September Harvest Moon bead art via

This month’s full moon is on Thursday the 23rd.  The September full Moon has many names from the uncommon “Moon When The Calves Grow Hair” to the most common “Harvest Moon.”

That most familiar naming refers to the time of year after the autumn equinox when crops are gathered. The Autumnal Equinox for 2010 will also occur that day.  Harvest Moon also refers to the moon’s particularly bright appearance and early rise, which allows farmers to continue harvesting into the night.

Other agrarian names for this month’s full Moon include Corn Moon and Barley Moon.

September was the seventh month in the oldest Roman calendar. Although all the other months had name changes when added to the seasonal calendar, for some reason September never changed.

This month is the last of the reliable harvesting months in the Northern Hemisphere. In many ways, this moon marks the winding down of in preparation for the dormant months that follow.

In ancient cultures, the Dark Moon deities represented the Underworld, death, reincarnation, and deep spiritual mysteries. The Egyptians held a  Ceremony of Lighting the Fire which was a festival of lights for all the gods and goddesses and before the statues of ancestors.

In the old Incan Empire, the Citua was held on the New Moon nearest the Autumn Equinox. Everyone performed a ritual cleansing, then smeared their faces with a paste of ground maize (corn). There followed several days of feasting and dancing. This was a Moon festival in honor of Mama Quilla, the Moon goddess.

Some Moon lore for this month:

When the Moon is at the full, then mushrooms you can safely pull.
But when the Moon is on the wane, wit ere you think to pluck again.

Sailors believed that if the Moon, in the first or last quarter, lay in nearly a horizontal position with the horns upward, the weather would be fine.  Rural people and farmers often said that the same type of Moon means good weather for twenty eight days.

Alternate names for this month’s full moon are the Hunting Moon, Barley Moon, Cool Moon, Moon of Leaves Turning Color, Moon of Spiderwebs on the Ground, Big Feast Moon, Harvest Moon (depending on the year), Wine Moon, Singing Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Haligmonath (Holy Month), Witumanoth (Wood Month), Moon When Deer Paw the Earth.