The summer of love, partying, and apocalyptic weather is finally nearing an end. On September 22, the sun moves from Virgo into Libra, bringing 2021’s Fall Equinox with it. To mark the last moments of summer, the Harvest Moon will rise on September 20 and light up the skies across the northern hemisphere, but what does it mean exactly? Below, we break down everything you need to know about the Harvest Moon 2021, from its significance in astrology to how to best view it.
What is a Harvest Moon?
2021’s Harvest Moon is first and foremost a full moon. This moment in the lunar cycle gets its name thanks to its auspicious timing; it coincided perfectly with harvest season across the northern hemisphere, according to Space, which gave farmers more time to harvest their summer crops into the night. The Harvest Moon also marks the beginning of shorter days and longer nights. Once the Fall Equinox hits on September 22, the sunrise will move back from 6:56 a.m. to 7:23 a.m. Get those SAD lamps plugged in and ready to go.
What is a Harvest Moon in terms of astrology?
For the astrologically-inclined, the Harvest Moon is also a full moon in Pisces, the sign of the fish and the final (and oldest) sign in the zodiac. NYLON’s astrologer, David Odyssey, explains more in his September 2021 horoscope: “In the sign of the fish, conjunct Neptune, planet of the collective consciousness, the full moon promises a download from a higher authority. Take inventory of your ego and grab any opportunity you can to be in cahoots with others — to share and merge your dreams, wishes, and worries. That role you’ve clung to for self-definition in the storm? It’s time to let go.”
How can I view the Harvest Moon?
The Harvest Moon can be first be seen at 7:55 p.m. ET, 17 minutes after sunset, according to NASA. As the last full moon of Summer 2021 for the northern hemisphere, the Harvest Moon may seem bigger, but that’s only a trick of the eye; the illusion of a larger full moon is because the Harvest Moon is physically closer to the horizon, a fact that accounts for the greater thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere that gives the Harvest Moon its orange hue. The Harvest Moon emerges on September 20, and will remain visible at night through the early hours of Wednesday morning. The Harvest Moon won’t be illuminating the skies alone, either, and will be joined by the celestial luminaries Venus and Jupiter.