In the Northern Hemisphere, Harvest is associated with the autumn equinox on September 22, 2020 and the Harvest Moon on October 1, 2020. For the Southern Hemisphere, the Harvest Moon always comes in March or early April. Harvest Moons have special characteristics related to the time of the moonrise, with the moon looking full after sunset for several evenings in a row associated with harvesting, the process of gathering ripe crops from the field, and reaping, the cutting of grain.
The gathering of things planted is a natural time of joy. A bountiful harvest means all the hard work of farmers has paid off and the community will have food for the long winter ahead. Harvest is also a metaphor for life. While we celebrate a harvest season just once a year, we experience the spirit of Harvest all the time. Harvest reflects the sacred nature of seeds that dramatically transform and manifest into riotous variety and sacred balance.
Getting in touch with the bounty of Harvest brings us back to our sacred connection with Mother Earth. As you take time to explore apple orchards and pumpkin patches, you cannot help but become one with Pachamama’s generosity towards us and all our relations. The Lakota say Mitakuye Oyasin, in recognition of our connection to all life on this planet: the finned, furred, feathered, two-legged, four-legged, and creepy crawlies.
As we enjoy the bounty of the harvest and reflect upon the fierce love of the Mother that provides everything we need to survive on this planet, we also look at the ways that the metaphor of Harvest manifests in our own lives. You have probably heard the saying “you reap what you sow” and had an uncomfortable moment of self-reflection wondering if some of the problems you are encountering today result from years of planting thorns instead of roses. In that moment we resolve to plant more flowers, sometime in the future. But has that moment ever come?
We instinctively know that maintaining balance in all aspects of our lives is important but sometimes our resolutions get buried under the weight of our responsibilities, our emotional and physical health and that of those dear to us. Sometimes we simply need a little push to get back in touch with our inner creativity. A visualization exercise can help. Visualizing our outward circumstances as a garden we are always in the process of planting, we observe all that we have created and, like the experienced gardeners we are, begin pruning what needs pruning and fertilizing barren patches in need of extra nurturing and reseeding.
Maybe your recent focus has been on your economic circumstances resulting in an overgrowth, while your emotional landscape is barren and in desperate need of nurturing. Or perhaps emotional and physical health concerns have taken over and dominate your inner garden, leaving other considerations to languish. Sit in stillness and ask yourself how to best go about rebalancing your inner landscape beginning with the most obvious areas then moving into deeper undergrowth. Invite Mother/Sister Jaguar into your garden and into your life. She is experienced in fearlessly culling what is dead and dying and will support your sincere efforts and ruthlessly tear apart halfway measures like throwing a few seeds on a barren patch and hoping for the best. Allow yourself to look at today’s inner Harvest through Her uncompromising eyes and fearlessly ask “how can I make tomorrow’s Harvest better?”
Alberto Villoldo, PhD