Continuing our exploration of what celebration looks like in modern Pagan families, this is the next in our series of blogs from the Children & Families Team write about the traditions they have developed to celebrate the full moons of the year with their children aged 3 years and up, continuing with the September full moon.
There are many names for the full moon in September including Harvest Moon, Barley Moon, Corn moon, Wine moon and Autumn Moon.
We call it the Harvest Moon or the Autumn Moon in our house as this is the time of the year that really feels like Autumn is properly here and the fruit tree harvest is also here which is important to us as we have an apple tree.
The herbs associated with this moon are fennel, valerian, rye, lilac, marjoram, rose and thyme. The scents associated are bergamot, gardenia, rose and lilac and the elements for this full moon are Earth and Air.
We use this full moon to charge any crystals which are Earth objects by leaving them out in the moonlight and to honour the moon we use rose scented incense as air and we will toast with a glass of water and some fancy cupcakes.
Full moon gardening includes planting crops, and this time of year could include overwintering vegetables such as spring cabbage, onions, spinach, and turnips.
Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team
September brings a new moon in Virgo on the 7th followed by a full moon in Pisces (the opposite sign to Virgo, as the sun and moon are opposite each other at a full moon) on the 21st. Virgo is the sign of mutable (meaning changeable) earth and we see this in the changing season, the shift from summer to autumn.
This is the sign of small magics, bringing a reminder that we don’t need elaborate ritual or dramatic experiences to create change, which can be a relief if raising a family leaves us lacking in the time or mental and emotional energy for either. But we can make rituals of our daily routines, for example by stirring our morning coffee whilst focusing on an intent for the day or visualising negative energy washing away as we bathe ourselves and our children.
At the full moon in Pisces, we can tune into energies of release, perhaps doing some “autumn cleaning” to clear both physical and psychic space and make way for the more reflective seasons of autumn and winter.
My daughter starts Secondary school next week and has spent (without any prompting from me for once!) much of this week tidying and decluttering her room, magically letting go of a phase of her childhood and clearing space for the new gifts and challenges which lie ahead.
London District Liaison, Children & Families Team
I love September. Even though it starts with the stress and turmoil of back to school, it has so much promise: the forthcoming autumn equinox (spring equinox in the Southern Hemisphere!), and a beautiful Harvest Moon.
The Harvest Moon is often defined as the full moon closest to the equinox – that special time where night and day are roughly equal. In 2021, the full moon appears on the 20th and the equinox is the 22nd of September, very close together. Eqinoxes are associated with pausing and reflecting, taking stock of what you’ve done throughout the previous season, and planning for the season ahead. This might involve a big clean out, or just some quiet time with friends or family.
We like to go for autumn walks, enjoying the changing colours on the trees and spotting late fruits like apples and the last of the blackberries. It’s also a great time to spot birds as some are still migrating south, so you might see flocks of geese or even late swallows making their way to warmer lands for the winter. If the sky is clear, we like to sit at the top of the garden and watch the moon rise, often telling stories and, if it’s already cooling, enjoying a small fire with our little family.
Secretary, Children & Families Team
In our house the September full moon is the Harvest moon, it is the closest full moon to my youngest’s birthday and the Autumn Equinox.
As such, we use this time to be grateful for our harvests and sharing of our bounty. As fancy as that sounds, it simply means that we take stock of our blessings that we have had over the year, usually the material items we have received; we then work out if we have too much of something or no longer have a use for something and these things will be sent for reuse via charity shops or recycled as appropriate.
As always, we will have a fire in the garden, there is no specific purpose for this during September moon, other than with fire we feel connected to our faith when we don’t have others to celebrate with.
As my two are now older and able to make their own choice whether to mark the full moon or not, my full moon celebration is somewhat diminished, but I was proud when my youngest appeared, voluntarily, with a bag of clothes for the charity shop.
Deputy Manager, Children & Families Team