The Harvest Moon occurs this week, when the Moon comes to Full Phase at 2:41 pm on Thursday, October 5th and begs the question: Why do we dance at Harvest, and is there an answer in the stars?
Harvest Moon is the Full Moon closest to Autumn Equinox, when the constellation Virgo, sometimes known as the goddess of agriculture, has dropped out of sight over the western horizon. Beneath Virgo lies the watery serpent, Hydra, while overhead there coils the fiery dragon, Draco. And here we are on the Earth, ready to bring in the season’s harvest, as though standing between these worlds of water below and light above. The harvest is given into our hands at this time, and the dancing is a joyful celebration of having succeeded in managing fire and water in the earth element, to bring about abundant fruits. And it’s also for warding off those cunning forces that wend through heat and flame and drought and rain.
So this isn’t just about harvesting food, although in this season it’s through our food that this mystery finds its greatest expression. The ceremony of harvest can also be considered a sacred practice that is meant to fortify human beings in their capacity to balance and harmonize life forces.
If we look toward the Moon at Harvest time, it is in the region of Pisces, the fishes, which are like two dancing footprints, one in the physical world, the other in the celestial/spiritual world ~ and they are bound together by the sacred star Risha, which can be imagined as the human being at harvest, joyfully dancing, as Stanley Halt said, “…to give poise to the nerves, schooling the emotions, strengthening the will, and harmonizing the feelings and the intellect with the body which supports them.”
May you know a bountiful harvest and a joyful dancing by the light of the Moon!