Joanna Bristow Watkins Harmony Healing Director

Beltane Eve, Sunday 30th April 2017

Beltane Bonfire image

Sunday 30th April is the Eve of Beltane; Pagan celebrations begin with people singing and dancing clockwise around the fire.  The name 'Beltane' derives from the Celtic Deity 'Bel' (definition = 'the bright one') together with 'teine' – the Gaelic word for fire. The combined meaning is 'Goodly Fire' or 'Bright Fire', hence bonfires were lit to encourage the Sun to nurture the forthcoming harvest and to honour Bel ask for his protection of the local community. Bel seemingly required human effort before providing support so traditionally all community fires were extinguished and two Tein-eigen (translates as need-fire) bonfires were specially kindled for Beltane. Cattle were driven between the fires to purify them with the smoke and bring fertility. People jumped over the fire (not the huge ones I presume) to cleanse, purify and enhance fertility.  Couples pledged themselves to each other by jumping the fires together and to bless their union. After the celebrations, which ran from sunset 30th April to sunset on 1st May, the villagers took a bit of the Teineigen to start fresh fires in their home.

Dew gathered at dawn from the grass is traditionally used in potions for luck and it is thought to be lucky to roll naked in the dew!!!  On Beltane itself, it's traditional to drink from a well before sunrise, then wash in the morning dew, adorn yourself with greenery, watch the sun come up, dance round the Maypole and otherwise abandon yourself to the season! Round Full Moon Cakes are eaten together with blackberry, elderberry, dandelion wine (or cider) being drunk. Visits are made to sacred springs where healing water is drunk.  The image on the left shows a Beltane Fire on Calton Hill in Edinburgh and is taken from the Wikipedia page on Beltane.

Thanks also to Glastonbury-based website who also credit Sacred Celebrations by Glennie Kindred as their information source.  There are always amazing annual Beltane and May Day celebrations in Glastonbury.


Roman Festival of Floralia, 28th April 2017

Floralia Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 090 1 Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Public domain via Wikimedia CommonsFriday 28th April is the Roman fertility festival of flowers and crops called Floralia, that later developed into celebration of sexuality, and may have influenced the subsequent celebrations for Beltane and May Day

Bright coloured clothes are worn (if any!), races and shows are performed.

Image (left) 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.

Beltane New Moon, Wednesday 26th April 2017

New Moon image cropped toghtWednesday 26th April @ 13.16 is the Beltane Dark Moon. It's also another Supermoon, not that we'll be able to tell, because being a New Moon it will be scarely visible so we won't be able to determine that's it's larger and closer than usual.

The term Supermoon was first used by Astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. A Supermoon,  is the name for a Full or New moon which is closely coinciding with the perigee (the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit); but still 226,000 miles away. As a result, a Full Moon appears 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than when it is at its furthermost point. 

The New Moon Abundance Ritual  should be carried out within 24 hours.

St George's Day & Shakespeare's Birthday, 23rd April 2017

220px Flag of England.svgSunday 23rd April is St George’s Day in England, celebrating St George, England's patron saint. The anniversary of his death, which is on April 23rd, is seen as England's national day. According to legend, he was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess.  The flag of England is the red Cross of St. George, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity. Surprisingly, 23rd April is not a Bank Holiday.

William ShakepeareWilliam Shakespeare - long revered as Britain's, if not the world's, best known author and playwright, also died on 23rd April, but in 1616, in Stratford-upon-Avon, making this the 400th Anniversary. He was Baptised in Stratfiord on the 26th April 1564 and his birth date is not known but it is traditionally observed on 23rd April, Saint George's Day. 

This date, which can be traced back to an 18th-century scholar's mistake, has proved appealing to biographers, it being considered somewhat poetic that he died on his birthday. Shakespeare has 37 plays and 154 sonnets credited to him, but we don't really know whether he actually wrote them, or was just a merchant, broker, land owner and occasional actor who either brokered the plays or was prepared to be acknowledged as the author to protect anonymity of those truly responsible. Certainly writing plays could be dangerous as any plot seen to reflect a political plot not appreciated by the Queen/King could be interpreted as treason. Many scholars argue, quite reasonably, that proof of Shakespeare’s authorship is largely circumstantial and sketchy at best; certainly he was better known in Stratford as a businessman and not a playwright.  

Lyrid Meteors & Earth Day, 22nd - 23rd April 2017

Lyrids radiant pointSaturday 22nd (late) until dawn Sunday 23rd April - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids are an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at their peak. These meteors can produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds.

This year the shower peaks on April 22nd & 23rd, although some meteors can be visible from April 16th - 25th. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation of Lyra after midnight. The proximity to New Moon on the 26h April this year will help viewing.

Diagram (right) is from the Earthsky website, which is worth checking for more information. 

Earth Day logoSaturday 22nd April is also Earth Day, which is heralded as a pivotal opportunity for people, corporations and governments to join together to create a global green economy. It is hoped that coordinated efforts now will be recognized by future generations as a turning point. This is the 47th Anniversary of Earth Day, with the first Earth Day taking place in the USA on 22nd April 1970.  It's often credited with initiating the modern environmental movement since it galvanised 20 million people (from all walks of life) into action. The Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act plus multiple other innovative environmental laws followed soon after.  Earth Day went worldwide twenty years later, rallying 200 million people from 141 separate countries and thrusting environmental concerns into the global arena. See for further news and events in your area.

Easter Monday, 17th April 2017

Sunrise from Isis TempleMonday 17th April is Easter Monday, which is Bank holiday in the UK.  In Egypt, the ancient festival of Sham El Nassim (literally meaning "smelling of the breeze") dates back to Pharonic times (about 2700 BC) although it is celebrated on the Coptic Easter Monday. It's not seen as a religious festival as it's a National Holiday for both Egyptian Christians and Muslims. Traditional activities include painting eggs, picnicking, and eating feseekh (fermented mullet).

Image shows sunrise over the Nile from the Philae Temple. 

Celestial Forecasts

Forthcoming Events and Workshops

Full Events: -

Violet Flame of Amenti
Mon 17th April (Easter)

Past Lives Workshop
Sat 8th April

Reyad Sekh Em (RSE)
Level 1 - Introduction
Wed 19th-Thur 20th Apr

Reyad Sekh Em 1 & 2
Practitioner Intensive
Wed 19th - Fri 21st Apr


Sun in Taurus
7 degrees
Moon in Cancer
5 degrees
Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon
4 days old
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