Happy Harvest Moon, lovelies. It’s officially time to shift seasons now. And, I just had to get outside under the full moon last night + bathe in her light as I welcome in the coziest, deepest, most spiritual of seasons (in my humble little opinion).
For me, up here in the northern hemisphere, this harvest moon marks the initiation the descent into the darkest part of the year and I could not be more excited. This is the season in which my soul settles into her sacred space. I slow down even more, listen, dwell, and sink into the wisdom of the earth + the dark. I let my soul ground down + begin to tap into my roots, my intuition, and ancient, earthy ways of magic + meaning.
But, before I settle into the darkness, before the darkness of autumn surrounds me + my everyday life, there is a bit of slow soul work to be done. A bit of preparation that follows the work of the harvesting season.
Autumn is the season both in the physical + spiritual world meant for gathering, foraging, and harvesting. And the perfect way to celebrate this full moon + the beginning of the autumn season this coming week is to harvest all that has grown since the spring. Farmers, country dwellers, animals, and nature lovers all begin to head out to hunt and gather the bounty of this past growing season. It is the time to separate the wheat from the chaff. To store up what we need to help us through the winter + release what we do not need back to the earth.
Just as we gather + harvest in nature, though, this season, calls us to gather + harvest what has also grown inside of us since the planting of the seeds in the spring. It is the perfect time for us to do the soul work of preparing for the dark winter by sifting through what we have grown, what we have learned, what we need to carry with us into the future, and what we can release + leave behind.
So, last night, under the harvest moon, I went outside to begin to start my soul’s harvesting process. It was late. Almost midnight. And it was chilly. There was a breeze, not a constant one, but one that came + went. In my backyard, I slipped off my shoes and sank my bare feet in the cold grass. It felt invigorating. Then, I turned my face toward the moon + just stood there. Soaking up the moon vibes. The energy. The white light. The calm, quiet magic. I lifted my arms from my sides and up over my head in a long stretch – the wind picked up just as my hands + arms reached over my head. I stood completely still, letting the wind blow over me, through my fingers, and let my soul soak it all in. I felt gratitude, power, peace, and alignment.
As the wind subsided, I slowly dropped my arms back to my side. Now, I was ready to begin my harvest.
I am in no rush to harvest all that I have grown. No, I want to let this process unfold throughout the rest of September, or however long it needs. But, in thinking about gathering all that I need + want to carry with me deep into autumn + winter, I know that I must be able to discern and intuit what stays + what goes.
Grounding under the harvest moon
So, the first thing I need to do under the harvest moon is to ground down. As I literally did when I stood barefoot under the moon last night. I need to get quiet + present by practicing those rituals + acts that connect me with the earth + with spirit. Those things that allow me to be still, so I can hear + feel the wisdom rising from within me.
To ground myself, I listen to music. I create playlists. I write. I walk barefoot. I touch trees + leaves. I read books + oracle/tarot cards. I carry crystals. I anoint with oil + practice self-care. This is the foundation to being ready to begin the harvest.
Harvesting during the full moon
Grounded + nourished, now I can begin. Harvesting is a long, arduous, physical, draining process, right? No matter if I am harvesting apples from the tree or lessons from my soul, I must do the work in order to gather what I need. Soul harvesting is work of this full moon and the days/weeks thereafter. It is the time that I get clear on what I have learned + how I have grown. Of what I need to leave behind + what I need to surrender to. Of what path I have been on + what path lies ahead.
The act of soul harvesting during the September harvest moon requires time, patience, intuition, and silence.
So, this morning, I pulled out my journal entries from last March. Six months ago. Here’s a little background info about full moons + the cosmos + why I looked at my journal from 6 months ago. The moon sits in a different zodiac sign (constellation) each month. That sign is the complete opposite of the sign that the sun sits in. So, in early September the sun sits in Virgo’s constellation. That means that the full moon in September lines up with the Pisces constellation. Which just so happens to be the sun’s constellation in March. Hence, March + September are connected. Are you with me?
Every month is like this. For each full moon, the sign that it is in is the sun’s sign from 6 months before. October’s full moon is Aries (April). November’s full moon is in Taurus (May). All this to say, that when it’s a full moon, it’s always a good opportunity to look back over the past 6 months to see what we have experienced + how we have grown.
But, under the harvest moon in September, as I engage in deep soul harvesting, it is even more magical + inspiring to look back over the past 6 months. To see what was planted, how it grew, and what I am harvesting now from my soul’s garden.
I read my old entries. Made notes in my current journal. And immediately saw the unfolding that has occurred between March + September. Immediately I learned lessons + saw healing. I went through every month from March to September and noted what I was processing, experiencing, and feeling. I saw clear, amazing evolution and an obvious ending that occurred as soon as September began. A new phase, a new path, and a new vision is exactly where I am right now. Looking back confirmed the calm, rooted, empowered peace that I feel in my soul. It confirmed the vision that is beginning to slowly, quietly form from my intuition.
Visioning after the harvest moon
That call to a new vision is the final step in the harvesting. Once all has been gathered + released + celebrated, it’s time to think about what comes next. what new seeds are to be planted. But, this is where I have to be careful. I cannot get ahead of myself. It is not quite yet time for visioning. The harvesting has just begun.
The season of harvesting, beginning with the harvest moon this weekend, is the first moment in the vision quest that will occur during the darkest months of the year. In order to cast a vision, though, I must first know what I have + what I need. That’s what the harvesting season is for. And then, in October, on Halloween, and November + December I hunker down + to do the work of the dark. This is when I annually retreat + dwell deep within my soul, embarking on a vision quest of sorts. Letting wisdom, potential, and mystery guide me to listening to what spirit, earth, and my own soul has to say to me about how I show up in the world + what medicine I have to offer.
This visioning step arrives in October. So, for now, I just let it sit there. Knowing that I will know when to begin my autumnal vision quest. First, I remain with the work of the harvest moon. The work of welcoming autumn. The work of preparing for my vision quest – for gathering + releasing.
So, exactly what am I harvesting + what am I releasing? Well, that’s a long blog post in itself, I believe. Or maybe it’s something that just stays in my journal. What is certain + what I want to share with you, dear soul, is that this harvest moon + the autumn (or spring) equinox coming up in a little more than a week are the perfect ways to begin to create a life in rhythm with nature. Looking at + feeling what is happening around me in the natural world teaches me so much about how life is meant to unfold from day to day. I find meaning and sacredness in the most mundane things simply because I seek to slow down + pay attention to what is happening in nature. And the more I live in tune with the rhythm of the earth, the more I understand how I am such a tiny part of it all. And, yet, I also realize how much I am a part of something so vast, real, natural, spiritual, and eternal. The energy that flows through me flows through all of nature and vice versa. That same energy flows through you as well. Everything is connected. Everything + everyone flows + unfolds + cycles.
Autumn is the ending of one cycle. It is the ending of the growing season. The death of the natural world. But, it is only the ending of this cycle. The moon is born + dies + is reborn again and again every single month. We, too, are spiritually are born + die + reborn throughout our physical lives. And as for our physical lives, when our bodies are gone, our spirit, our soul, transforms + moves on. At least, when I look at nature (of which we are a part), then I see + know that transformation is a universal truth.
With all of that said, it’s time to welcome autumn + the season of the harvest. The season of gathering, learning, celebrating, and giving thanks. And of surrendering to the magic of the vision that lies ahead.