Full Harvest Moon – Looking Forward Rather Than Behind


This year the Full Harvest Moon can be seen in the night sky just two days before Mabon, the fall equinox.  On Monday, September 20th, at 5:54 PM (MST), the full moon will be shining at it’s peak.  But before we get into the ritual, the term Harvest Moon is worth a quick discussion.

Most full moons names remain constant.  The Snow Moon in February is always the Snow Moon.  However the same process isn’t always the case with the Harvest Moon; there is a criteria that must be met.  The Full Moon that happens nearest to Mabon, the fall equinox always takes on the name “Harvest Moon.”  This year the fall equinox is 1:20 MST on September 22nd, which gives the September Full Moon the Harvest Moon title this year.  If the circumstances would have been different, then this month’s Full Moon would be called the Corn Moon.

What You’ll Need For Our 2021 Harvest Moon Ritual

Quarter Candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
Athame or wand
Large White Goddess Candle – Goddess candle
Altar decorated with seasonal herbs, flowers, and foliage
Paper and pencils
Bowl of sacred water

Fire pit – it is recommended that everyone be familiar with fire safety protocol and be cautious to not start a wildfire

Throughout this ritual, any text surrounded by these symbols < > should be considered instructional and not spoken aloud but done in accordance with the directions

Ritual Begins

This circle forming all around, high above, across the ground, everything becoming clear, a sacred sphere has gathered here – stop, look and listen as we are now between the worlds!

Calling The Quarters

First we look to the East, the direction connected to the soul and the breath of life – where the spirits of Air blows away negativity and negative influences.  We seek wisdom, mental clarity and reassurances that our words will be heard.  <light yellow candle>

Next we turn to the South, the direction connected to the strength of will and pure energy – where the spirits of Fire create, destroy, and give rise to great and wonderful things from the ashes.  We ask for everlasting protection, warmth, heat and the essential light necessary for guiding our bodies and souls through the season of cold and darkness, that will soon be upon us.  <light red candle>

We now look  to the West, the direction of raw passion and emotion – where the spirits of Water continuously refresh and regenerate all that comes in contact with it.  We require constant contact so our bodies shall never abandon us in the healing, purification, and growth processes.  <light blue candle>

And to complete our circle, we turn to the North, the direction of Mother Earth, the center of our lives and the source of all things.  We ask for a glimpse of the future in one eye and a glimpse of the past in the other, so that when combined we can find stability, grounding, and comfort in all things and all realms. <light green candle>

<Ritual leader should Raise their arms high>

Great Goddess, it is you who give life to all things, both large and small, you who raise the seeds from the soil, and you who provide the pathway for the enlightened.  We humbly ask for your presence tonight under the light of the moon. <Light Goddess candle>

harvest moon


The full moon nearest to Mabon is called the Harvest Moon.  For several nights, moonrise comes very close to sunset, which provides several hours of additional light.  In ancient times, this was a huge benefit to farmers as it allowed them to work later into the night, bringing in the final harvest of the year – hence the name.  In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon falls in September.  In the third it occurs in October.  Before we dive into the cleansing and clearing ritual, we will first take some time to enjoy a wonderful selection of music.

Musical Interlude

This month’s selection is Moon Chant, from Marie Bruce.  It is a very mesmerizing melody that will stay with you for the rest of the day.

2021 Full Harvest Moon – Looking Forward Rather Than Behind

This month, our lesson of the session focuses on looking forward; forward to the changing season, forward to the end of the endless quarantines, lockdowns, and limitations we’ve all be suffering through.  Throughout our history, humankind has studied the events that took place in the past and used that knowledge.  We’ve managed to avoid many of the repetitive pitfalls past generations have made and we are better off for it.  Yet, if we spend too much time looking at the past, we lose sight of the things emerging right before our eyes.

On this Full Harvest Moon, I challenge everyone to look ahead.  Ask yourselves the important questions, such as where do I see myself in the future?  What will I be doing?  Who will I be associated with?  Am I still on the same path as I am now, or will I see a life change?  These are just a few on the millions of questions each of us might ask ourselves.  This might seem like an exercise of pure fun to some as they dream the impossible dreams, but there is good reason to check in with yourselves in this manner from time to time; especially when preparing for a Full Moon cleansing and clearing ritual.  Put some legitimate thought into looking ahead, even if it is only for a few weeks or months.  Hold those thoughts, situations, and surroundings in your mind and don’t let them go for the moment.

Now that we are forward-thinking, I would again ask you to go deep into thought again and ask yourselves what things in your current life are holding you back or keeping you from reaching some of any of those future goals or destinations?  Revisit the future you and look for roadblocks as to why you might not be able to achieve the vision you are holding in your mind.  Look to the glorious illumination of the Full Harvest Moon for enlightenment and guidance.  Is there a person in your life who always holds you back?  Are you in a job which limits your creative abilities?  Do you self-sabotage every good thing that seems to find you, simply because of and entrenched fear of failure or worse?  Are you in an endless cycle of circular references which keep you from growing?  Do you hold onto bad habits or bad memories which aren’t in your highest and best self-interest?

After some thought, each of us can easily identify some things which aren’t working for us, and often work against us.  We call this baggage.  As we move through this great phase of existence call humanity, we all pick up baggage.  Over the years this baggage becomes more cumbersome and the burden of carrying it becomes nearly impossible.  It distracts us from personal growth to the extent that we might feel growth is all but impossible.  Well, let me tell you that this baggage needs to go, to be dumped, dropped and never picked up again.  It is time to clean house, free up some space in your mind, and return to the pathway that you know you should be on.

2019 Harvest Moon

Full Moon Magick – Cleansing and Clearing

We gather each month on the full moon to release negativity; to burn that which needs burning, to choose to walk away from that which weighs heavily on our hearts, and ultimately to reduce mental clutter.   Our earlier exercise has helped us identify the things that drag us down, the baggage that we may not show to others around us, but is there nonetheless.  Deep inside we can feel the weight of negativity and the damage caused by so much of it.  The hurt is real.  The limitations are real.  The confusion is real.   And yet, despite being able to see it, many of us cling to these negative things, for reasons unknown or that we cannot explain.   Sometimes we opt for the easy routes in life, sometimes accepting or settling.  Rather than growing and languishing in a life which meets out spiritual and emotional needs, we sometimes find ourselves stopped or worse, moving in reverse.

So tonight, before we commence in our monthly cleansing through burning session, take time to ask yourself if that light is visible.  Take time to question you own motives on why you keep toxic people in your lives or why you allow others to use you without reciprocity.  Are you prepared to sift through everything and weed your personal garden?  Will you follow through and rid yourselves of anything that has no value?  Also, think about how you can harness the positive energies coming from your harvests and late summer activities.  Look for ways to keep that magick alive in your life during the hard months of winter.  Bring some of the outside into your home so you’ll have a constant reminder of where your life is grounded.  Look for ways to excel rather than just settle.  Seek out those energies and store them inside your spirit, so that you don’t regress when things are dark.

Remember that cleansing is a personal choice and no one will judge you for releasing things, or for holding onto them.  The decision is 100% personal and not transferable.  Remember that a life filled with negativity will breed more negativity, but one filled with light, will be a shining beacon that attracts additional light.

<Offer participants pen & paper to write down anything they wish to permanently banish from their lives>

Once you are ready, please approach the fire and burn away that which no longer serves you !

<once everyone is finished, take a few moments to meditate in silence>

Cleaning and releasing is only half of the job.  Do not allow negative energy to refill the spaces you’ve just created.  Trade the bad for something better; something enlightening and pure.  Leave here with a smile on your face, the understanding that there is more to life than just existing, and that change is always part of our lives, but also that you’ve got this!  Change won’t stop you from growing.  Stop sitting on the sidelines and engage with the things that take existence to living.  Blessed Be!

harvest moon

Closing the 2021 Harvest Moon Circle

Spirits of the North, we bid you farewell on this glorious night – leave us with the understanding that, what we need will be provided, if only we open our eyes and our hearts. <extinguish green candle>

Spirits of the West, we thank you for the many thousands of blessings you have given us – leave us tonight with clean hearts, open minds, and a gentle feeling of peace. <extinguish blue candle>

Spirits of the South, we honor you for sharing your energies with us tonight – say farewell on this night, but leave us with the strength to overcome adversity and remain true to our chosen path.  <extinguish red candle>

Spirits of the East, leave us in perfect harmony and balance – carry all that we choose to release, far from here and leave us with positive vibrations and thoughts to fill our souls.  <extinguish yellow candle>

Great Goddess, without your light, we would never know the beauty that the world has; without your encouragement, we would never have developed and grown as a human race; without your continued guidance, we might have strayed from the path – for those things and so much more, we humbly thank you and the unconditional love shared with us this night and every night.  <extinguish Goddess Candle>

The circle is open but never broken,


Additional Readings

If you’d like to browse other Full Moon Rituals available, check out the Rites & Rituals Archives on The Gypsy Thread.


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