What The Harvest Moon Means For You

Photo: Doug Meek/Getty Images.
This month's full moon and 2016's final eclipse will collide this Friday, September 16. East Coasters will be able to see the moon as early as 3:05 p.m, and, later in the evening, the sun and the moon will align in a near-perfect straight line. But this isn't simply an event of astronomical significance. It's also a major heads-up for what's to come for the rest of the year — and a reminder that how you close out the year is completely up to you.

Remember all that difficult soul-searching you did last month, around the time of the Corn Moon? Now's the time to take stock of what's changed or, hopefully, improved in your life since then. Reflect on what you've done to get to this point in the year — even if you only made the smallest changes to your life. It's simply a matter of stepping back and seeing how they've taken effect. You've reached the Harvest Moon, when you're encouraged to reap what your hard work has sown.

The Harvest Moon is heavily aligned with the upcoming fall equinox, which this year falls on September 22. This doesn't just signal the changing of the seasons — in Pagan traditions, it's the moment in the year when you start preparing for the cold months ahead.

Where the summer solstice stirs up the senses and imbues everything with an enthusiastic energy, the fall equinox encourages you to look inward and practice self-care. Even as you celebrate the bounty of your year's "harvest," so to speak, be sure to reflect upon what you need to do to be present for the final months of 2016. Maybe make a to-do list or start working ahead to save yourself some wintertime stress.

More than anything, this is a turning point in the year: You should feel free to treat the Harvest Moon as a much-needed break. But, keep in mind what may await you in the fall and winter to come.

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