Harvest Moon Rituals
October is the month of congenial Libra and introverted Scorpio. This is our time to communally enjoy the bounty of the harvest season as we transition to the closeted winter months.
With the sun illuminating Libra until the 23rd, we are beckoned to “set the record straight” or tie up any loose ends we may currently be dealing with. With Halloween, traditionally known as Samhain, just around the corner we have the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family before the world takes a turn for the colder here in the northern hemisphere. Later, as we move into the time of Scorpio, we can begin to reflect on our year. From the spring awakening to the bounty of fall, this time of introspection allows us to consider what it means to reap what we have sown this year.
Both Libra and Scorpio deal with relationships. Libra’s diplomatic energy is concerned with friendships in a more general sense - our “social life” per se. While Scorpio’s concern is with intimacy - those aspects of our life we hold close and which make us vulnerable. This fall brings our relationships to the forefront, as well as those things which make our relationships worthwhile. The inner circle, sharing, closeness, connection, and reciprocation come to mind.
Rituals are actions taken to acknowledge and to memorialize what we value. Even in popular culture, Samhain avowedly is a time for celebration, camaraderie, and ceremony. Food, friends, and home are the stuff of substance this October. They are the aspects of our lives most important for honoring in this time.
Home Ritual: New Moon in Libra, October 19th
Libra is an air sign, the most social of the elements, and stands for harmony and balance. This point in the moon cycle is for new beginnings, setting intentions, and observance. The new moon attunes us to calibrate and evaluate, to step back for a moment and revel in our process. Fall is the time of harvest and celebration, and whenever we have much we also have much to give. For the new moon in Libra we should take care to invite our friends to our home and share in something close to our hearts. Recharging over a home-cooked meal is an ideal way to enjoy community, celebrate harvest, and ritualize the home in autumn.
In order to create and emphasize this harmonic and social time, a potluck or cooking is ideal. Rituals commonly include aspects of each classical element: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. Earth can be represented with the color green, or something indulgent - a salad or a dessert. Fire is hot, literally and figuratively, so a hot main course is in order. Maybe even something spicy. Air is drying, so dried fruits or crackers may be used for the presence of air. Finally, water is obviously a fluid, so be sure to include a beverage in your potluck. You could select something as ceremonial as wine or as festive as apple cider.
Keep the sensibilities of the times in mind, with winter drawing nearer and keeping our loved ones close. Remember that the new moon is for new beginnings and for reflection, and bring this mindset to your dinner party. Be as inclusive and accommodating as a host - which should come easily in this time of welcoming Libra.
Home Ritual: Sun in Scorpio, October 23rd
When we enter the time of Scorpio I suggest an introspective ritual which emphasizes your inner space - the home inside yourself. I personally find the times ruled by Scorpio are tumultuous. This ritual is designed to honor Scorpio’s native element, water, and promote a comfortable flow through our transition into winter. In order to promote this gentle transition, we will try to get in tune with our most watery selves.
Choose an area of your home where you feel the most connected to yourself and prepare to meditate. Consecrate the room and your seating area with an aroma to engage Air and set the space for your meditation. We recommend our sunlight room spray if you perform this ritual in the morning, or moonlight for the evening. A pleasant scent can make breath work all the more enjoyable. Close your eyes and gradually deepen your breaths and your exhalations until you feel sufficiently free. Hold this meditation for as long (or a short!) as you’d like.
Once your inner space has been cleared, take a moment to track your feelings since the beginning of the year. Try to identify a pattern or rhythm to this flow. Water is the element of feeling, so our emotions are important at this time. Use the mode of expression which feels most natural to you, though the times ruled by water lend themselves to intuitive, creative activities. Since emotion has the characteristics of water, consider what makes waters rapid or difficult to travel - such as obstacles and blockages, restrictedness, rough or rocky terrain. It is a self fulfilling prophecy with our emotions - resistance that creates turbulent waters also creates unrest in our relationships to our emotions. Visualize or create a gentle and easy flow. Use what you have learned in this meditation to set an intention for wrapping up the year.
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