A Full Moon Guide for Nature Mystics
Have you ever felt the magnetic pull of the moon, urging you to delve deeper into the mysteries of the cosmos?
What if I told you that this Harvest Moon holds ancient secrets that can transform your life? Stay with me to the end of the video as we journey through the moonlit pathways of spiritual awakening while I share some tips, some little-known facts, and a quick How-To guide that will help you make the most of this auspicious time.
What’s Cool about the Full Harvest Moon
The phases of the Moon serve as a glimpse into Nature’s intricate meanings and aid us as we synchronize ourselves to Mother Nature’s rhythms.
When we plan our meditations and set our intentions in tandem with the phases of the Moon, we begin to feel more at ease with the cyclical energy inherent in Nature and in life.
We begin to understand that there is an intelligent and orderly plan behind the apparently random changes in life.
Staying “in tune” or in-sync with Moon phases is a great way to naturally balance your life activity. Once you become aligned with Moon phases, as lunar energy cycles through the two-week phases of waxing and waning, you can rest assured and move forward confidently with your daily affairs.
Not only is this a tried-and-true method for attaining balance and harmony in your emotional life, this is also a natural way to achieve success and fulfillment in other areas of your life.
Each full moon is a culmination of energy - it’s the peak of the lunar cycle. The Full Moon brings to light what needs your attention. It’s often a highly emotional time where your intuition may be intensified.
This is a time to notice situations that are triggering you. As well as notice who or what is pushing your buttons. Identify what you are feeling so you can release and resolve it and then reclaim your power.
Now, As we stand on the precipice of another full moon, it's crucial to understand why these celestial events are more than just a spectacle in the sky. They are, in fact, deeply transformative experiences that resonate with both our inner and outer worlds.
But don't just take my word for it; science has something to say about this too.
Did you know that scientific research has shown a correlation between lunar cycles and human behavior? Studies have found that people often experience heightened emotions and increased mental activity during full moons. Researchers speculate that this could be a lingering trait from our ancestors, who may have been more active during full moons for survival reasons.
So, when you feel an inexplicable surge of energy or heightened intuition during a full moon, know that there's scientific grounding for what you're experiencing.
But let's not forget the spiritual dimension. In many spiritual traditions, the moon phases serve as a mirror to our own life cycles. Just as the moon waxes and wanes, we too go through phases of growth, fruition, and introspection. The full moon is often seen as a time of culmination and realization, a moment to celebrate achievements and reflect on the paths we've walked. It's a cosmic dance, and we're all invited to participate.
To bring this down to a personal level, let me share a transformative experience I had during a full moon. I remember vividly being invited to one such celebration - singing songs and listening to people playing guitar, with a circle of friendly faces in the light of the rising Harvest Moon.
That night, I felt as if the moon was speaking directly to my heart, illuminating the shadows, and revealing hidden truths. It was a call to higher consciousness and a moment of deeper mental awareness, one that I'll forever associate with the power of the full moon.
So, whether you approach the full moon from a scientific, spiritual, or deeply personal perspective, the message is clear: aligning with lunar cycles can be a transformative experience. It's a blend of ancient wisdom and modern understanding, a meeting point between the seen and the unseen, the empirical and the mystical.
Learn more about our full moon rituals:
Why is it Called the Harvest Moon?
As we delve deeper into the mysteries of the moon, it's important to pause and appreciate the unique celestial gift that is the Harvest Moon. This moon isn't just another full moon; it's steeped in history, spirituality, and cultural richness.
Let's start with the name itself—Harvest Moon. Ever wondered why it's called that? The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, a time when farmers traditionally harvested their crops. The moon's bright light extended the workday, allowing for a more bountiful harvest. So, in essence, this moon has been a beacon of sustenance and survival for agricultural societies for centuries.
But the Harvest Moon isn't just about physical sustenance; it also feeds the soul. In Native American cultures, this moon holds deep spiritual significance. It's often associated with the season of gathering, not just of crops, but also of spiritual and communal blessings.
Rituals and ceremonies during this time focus on giving thanks to Mother Earth and asking for her continued blessings. It's a time of spiritual harvest, where the fruits are intangible yet deeply nourishing.
And did you know that the Harvest Moon goes by other names in different cultures?
Each name reflects the unique cultural contexts and survival needs of different societies, yet they all point to the same celestial body that has captivated humanity for eons.
Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred and through all of the Moon’s phases—not only the full Moon. The Harvest Moon, however, is a bit different!
Other Moon names for this month highlight how September is the transitional period between Summer and Fall.
The full Moon names come from several places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources.
- Autumn Moon (Cree)
- Falling Leaves Moon (Ojibwe)
- Leaves Turning Moon (Anishinaabe)
- Moon of Brown Leaves (Lakota)
- Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine)
The behavior of animals is also a common theme, with Child Moon (Tlingit) referring to the time when young animals are weaned, and Mating Moon and Rutting Moon (both Cree) describing the time of year when certain animals, like moose, elk, and deer, are looking to mate.
In some traditions, it's called the Wine Moon, signifying the grape harvest, or the Barley Moon.
So, whether you call it the Harvest Moon, the Wine Moon, or the Moon of Brown Leaves, this celestial event is a gift that transcends time & culture. It's a universal experience, a common thread weaving through the tapestry of human history & spirituality.
What makes the Harvest Moon a Harvest Moon?
As I mentioned before, The full Moon that happens nearest to the fall equinox (INSERT LINK TO BLOG POST) (September 22 or 23) always takes on the name “Harvest Moon.” Unlike other full Moons, this full Moon rises at nearly the same time—around sunset—for several evenings in a row, giving farmers several extra evenings of moonlight and allowing them to finish their harvests before the frosts of fall arrive.
While September’s full Moon is usually known as the Harvest Moon, if October’s full Moon happens to occur closer to the equinox than September’s, it takes on the name “Harvest Moon” instead. When this happens, September’s full Moon is referred to as the Corn Moon. And this usually happens every 3 years.
The Corn Moon
The Corn Moon name refers to this time of year—late summer into early fall—corresponding with the time of harvesting corn in much of the northern United States. For this reason, several Native American peoples traditionally used some variation of the name “Corn Moon” to refer to the Moon of either August or September. Examples include Corn Maker Moon (Western Abenaki) and Corn Harvest Moon (Dakota).
How to Watch for the Full Moon Rise
As we've journeyed through the historical and spiritual significance of the Harvest Moon, you might be wondering, 'How can I best experience this celestial marvel?' Well, you're in for a treat because this Harvest Moon offers a unique cosmic spectacle that you won't want to miss.
Firstly, let's talk about the best time and place to watch the Harvest Moon turn full. This year, the moon will turn full at 5:57 a.m. ET on Friday, September 29th. As morning twilight begins at 6:04 AM EDT, you'll find the setting full moon 11 degrees above the western horizon. To fully immerse yourself in this experience, find a location that offers a clear view of the western horizon. Whether it's a hilltop, an open field, or even your own backyard, the key is to minimize light pollution and obstructions to your view. And don't forget to bring a cozy blanket and perhaps some calming tea to enhance this meditative experience.
But that's not all. As you gaze at the Harvest Moon, you'll also witness a celestial ballet featuring Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury. Venus, the brightest of the trio, will be 29 degrees above the eastern horizon, while Jupiter will grace the west-southwestern sky. Mercury, though faint, will make its appearance 4 degrees above the eastern horizon. This alignment is like the universe's way of adding extra brushstrokes to an already magnificent canvas. It's a cosmic alignment that invites us to ponder our place in the grand tapestry of existence.
The Harvest Full Moon will be the fourth and final supermoon of 2023.
So-called supermoons occur because the orbit of the moon around the Earth is not a perfect circle but is instead a flattened circle or an ellipse. This means that during its 27.3-day orbit, there are points at which the moon is closer to the Earth and points at which it is further away.
So, as you sit there, watching the Harvest Moon, know that you're not just observing a celestial event; you're participating in a cosmic dance that has been choreographed over millennia. It's a moment to pause, reflect, and feel a sense of unity with the universe, a moment where science meets spirituality, and observation becomes meditation.
If you wanted to catch the Full Moon rise, look for the Harvest Moon to appear just after sunset on Thursday, September 28. The Farmer's Almanac has a helpful Moonrise Calculator to see what time you can expect to catch a glimpse of the last supermoon of 2023!
How the Zodiac Influences the Moon’s Energy
For many of us who live in concert with Nature’s rhythms, the Full Moon is one of the most magical of times -- an ideal occasion for becoming intentional and for creating change.
The Moon orbits one full turn around the Earth in 28 days. And as it does, it passes through each of the Zodiac signs for about 2 to 2 1/2 days.
The sign of the Moon on any given day broadcasts a subtle emotional undercurrent.
Just as our personalities can be described in terms of the position of the Sun and Moon at the time of birth, the changing moods and energies of our daily lives can be correlated with the passage of the Moon through the Zodiac each month.
Although any Full Moon can mark a time for manifestation, it is helpful to know which sign of the Zodiac the Full Moon is in, and how that effects the energies at work.
Like the mystery of the lunar pull, it's hard to put your finger on … it’s also not scientifically proven … yet it can serve as a good guideline in terms of whatever goal or intention we’ve set out for ourselves.
For example, if you’d like to increase prosperity, your Full Moon meditation would be enhanced by an earth-sign Moon (particularly Taurus); a Cancer Moon might also be appropriate. An air-sign Moon would be less effective, because of the emphasis on the mental rather than the tangible. You could, however, use the energy of an air-sign Moon to stimulate productive conversation with an employer, which might lead indirectly to monetary rewards.
Full Moon in Aries
As we immerse ourselves in the celestial wonder that is the Harvest Moon, it's crucial to recognize that the moon isn't acting alone. This year, the Harvest Moon is graced with the fiery energy of Aries, adding another layer of depth to our lunar experience.
So, what does it mean when the full moon is in Aries?
Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is ruled by Mars, the planet of action and desire. It's a sign characterized by its pioneering spirit, courage, and enthusiasm.
When the full moon is in Aries, these traits get magnified, imbuing the lunar energy with a sense of urgency and dynamism. This is a time for action, for taking bold steps in your spiritual journey, and for embracing your inner warrior. It's as if the moon is saying, 'The time to act is now.'
But why is this Aries energy particularly significant for Nature Mystics like us? Well, Aries is a fire sign, and fire is an element deeply connected to transformation. It's the spark that ignites the soul and fuels our spiritual quests. For Nature Mystics, this Aries energy can serve as a catalyst for deepening our connection with the natural world. It encourages us to be proactive in our spiritual practices, to seek out transformative experiences in nature, and to engage with the earth in a more intentional way. This is the moon that says, 'Don't just stand there; become the change you wish to see in the world.'
While the Full Moon is in Aries, the Sun is in Libra. Since the Full Moon is about finding balance between opposing forces (the sun and moon), this Full Moon helps you balance your personal needs (Aries) with the needs of close relationships or partnerships (Libra). The Aries Moon is helping you tune into what you need most – whether it’s better communication, setting healthy boundaries or letting go of relationships that no longer serve you, be mindful about what is coming to light and needs your attention.
So, as you prepare to engage with the Harvest Moon, consider how the Aries energy can serve your spiritual journey. It's a cosmic invitation to be bold, to be courageous, and to take your spirituality to the next level. It's a call to action that resonates not just in our minds but deep within our souls.
A Simple Harvest Moon Ritual
As we've journeyed through the celestial and spiritual tapestry of the Harvest Moon, you might be feeling a sense of awe, curiosity, and perhaps a yearning to engage more deeply. Well, the universe has conspired to offer you a unique opportunity, especially under the fiery influence of Aries.
Let's harness this potent energy with a simple yet powerful ritual. All you'll need is a small piece of paper, a pen, and a candle. Write down an intention or a goal that aligns with Aries' pioneering spirit—something you're passionate about and willing to act on. Light the candle and focus on its flame as you read your intention aloud. Visualize it coming to fruition, fueled by the Harvest Moon's light and Aries' fire. Then safely burn the paper in the candle's flame, releasing your intention to the universe. As you do this, imagine your intention rising with the smoke, carried by the winds of change and possibility.
Now, you might be wondering, how does this ritual fit into the broader spiritual landscape of Temple of Ara? This ritual is a microcosm of what we offer in our Moonlit Pathways program—a blend of celestial wisdom, spiritual practices, and community engagement. Moonlit Pathways takes you on a year-long journey through the lunar cycles, offering rituals, reflections, and expert guidance to deepen your connection with the natural world and your own inner landscape. This Harvest Moon ritual is just a glimpse, a single step on a path that promises transformation, community, and a profound connection with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and Grandmother Moon.
So, as you perform this ritual, know that you're not alone. You're part of a community of Nature Mystics, all journeying together under the same moon, guided by the same celestial energies. It's a beautiful reminder that even in our individual practices, we're connected to something much larger than ourselves.
Your Next Step
As we bask in the afterglow of this Harvest Moon ritual, you might be wondering, 'What's next on my spiritual journey?'
Imagine a year-long odyssey aligned with each full moon, guided by Elder Priestess Linda, where you deepen your connection with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and Grandmother Moon. That's exactly what you'll experience in our Moonlit Pathways program. Click on the link in the description below to embark on your next spiritual adventure.
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