The full moon is often an important time for witches. Many witches see the full moon as a time of heightened power. In fact, there’s scientific proof that the full moon does have an effect on the earth as shown in various things like the tides and even the human body. The Harvest moon is an especially powerful full moon for witches because it is the closest full moon to the fall equinox which signifies the transition into the crone aspect of the year.
So what do witches do for the Harvest moon? That really depends on the individual’s practice, their goals, and the way their year has been going up to that point. In this article, we’ll take a look at a number of common themes, simple spells, and other magical ways you can observe the full moon this September.
I’ve also added a few journal prompt printables at the bottom of the post. Journaling and meditation can be one of the easiest ways to make use of the full moon. By working on a certain theme each month you can truly begin to build a meditation practice that helps you to analyze your life, make changes where needed, and track how those changes are benefitting you ( or not).
The Meaning of the Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon, which falls on September 20th in 2021, is so-called because it is the closest full moon to the fall equinox (which happens on September 22nd this year). This full moon was traditionally the one that would light the night sky as farmers worked to gather the last of the second harvest and made preparations for the coming winter.
The Fall Equinox, also called Mabon in some pagan circles, is the official start of the fall season. As such, it’s also the beginning of the part of the year that corresponds to the Crone aspect of the Goddess. This is the colder, darker part of the year where greenery and life slumber in preparation for rebirth in the spring.
In the Northern hemisphere, the Harvest Moon will reach peak illumination at 7:55 pm EST on September 20th.
Magical Alignments for the Harvest Moon
The themes and correspondences for the Harvest Moon are much the same for the season in general. They are quite similar to those associated with Mabon as well. This moon is a time to celebrate abundance and to express gratitude. This gratitude can be to your deities, to the natural world, or even to yourself for everything you’ve made it through so far this year!
This is a great time to take stock of how the year has gone so far and to mindfully set intentions to see you through the rest of the year, or just to the next full moon if you’re not big on that much commitment. Don’t ever feel like less of a witch if you can’t commit to long-term magic. There’s nothing wrong with short-term spells if that is what works best for you and your individual abilities or needs.
As we are so close to the fall equinox this is also a great time to work on things like balance, cleansing, and purification. Much like spring cleaning, fall cleaning can be a great way to reset your home and your headspace. There is a big focus on home and hearth during this time so any kind of fall changes you make to better your home life can totally take a magical twist when you add in the secret ingredient of intention.
Colors that are associated with this full moon are traditional fall colors and earth tones such as dark green, orange, red, golden yellow, and brown. Think of the colors of fall foliage and the colors of the fields as they get close to harvest. Crystals for the Harvest Moon will often have the same tones including amber, aventurine, citrine, and tiger’s eye. Symbols of the Harvest Moon include things like apples, corn, wheat, fall leaves, and pumpkins.
A Simple Spell Jar for the Harvest Moon
This simple jar spell is a great way to add protection and abundance to your life. It can also be a great way to honor the gifts and beauty of the harvest season. You can substitute any herbs or crystals as you see fit, or to better fit what you have on hand but most of these ingredients should be simple to find or forage no matter where you live.
That said, a little bit of rosemary will work in a pinch in place of nearly any magical ingredients. In the same way, clear quartz will work in place of nearly any other crystal (but we’re using one in this spell to help amplify our intentions anyway lol). At the end of the day, it is your intention that truly adds power to the spell. Even with all of the “right ingredients” these things are just adding power and focus to the spell. They alone aren’t the true catalyst.
1 Mason Jar with lid ( any size will do here just use what you have on hand )
3 fall leaves
1 black marker
3 apple seeds for protection
1 Tbsp spearmint for prosperity
2 – 3 dandelions for strength
1 clear quartz crystal
1 candle ( any color but yellow, orange, or green are good choices)
Harvest Moon Spell Jar Instructions:
Use your preferred method to cleanse the jar that you will be using. This could be salt, incense, energy, or whatever you would generally use in your practice to cleanse magical items before use. If this is your first spell jar you can just go with what feels right to you but incense is always a good choice in a pinch.
Take each of your fall leaves and write something that you would like to manifest onto them with black marker. You want to be careful here because most fall leaves are fairly fragile. We want them to stay relatively intact if possible. Take the time to really put energy into each of the words as you write them. Envision what each would look like in your life. What emotions would you feel? How would this change your life or the lives of those around you?
Place the leave in the jar followed by the mint, apple seeds, and dandelions. You can absolutely leave out any of these ingredients or add any that you think might add a little oomph to the spell. Magic is definitely a practice that works best when it is personalized to your life and your intuition. I am by no means an expert, but merely giving an idea of how I would personally do a simple spell for the full moon this September.
Carefully place the quartz crystal into the jar and screw the lid onto it. Place the candle on top of the spell jar and let the wax melt over it to seal it ( of course, you want to keep a good eye on things as the candle burns).
Once your ingredients are sealed into your spell jar you can leave it on your altar throughout the harvest season, bury it, or put it somewhere safe if you’re in a situation where you have to keep your spellwork secret. You can even use small jars like these to make a miniature version of the spell. Simply roll the leaf up carefully to fit in the jar or even use a small piece of a leaf.
You can make up a spell to say as you are making this harvest moon spell jar. If you have a particular deity that you work with you can ask for their help with the spell jar, or you can ask for help from one of the many deities associated with the harvest season.
Reflection and meditation are a large part of my pagan journey. I use meditation to help better understand the world around me and the one within me. Through this, I can identify problems and work through mindful solutions to them.
The full moons, also called the esbats, are a great time to do a special meditation and journaling activity. Each moon gives us an opportunity to look at a different aspect of our lives and assess where changes can be made to move us closer to being our authentic selves.
The Harvest Moon, which signals the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season, is a great time to take stock of how the year has gone for us so far. It is a time to analyze things that have made us feel fulfilled, that have spoken to our true nature, and that have served us well as spiritual beings. Of course, it can also be a time to look at those things ( and people ) that aren’t serving us as well.
The following journal prompts may be helpful in taking a look at your life to determine how you’ve been doing and, if needed, pinpoint things you can do to see improvements in the future. These journal prompts can be printed in PDF format, copied into a bullet journal or book of shadows, or even kept in a file on your computer (yes, digital witches are totally a thing!)
Do you do anything special to celebrate the Harvest Moon that hasn’t been mentioned in this article? Leave a comment below and share your favorite ways to observe this final full moon of summer! We love hearing what our readers are doing to make their lives a little more magical.