Moon tonight over Laguna Canyon
One of the roots for the term harvest moon comes from old european peasant ways. The season of agriculture and of grazing animals–who lived and feasted in the pastures–followed the growing cycles of the earth. Now is the time the final harvest is cut and hung, the last of the animals brought down.
Women’s mysteries have at the core these earth tides as well. It is said that the pineal gland, coined by Descartes as the seat of our soul or our third eye, is stimulated by moonlight. This gland regulates the endocrine system, which secretes melatonin (the happy chemical) and which dictates our hormonal and other rythmic cycles like sleep patterns. Dr. Christiane Northrup sites several scientific studies that draw links between the moons influence on these rhythms.
Depth psychology teaches that yin or anima energy, what some call the inner feminine, can be symbolized by the moon in our unconscious. Yang, or animus, is the sun. We learn from this resource of inner wisdom, the unconscious, by studying such symbols. The moon teaches us about nature as it passes through times of birth and death, light and dark. This is the inner anima function, what neuroscience tells us lives in the right hemisphere of the brain. It is a cyclical, process-oriented part of ourselves, like a web or a spiral instead of a checkerboard or bar graph. This right hemisphere dictates creativity, intuition, and other non-rational instincts, and when well-developed aids interhemishpere nueronal pathways. Basically, strengthening the creative, “inner” side of you contributes to a stronger, more-resourced logical function or left hemisphere, too! Picture a figure eight when you think of how you want your brain’s communication with itself to go.
The moon is also a sign of the Goddess or the divine feminine, and here we speak again of the women’s mysteries that value how life wisdom comes in cycles, the growing and dying of different versions of our selves again and again through out our life. The Goddess or divine feminine, the Holy Mother Mary for example, exemplifies the anima. We each need this function for full human development, to feel embodied and think in well-rounded, matured ways.
The Full Harvest Moon is especially active this week, and especially powerful in harnessing the depth of the dark anima, our inner soul or life power unmanifested in our unconscious. It draws this anima in to light, whatever shadow part or part of yourself you truly don’t want to look at (we all have these parts, it is a normal experience for all humans to hide pieces of themselves deep inside that they don’t want anyone to see). This is a truly transformative time, a time that can feel like your blood is cooking or bubbling up and it’s sort of true. The moon who regulates all fluids, like how she makes the ocean tides rise and fall, is cooking up your body rhythms too, right now. She’s cooking up your soul. Psyche is very active right now, that just means that in all of life there is a quickening. People are intrinsically connected to nature and the natural world, and the passing of this moon prepares us all now on our biological level for hibernation. There is a rush of life we can feel, like squirrels scattering for nuts, running just under our surface.
What part of you is aching to change? Let that big ol glory moon shine like a flash light in to the depths of who you are. Call those shadow parts that scare your psyche back to yourself while you can still see them as separate, prepare to transform them into assets as we near the darkest time of the year and winter. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of, hiding from, who your upset with, why? Ask yourself what’s going on. Take the time. Listen. Listen for the true response. The upcoming winter is a deep period meant for rejuvination and growth in our most unconscious but intimate levels, where the anima lives.
Our next new moon in the beginning of November is considered the lunar new year or Lunar Samhain in Celtic tradition, a time I hold as dear and holy. This tradition teaches that now is the time we honor the ancestors, and for me I have begun this with an ancestor candle on my alter tonight, in honor of the last peak of the growing or harvest season tomorrow night. I light it in reverence of the wisdom of life, which is what ancestors to me symbolize, the cyclical wisdom of all things moving on. I will keep these fires going, several candles with several meanings personal to just me, as signs of transformation in my own inner dark. Fire is light, the light of my own consciousness in my own dark. I will likely light them every night until the Lunar Samhain moon when those intentions, like seeds, are let go, cast into our deepest dark, in our psyche, where they will sleep and later take root, and grow.
This is the wisdom of the feminine. How all of life, from the deepest, darkest, most inner still-point and chaos, to the edge of the sun and the tops of the stars which will become someday grains of sand, it is all connected. What we do to one we do to the whole. We hold this awareness in gentle reverence and joy, and give homage all our moments by honoring life in all its forms, best we can.
We begin within.