In mythology, whereas the sun is depicted as masculine, the moon is viewed as a feminine energy.

    Calling on Angels

    Perhaps this is a particularly good time of year to call on angels to assist you with finding peace, and with receiving and offering good will. Especially this year when everything is in turmoil and constant flux.

    However, you can in fact call on angels to assist you at any time of year, provided it’s for the highest good and you are respectful and appreciative of their loving intent, hence not asking them for anything which would harm others.


    To find out more about connecting with angels in your day-to-day life, you can join us for our New Year New Visionmentoring course (link to https://bit.ly/NewYearNewVision2021 ).

    new moon new vision 5New Year New Vision

    Since this programme is aligned to a full lunar cycle, naturally Gabriel will have a prominent role. We work though the 28 Mansions of the Moon and concentrate on the attributes of each lunar phase to help us overcome hurdles and embrace new opportunities. During the course, you will be enriched with a deeper sense of how to immerse with nature whilst aligning your soul with the lunar cycle and the Pagan Wheel.

    Assisted by angelic helpers, and building on tools including crystalline energy, vision boards and powerful healing techniques, you will feel reborn for the new year, with new focus, new energy and new divine intent. Starting on 13th January - A new moon and time for powerful new beginnings!

    Details at Joanna’s Harmony Healing website or direct from https://bit.ly/NewYearNewVision2021

    In the meantime, I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a happy, peaceful, and loving time, whatever your belief system and celebrations may be.

    Resources: http://angelamcgerr.com/about
    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/gabriel/

    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 hold monthly Full Moon virtual healing circles and New Year New Vision is a lunar connection programme starting on the first New Moon of 2021. 

    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 voucher for a Christmas, birthday or other celebratory occasion?

    Our next virtual healing circle on Tuesday 29th December 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.

    New Year New Vision is a mentoring programme through the first full lunar cycle of 2021. This includes distant attunements to the Moon (New Moons on 13th January and 11th February plus Full Moon on Thursday 28th January), plus a ritual with the elements on the Imbolc ceremony (1st February) and ending on the Chinese New Year of the Ox (11th February). Costing £111, it will be available to just 11 participants, more at the Harmony Website.

    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. 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.

  • Monday 10th January, Plough Monday in British Tradition

    Plough Monday the Monday after EpiphanyMonday 10th 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.

    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. 

    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

    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. 

  • Monday 1st July, Zoroastrian Rain Festival of Tir Jashan

    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.

  • Saturday 25th/Sunday 26th December, Christmas Day & Boxing Day in the Christian calendar

    25 Dec Xmas daySaturday 25th December is the Christian Festival of Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Happy Festive season to all the Harmony Healing subscribers, see my Jacqui Lawson animated greetings card.

    This is also Zartosht-no Diso in the Fasli Zoroastrian Calendar, commemorating the anniversary of the death of the prophet Zarathustra. 

    26 Dec Boxing DaySunday 26th December is St Stephen’s Day in the Christian Calendar. This day is also known as Boxing Day because servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers.

    Celebrating traditional festivals like Christmas, enables Christian communities to come together and bring balance and harmony into their 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. 

  • Thursday 1st July, Zoroastrian Rain Festival of Tir Jashan and Canada Day

    1 July Tir JishanThursday 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 (hoping they are biodegradable).  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. 

    1st July Canada dayThursday 1st July is also Canada Day; the national day of Canada.

    This is a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of Canadian confederation, which took place with the passing of the Constitution Act on 1st July 1867, where the new name Canada recognised the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick being united into a single Dominion within the British Empire. 

    By keeping traditions and celebrating national festivals, communities retain 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. 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. 

    A number of virtual courses are now ready and a selection are starting again this month, 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 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.

  • Thursday 26th December, Boxing Day & Solstice New Moon at 05.15 (Wednesday night, Thursday morning)

    Moon Scarletts shotThursday 26th December @ 05.15 (Wednesday night, Thursday morning) is the Solstice New Moon and annular solar eclipse. An annular eclipse of the sun is where the edges of the sun still remains visible as a bright ring around the moon. A solar eclipse happens whenever the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, hence partly or totally obscuring the Sun for anyone viewing from Earth. This eclipse will not be visible in London but will affect all of us energetically.  More about this eclipse at timeanddate.com.

    The New Moon Abundance Ritual should be carried out within 24 hours after the New Moon. It needs to be after the New Moon because the moon should be waxing (getting bigger again) to carry the manifestation energy. There are video instructions on my You Tube Page.

    The New Moon is great time to create Vision Boards, how about creating one for 2020.  And since 2020 is perfect vision what an auspicious omen for the forthcoming year.

    Thursday 26th December is St Stephen’s Day in the Christian Calendar, also known as Boxing Day. It's the day following Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

    For Joanna's newly published forthcoming event list, including Walton-on-Thames Healing Shares, mini-workshops and Forest Bathing+ Case Studies, see this January 2020 Harmony Healing Event Update. 

    To receive regular Blog updates (always 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 add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Zoroastrian Rain Festival of Tir Jashan, 1st July 2018

    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.