The Full Moon of this time appears in the sign of Aries, with the Sun in Libra. During this Moon, or just before, we celebrate the Autumn Equinox.
Throughout the Harvest Moon, especially after the Autumn Equinox, the Goddess begins to draw her energy inwards. Plants withdraw their sap from their leaves, and they die in a flourish of celebratory colour. Trees let go of their leaves, their outward life, slowly but surely. Life energy returns to the dark Earth.
The fruits of the field are ripening. Apples blush at the idea of being picked soon. Things go to seed and give up their fruits to the four winds. We can now put the same effort into our work, make it ripe and whole, ready for the harvest.
At the Harvest Moon, we begin to look at what the Year's work has meant for us. We weigh up what we have gained against what we have lost, and see clearly what Life has taught us in this cycle. We look at the impact of our outer work on our inner life. The weather makes us withdraw into our houses again, as the nights close in. We have time to think about our impact upon the Web of Life.
I had a great Harvest this Year. I realised just how much I had gained and how much my network of relationships on the Web of Life had grown and strengthened. I feel myself related to friends old and new, to my work, to the Goddess, to my helping spirits, and to the whole world through these pages. This network of relationships strengthens me and gives me a real feeling of power. At the Full Moon I tried to extend this feeling by celebrating the many harvests of my land.
Every Moon has its own Harvest Tide, when the Moon becomes a crescent again. You can see the ageing Moon from after midnight and into the early afternoon.
It is a time to turn the Moon's energy inward, and look into your heart: what have you gained, as a person, from the Moon's work, and what is no longer useful to you. It is a time to identify mistakes and to think about how to rectify them.
In the Harvest Tide of life, people become clear about what is truly important to them. It has become traditional in our society for people to retire - and to have to take retirement - between the ages of 60 and 65. That can be a great opportunity to finally do the things you want to do, things you never got around to during your busy working life. But for many people it is a great loss, and we begin to see many newly retired people starting their own business, or keeping their finger in the pie in other ways. It is important at this time for every person to work out what they want to keep from the life they have lived, and what they no longer want to carry around.
It turned bitterly cold for a couple of weeks in the Harvest Moon. It made the leaves turn more quickly, and the most amazing reds and golden yellows were displayed. Then, just before the Waning Half Moon, a huge storm swept across the country and denuded the trees very suddenly. The autumn display was cut unusually short.
My mother came to stay for a week in this Moon. That's always a stressful time for me, but this time she seems to have really enjoyed herself. I tried to hold on to my powerful new-found sense of self and not give any of it away. To an extent, that worked. I carry my harvest with pride, and hope it will feed me for many months to come.