Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Harvest Moon

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Today, at 12:45 pm PDT, we mark the Full Harvest Moon. Simply put, the Harvest Moon is the full moon which occurs closest to the date of the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. While there are those who claim that a Harvest moon shines brighter and is more golden that other full moon, there is actually a shorter amount of time between moonrises on successive nights and so there is very little darkness between sunset and moonrise, making the moon appear much brighter in contrast to the darkness of the night sky.

The continuance of the moonlight after sunset, is a boon to farmers in the northern latitudes, when they are harvesting their crops. Thus, this September full moon has also been known as the Mulberry Moon by the Choctaw Indians, the Nut Moon by the Cherokees, and the Barley moon in Medieval England. The Chinese referred to the September full moon as the Chrysantemum Moon. But my personal favorite is what the Dakota Sioux called it.... the Moon When the Calves Grow Hair.

Astrologically, this is a full moon in Aries, which is a Full Moon of the Child. Whether one celebrates children, or one's own inner child, it is a time to celebrate innocence, new beginnings, spontaneity, curiosity and wonder. As a fire sign and the first sign of the Zodiac, Aires allows us to use the fire element as a symbolic method for releasing the past and all of its past restraints.

It's a great time to build a campfire, light a candle, or burn some incense and allow the smoke in it's magical transmutations from the material world becoming part of the non-material one, to allow all those connections to 'go up in smoke', as well. One well known therapy tool, is to write down a list of one's personal pains losses or holdings back on slips of paper and them burn them away in a flame, from fire to smoke to ash.

The Aries Full Moon is a time to remember that we are..... born knowing only love and to celebrate and share this precious gift. Though our lives seem to seesaw between achievement and loss, love and pain, there is a childlike innocence that still lives within us all. This tender hopefulness continually rekindles our spirit with an unwavering belief in human goodness and love and enables us to rise up from personal failure.

Whether we connect with our own innate sense of spirituality or through practice and belief in established religious connections, the need for faith and a belief in the abilities to be born anew is a precious one. The Celts called this Full Moon the 'Singing Moon'.
So sing and shine on.... from Salem, Oregon (where I live) across this great USA to Salem, Maine....and every place and state above, to the side...and in between!

Shine On Harvest Moon
By Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth - 1903

Shine on, shine on harvest moon
Up in the sky,
I ain't had no lovin'
Since January, February, June or July
Snow time ain't no time
to stay Outdoors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on harvest moon,
For me and my gal.

2 comments:

  1. I can see bits of the moon in the trees right now. Hopeful later I will be able to see the whole moon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for your posts about the moons. I love the moon this time of year (ok, any time of year really). Time to dig out the incense and play with some fabrics (child like in my joy!)

    ReplyDelete

Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.