Days grow progressively shorter after the summer solstice. In the northern most parts of Europe and North America, they have already grown quite short by September. In the days before electricity and motorized farm machinery, farmers used the Harvest Moon to extend their picking time with the moon providing the light.
For Wiccans and other people of nature, this moon is very special. When it falls near Mabon as it does this year, some Wiccans hold their ceremonies on the full moon instead of the exact day of the equinox. Others hold extended celebrations that go from moon to Mabon or Maybon to moon if the full moon comes afterward. Some simply have two separate ceremonies.
Whichever way you choose to honor this moon, the key is harvest. It is all very well and good to honor the traditions of the past, but there is another way to take this.
Think about the place where you live. In the ancient times the people celebrated their local harvests. What is harvested locally where you live at this time of year. You can find many lists on the Internet by typing into your search engine with keywords such as local harvest, where you live, and the month.
Create your harvest moon ceremony around what is available fresh from farmers where you live. It is a better way to honor the spirit of the land where you live. Some local wine or grape juice could also be included.
However you make your altar, place local crops in the center between you God and Goddess candles. Make your celebration meal of locally harvested foods as well.
The Gods and Goddesses for the Harvest Moon service can be the same ones used for Mabon: Cernunnos, Morgan, others of your choice.
Some Wiccans also believe that every place on earth has a Goddess of the Land. If you believe this, call upon the local Goddess. Most likely she was acknowledged by the indigenous peoples of that area in ancient times, so her name may not be known. Simply address her as Goddess of the Land. It will be sufficient.
Remember that this is a very strong night for spell casting also. A good way to use this power is to cast good good energy towards your local farmers to strengthen their future crops and enrich their lives.
If nothing else, just get outside somewhere and enjoy the rays of this beautiful full moon. Depending on where you live, it could be the last moon of 2013 you can safely bask in the rays of until spring.
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