September is upon us now and with it the traditional harvest season. The full Harvest Moon falls on September 9th. On this day in China and in many other places in Asia, The Mid-Autumn Festivals begin. Celebrations and traditions vary, but the commonality is the making and sharing of specially made mooncakes and gazing at the moon.

The fall equinox occurs on September 23rd, heralding the beginning of Fall. Ancient agricultural societies marked this event with solemn rituals. Harvest rituals are one of the oldest forms of religious ritual. We can still see the agriculture deities that were honored today, like in Greece,  where Demeter was depicted on a frieze in the Parthenon. In Egypt, colorful images of Osiris are preserved in tombs and a hymn to Tammuz can be found recorded in cuneiform, the oldest writing script in the world. The New Moon follows on September 24th. At this time of turning inward, reflect on not only the harvest, but the things that continually need tending in your life. After the sun sets on this day, The Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah will be observed. This is also a time of self-reflection and renewal.

One of the benefits of modern technology is the ability to virtually travel around the world, to literally zoom to someones door step and see how they live and celebrate the change of season or religious holidays. The ability to reconnect with traditions from the lands of your forebearers or to discover a tradition that resonates deeply with you is indeed a harvest. We can reap the benefits of the technology that  has become very much a part of modern life.

Blessed Be!