Whispers of rebirth rattle the dusk-sodden leaves as our brazen summer fades to a smolder. Autumnal festivals abound in the crisper air, and farmers take stock of their bounties—delicious corn, pumpkin, squash, and wild rice—before the darkness seeps in.
"As you sow, so shall you reap," the witchlings of the wood mutter in earnest.
That's right... Fall's here. Well, very nearly.
The Harvest Moon is the full moon that lands nearest the Autumn Equinox—or Mabon, as the holiday is known to Celts and pagan communities. This year, the moon acts as Mabon's luminous harbinger; most of North America will enjoy the large red-orange orb on the eve of Friday, September 13th, while it graces much of the rest of the world on the 14th.
As with many celestial events, various civilizations worldwide celebrate the Harvest Moon in their own ways. All across China and Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival will commence, lasting from Friday through Saturday to express thanksgiving for the past and the end of their harvest. Likewise, Celtic and Druidic communities mark the Harvest Moon as a time of reflection for their agricultural efforts, and to appreciate the darkness of winter as it fast approaches.
Outside of these century-worn traditions, it may seem a tad odd to celebrate the harvest when most of our families no longer cultivate their own food. But this doesn't mean nature has ceased to provide sustenance, nor that we shouldn't offer our gratitude. Natural food production is still a sort of magic in itself, especially with the mass scale it has taken on today. As long as we're eating, a bountiful harvest and hardworking farmers are still things we can all celebrate!
Here are five ways to honor the earth and its savory Autumn provisions~
1. Bloom where you are planted. Instead of purchasing a bouquet of flowers to adorn your home, go get some potted kitchen herbs—rosemary for love, sage for meditation, basil for fortune—that you can tend to and eventually place in a little garden, if you'd like. Even better, plant seeds and grow them from scratch if you have a green thumb! Friendly house faeries love thriving plants, so open the windows (weather permitting), and invite them in!
2. Focus on positive release. On Friday the 13th, the Harvest Moon will also be in Pisces. Pisces is a mutable water sign, and, as the last of the twelve zodiacs, she brings the ending to the emotional state you've been experiencing all summer (remember that July retrograde? Yikes...). She swims by with a penchant for mood swings, striking intuition, and vivid dreams. If we aren't self-aware, a full moon in Pisces can stir negative rumination, so try not to stay in or alone for long this weekend. Still, all this emotional energy will need to go somewhere! Ready your body and mind by lighting some incense. Sit with your favorite crystal (aquamarine or bloodstone if you have it) in your left hand, and focus on a mantra to clear your space for the season. Let it resonate with you as you do this for about 10 minutes with your eyes lightly closed.
An example of a mantra or affirmation you can use is,
Autumn is a time of transition and reflection;
I welcome the eclectic energies of this season into my life.
3. Ready, set-your-intentions, go! Get out a piece of paper and pen, and light an orange candle if you have one—if not, a white unscented candle will do. Prepare a water dish and have it handy. Manifest your wishes, writing down five intentions by candlelight. Perchance you'd like to be braver in the coming season, maybe you wish to practice kindness or more patience with others. After you've done this, sit and meditate with your list for a couple minutes, thanking the experiences that have led you to welcoming these specific intentions into your life. Then, light a corner of the paper with your candle and drop it into your water dish, preferably before it singes your fingertips. The next morning, discard of the ashes and water into the earth outside your home—and don't forget to extinguish that flame, for witch's sakes.
4. Break bread with your tribe. Or, you know, your coven. Host a fall-themed supper! You don't have to spend a lot decorating; just hit up the dollar section at your nearest Target, they always seem to have the coziest seasonal decor. To make it easier on you if you have littles, a hectic schedule, or just because hosting is enough work, have everyone bring a dish or dessert. To make this even more magical, you can host a nighttime picnic under the full moon.
5. Spend the day in nature. This doesn't need to be a hike if you aren't into that. Many wineries host outdoor tours, and most Renaissance faires run their course from August through October. Plus, this time of year all the orchards and cider mills are opening their doors to fall-frenzied witches, warlocks, and creatures everywhere. Just be outside, face the breeze, and revel in the merriment.
Since our Harvest Moon falls prerequisite to the Equinox this year, the witches at The Parliament House have deemed it necessary to forewarn you... Something wicked this way comes, indeed. To celebrate Mabon on Monday, the 23rd of September, we will be kicking the fall season off with a day-long festival! Hoards of bookish bloggers will host giveaways, we'll highlight titles that might pique the interest of our witchy readers, and the Parliament Press blog maven will—of course—feature an enchanting ode to Mabon.
Also... do keep your eye out for a peek at the Shrike, dear; come time, she's bound to make an appearance that day, especially with all the filthy exuberance in the air. So, keep your eyes on the trees...
We'll see you soon, I'm sure~
The Blog Maven