September's Harvest Moon Is All About Endings — In a Good Way
If you've ever taken an evening car ride and just so happened to catch a glimpse of the starry sky during the early months of fall, you may have noticed the harvest moon. Unlike other full moons — which may have intriguing names like strawberry moon or pink moon, but don't actually look different than other full moons — September's harvest moon often looks especially big and orange or red. That makes everyone sit up and take notice. And they should, because astrologically, the September full moon, which falls in Aries, has a unique and powerful vibe.
"The September full harvest moon carries an energy of endings," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of "Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power." And the actual impact this full moon can potentially have on your month is as intriguing as that sounds. Keep reading to learn more about the spiritual meaning of the harvest moon and what the harvest moon in 2023 will mean for every zodiac sign.
Why Is It Called the Harvest Moon?
The harvest moon is generally the full moon closest in time to the autumnal equinox (this year, Sept. 23), when the sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south at the start of autumn. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the harvest moon earned its name because of the moonlight that occurs early in the evenings, leaving farmers with more time to harvest their summer-grown crops.
When Is the Full Harvest Moon in 2023?
The full harvest moon will rise on Sept. 29, at 5:57 a.m. ET. That means the best time to see it will be the night of Thursday, Sept. 28.
What Sign Is September's Harvest Moon?
The 2023 harvest moon is in Aries.
What Is the Spiritual Meaning of the Harvest Moon?
"As every full moon does, [the harvest full moon in Aries] brings the need to balance the energy of two zodiac signs, which in this case is the energy of the sun in Libra and the moon in Aries," Montúfar explains. "This axis is all about creating awareness about having healthy relationships, while still having an overall feeling of individuality and true authenticity. This is actually a very important theme that arrived for the collective on July 17, and that remains important for us all for the next 18 months," she adds. (In case you missed it in our yearly horoscope, July 17 is when the North Node, also called the True Node, which determines your spiritual purpose, entered Aries.)
Montúfar says we'll be well served to ask ourselves questions like these during this full moon: "How can we avoid codependency in our relationships, while still having a true sense of intimacy? Are we giving away a part of ourselves to fit someone else's mold? Is flying solo what we now need in order to chase a dream that is meaningful to us?"
If we're feeling stifled by any type of relationship (not just romantic), we may not be able to bear it much longer. "Mars — the planetary ruler of this Full Moon — will be forming a conjunction with the Lunar South of Destiny, assisting us in cutting unhealthy cords. On this same day, Venus — the planet of relationships and pleasure — will be forming a square with Uranus, the planet of freedom!" Montúfar notes. "So, if a relationship hasn't been feeling right, regardless of its nature, you have cosmic permission to put yourself first and end it now."
What Does the Harvest Moon Mean For Each Zodiac Sign?
Of course, every zodiac sign will have a different takeaway from this year's harvest full moon in Aries. Here, what to expect during this powerful lunation.
It's time for Aries to face what they've been hiding. "This full moon happens in your first house, which might feel like an emotional roller coaster. Something that was previously hidden comes to light, informing the important decision that you must put yourself first," Montúfar says. Her advice: "Find a balance between autonomy and dependence, and avoid impulsivity!"
"This full moon happens in your twelfth house of subconscious mind, meaning that you're bound to feel tired," Montúfar says. "Schedule rest and self-care in your calendar during the three days surrounding this event," she advises. And if you find yourself wanting to distance yourself from connections — personal or professional — that no longer feel stimulating or warm to you, go for it. Your ruler Venus is forming a square with change-maker Uranus, setting the stage for healthy change.
"Drama within a group of friends could be in your Friday night plans, even if you didn't plan on it," Montúfar warns. To manage the upheaval, try to stick close to home and avoid choosing a side — everyone involved will be feeling sensitive. But you can trust your own POV. "With your ruler, Mercury, currently placed in Virgo, you're able to see the situation clearly," she says.
"This Full Moon is happening in your career sector — your tenth house — meaning that an important project could come to an end," Montúfar says. "After working so hard on it, you could feel exhausted, so make sure to take care of your body this weekend." But there are bright things on the horizon for you, Cancer. "If you receive a job offer now, ask for what you deserve," Montúfar urges.
"This full moon is happening in your ninth house of life philosophy, which might test your belief system," Montúfar says. "You're normally very set in your ways, but with Venus in your sign squaring Uranus, you have no choice but to change your position about an important matter, most likely career related." Keep your mind open, Leo — you may be pleasantly surprised by where you're led.
"This Full Moon is happening in your eighth house of intimacy," Montúfar says. Yep, that means you'll be seeing the affects in your relationship — specifically, some difficult conversations might surface around the full moon. But difficult doesn't mean bad. If you're single, this full moon is "a good time to work on your budget and see how much you truly spend on other people," Montúfar says.
Get ready, Libra. "This full moon is happening in your seventh house of partnerships, so a relationship — romantic, business, or friendship — could come to an end," Montúfar says. But really, that's just the tip of the iceberg. "This is the beginning of an 18-month period of huge transformation for you during which you will learn to relate to others in a healthier way," she says. Strap in!
"This full moon is happening in your sixth house of work and wellness, so you will most likely be busy," Montúfar says. Luckily, you like it that way; unluckily, you like it a little too much. "Deadlines aren't as important as your peace of mind, so if you need an extension, ask for it," she urges. "On a personal level, it's the perfect time to abandon any negative habits."
With the harvest full moon taking place in your fifth house of pleasure and dating, you may find yourself in a tricky situation, Sag. "On one side, you might feel the need to fly solo, but on the other side, an impulsive desire to pour your heart out to a lover might take over," Montúfar says. "Make the decision next week, once lunar energies are more manageable."
If you feel like your work-life balance has become a little . . . erm, unbalanced, Capricorn, you can blame the full moon, which is taking place in your fourth house of home and family. "You might feel like you've been neglecting your private life by pouring all your energy into your career," Montúfar says. "Success isn't as important as your foundation, so act accordingly."
"This full moon is happening in your third house of communication, having you scream your needs to the winds," Montúfar says. "This is a magical moon for you, so perform a cord-cutting ritual that assists you in removing from your life anything that prevents your full self-expression."
You've got money on the mind, Pisces. "This full moon is happening in your second house of money, bringing tangible themes to the table," Montúfar says. "How does the give-and-take look in your closest relationships — and not just about money, but also time and effort? After all, your energy and attention are your highest commodities."
When Is the Next Full Moon?
The next full moon following the harvest moon of September 2023 is October blood's moon on Oct. 28, at 4:24 p.m. ET. It's a special event: a full moon lunar eclipse in Taurus.