September's Full Moon

September’s Full Moon: Exploring the Folklore and Significance of a Harvest Moon

As the leaves slowly begin to turn and the air grows crisp, September’s Full Moon beckons us to step outside and sync with the rhythm of nature. The Harvest Moon of September, with its brilliant glow, invites us to savor the beautiful shift of the seasons. For those of us who find solace in nature, this glowing moon is not just a sight to behold; it’s steeped in spiritual meaning and rich with stories passed down through the ages.

The Harvest Moon gets its name from its age-old role in the farming calendar. It rises around the time of the autumn equinox, casting a helpful light over the fields, aiding farmers working late into the night. This moon is a time for reflection, a reminder to honor the natural cycles that guide us.

In our busy lives, the full moon in September offers a moment to slow down and pay homage to life’s changes. Its warm, golden light is a perfect backdrop for quiet, reflective walks or joyous gatherings to celebrate life’s bounty. In the following article, we delve into the spiritual essence, historical roots, and tales associated with September’s full moon. We’ll also explore ways to celebrate and connect with this moon, infusing our intentions into its gentle glow.

September's Full Moon

WHEN WILL WE SEE September’s FULL MOON?

Mark your calendars for the celestial spectacle of September’s Full Harvest Moon on Tuesday, September 17th, 2024. Nature’s spotlight will illuminate the sky at 10:34 PM EDT, captivating observers with its radiant glow. 
 
Discover the optimal times to witness this captivating lunar event by using a Moonrise and Moonset Calculator and unravel the intriguing story behind the unique name given to September’s Full Moon.
 

To fully experience the magic of September’s full moon, find a quiet spot on that day, and embrace the radiant glow and let it guide your reflections and celebrations, inviting you to dance in harmony with the rhythms of the cosmos. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment, taking in the moon’s beauty and allowing its energy to flow through you. 

september's full moon

WHAT IS A FULL MOON?

When the Moon is full, we see it as a complete circle in the sky. This is because the whole of the side of the Moon facing the Earth is lit up by the Sun’s rays. The Moon produces no visible light of its own, so we can only see the parts of the Moon that are lit up by other objects. A small amount of light comes from distant stars and the reflection of light from the Earth (known as ‘Earthshine’). However, the main source of light for the Moon is the Sun.
 

The Full Moon phase is the third of four primary lunar phases, along with the New Moon, the Third Quarter, and the First Quarter. It is considered a highly spiritual time and is the most spectacular of all four phases. It is during this time that the Moon appears at its brightest and largest. Likewise, it marks the most visible phase of the lunar cycle.  

september's full moon

FULL MOON ENERGY

Ancient peoples used the Full Moon and the Lunar calendar to track the seasons. They named each Full Moon for an entire month, not just for the night of its fullest phase. Each Full Moon has its own energy, and this energy is magnified during a Full Moon. The Full Moon does not just affect us humans; it also affects animals and the Earth itself. A Full Moon causes bigger ocean tides and even extreme meteorological conditions.
 
Here’s a bit more info on each of the year’s moons: The 12 Full Moons: Their Names, Meaning, and Magical Influence
 

Full moon – Two weeks after the new moon, it becomes wholly illuminated by the sun. Hence, we have a full moon, and its orbit is halfway completed.

How do I harness its energy? — During a Full Moon, our emotions are amplified and dreams are intensified. For some people, it is a time of balanced energies. The light of the full moon illuminates our world, allowing us to see the situations in our lives and in our relationships with other people more clearly. It allows us to see things we have ignored or repressed, but also allows us to let go of things or people we have outgrown. Full Moons are a good time to start a new ritual or project.

september's full moon

WHY IS September’s FULL MOON NAMED THE Harvest MOON?

September’s Full Moon is named the “Harvest Moon” because of its historical connection to agriculture and the harvest season. Traditionally, this particular full moon occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, which marks the official beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. During this time of year, the moonrise occurs shortly after sunset, providing extended periods of natural light during the evening hours.

In pre-industrial times, before the widespread use of artificial lighting, the bright light of the Harvest Moon played a crucial role for farmers and laborers. Its illumination allowed them to continue working in the fields after sunset, taking advantage of the extra light to harvest crops, gather the fruits of their labor, and prepare for the coming winter months. This phenomenon was particularly important during the critical harvest season when time was of the essence.

The name “Harvest Moon” thus emerged from the moon’s practical utility for supporting agricultural activities during a crucial time of year. It continues to evoke a sense of connection to the cycles of nature and the age-old traditions of farming and harvesting.

 

September's Full Moon

SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE Harvest MOON

The spiritual significance of September’s Full Moon extends beyond its practical benefits to farmers. It holds a profound and symbolic meaning that resonates with various spiritual and cultural beliefs. Here are some of the spiritual aspects associated with the Harvest Moon:

  1. Abundance and Gratitude: The Harvest Moon’s glow is often seen as a reminder of the abundance provided by the Earth’s cycles. It serves as a visual representation of the fruits of one’s labor and a time to express gratitude for the bounties received. Many spiritual practices encourage individuals to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and acknowledge the blessings in their lives during this lunar phase.

  2. Cyclical Nature of Life: The Harvest Moon’s regular appearance each year emphasizes the cyclical nature of existence. It symbolizes the continuous cycle of growth, harvest, and renewal. Spiritually, this cycle mirrors the ebb and flow of human experiences, inviting reflection on personal growth, transformation, and the inevitability of change.

  3. Introspection and Harvesting Wisdom: Just as farmers gather crops during the harvest, September’s Full Moon invites introspection and the “harvesting” of inner wisdom and insights. It’s a time for self-reflection, meditation, and inner exploration. Spiritual seekers may use the Harvest Moon as an opportunity to connect with their inner selves, examine their journey, and gather the lessons learned.

  4. Balance and Equinox Energies: September’s Full Moon often coincides with the autumnal equinox, a moment of balance between light and darkness. This balance can be seen as a metaphor for finding equilibrium within one’s own life. Spiritual practices during this time might focus on achieving inner harmony, letting go of imbalances, and embracing both the light and shadow aspects of oneself.

  5. Transmutation and Transformation: The changing of seasons from summer to autumn and the Harvest Moon’s role in this transition can symbolize personal transformation and growth. Just as crops are transformed from seeds to mature plants, individuals can use this time to contemplate their own journey of transformation and the evolution of their spiritual path.

  6. Connection to Nature and the Divine: The luminous beauty of the Harvest Moon can evoke a sense of awe and wonder, connecting individuals to the mysteries of the cosmos and the divine. Spiritual practices during this time might involve stargazing, moonlit meditations, or rituals that celebrate the interconnectedness of all life.

In essence, the spiritual significance of the Harvest Moon is deeply intertwined with themes of abundance, gratitude, reflection, transformation, and connection to both the natural world and one’s inner self. It serves as a celestial reminder of the cyclical nature of life and an opportunity for individuals to align their spiritual practices with the rhythms of the universe.

 

the moon

THE FOLKLORE OF September’s FULL MOON

The folklore surrounding September’s full moon, known as the Harvest Moon, is a rich tapestry woven from the threads of diverse cultures and traditions. Across the globe, this celestial event has been celebrated and woven into the cultural fabric of various societies, each infusing it with their unique beliefs, rituals, and stories. Let’s embark on a journey through some of these captivating cultural celebrations:

1. Native American Traditions: In Native American cultures, the Harvest Moon held great significance, as communities depended on agricultural cycles for sustenance. Many tribes used the moon’s phases as a guide for planting, harvesting, and other activities. The full moon in September marked a time of communal harvest festivals, where gratitude was expressed through dances, feasts, and rituals. The Cree people referred to it as the “Barley Moon,” while the Lakota Sioux called it “the Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet.”

2. Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival: The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, typically falls around the time of the Harvest Moon. Families gather to celebrate the moon’s beauty and abundance, enjoying mooncakes (a traditional delicacy), lantern processions, and cultural performances. The festival is steeped in legends, including the tale of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess, and her connection to the moon’s enchanting glow.

3. Celtic Harvest Festivals: In Celtic traditions, the Harvest Moon was celebrated as part of the seasonal festivals of Lughnasadh (Lammas) and Mabon. These festivals marked the beginning of the harvest season and the transition from summer to autumn. Ceremonies involved bonfires, music, dancing, and offerings to honor deities associated with fertility and the harvest.

4. Japanese Tsukimi Festival: In Japan, the Tsukimi Festival (Moon Viewing Festival) coincides with the Harvest Moon. Families gather to admire the moon’s beauty and express gratitude for the autumn harvest. People offer rice dumplings (tsukimi dango) and other seasonal foods to the moon as a symbol of thanks and to seek blessings for a bountiful future.

5. Pueblo Harvest Dances: Pueblo Native American communities in the southwestern United States perform traditional harvest dances during the full moon in September. These dances honor the agricultural cycles and pay homage to the spirits believed to guide the growth of crops. The rituals include music, dance, and prayers for a successful harvest.

6. European Harvest Celebrations: In European folklore, the Harvest Moon was a time of celebration and feasting. Communities came together for gatherings featuring abundant harvest foods, music, and dancing. In some cultures, the moon was believed to possess magical powers, and rituals performed under its glow were thought to bring luck and blessings.

These are just a few glimpses into the rich tapestry of folklore surrounding September’s Harvest Moon. Across cultures, this luminous celestial event has inspired awe, gratitude, and a sense of connection to the cycles of nature. Whether celebrated through communal feasts, moonlit dances, or reflective rituals, the Harvest Moon continues to unite people in a shared reverence for the rhythms of the Earth and the cosmos.

strawberry moon

Full Moon Calendar 2024

In 2024, there will be 12 full moons. Mark your calendars accordingly! Here are the dates for the 2024 full moons: 

January 25, 2024 (The Full Wolf Moon)

On Thursday, January 25, 2024, at 12:54 PM EST, witness the Full Wolf Moon, marking the second full moon of winter. It’s also known as the Ice Moon, Old Moon, Moon After Yule, and Snow Moon.

February 24, 2024 (Full Snow Moon)

The Full Snow Moon graces the sky on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 7:30 AM EST, signaling the end of winter. It’s alternatively called the Hunger Moon, Chaste Moon, and Storm Moon.

March 25, 2024 (Full Worm Moon)

Catch the Full Worm Moon on Monday, March 25, 2024, at 3:00 AM EDT, ushering in the first full moon of spring. This moon is also referred to as the Sap Moon, Crow Moon, Chaste Moon, Sugar Moon, and Lenten Moon. A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse coincides with this full moon.

April 23, 2024 (Full Pink Moon)

The Full Pink Moon appears on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at 7:49 PM EDT, marking spring’s second full moon. It’s also known as the Egg Moon, Full Sprouting Grass Moon, and Full Fish Moon, the latter commonly used by coastal indigenous tribes.

May 23, 2024 (Full Flower Moon)

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 9:53 AM EDT, the Full Flower Moon emerges as the last full moon of spring. It’s also called the Corn Planting Moon and Milk Moon.

June 21, 2024 (Full Strawberry Moon)

The Full Strawberry Moon, the first full moon of summer, will be visible on Friday, June 21, 2024, at 9:08 PM EDT. Other names include the Rose Moon, Mead Moon, and Honey Moon.

July 21, 2024 (Full Buck Moon)

Sunday, July 21, 2024, at 6:17 AM EDT, brings the Full Buck Moon, the second full moon of summer. It’s also known as the Thunder Moon and Hay Moon.

August 19, 2024 (Full Sturgeon Moon)

The Super Sturgeon Moon, a seasonal blue moon and the third full moon of summer, occurs on Monday, August 19, 2024, at 2:26 PM EDT. It’s the first of four 2024 supermoons. Other names include the Barley Moon, Corn Moon, Dog Moon, Fruit Moon, Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Herb Moon, Red Moon, and Wyrt Moon.

September 17, 2024 (Full Harvest Moon)

Tuesday, September 17, 2024, at 10:34 PM EDT, features the Super Harvest Moon, the last full moon of summer and the second of four supermoons in 2024. A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse coincides with this moon. It’s also known as the Full Corn Moon in other years.

October 17, 2024 (Full Hunter’s Moon)

The Super Hunter’s Moon, the closest full moon of 2024 and the first of autumn, will be on Thursday, October 17, 2024, at 7:26 AM EDT.

November 15, 2024 (Full Beaver Moon)

On Friday, November 15, 2024, at 4:28 PM EST, the Super Beaver Moon, the second full moon of autumn and the last of the 2024 supermoons, will be visible. It’s also known as the Frosty Moon.

December 15, 2024 (Full Cold Moon)

The year concludes with the Full Cold Moon on Sunday, December 15, 2024, at 4:02 AM EST, the final full moon of autumn. Other names are the Long Nights Moon and the Oak Moon.

the full wolf moon

WAYS TO HONOR September’s FULL MOON

Here are 10 delightful ways to honor September’s full moon, the Harvest Moon, embracing its significance and celebrating the bounties of the season:

  1. Moonlit Meditation: Find a serene outdoor spot or a cozy window seat to meditate under the glow of the Harvest Moon. Reflect on your personal growth and intentions while basking in the moon’s gentle light.

  2. Create a Harvest Moon Altar: Set up a special altar dedicated to the Harvest Moon. Use symbols like sheaves of wheat, gourds, and autumn leaves. Add candles and crystals that resonate with the moon’s energy, like moonstone or selenite.

  3. Harvest Feast: Gather friends and family for a harvest-themed feast. Prepare a menu featuring seasonal produce like pumpkins, apples, and root vegetables. Share stories and gratitude for the abundance of the season.

  4. Moon Bathing: Spend time outdoors, bathing in the moonlight. Allow the moon’s energy to cleanse and rejuvenate your spirit. You might even incorporate moon-charged water into your self-care routine.

  5. Moonlit Walk: Take a leisurely walk under the Harvest Moon’s glow. Whether alone or with loved ones, it’s a perfect opportunity to connect with nature and the cosmos.

  6. Moon Yoga: Practice gentle yoga or stretching outdoors while the moon is high. Channel the moon’s energy to find balance and harmony in both body and mind.

  7. Moon-inspired Crafts: Engage in creative activities that honor the Harvest Moon. Make moon-phase art, craft moonstone jewelry, or paint a moonlit landscape.

  8. Harvest Moon Reflection: Spend time journaling about your personal journey over the past year. Consider what you’ve harvested in terms of accomplishments, lessons learned, and personal growth.

  9. Moonlit Rituals: Create simple rituals that align with the energy of the Harvest Moon. Light candles, perform a gratitude ritual, or release any negativity under the moon’s transformative light.

  10. Moonlit Picnic: Plan a cozy moonlit picnic with loved ones. Savor autumn-inspired treats while enjoying the beauty of the moonlit night.

Remember that these activities can be adapted to suit your personal preferences and circumstances. Whether you’re seeking solitude, connection with others, or a blend of both, the Harvest Moon provides a wonderful backdrop for honoring nature’s rhythms and embracing the magic of the season.

may's full moon

MOONLIT MEDITATION TO HONOR September’s FULL MOON

  1. Find a comfortable and quiet space where you can sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Allow your body to relax and your mind to become still.
  2. Visualize yourself standing in a serene and open field, bathed in the soft and radiant light of the September Harvest Moon. Feel the gentle touch of its luminous glow upon your skin, filling you with a sense of peace and tranquility.
  3. As you stand under the moon’s light, imagine your connection to the cycles of nature. Envision the changes that have occurred in your life over the past year, just as the seasons have shifted from spring to summer and now to autumn. Reflect on the seeds you’ve planted, the growth you’ve experienced, and the lessons you’ve learned.
  4. Now, visualize yourself holding a basket before you. This basket represents the metaphorical harvest of your efforts, accomplishments, and experiences. With each inhale, imagine filling this basket with the fruits of your journey. See your achievements, joys, and moments of gratitude taking form as radiant orbs of light, gently settling into the basket.
  5. As you continue to breathe deeply, allow your heart to open and fill with a profound sense of gratitude. Feel the moon’s energy amplifying this gratitude within you, infusing it with a deep and radiant light. With each exhale, send this gratitude out into the universe, sharing it with the cosmos and the world around you.
  6. Take a few moments to simply bask in the moon’s glow and the warmth of your own gratitude. Know that you are aligned with the natural rhythms of the universe, connected to the cycles of growth, and part of a larger tapestry of existence.
  7. When you are ready to conclude your meditation, take a few deep breaths and gently bring your awareness back to your physical surroundings. Slowly open your eyes, feeling refreshed, centered, and deeply connected to the beauty of September’s full Harvest Moon.

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Free 2024 Lunar Calendar

IN CONCLUSION

I hope you enjoyed learning some meaning, folklore, and history surrounding September’s full moon. Keep in mind that there are many other full moons throughout the year, each one with its own unique history, meaning, and folklore. 

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