Tonight is September’s supercharged full supermoon! On Earth, we find our path lighted by nature’s amazingly coordinated cycles of the sun, moon, and stars. Full moons are monthly touchstones that illuminate the journey. If we have done the work since the Spring in the world and our inner life, this first of Autumn full moon sets the stage for abundance.
“Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon: This full moon’s name is simply because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, the Full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumn Equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years, it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the moonlight. Usually, the Full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night… corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice, the chief Native American, staples are now ready for gathering.” (Farmer’s Almanac) And so are our cannabis flowers.
We just passed into Autumn this past week. Right on time, we are ripening into harvest season. Spring and Autumn are integral parts of the annual balancing act, equalizing the intensities of Summer and Winter. Our concepts and constructs of time via clocks and calendars are interesting. By our modern counting, the Autumn Equinox was on September 23, 2023, so tonight’s full moon fit the Almanac’s equation above. Solstice and equinoxes are signals to the Earth from the sun. An equinox is a moment in time symbolically marking significant seasonal turning points. In this case, the Autumn Equinox ushers in less daylight and cooler temperatures to the northern hemisphere, which prompts the transition from the heat of summer to winter’s cold. The weather here, in the Mediterranean climate of northern California, has noticeably shifted. We viscerally feel this change of season. Now is a time worthy of our attention and worthy of our intentional preparations. Equinox is a wonderful time to examine our equilibrium. With the equal distribution of day and night, it leads us to consider the dualities of dark and light, and so on. Since Autumn is generally less extreme than Summer or Winter, it’s also a good reminder to seek the in-between places and strive toward adaptation and equanimity. Shift happens. It’s Fall for all!
Our lives can mirror the life of the trees. We may sometimes forget, but we are a part of nature. As the leaves begin to fall, we can shed the things in our lives that made us fall/fail. It is the failures, the dead leaves, that give us compost for new growth for the future. We must let go completely. It is about transformation. Let it go like the leaves to make room for new growth. A tree reaches for both dark and light at the same time, roots digging deep into the earth and branches stretching toward the sun. It’s a dance of adaptation, balancing self and surroundings. It’s a process, not a goal. Our world feels much divided, yet it is, in fact, a whole circle of life that needs to be in balance to function. As do our own bodies, our families, and our communities. Look at challenges and find a positive perspective. Everything that happens is a blessing and a lesson. We live, we learn, we grow. “And the seasons they go round, and round and the painted ponies go up and down, we’re captive on the carousel of time, we can’t return we can only look behind from where we came and go round and round and round in the circle game.” (Joni Mitchell)
It is a plentiful time as the crops ripen and are ready to harvest. Time is now spent in the fields. Finishing the cultivation year is pressured and pivotal. The bright full Harvest Moon tells the cannabis plants to hurry up. It’s go time! An outdoor crop is fully climate dependent. Our focus is 100% on the work at hand. Gardeners, farmers, hunters, fishermen, and others whose jobs depend on weather conditions, are ultra-aware of the possibly not-so-subtle shifts. We gather, preserve, and store provisions now, preparing for the coming winter and for the entire year. We celebrate the gathering of crops and the gathering of family and friends to help. We need to work together to bring it all to fruition in a timely manner. At this time of fulfillment, humanity around the whole world can acknowledge our interdependence on each other and on nature with the realization that we are all synched with the dance of natural cycles.
it is Autumn-atic! The Aries full moon lights a fire under us to get it done. “Calm, cool, and collected” may have originated in a deodorant commercial, but this catchy marketing phrase is a good mantra for this moon phase. Things can get hot and come to a head quickly under this moon, which can be positive or negative. To prepare ourselves now is the theme of the season, and at the same time, take stock of the past season and the next season. And we pause regularly along the way to observe and honor each step. Earth’s mysterious nature is easy to feel during these peaks in the seasonal cycles. One thing is a clear constant, the need to consistently balance and rebalance the many, many transitions in life.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” (Albert Camus) Good things to come at this moon and beyond. It’s hard work, and we are grateful. Fruits of our labors are ripe and ready, which brings a sense of satisfaction. There’s nothing like taking a bite and letting the juiciness of life run down your arm. Most things taste especially delicious freshly picked. We share some of what we produce with our neighbors, family, and friends, acutely aware that we are all living in planetary community together. Voluntarily reaching out to others contributes to a better world and feels good. The gratitude is found in the gift itself, for it enhances positive feelings in both the giver and receiver. In the garden and in our hearts, it’s true, “We reap what we sow.” (Galatians) It really can be an economy of love; compassionate, unconditional, collaborative, creative love!
Moving into the last quarter of the year, we can work to make this rite of passage on our journey a good one for our world. There’s wisdom associated with each season. This Fall, fall in love with yourself! Find your balance and remember to recalibrate when necessary. We can conscientiously shift from an eco-nomical to an eco-logical focus. One of less competition and more cooperation. One that takes into account all parts of the whole. One that is more sustainable in every way. There is so much to be grateful for when living in the ever-present moment. Bountiful means abundant or given generously. In the end, we pray for growth that will nurture and sustain us as we gather the last vestiges of summer and put them away to hold safe through the winter. “Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them” (anonymous) Harvest is here; love this time of year. In every season, tend your garden!
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Laura Clein once upon a time worked as a recreational therapist in retirement communities and an event coordinator on college campuses. She was in graduate school for an MSW at the University of Southern California and wrote a paper for a Social Policy class on medical marijuana in 1996. Although she lives with chronic pain and complex debilitating illness for many years, she & Marty have created a lifestyle that works. She writes many articles, and manages the social media. She is proud to be patient #1 at Martyuana™ & she says often, "Thank goodness, cannabis helps."