When the light becomes more soft and golden, when you feel cool breezes creep in and see the first yellowing of leaves, we know autumn is around the corner. The Harvest Moon is the full moon nearest the autumn equinox, which is the midpoint between the summer and winter solstices. This year, the Harvest Moon occurs on September 14. The culmination of this moon cycle is called the harvest moon, according to the farmer’s almanac, because for several days the moonrise occurs just after sunset, providing light for the farmers to keep harvesting.
What’s ready for harvest in your life? We’ve been planting seeds and tending the fields all year in preparation for this season when we reap our harvest and turn inward to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
It’s also Virgo season, which is a great time to declutter and streamline all aspects of your life. This could be cleaning out your closet, bedding, and bookshelf to see what might need a new home. It could also mean taking stock of your year, again reinforced by this full harvest moon, and seeing what’s working and culling what isn’t. Spend some time sifting through your surroundings. Balance out the fervor of summer by beginning to slow down and make more space for rest.
Things you can do during this time to prepare your home and body for autumn:
- Learn about what medicinal plants to harvest during this time, and dry them for teas in the coming season. I love goldenrod the best for tea. It has 3x the antioxidant content of green tea!
- Incorporate warming spices into your cooking: cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and cayenne. Try golden milk, or golden milk with cacao, like Golden Cocoa.
- Transition your morning smoothie to a cooked porridge.
- Switch from iced water, or iced beverages, to room temperature or warm ones.
- Change out your bedding from a summer weight duvet insert like Coyuchi's Three Season Down Duvet or the Organic Cotton Comforter to a more cozy, snuggly Winter Weight Insert. We love the La Loma Linen Quilt.
- Nourish your skin. The dryness of winter can be so harsh on our largest organ. Start now by feeding it all the nutrients it needs. Try Wooden Spoon Herbs Rama Hemp Serum. It’s packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids.
- Carve more space for balance. As we move from the busy gathering season of summer to the quiet of winter, autumn provides the time we need to transition between the two. Make sure for all the harvesting your doing (metaphorical or otherwise), you balance that with relaxation and downtime. Don’t forget to play, too!
- Herbally, this is a great time for adaptogens. Adaptogens are touted in pop culture wellness as panaceas, but in truth, they are herbs that help us through stressful times. While seasonal shifts might not strike you as stressful, they are actually external stressors on the body. Adaptogens can help take your body from summer to winter with minimal impact. Try the Wooden Spoon Herbs Adaptogen Power formula.
- Spend time in nature, or simply outdoors. Notice what animals are active this time of year. Notice if any of the leaves are shining yellow. How does this make you feel? Can you channel what it feels like to be these beings? They’re preparing for autumn.
- Make sure to get sun on your skin once a day. Your body knows what seasonal change looks and feels like. Don’t forget that. Nature knows its own patterns. We aren’t separate from nature! Let your body feel the warmth of the sun and remember where in the cycle of the year we are.
Lauren Haynes is an herbalist, writer, and the founder of Wooden Spoon Herbs, a seasonal apothecary made from the highest-quality plants.