by Guest Blogger, Nan De Grove
The Sun counts our days and nights, marks the seasons’ turnings, and the accumulation of our years as birthdays come and go. But Moon time is more intimate, with its cyclic rhythms and relationship to Nature, tides, fertility, and the subconscious mind. The Moon’s signs and phases have been central to gardening wisdom since the beginning of agriculture. Planting, thinning, pruning, harvesting, and storing all were once guided by the Moon, and the wise gardener still looks to the Moon to bless the garden.
This month’s Full Moon, which took place on September 8 at 7:28 pm MDT, falls in Pisces, with the Sun in Virgo, the opposite sign. Virgo and Pisces — the Virgin and the Fishes — combine to form a mermaid. As we are at the turning of a Great Epoch of some 2000 years, emerging from the Age of Pisces, the mermaid might be one of the feminine archetypes rising from the waters of the collective unconscious to restore balance. The mermaid’s mirror is a symbol, not of vanity, but of the material world as a mirror of the divine: the Garden of Eden, the Earthly Paradise.
Giving names to the thirteen Full Moons of the year is an old tradition. The September Full Moon is sometimes called the Harvest Moon; in medieval times it was called the Barley Moon, and in Native American tradition it is the Corn Moon.
The Celts, tribal people of ancient Britain, assigned a tree to each lunar month and associated that month with magical and spiritual rituals related to the tree as a portal to a parallel world of mystical wisdom and divine guides.
September’s Moon is given to the vine, not a tree exactly, but a plant that is universal in its sacred and ceremonial significance. Grape vines can be hundreds of years old and can grow as tall as trees. The Full Moon of this month calls the soul to poetic and psychic experience, and to ponder the harvest of our efforts in the year thus far, as we prepare to move into the longer nights and dreamtime of Autumn.
Tree magic is natural and universal: children especially, if they have — rare today — an opportunity to wander in Nature, will find their special tree sanctuaries. Charms and talismans have been hung in trees to bless or ask favors of the tree spirit, and lovers have carved their names in tree bark, often to remain long after passion’s fire has died. Notes and prayers can be written on a small scroll and tied to a tree branch. Let us have reverence and gratitude for the gifts of our trees this month as they offer their fruits and prepare to turn their green leaves to luminous golds, reds, and purples.
Nan De Grove is a gardener, painter and astrologer. She can be reached at email@example.com.