The upcoming Harvest Moon on September 19 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
Visit the farmer’s market and buy some local produce. You don’t need to be an expert to make a simple jam or apple sauce that will keep you eating healthy through the winter. Putting away some of the summer harvest is intensely satisfying and so easy to do. Get a full beginner’s guide to preserving here.
If the sky will be clear where you are, make a cozy space outside where you can watch the moon rise. If you’re with your family, a blanket fort that the kids can enjoy is perfect. With your partner? Make it a romantic night out with a picnic and a bottle of something special. By yourself? Get all your favorite foods, some great tunes and watch that big old beautiful moon rise.
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? While you’re out enjoying your garden picnic (or at the window in a comfy chair) decide what deadwood you are letting go of as the seasons change. A good pruning will help you flourish.
Celebrate the bounty
Gather your nearest and dearest! Cook a feast to share (socially distanced of course!), have a bonfire or meet in the park for coffee. 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.
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 cozy will leave you comfortable and looking forward to the change.
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, taking daily walks and stretching!
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. Summer isn’t the end of fun, it’s the start of something new. 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 moon and let out a long howl! Happy Harvesting!