This year the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to Mabon, comes to us on 1st October 2020. The Harvest Moon is at its’ brightest at around 10.05pm BST, when the moon is in full opposition to the sun – bringing us an overwhelmingly important message – balance.
By now we have all surely noticed the cooler days, chilly evenings and darker nights. I’m writing this at 7.30pm BST and it’s pitch black outside, which personally I love as it means the lanterns on my hearth are lit up, candles are burning and the cats are all asleep in the same room as us. Try to get them all together like this in the height of summer and you might as well, to quote my dad, try to knit fog.
The Harvest Moon is probably one of the most well known of the full moon names, with popular songs named after it, and obviously, the Harvest coming to a close around this time. We are fully into Autumn now with leaves on the ground around our feet and bracing breezes whipping our hair and clothes up around us as we step out out of our doors. We are faced with beautifully warm colours, spicy smells and rich decadent tastes. What’s not to love.
So what does the Harvest Moon represent? The first thing the Harvest Moon reminds us to do is to rest and recover from the hard work and dedication of our endeavours this year. In a literal sense we see this referring to the long difficult days spent in the fields reaping the harvest and stocking up for the dark snowy days ahead. However this same lesson can resonate with us in many ways.
Take stock at this time and let our Luna Lady amongst those most beautiful stars show us that we can sit and reflect on the hard work we have put into any of our tasks and ambitions this year. It doesn’t matter what we have dedicated ourselves to as long as we have owned that dedication, moved forward authentically and either have our results or a plan in motion to achieve our goals.
At this point in the year, allow yourself to lie back, take a deep breath of crisp autumn air and close your eyes to rest a while; you do not have to be constantly in motion, your mind does not have to be constantly thinking, and you do not have to be constantly doing things for others. You are allowed to rest, you are allowed to empty your mind, you are allowed to say no thank you and not today. You are allowed to put yourself first and look after you.
The Harvest Moon symbolises new beginnings, (which is a contradiction to the usual time for new beginnings – the New Moon), and is the perfect time to plan new ventures to begin once your rest is complete, or to plan the progress of existing endeavours once the dark days have passed us by again.
The Harvest Moon is also the time to assess and cleanse; is there something you are carrying with you emotionally, spiritually or physically that is no longer serving you, is feeling heavy or dragging you backwards or down? This is the time to cleanse yourself of such things. Make magical moon water under this full Harvest Moon to cleanse crystals and other magical tools. Use it to ritually cleanse yourself by adding it to bath water or cleansing your hands and face with it. Clear out clutter from your home just as you would at Ostara, after all, we are at Ostara’s opposite at this time of year.
Learn more about balance and the pagan nature of Autumn in my Mabon post at https://gingerwitchinnorthumberland.com/2020/09/18/mabon-22nd-september-2020/
Physically, the Harvest Moon is when the moon looks closest to us in the sky, it appears bigger to us and rises closer to sunset than any other full moon in the lunar year.
A short blog for you this time around, I’ve been very busy and will certainly be taking heed of my own words and giving myself some downtime to rest and take care of myself over the coming month or two, with some time dedicated to some fabulous blog content for the run up to Samhain and Yule.
Stay Wild & Blessed Be.