21st September: Mid Autumn Festival Astrology – Moongazing & Mythology…
What are the cosmic roots of this time of year?
In 2021, September 22nd Is The Day Following Mid-Autumn Festival – and the Public Holiday!
Falling on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, Mid-Autumn Festival – or the Moon Festival – is when families gather to admire what’s believed to be the fullest moon of the year.
Astronomically, the Moon at this time of year is physically closer, therefore it appears bigger and brighter for all to see.
Moon viewing ceremonies are held each year to celebrate the waxing and Full Moon, gorgeous and bright in our skies.
Celebrated notably by Chinese people and in countries throughout East Asia, Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) is related to Chuseok in Korea, Tsukimi (月見), Otsukimi (お月見), or Jugoya (十五夜) in Japan – this literally means “moon-viewing” in Japanese.
Traditionally, it’s a vibrant and magical time, with moon watching parties, sweet treats, beautiful lanterns, and incense burned.
- moongazing or moon worship
- eating (Mooncakes!)
- lighting lanterns…
Mid-Autumn Festival is akin to Thanksgiving – it’s a time for family, food, and celebration.
The biggest festival after the Lunar New Year, families reunite with the Full Moon, a universal symbol of unity and completeness.
Some countries give their people a three-day bank holiday to allow people to head back to their hometowns for ancestor worship and rituals.
We can recognise the agricultural roots around Moon Gazing, with awareness of the calendar, as farmers were so dependent on natural cycles for the timing around a successful harvest.
In ancient China, this particular harvest moon signalled the time for one of the most important harvests before winter.
A time to give thanks to nature, farmers made offerings to the lady who lives on the Moon… Chang’e!
The Moon Goddess is Chang’e, and the Chinese say that the rabbit (吴少云) Wu Shaoyun is her companion…
Mid-Autumn mythology is built upon old anecdotes and legends, which have been woven together and made new with each retelling.
Not only is the Rabbit a creature in the Zodiac, throughout East Asia rabbits and hares have lunar associations – people interpret the markings on the Full Moon to be a rabbit or hare.
This creature features prominently in this Chinese festival.
A Buddhist legend says the rabbit was put on the Moon to reward him after performing a deed of self-sacrifice, and in the Japanese tradition, the rabbit in the Moon is making mochi (sticky rice cakes) with a hammer and mortar; you’ll therefore see lots of depictions of rabbits eating or making mochi at Tsukimi.
Mid-Autumn Ritual – Create An Alter…
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You can create an altar in honour of the Full Moon with Japanese pampas grass and dango (sweet dessert food), as well as offerings of the fall – chestnuts, pumpkin, and potatoes.
At the Mid-Autumn Festival, offerings are made at altars to Chang’e – be sure they are facing the Moon!
That way she will bless the worshipper with beauty.
Mid Autumn Festival Astrology…
This is a festival honouring an autumn moon.
In Western Astrology, we would calculate this moment according to the Full Moon closest to the Autumn Equinox (before or after).
This is when the moon appears at its largest – in some traditions it is called the Harvest Moon.
When the Moon shines bright in Pisces – as we reach the end of Virgo Season – we might assign the Eastern counterpart as the rabbit.
Rabbits are known as gentle and empathic, just like Pisces, and they tend to like to stay on the right side of people.
Here are some of my pics from a Mid-Autumn Gone By…
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