If you're into astrology, spirituality, or even if you just feel inexplicably connected to the energy of the lunar cycle, then the full moon is more than just something to blame your haywire emotions on — it's a spiritual occurrence to be observed, understood, and applied to your life. Such is definitely the case with September's upcoming full moon in Aries, which will reach its full potential on Sep. 24. The Harvest Moon 2018 spiritual meanings are rich and wide-ranging, and being aware of this moon's significance will definitely help you make the most of its energy and use it to your advantage.
A Harvest Moon is what we call the full moon that takes place in either September or October and occurs nearest to the Autumnal equinox (otherwise known as the first day of fall). 2018's Harvest Moon happens to mark the first lunar event of the fall season altogether, coming just days after the equinox. We'll have also just moved out of earthy Virgo season and into light, airy Libra season, so change is certainly happening all around us astrologically — and perhaps spiritually, as well. "A tradition associated with a harvest moon is to recognize its symbolism of a new beginning, coming after hard work and dedication," wrote Moonglow on their site. And IMO, new beginnings are feeling so welcome right about now, given the roller coaster of eclipses and retrogrades we've been riding all summer long.
Visually, the Harvest Moon is a heavenly sight to behold, as it typically appears bigger, brighter, and more colorful than your average full moon due to its placement in the sky (so you'll want to get outside that night and see it for yourself!). It's also very aptly named, as it marks a time to reap what you've sown and prepare for a fresh start. Historically, that meaning was literal — this was a time when farmers harvested the last of their summer crops in the prolonged evening light of this moon before winter came along. But "harvesting your crops" is also a metaphor that we can apply to our spiritual lives. Consider all that you've worked for over the past six months — where has your path led you? What fruit has been borne from your hard work? How can you tie up any loose ends and allow yourself a clean slate as you enter the new season and this last quarter of 2018? "Use this opportunity to clean!", wrote spiritual advisor Cherokee Billie on her site. "Cleaning will help you cleanse your spirit and sort out issues that may have been left hanging." It's true: Sometimes your physical space can reflect your spiritual state. If you feel like your outer life is clean and organized, you'll have more space and energy to focus inward and "clean up" spiritually, too.
Bustle spoke with astrologer Lisa Stardust, who shares, "The Harvest Full Moon will force us all to release painful memories, creating a fresh slate for us all as we enter the new season." September's Harvest Moon, which will be full in the sign of Aries, is asking all zodiac signs to face their past memories, however painful. Remember what I noted about cleaning being important here? Now is most definitely the time to sort through your spiritual and emotional roadblocks. I know, it's really easy to get caught up in work and goals and relationships and drama and family and, well, life — sometimes we don't want to spend extra time and energy dealing with our spiritual baggage and emotional wounds. But when we constantly try to push away painful memories, unresolved guilt and anger, and deeply-rooted fears, they often grow bigger and more powerful, slowly eating away at us. This moon gives you a chance to break that cycle by simply facing these demons head-on and working through them. Because guess what? When something is hidden in the shadows, our imaginations can run wild, making that thing seem much bigger than it is. But when that same thing is brought into the light? We see it for what it really is — and it's usually less powerful than we feared. "The Harvest Moon can be healing if we can let go of the past and embrace the future," explains Stardust. Such will be the case with any pain that you're bravely you're trying to work through during this moon. The more you bring into the light, the less you'll have to fear. Call on the always-confident power of Aries to help you!
The Harvest Moon is an ideal time to plan some rituals that honor your past. This ritual could represent working through past memories, healing old wounds involving loved ones, or even spiritually connecting with your ancestors or past lives. Working with relevant crystals for the Harvest Moon can be super helpful in helping you ground yourself in this moon's energy. And given that this full moon is in Aries, it's also a great time to plan spells that have to do with power and renewal. Astrologer Jessica Shepherd described a powerful Harvest Moon ritual on her site that involves firstly honoring what you have, and then manifesting renewal for season to come. "[G]ive gratitude for the harvest we’ve already received, the abundant friends, lovers, passions, and support from the Universe," Shepherd wrote on her site. "Then ask for our cup to be full or re-filled, in balance. Anything you’d like to increase, desire more of, would like illumination about, put into this spell." So, my moon sisters (and brothers), grab your crystals, a red candle (perfect to pair with Aries' fiery, headstrong energy), and your other magical supplies, and head into the extra-bright Harvest moonlight for a full moon spell.
Cultures around the world and throughout history have honored the Harvest Moon's unique power and influence over our lives. According to In Pure Spirit, Norse mythology honors the Harvest Moon as the most powerful of all moons, and ancient Celts celebrated with "large parties; singing, dancing and drinking." ThoughtCo notes that this moon is especially significant in China, as to this day it marks the season of their annual moon festival. The Harvest Moon is deeply spiritually significant in so many aspect, so use this universal energy in your spiritual life to clear out baggage, take advantage of all that you've worked for, and manifest abundance that you can share with others through the season.