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5 Ways to Celebrate the Fall Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon

Early this morning, if you were awake during the pre-sunrise hours, you may have noticed a brilliant full moon lighting up the sky. It’s called the Harvest Moon, and it signifies that autumn is just around the corner.

The autumnal equinox is officially this Sunday, September 22. This is when the sun shines straight on the equator, and the lengths of day and night are roughly equal. The days will begin to grow shorter after that, as we are all so familiar with. We are moving into the fall and winter seasons, now, gearing up for shorter, darker days, cooler weather, and many months of holidays and festivities to come.

But for now, we’re still experiencing the glow of the full moon, and it is a great time to honor the season we are moving into and celebrate the harvest!

I know, it might sound strange to celebrate harvest in this modern era when very few of us actually plant, grow and harvest food. Our separation from this agricultural process may be a critical factor in the environmental problems our world faces today – not to mention our growing obesity, eating disorders, and other food-related ailments.

We still, of course, benefit from the energies of the earth to produce sustenance for our bodies, but how often do we offer our gratitude? How often do we approach our food with the reverence it deserves? I promise you, if we were intimately involved in all stages of its production we’d feel much more awed by the miracle that food is.

Here are 5 ways to honor the earth and celebrate the Harvest Moon:

1. Break bread with friends and loved ones. Harvest is all about the bounty of the earth and stocking up for the more barren months ahead. Cover your table with rich, sustaining goodies, and invite your friends to bring dishes to share! Give thanks for your food in any way that seems appropriate, and enjoy watching your loved ones nourish their bodies with the food from your table.

2. Make a promise to yourself to end food shaming. Food is a gift from the earth. Vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains – meats and dairy, too, if you’re not vegan/vegetarian! Food is not poison. Food is not the enemy. We would not survive without sustenance, and there’s nothing wrong or unnatural about that. So enjoy the food you eat, and stop feeling guilty about it.

3. Plant some seeds! I know, harvest is about the reaping, not the sowing. But there are lots of delicious fall and winter foods you can plant now and enjoy in several months. Go for kale, beets, squash, and cauliflower! If you don’t have a garden, then get yourself a small pot for your porch or window sill. The joy of watching a seed sprout and eventually grow into full brilliance will only be beaten by the joy of eating food you grow!

4. Use this full moon as a great starting point to begin following the moon cycles. The Gregorian calendar certainly has it’s place, but it’s fun to also follow the “calendar” laid out by the moon’s cycles. Once attuned to its rhythm, you’ll start noticing the subtle difference between a waxing and waning moon; you’ll enjoy the dark night of a just-new moon; and a month from now, you’ll welcome the full moon once again!

5. Practice active gratitude. The bounty of harvest is a blessing, and abundance in all categories is a gift. Even if you don’t feel particularly blessed at the moment – if you feel poor or lacking in some regard – don’t start with the wishing. Start with the thanking. That is, instead of asking the Universe (or god/dess, or spirit) for what you desire, give thanks for what you already have. Express your gratitude wholeheartedly, and don’t leave anything out! You can write it out, say it in your head, or vocalize it to a friend. The practice is so gratifying and cleansing that by the end you will undoubtedly feel rich beyond measure. That is true abundance. That is the harvest.

And enjoy this song “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young! One of my favorites…

OM(G)

 

Even though I like well done guided meditations, meditating in the traditional lotus position is a pain in the ass.. eh.. knees  and also I find it quite boring. So it was a relief to understand that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Anything can be meditative experience if you are able to stay in this moment. Knitting, crocheting, tetris, labyrinth games on iPod touché, washing dishes, running, walking, driving… they all work for me, however the best place to silence myself will always be the Finnish sauna. We Finns like to sit naked in the sauna in silence. It is still quite a holy practice for many. (Nakedness is necessary, sexuality is left outside the door.) I have tried some fancy meditation techniques but I went back to sauna quite soon. And the next best place is every sunset I see in the evening and later the sight of moon puts me into meditative mode. And when I get to bed in the end of the day, the best kind of peaceful meditations take place there as I let my cells to relax, sleep and get ready for the new day. 

Happy Mother’s Day

To the Maidens, the Mothers and the Crones on this Special Day:

 

To prepare yourself for this enjoyable, helpful experience, be sure you have all tight clothes loosened. Get yourself in just as comfortable a position as you can and place your attention on your breathing. Now close your eyes and inhale deeply and hold it for three or four seconds and then exhale slowly. (You can open your eyes now.)

Again breathe in deeply and exhale slowly … keep doing that 5 or 6 more times …As you inhale, you bring more oxygen into your body, and as you exhale it causes your body to keep relaxing more and more. As you begin to feel calm, knowing that this is the time and place to begin resting and relaxing, take a deep, healing breath and fill your tummy with this oxygenated breath. Take another deep breath, slowly and deeply, letting go of all the negative thoughts. Letting the air and energy move through your minds to clear and calm yourselves.

 

Feeling safe and secure, good!  As you do this, imagine or think of a subtle, soft wave of relaxation scanning your whole body.  From the top of your head, moving softly down to your neck muscles, to your chest area…releasing and letting go of all the left-over tension from the past, from yesterday, from this morning…with each and every breath sense this beautiful warm sensation as it continues traveling all the way down to your abdomen area and down to your hips, relaxing every cell of every tissue of every muscle. 

 

Feel, sense or imagine this soft wave of calm and relaxation moving down to your legs, your knees, moving to your calf muscles… relaxing and softening every inch of your body, and down to your ankles all the way down to the tips of your toes… take a deep breath and release with a haaa sound. Excellent! 

 

The more you physically relax, the more you can mentally relax… all the muscles of your body beautifully relaxed and easy… very lazy… feel entering that comfortable state of relaxation…

 

 Imagine, think or pretend there is a large body of water. Kneeling down, dip your fingers; you are surprised at the delight you experience throughout your whole being.

Imagine or think you are stepping in the water, notice how comfortable you are…it is said that miracles happen at this special place… it is twilight.  The moon is shining on the tranquil water… silver liquid around you, how pleasant it is to have this healing water just for you… walk a little into the water and sense how safe and secure you are and as you feel  the gentle  touch of the fluid moving  up your body… cool and soothing… Lay back into the water and feel it supporting you fully. 

 

Notice that in your thoughts and your imagination, everything is possible…. You can breathe under water, you can fly through time and space, and there are not any restrictions to what you can do in your thoughts or imagination…. Let the silvery moonlight shine on your face and let it spread throughout your body.  And as you are floating in the water, you sense a thrill of adventure…because you are becoming one with the water… this is a moment that will empower you even more than what you already are. 

Notice the vibrational energy of the silvery moon fusing with your own… as you sense and feel energy, like tingling, tickling current running from the top of your head to the tip of your toes in and out, within and without.  Can you sense the breeze? How does it feel like on your skin?  Are there any fragrances or aromas?

 As you become the water, sense what it feels like to be you, to be where you are and who you are. You are certain that you have created your own reality, your future, right at this time. 

As you bump softly against the shore and gently rubbing on the tree trunk that grows at the edge of the water, know that you will always be safe and supported, flexible and at peace.   Sense how wonderful it has been to know free will, wisdom, compassion, courage, authenticity, honor, Love, creativity, endurance, transformation, joy, serenity, magic!  Be well, feel healthy, alive and in control of your life.

 

Secret Motives

It’s already been a very lunar week, and today the Moon enters her home sign Cancer. For the next two days, most people will act on their emotions more than usual. Whether they will be conscious of them is another matter, though! This is especially true, given the Moon’s square to Pluto today. Pluto is the planet that rules anything that is deep, dark or hidden. It seems clear that many people will not be aware of their secret motivations.

Up and Down

The Moon is in Gemini today, and she ‘speaks’ to several other planets. This means lots of mood swings for some people. Try to be more sensitive to others. It’s not that much of a stretch when the Moon is in such a social sign. Many of today’s aspects are good, so there will plenty of high points to balance out all the low ones. The day ends on a nice note, when the Moon trines sleepy Neptune, lending us some sweet dreams.

Hungry Heart

Leave your plastic at home today. With Money Planet Venus squaring expansive Jupiter, retail therapy may be too tempting to avoid! There’s an emotional component to this, too, since the Moon is also involved. With such a hungry heart, the last thing on your mind is the credit card bill that will come next month. You know — the one you won’t want to open! Head this trouble off at the pass by making sure you don’t have any ‘easy money’ at your convenience.

Today’s Astrological Forecast: Full Moon Alert!

Full Moon Alert! Today’s lunation is one of the strongest this entire year, with the Sun in Scorpio and the Moon in Taurus. Now toss in the fact that Mars is making hard aspects to both of them, creating a difficult T-square. The whole mix could be rather hard to swallow! At least the Taurus Moon can be very patient and grounding. It’s an influence that may be hard to find today, but now that you know it’s in effect, be sure to channel it consciously.

Today’s Astrological Forecast: Lighter and Lighter

Today will feel lighter and lighter as the hours roll by. For one thing, the Moon moves from serious Scorpio into fun-seeking Sagittarius. Plus, peppy Mercury makes a nice trine to expansive Jupiter. This raises our spirits as it greases the wheels of conversation and commerce. An impromptu dinner party with friends? You’re so there! Even if your energy is down at the beginning of the day, it’s likely to be up by the end.

Today’s Astrological Forecast: A Quiet Monday

We have a quiet Monday on deck, with the Moon in subdued Scorpio and the Sun in its last days of Libra. Many changes are brewing in the background, so use today to focus on your particular corner of the universe. Do your job quietly, and practice necessary self-care. After that, conserve your energy. Soon you’ll need it to stay on top of the world under your feet. It’s an exciting time to be alive — and it’s certainly not for the meek!

Proof of illusion:

What makes the Moon appear larger near the horizon?
 A popular belief, stretching back at least to Aristotle in the 4th century BC, holds that the Moon appears larger near the horizon due to real magnification effects caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. Although the atmosphere does change the perceived colour of the Moon, it does not magnify it. In fact, the Moon is about 1.5% smaller when it is near the horizon than when it is high in the sky, because it is further away by up to one Earth radius and also because of atmospheric refraction, which makes the image of the Moon slightly smaller in the vertical axis.  Dichotomy – division into two parts, kinds, etc. — day & night, violence & non-violence, sunrise & sunset,  etc.  War is a result of division; it is not the cause of division.  When it comes to conflict and resolve, the important thing to remember is not that one is less significant than the other; the adherence here is that neither of these things are independent of circumstantial evidence.  In reality, the sun appears to rise; but actually the Earth is orbiting the Sun.  Why then do we continuously try to resolve problems from a state of division?  
Where is the dividing line or as mentioned at the beginning of the post; What makes the Moon appear larger near the horizon?
 

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