This Friday the 13th, a cratered Jack-O-Lantern will light up the sky.
Even more than the pumpkin spice latte, the harvest moon officially marks the beginning of fall. The days grow shorter, the air gets brisker and a glowing full moon kicks it all off. Here’s what it is, when you can see it and why it’s teenier this year.
The last time there was full moon on Friday the 13th was Oct. 13, 2000. And the rare occurrence won’t happen again until August 13, 2049.
What’s a harvest moon?
A harvest moon is a full moon that usually occurs around the autumnal equinox (September 23, the first day of fall!) but sometimes laze into October in the Western Hemisphere.
A harvest moon rises about 25 minutes after the sun sets in most of the northern US, NASA said, 25 minutes earlier than a typical moon. This brings extra light in the evenings.
What causes it?
The moon’s positioned at the “most shallow angle” with the eastern horizon, the Farmer’s Almanac said. This shortens the period between the time the sun sets and the moon rises.
And like any full moon, the sun and moon are opposite each other, so the sun cranks up the moon’s brightness.
Why is it called a ‘harvest moon’?
Thank farmers. Those extra 25 minutes of sunlight extended harvesting time for farmers, so they could continue their picking later into the evenings. And at the right time, it kinda looks like a big, glowing pumpkin.
Why is this one special?
It’s mini! This year’s harvest moon will occur during the apogee, or the point in the moon’s orbit when it’s farthest from Earth. As a result, it’ll appear 14% smaller than a typical full moon, the Farmer’s Almanac said.
Its exact peak is at 9:33 p.m. Pacific Time, and as you can see in the chart, it’s locked into a tight conjunction with both Neptune and Mars.
First of all, of course an imaginative, hazy, watery, flowing, daydreamy air is going to be central in the atmosphere during this full moon due to both the Moon in Pisces, and the conjunction to Pisces’ planet Neptune.
However, the addition of Mars in Virgo and the tight opposition between Mars and Neptune at exactly 17 and 17 degrees suggests another element to the equation.
Mars opposition Neptune is a funny aspect. With the hard aspects between Mars and Neptune (opposition or conjunction) happening only around once a year, they aren’t that common.
Neptune is a very whimsical, lower-intensity type of energy, something pondering and introspective and so is Pisces, both with a propensity to calm things down.
Mars in the sky determines how we will collectively feel physical energy, willpower, the blood flowing through us and things of that nature at any given time.
Virgo is a very aware, empathetic sign, so similar to Mars in Cancer, this Mars position is capable of producing effects such as consciousness of health and the body, a certain type of empathy that might be a bit analytical in nature, and things like that.
Now mix it with Neptune, and we’ve got a formula for sleepy, hazy, daydreamy and very slow energy with a propensity toward empathy and kindness, consciousness of health, and also one other enormous factor.
The Sun and Moon are very closely forming positive aspects to Pluto and Saturn with the Nodes (where the eclipses happened).
This is a direct indication of resolution to our recent struggles, an indication of healing and spiritual, introspective, daydreamy pondering geared toward resolution (Neptune/Pisces/Mars), the resolution of what Saturn conjunct Pluto has brought us this year with an immense potential for purging, upheaval, general disarray and darkness which has followed a lot of people throughout 2019.
Every single bit of upheaval you may have felt this year can be astrologically attributed to Saturn conjunct Pluto, the once every 36 year aspect that started to peak around April – August, and truly peaked with the eclipse that conjoined it and caused its energy to reverberate throughout everything from around July 16 – the end of August.
Now, this Full Moon occurs in positive aspect to the place where the eclipses happened, and Pluto/Saturn. The Pluto aspect is the closest, which is also the best possible result because Saturn is the heavy, dark energy, and Pluto is the purging energy that eventually ends up feeling like a phoenix being reborn from some ashes.
When somebody feels one wave of Pluto, the initial purge, transformation, or upheaval in your life which may seem like mere bad luck or something to begin with, the next wave of Pluto might be different.
Often, a second dose of Pluto actually brings resolution to the first purge, a rejuvenated sense of appreciation for things, the energy of gratitude and humbleness.
After this full moon, it’s likely that people will experience a rejuvenated sense of gratitude for many things in life.
It shouldn’t be all that loud or active, as the energies composing this equation are all extremely quiet and introspective.
In fact, the axis of Virgo/Pisces upon which the full moon falls is considered the axis of introversion.
This axis of introversion squares, or is very different from the axis of extroversion, consisting of Gemini and Sagittarius. Now, Jupiter in its own sign of Sagittarius is also deep in the equation of the full moon.
The final peak of Jupiter square Neptune, not a common aspect, is occurring around the time of the full moon. This both adds energy, social power, the will to express things and expand with a sort of lighthearted feeling to it (Jupiter) to the more calm, pondering, introspective and less active Neptune/Pisces energy.
Sometimes on a Jupiter square Neptune day, it manifests as more tired, low energy, very slow like a hazy and daydreamy blanket has been pulled over the will for everybody to do anything.
Sometimes on the same day, suddenly that watery, imaginative energy may be poured into something social, expansive, active or Jupiterian.
All of these possibilities are being cemented in the full moon, which could cause the effect of rejuvenated gratitude and daydreamy, spiritual pondering and resolution of recent struggles, to reverberate throughout the next week or two, characteristic of a full moon.