Mabon & the Harvest Moon

September 21st ~ 28th

Evelyn de Morgan “Demeter Mourning for Persephone” 1906

Evelyn de Morgan “Demeter Mourning for Persephone” 1906

Bitter pain seized Demeter's heart, and she rent the covering upon her divine hair with her dear hands: her dark cloak she cast down from both her shoulders and sped, like a wild-bird, over the firm land and yielding sea, seeking her child. But no one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal man; and of the birds of omen none came with true news for her. Then for nine days queenly Demeter wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never tasted ambrosia and the sweet draught of nectar, nor sprinkled her body with water. But when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hecate, with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her the news. - The Myth of Demeter ~Homer

The Full Moon on September 24th, is the first Full Moon of the season (Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere). Known as the Harvest Moon in the North, it is the closest Moon to the Autumn Equinox, traditionally celebrated as Mabon, the final harvest festival of the year. It is a time to tie up any loose ends left over from the season, as we prepare for the end of Summer, the traditional end of the year, with Samhain (or Halloween). September 22-23rd marks one of the four Cardinal Solar corners of the year, when the Sun enters the sign of Libra, the sign of Balance and Equanimity. This is one of the two Equinoxes of the year when the Sun crosses the celestial Equator, and the days and nights are said to be of equal length. 

It would seem at this time of year that we stand at a precipice in the year between Light and Darkness, when the days will eventually become shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, and the dark nights will linger longer, as we move into the Winter months. It is symbolically and actually (in the North) a time of harvest. And in celebration of this time of year it is a time in which we give Thanks and Gratitude for what we have reaped. It is also a time to receive blessings, even as we face and embrace the darkness in our lives. We are at the balance point of the year, in which we can reflect on all that we have accomplished, and look forward to what is to be. It is often recommended to create a gratitude list, beginning with all those things we usually take for granted in our daily lives. 

This is when Persephone descends back down into the underworld, leaving Demeter to wander the Earth for the next 6 months grieving for the loss of her daughter. It is also when we celebrate the emerging Crone, Hecate the goddess of the Winter months of the year. The Crones are the elders in the society, the wise teachers, the healers, the ones who Know through trial and experience. There is something poignant about this year’s Equinox, as it is escorted in by a retrograde Chiron at the critical 0º point of Aries; with Saturn, strong and decisive, in the sign of Capricorn. Demeter carries her wounds and her grief with her, to lead us into the Winter months with wisdom, conscious awareness and understanding. 

Shortly after the Full Moon on the 24th, Chiron will retrograde back into Pisces for some unfinished business, and tie up some loose ends. This is necessary in order to be able to prepare for the new beginning that was seeded when Chiron first entered Aries in April. It is in this critical twilight between the last and first signs of the zodiac, that all the purification, resolution, and preparation for the new cycle to come will be taking place. Symbolically this also feels as if we are standing at a precipice between two times, between Light and Darkness, between Endings and Beginnings. 

During the 7 years that Chiron has been in Pisces, we were more willing to make conscious sacrifices for what we perceived to be a higher cause. To sacrifice literally means to make something sacred. So whether that means sacrificing your time to help others, or to be of service; or the willingness to shoulder the burden of other’s grief; or to make a more positive footprint on the earth; or to allow the divine to speak through you; this was about your own sacred path in service to that which is divine in you. There was something wonderful and endearing in this process of sacrifice. But there is also something here about letting go; of loss; of redemption. And through this whole process boundaries were also being eroded; limits breached; and standards sacrificed. 

During the next 5 months that Chiron will return to Pisces, we are being given the opportunity to take care of any unfinished business left over from the previous Chironic revolution. Not only the past 7 years, but the whole 50 year Chiron cycle. Part of this is to assimilate the essence of what we learned over the past 50 years (if we have lived so long), but also to clean up some of the mess we left behind. It is time for some serious healing. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us. 

This week it may be helpful to determine those things that you no longer need in your life, and my in fact be holding you back or limiting you; and also to focus on those things that you would like to have more of in your life. The Full Moon t-square with Saturn and Chiron this week is shining a light on where we need to establish a healthier balance in our lives. Pay attention to where you might be jeopardizing your own well-being in order to fulfill what you perceive to be certain obligations or responsibilities that you have taken on. We need to be honest with ourselves about what is or is not humanly possible, and what our limits are. One thing that our brief sojourn with Chiron in Aries has shown us these past 6 months, is the oxygen mask theory: you can only truly be of benefit to others, if you put on your own mask first. 

For next week’s horoscopes, click below:


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