It is that time of year when Mother Nature blesses us with the warm earthy colors of autumn. When the temperature becomes cooler and bonfires are more than just ritual. Many are preparing to celebrate the full moon, this one in particular is known as the Harvest Moon.
The Harvest Moon is usually the first full moon after the first frost or it is the full moon closest to Mabon. This will depend greatly on where a person lives, those living in warmer climates will not experience the frost but will celebrate Mabon.
It is that time of year where the focus is on the harvest of what has been worked on all year. Appreciation for what one has. A time of going inward to look at the person and all they have gone through and where it is they would like to go… and how they will get there.
The Harvest moon often appears larger and brighter than other full moons. Some refer to this as the moon illusion, that any full moon that sits in a low sky can be seen this way. They say that the colors of this special moon is due to the moon setting so low in the sky. That the yellow, gold and red is more an impact of the earth on the moon than there actually being a change in the moon.
The Norse way of thinking and believing though tells a different story of the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the most powerful of all full moons. This is the moon of bountiful harvest and plenty. While most full moons rise around the time of sunset the Harvest Moon (much like the Hunter Moon) is special. It is around these full moons that the time difference between moonrise on successive evenings is shorter than what it is during other full moons. This means that the long period of darkness that usually exists between sunset and moonrise isn’t there. It is believed that the Gods did this to aid in the harvest, to allow more light for the harvest to be brought in.
The God and Goddess that are celebrated during the Harvest Moon are Bona Dea (the Land Mother) and Mabon (Sky Father). Colors most often used in rituals this time of year include red, brown, orange, blue and purple.
For those that focus on other Gods and Goddess this is a time to give thanks and blessings to Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister. She is the goddess of the moon. The Greek Goddess Diana can also be celebrated. Those whose beliefs stem from Maori will celebrate Rona, the daughter of sea god Tangaroa. Hindus will pay homage to Soma, the God of the Moon who rides his chariot that is drawn by white horses through the sky.
Regardless of where your spiritualty draws its strength from, now is the time to focus on your prosperity and abundance. It is time to focus on nurturing others. If you have been battling a long illness this is the time to finally heal and come back to full health.