Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun -- Ecclesiastes 3:1
Summer has ended, and now twilight appears to linger. Trees take on jewel toned hues and their falling leaves skitter and scamper in chill autumn air. This time of year is when we see the first full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. This beauteous occurrence is known as The Harvest Moon.
During this phase of the moon, many ethnic beauties begin to slow down, if only for the little while between waning summer and the onset of the advent season. It is during this period that we discover the dual nature of Time, the twins that the ancient Greeks called Chronos and Kairos. The first usually has us on a schedule. In it we have deadlines, calendars, and agendas that we must adhere to. The second, Kairos, is where we experience the transcendence of time. It is where we know lingering passion, and inexplicable joy. There, we experience the feeling that ‘time stood still.’ Chronos is the world’s time; Kairos is time for the soul.
The emergence of the Harvest Moon reminds us that we can merge the two. Yes, when we take slower steps, when we forget about multi-tasking; to simply bask in whatever we’re doing at the moment. There we breathe, we inhale and exhale. We forget our worries for a while, we remember to take time; to carve a pumpkin, or decide on a Halloween costume. Snuggled beneath a cozy blanket or sweatshirt, we can also enjoy a good book, or watch a scary movie, after we’ve come in from raking leaves beneath that beautiful moon. With a lovely meal or a celebration, we can transform an ordinary day into a holy day -- a holiday.
Many ethnicities celebrate the Autumnal equinox, and the Harvest Moon, with festive home-cooked meals, like the first autumn stew. On the table, they place candy, dried flowers, or beautiful live chrysanthemums, and candles.
For Native Americans, the Harvest Moon has always been a sign to begin harvesting crops. Thus the Harvest Celebrations that include drum circles. During these, ritual dances are performed and traditional meals are served. Coinciding with the September Equinox are also Iranian and Zoroastrian festivals of love and sharing. Koreans celebrate Chuseok a three-day harvest festival, and many who are Chinese, or from Taiwan, celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival anywhere from mid-September to early October. In the United Kingdom there is also a traditional harvest festival, which is celebrated on the full moon Sunday closest to the September Equinox.
In celebrating the Harvest Moon in your own way, why not walk under it? Feel the nip in the air, smell spices wafting from homes, and do enjoy the season’s first cup of apple cider or mulled wine. Remember too that in times past, this phase of the moon was said to help farmers who had to steadily work to bring in their crops. These tireless workers could continue to harvest. They could remain productive long after the sun had set. That in itself was cause for celebration.
Ethic Beauties enjoy other things by the light of the moon that now appears brighter and bigger than past full moons. Comment on its lovely reddish cast, and by all means during this sacred period -- where The Harvest Moon seems to hang so low we can touch it – let us re-affirm our abundance. Realize that although we may or may not have millions of dollars, riches are truly ours. Be reminded that we actually do possess things of value, things that cannot be quantified -- they are things such as our health, our memories and experiences, our family, and our friends.
Happy Harvest Moon!