The upcoming Harvest Moon on September 13 (or 14 depending on where you are) garners its name by being the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox, which not only harnesses the turn of the season, but also reigns as the largest full moon of the year.
The main significance of the Harvest Moon is rooted in the days when farmers had to make haste to finish gathering crops in the fields. They were greatly aided by the Harvest Moon, as it has a shorter rising time between sunset and when it makes an appearance in the Eastern skies, resulting in less hours of darkness. With all this extra light, farmers were able to finish all the chores of the season and prepare for the inevitable cooler weather.
The significance of the harvest moon doesn’t just apply to farmers. We are all coming to the end of our summer season, where we keep a frenetic pace of work and play, putting forth great effort to making things grow in our lives. As we move into the fall, it’s time to take stock of our achievements, celebrate with family and friends and reap the fruits of our labor. We soon begin the journey inwards, to a slower and more contemplative pace.
Before we do, lets make sure you use the power of this Harvest Moon in our own lives! Here are 6 suggested actions to take that will have you eager to kiss the summer farewell for another year.
- Make some preserves
You don’t need to be an expert to make a simple jam or apple sauce that will keep you satisfied all winter through. Use those gorgeous pears and peaches to whip up some healthy fruit leather or just chop and freeze in little baggies. They’ll be begging to be used in your breakfast smoothies or on top of slow cooked oats. Putting away some of the summer harvest is intensely satisfying and so easy to do. Get a full beginner’s guide to preserving here.
2. Sort out the unusable fruit
It’s time to weed out the bad apples – take stock. What is no longer working for you in your life? What lessons have you learned this summer? What do you need? What gives you joy? What do you need to let go of? Doing some literal sorting will have you thinning out your closets and streamlining your daily choices.
3. Celebrate the bounty
Throw a huge party with your family and friends! Celebrate all the fun you had this summer and everything you accomplished. Make sure to eat lots of delicious, homemade food and dance by the light of the moon. These are the last warm evenings for a while.
4. Organize your cave
It’s natural to lament the coming of the cold, but you can also find ways to look forward to snuggling in for the winter. Get your knitting out, dig up the cozy blankets and wool sweaters. How about some new tea blends and slow cooker recipes? Make a list of fall books to read and movies to re-watch. Making your cave a cozy will leave you comfortable and looking forward to the change.
5. Give thanks
Having an attitude of gratitude will leave you focusing on all that you’ve accomplished this summer, instead of dreading the ending of it. This is a wonderful time to get back to your morning meditation practice, incorporating some journaling at the end.
6. Set new intentions
The full moon is prime time for letting go and beginning anew. Lay out under the stars and dream about what you’d like to manifest this winter. Is it an adventure in an exotic destination? Learning to play a new instrument? Writing a book? Whatever it is, let your mind wonder to wild and wonderful places.
Of course, don’t forget to run out into the night, turn your face up to the sky and let out a long howl! Happy Harvesting!