September’s Harvest Moon

Gelukkige Volmaan!
(“Happy Full Moon” in Afrikans)

Welcome to Issue 9 of Volume III of the Earth, Moon and Stars blog!
(Formerly the Full Moon Lore newsletter.)

In this issue:

  • Moon Names
  • Moon Art ~ Moon beadwork by Cyndi Lavin
  • Seasonal Calendar (dates and times)
  • Celestial Mechanics (Harvest Moon; “Sliding” Equinoxes)
  • Astrology and Folklore (progress and relationships) 


   This month’s full moon is the traditional Harvest Moon, so-called by the Colonial Americans, Hopi, Neo-Pagans, and others. The term Harvest Moon is traditionally the full Moon closest to the September equinox, which this year is eleven days after the full Moon.

   This full Moon nearest the equinox was given the term Harvest Moon because it rises close to sunset for several nights in a row, thus maintaining a sky light enough to allow finishing the harvest chores by moonlight. (See Celestial Mechanics, below, for a technical explanation.)

Full Harvest Moon

   Since there is no noticeable period of darkness between sunset and moonrise around the time following these full moons, farmers in the days before electricity could count on the lamp of the Harvest Moon to continue gathering their crops. Making up for the autumn season’s waning daylight, the Harvest Moon faithfully provides several nights of dusk-till-dawn light. This bonanza of moonlight remains the legacy of the Harvest Moon.


   The medieval English called this month’s full moon the Full Barley Moon, while many Native American tribes called it the Dying Grass Moon.

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September Harvest Moon [Cyndi Lavin]


 The beautiful beaded embroidery you see here was created by Cyndi Lavin for her Bead Journal Project (a part of her Beading Arts Facebook page) where you can see all twelve of her Moon creations. Cyndi also has her own websites Mixed Media Artist, and Beading Arts, rich with examples of and information on beads, jewelry, and other art mediums.





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September’s full moon: Monday Sept 12 09:27 UT (5:27am EDT; 2:27am PDT)
September equinox: Friday September 23 09:04 UT
September’s  new moon: Tuesday Sept  27 11:09 UT  (7:09am EDT; 4:09 am PDT)
October’s full moon: Wednesday Oct 12, 02:06 UT (Tuesday Oct 11, 10:06 pm EDT)


Harvest Moon

The reason for the shorter-than-usual successive moonrise times at this time of year is that in autumn the Moon’s orbit makes an especially narrow angle with respect to the horizon, leading the moon to higher positions in our sky each successive day.

“Sliding” Equinoxes

Many of us used to think that the solstices and equinoxes always occur on the 21st of the month, but were then confused when we discovered that is not always the case. (Note that the equinox coming up is on the 23rd.)  This fluctuation occurs for the same reason we have leap years: the number of days in a year is not a whole number, but contains a fraction. This is because the length of an Earth day and the time the Earth takes to travel once around the Sun (the tropical year) are (for most intents and purposes) independent of each other. The Precession of the Equinoxes also plays a part in this, albeit much smaller. We will look into each of these in more detail in future issues.

[I’m postponing until next month to explore the promised look at other smaller objects (not-really-moons) that are currently co-orbiting with Earth around the Sun.]


September Full Moon
Dian Bustillo, Moon Maven
Here is a summary of what Dian writes this month in her simplyastrology post:

The Moon represents inner power, and all full Moons are a call to look at your life in full light, each one having its own specific connection with nature and thus a special significance in your life. Being the Harvest, this month’s full Moon is related to abundance, representing the yield reaped from the seeds you planted in spring when you made your dream board.This is also a time for some of your plans to fall away, to separate from what does not serve you well, to be prudent but truthful with yourself about what’s not working and why. Treat your life as though it were a rose bush, prune it severely but lovingly so your life will have strength and energy for the next time around, while you continue to cultivate the parts of your dreams that will flourish with the cold weather to come. Trust your intuition.

You can read the complete article at Dian’s simplyastrology blog, with even more on her Cycles of Living website.

Full Moon in Pisces Illuminates Our Progress
Carola Eastwood
Here is a summary of  what Carola Eastwood writes about this Pisces Full Moon in her Planetary Cycles column this month in the Life Connection magazine:

This full Moon illuminates how far we have come with grounding and refining our new creations. Conversely, we also become aware of any needed course-corrections, bringing us face-to-face with the progress of our evolutionary journey, with the question: Are our goals, actions and daily choices in alignment with our purpose?

See Carola’s full Planetary Cycles article for lots more good stuff. 

Carola Eastwood provides in-depth personal astrology readings that open the doorway to fulfilling your life-purpose. Her office is in San Marcos. 858/259-1590.

Molly Hall
A summary of Molly’s Full Moon page this month:

This Full Moon in Pisces is about healing, sharing intimacy with all of humanity, and seeing beyond the surface of things. It illuminates the depth of meaning in relationships and events, the wider mystery of why we’re here, how we’re merged as humans, the power of the collective heart impulse, divinely inspired creative ideas, chances to be a comfort in a dark time, and vivid dreams of other realms and lives.

She says it’s a good time to:

  • feast on spiritual nourishment
  • volunteer with children, animals, the elderly and vulnerable
  • get lost in your own imagination
  • keep your schedule clear for daydreaming
  • take a long healing soak or swim in the ocean
  • spend time past the monkey mind, in meditation or a walk in nature
  • speak from the heart
  • let yourself feel deeply
  • be with those you love

See Molly’s full article Pisces Harvest Moon, plus her Pisces Full Moon in Pictures and her Everything Changes Moon article.

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Until the full moon in October, here’s wishing you and yours a beautiful transition into Fall  (or Spring, if you are in the Southern hemisphere).

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The Earth, Moon and Stars blog is published once each Full Moon with (hopefully interesting) facts and lore about our moon and other sky phenomena. My wish is that you will have fun learning a bit more about our one and only natural satellite and how all of us — people, animals, plants, water, even rocks — are affected and connected by her.


About aquarianman

Aquarian interested in anything to do with the Earth, our Moon, and anything flying around out there in space.
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