The Harvest Moon is the name of September’s full moon, which is closest to the autumn equinox (when the sun is positioned exactly above the equator and the day and nights are of equal length. There is a corresponding Spring equinox in March). There is no fixed date due to the nature of the lunar cycles, but it occurs between September and October.
The Harvest Moon is brighter and rises earlier than a regular moon. In past times, this helped farmers to stay out later gathering crops, so it came to be known as the Harvest Moon. It appears consistently at sunset for several nights in a row in its fullest phase, giving a good chance that at least a few cloud-free nights will allow for some overtime.
On clear nights, the moon shines as a full luminous disc, which can sometimes take on a reddish orange appearance. This is a trick of the light rather than anything that is occurring on the moon’s surface. The earth’s atmosphere is responsible for distorting the hue of the moon, through its dense composition.
Although of course nowadays, farmers have other methods for night time illumination, the Harvest Moon still retains a special place in our culture, particularly for people who observe lunar rituals, and make use of the energy and healing powers of crystals for the moon.
The full moon is full of high vibration energy, which is particularly beneficial for charging crystals to their fullest capacity. It is also a good time to align your goals and hopes for the future when setting out your crystals, because they will be at their most powerful and receptive at this time.
Some people like to take the opportunity to introduce other rituals such as bathing at full moon, to help cleanse them of negative or stagnant energy, and refresh and heal their mind, body, and soul with new energy. Harvest Moons fall in the Virgo zodiac season, a sign which associated with purity, clean living, and organisation.
Therefore, it is the perfect time for fresh starts and manifesting your goals and dreams. Virgo energy is also noted for practical and logical thinking, problem solving, and clear communication, so if there are any particularly knotty problems in your life which you want to unravel, it is a good time to do so.
It is the perfect opportunity to take on a new health routine, and shake off any bad habits which may have built up over the summer. If you feel as though you have been stuck in a rut or going round in circles, then the Harvest Moon can help you to unlock your energies and set you on a more positive and creative path.
Other ways to celebrate the harvest moon can take the form of organising a gathering of family and friends, to share, enjoy company, and celebrate nature’s bounty. You could also offer some food for wildlife to gather, such as a bird feeder, or a bowl of water for hedgehogs. Some people like to light a candle to mark the autumn equinox.