There will be two full moons in October this year. The full Harvest Moon occurring on the 1st (3:06 PM, MST) and the full Hunter’s Moon falling on Saturday, October 31st, Samhain night. It will certainly be a month worth remembering due to this phenomena. It also provides an opportunity to briefly talk about a little bit of moon nomenclature.
Most of the full moon names are directly connected to their Native American names; every one except the Harvest Moon and Hunter’s Moon. Neither one is connected to a specific month, but rather to a specific astronomical event; the fall equinox , also known as Mabon in the pagan world. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that is closest to the equinox (September 22nd), while the Hunter’s Moon is the moon that comes after. By this system, the Harvest Moon can fall in either September or October, and the Hunter’s Moon can fall in either October or November.
What You’ll Need For Our 2020 Full Harvest Moon Ritual
Quarter Candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
Anthame or wand
Large White Goddess Candle – Goddess candle
Altar decorated with seasonal herbs, flowers, and foilage
Paper and pencils
Throughout this ritual, any text surrounded by these symbols < > should be considered instructional and not spoken aloud but done in accordance with the directions
Full Harvest Moon Ritual Begins
This circle forming all around, high above, across the ground, a sacred sphere has gathered here, a sacred mist doth now appear, our unending ring of power and sight, our focus on this full moon night!
Calling The Quarters
Fellow travelers, turn to the East, the direction of the rising sun and the spirits of AIR. We call out to the celestial beings who watch over us from high above, to descend and join in our full harvest moon ritual this night. Our hearts are willing and our minds open to receive the gifts of the higher planes. <light yellow candle>
Next, we shift our attention to the South, where all things are warm and comfortable and the noble spirits of FIRE are found. Join us in fellowship on this night, as we rejuvenate ourselves and our magickal tools using the power of the full moon. <light red candle>
Look to the West, where the sun goes to rest each night, and the great spirits of WATER make their berth. Show us that which we are unable to see, move us in ways that open our minds to that which will soon emerge and that which has already arrived. Give us guidance and flexibility so we move as the waters move. <light blue candle>
Finally our sight shall gaze upon the great lands of the North, where the immortal spirits of Mother EARTH reside. As we absorb the energy of the full moon, we become more powerful. Yet as the earth itself absorbs the energy, it heals and prepares for the seasons far in the distance. Teach us the balancing ways so that we use our magickal and personal resources wisely and effectively. <light green candle>
<Ritual leader should Raise their arms high>
Great Goddess, whether you are high above us in spiritual form or walking among us as a living creature, we feel your presence. Each precious breath reminds us that our very existence is courtesy of you and only you. As we praise the moon and cleanse ourselves tonight, we ask for strength in making the choices that support our higher selves. We ask for healing, to release the wounds of anguish and suffering. And most importantly, we ask for forgiveness in our weak moments. <Light Goddess candle>
The Harvest Moon has a long and rich tradition, dating back for generations. Our ancestors were heavily dependent on agriculture, and during harvest time, it was critical to get everything under cover before freezing temperatures would do damage. Usually, most farmers were up against a time crunch, and the light of the full Harvest Moon was a welcome blessing, as it allowed them to work in the fields, long after sunset. These precious few hours each night made a huge difference. Also, unlike the other months, the Harvest Moon doesn’t have alternative names.
In 2020, there are two full moons in October. It will serve us well to use this first one to focus on our personal cleansing and spiritual work, especially with the second one falling on Samhain, where the focus will be on the history and traditions of that very significant night.
This month’s selection is not from a pagan artist, and instead goes with an obvious choice. Please enjoy the song, Harvest Moon, by the Canadian-American musician Neil Young, from the 1992 album by the same name. The song has a moon theme, but is actually about the artist and his wife Pegi. Classic Rock Review calls the song, an absolute masterpiece that celebrates longevity in relationships and love affairs. We love it because of the moon reference. Enjoy.
2020 Full Harvest Moon – Renewal, Rebirth, and Revisiting
This month, our lesson of the session focuses on big picture things. The kind of things that alter one’s life and take them on a new and uncharted journey into the wondrous period called the future. A place where new beginnings breed better habits and wholesale changes to everything we do. We’re talking a legitimate and real, rebirth of the spirit, and all the joy that comes with it.
As the final rays of summer sun give way to the darkness, earlier and earlier each night, we are reminded that winter will be upon us and the land will become frozen and nearly unbearable at times. Many of us will find passive things to entertain ourselves with; biding our time for when Spring once again comes. Yet a very few will instead take the time to do the shadow work necessary for growth. To that latter group, we give hail and honor, for the path to achieving a high self is not always one filled with roses and faeries.
I challenge each of you to look deeply inside, deeper than ever before and root out the negativity that is bringing you down. Revisit everything; I mean everything, not just the things which seem troublesome. Look at your friends, family, job, pastimes, and spiritual work. Are your friends truly there for you, or are they only there when they need something? Does your job pile you up with negative emotions, anger, or even rage? Are you engaged in activities which make you feel whole inside, or are you just passing time? How about your spiritual work? Are you taking the time to follow through on those things which you claim to be a part of, or are you only posing for the outside world? As you revisit every aspect of your life, do you see yourself on a path that will take you to the next plane of spirituality and bring you a level of peace you deserve?
So many times, we avoid taking the big picture look at ourselves, as it’s often difficult to process everything. We may be fearful of breaking relationships; forecasting difficult times in our physical lives because of it. We often choose not to sort through things for fear that we won’t like ourselves once we’re exposed, so instead we keep going along, waiting for some kind of miracle to happen. This can be the turning point to a better life, if only we choose to see the reality of our lives, rather than a version of it we keep trying to convince ourselves exists. Renewal is exactly what it sounds like. We keep the old framework, but strip off the old paint and window dressings, until we reach a solid foundation. Once we find it, we can start to build on it.
Re-birthing spiritually is not always something that happens in a split second, or great moment. It’s more like starting over and as you develop & grow, you do so in a way that everything is good, pure, and necessary. Your physical body won’t change, but the engine that drives it certainly will. The things that contribute to you reaching your highest good become the focus of your life, and the things that drug you down are avoided. You will lose friends, you will see things in a completely different way, and you might even find yourself a bit unnerved or scared. But don’t be afraid, rather let the fear teach you caution and step lightly.
It sounds like an overwhelming thought; to revisit, renew, and hopefully be reborn through your own actions. But, if you take it one step at a time and keep your focus on the prize (a better you), you’ll be energized and ready to take on the task. Stay on your chose path and do not let anyone steer you elsewhere. Make reasonable goals and follow through without excuses. And most importantly, break free from those who are only interested in using you for any reason. Your best part is the part that will emerge and you will definitely feel better and you’ll be on a path that continues skyward, with no end in sight. Are you ready to take this step? Now, it the time.
Cleansing and Clearing
As we do on each full moon, we come here 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 our own mental clutter. Each of us carries things, which ultimately wear us down. We often find ourselves unexpectedly burdened with baggage from those around us, or from our environments. These weights can be difficult to shed, and often stay attached to us, despite our best attempts to clear them. Some of these are complicated and messy, so we often avoid them or bury them deep so that their pain or anguish doesn’t impact our day to day lives; at least that’s what we try to tell ourselves. If everyone could take a few minutes to self-reflect and really dig deep into those areas you often avoid, you’ll see that even if it’s tough, it’s necessary to work through them.
<take a few moments, or more, to allow for the group to self-reflect>
If you think deeply, you will see that cleansing is a very personal choice. It’s nearly impossible for another to judge you, as they know not what you are struggling with inside. Everyone has negative influences in their lives, and everyone is constantly under attack by the nefarious energy vampires and digital demons. Make your choices wisely so that once they are made, there is no going back. Your decision to shed baggage is yours and yours alone. Just 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 are the first steps to bettering your spiritual workings. Once you’ve chose to discard the unwanted things, do not allow new or different types of negative energy to refill the spaces you’ve just created. Trade the bad for something better; something enlightening and pure, but don’t wait for it; time can be a vicious master if you allow it to. 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!
Closing the 2020 Harvest Moon Circle
Spirits of the North, we bid you farewell on this glorious night – as you depart, leave a small remembrance with each gathered here so that we shall never forget where the magick comes and how to control it. <extinguish green candle>
Spirits of the West, we thank you for the many thousands of blessings you have given us – as we begin to walk our new path, keep us stable and never forget that flexibility is one of the greatest traits we can retain. <extinguish blue candle>
Spirits of the South, we honor you for sharing your energies with us tonight – say farewell but leave us with the strength and vision to see the hidden messages flickering in the flames. <extinguish red candle>
Spirits of the East, lspill forth your great winds so that they can carry away the smoke and ashes of that which we have released tonight. Leave us if you must, but touch each soul gathered here as you do, so that minds shall not forget the connections made tonight. <extinguish yellow candle>
Great Goddess, we have asked, and you have provided. We have cried, and you have dried our tears, We have lost, but you have given us new hop and the ability to find once again. We have loved, and you have made that bond strong and beautiful. We offer praises and thanks once again for sharing this full harvest moon night with us. <extinguish Goddess Candle>
This celestial moonlight circle is open but never broken,
If you’d like to browse other Full Moon Rituals available, check out the Rites & Rituals Archives on The Gypsy Thread.
- Hunter’s Moon 2021 – Looking Toward the Future - October 20, 2021
- Mabon 2021 – Celebrating the Second Harvest on the Fall Equinox - September 20, 2021
- Full Harvest Moon – Looking Forward Rather Than Behind - September 17, 2021