Peaceful Moon: Top 6 on Harvest Moon Eclipse + Lunar Yoga

September 24, 2015

Greg Diesel Walck: "Full Buck Moon and First Supermoon of Summer at Moonrise" (July 12, 2014)

6 Reasons the Eclipse and Full Moon in Aries is Special: Plus a Yoga Tip on a Simple Lunar Practice/Meditation

Here is what you need to know about the biggest lunar event of 2015 that arrives next Sunday evening, September 27. (Times given below are EDT.)  Millions of people across the world will be observing and celebrating the total lunar eclipse. Peaceful Moon breaks down the eclipsing Harvest Moon to share six ways that it’s special. Wishing clear weekend skies for your location!

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1.  The Full Moon that rises closest to the equinox is the Harvest Moon.

The Harvest Moon rises big and golden a few nights in a row.

On Saturday, September 26, the nearly full, waxing moon rises before 6:30 pm, nearly an hour before sunset. The setting sun will still be shining while the big, fat, golden moon will seem to hover and glow on the eastern horizon.

On Sunday, September 27, the full Harvest moon rises at sunset, at approximately 7 pm. The moon technically becomes full just before 11 pm and will be visible all night.  The eclipse times are given below (see #2).

On Monday, September 28, the waning, just past full moon rises at 7:45 pm, 35 minutes after the sun sets and still will be big, round and golden. Monday night’s moon will be the last with the Harvest Moon glow for 2015.

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2.  The path of the total lunar eclipse will pass over North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

If the weather conditions cooperate, in most areas of the world the lunar eclipse will be visible. For EDT, most of the eclipse can be seen before midnight on Sunday.

The partial eclipse starts shortly after 9 pm, and the full eclipse starts shortly after 10 pm. Mid-eclipse arrives around 10:45 pm – at this peak phase the lunar eclipse color is deepest. The total eclipse ends before 11:30 pm. Early on Monday morning, the partial eclipse ends before 12:30 am.

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3.  The Harvest Moon will be a “supermoon.”

 The full moon will appear slightly larger and brighter than normal, since it is now at perigee, which means at its closest approach to Earth during its monthly orbit. A full or new moon at perigee is called a “supermoon,” a term borrowed from astrology that has been popularized. Since the perigee coincides with a total lunar eclipse, it should produce an impressive, beautiful moon. This is the supermodel of full moons.

During a perigee full moon, the tides are higher than normal and the gravitational pull on all of us is said to be greater than normal. Crepuscular animals become agitated (e.g., wolves howl at the moon). The full moon affects fish, shellfish, turtles, and other marine-based forms of life whose growth and reproduction cycles are directly tied to the tides and lunar phases.

There are disputed statistics about an increase in crime and “lunatic” behavior during a big, bright full moon for two-footed animals. This full moon will be felt by women who are hormonally sensitive to the moon’s phases, or who have affected astrological aspects.

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4.  The eclipsing full moon of September 2015 is the fourth and last of a blood moon tetrad that began in April 2014.

“Blood moons” have been garnering attention for the past few years. It refers to the color of the moon, which takes on a deep orange or ruddy hue during a total lunar eclipse. Since there have been four fully eclipsed moons that share common characteristics, the sequence has been termed a “lunar tetrad.”*

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5.  During the Harvest Moon, the sun will be in Libra, and the moon will be in Aries, close to the equinox with a lot of energy attached to Libra/Aries.

 During a full moon, the sun and moon are in opposition: In the evening, the sun sets in the west while the moon rises in the east, and vice versa at dawn. During an eclipse, the sun and moon are conjunct the lunar nodes.

The nodes are mathematical calculations of where the moon crosses the sun’s path bimonthly during its orbit around the Earth. In 2015, at the time of the autumn equinox yesterday (9/23), the sun entered Libra, at zero Libra. Zero Libra, an equinox point, carries power, which makes this eclipse that much more significant.

With the sun in early Libra, the moon in early Aries, this full moon and eclipse will particularly affect those born at the cardinal cusps: Pisces/Aries, Gemini/Cancer, Virgo/Libra and Sagittarius/Capricorn. Since the lunar eclipses of October 2014 and April 2015 touched related sensitive points, those affected likely have weathered storms over the past year.

Don’t worry about whether the influence of the eclipses has been positive or negative. Think more in terms of what karmic lessons you’re supposed to be learning in 2015-16, and try to make the most of the opportunity. The key to how to play it perhaps may be found in retrograde Mercury and by internalizing the cardinal axis.

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6.  As discussed in the last Peaceful Moon, Mercury went retrograde in Libra in mid-September.

 Mercury will continue to move backwards until slowing and reversing course at its station on October 9 – at zero degrees Libra, that same sensitive cardinal pointRetrograde Mercury affects many with mechanical/electronic, transportation and communications annoyances, depending on whether its transit happens to touch something significant on your natal chart.

Relationships are spotlighted and may experience growing pains. The Libra/Aries axis stirs conflicts of self-assertion versus balance and cooperation. Use retrograde Mercury to help you slow down, rethink and calmly revisit issues that may be bothering to inflaming you. Consider how to best express your point of view – and when it’s the best time to so or whether it’s best to resist comment.

If you’ve been feeling these lunar eclipses touch your natal aspects, the upheaval will culminate and draw to a close fairly soon. One last shebang to cope with, and then you catch a break.

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Secrets of the Sphinx Yoga, Tip #3: A Simple Lunar Practice/Meditation to Honor the Harvest Moon Eclipse

How to Do a Moon Salutation - Peaceful Dumpling

Moon salutations are a wonderful way to celebrate a lunar eclipse. If you can do so while facing the moon, and maybe near water for reflections, that’s ideal. Maybe you can join a lunar flow class. Or try these tutorials from Shiva Rea in Yoga Journal, Karina Mirsky in Yoga International, and here on Peaceful Dumpling.

In your practice, think of the importance of rooting down to the earth, and reaching up to the heavens, lifting away from gravity. Embrace gravity and heaviness, instead of being troubled by its associations with body weight.

Stand in tadasana, or mountain pose, and really feel your feet grounded by the Earth. Root down like you mean it, as if the setting sun is tugging on your soles. Simultaneously feel your spine long and lifted, pulling against gravity toward the heavens. The back of your neck and skull are aligned with your spine. Your shoulders are pressed down, away from your ears and the sky. The top of your head and scalp feel light, open to receive.

Close your eyes to feel the beautiful Harvest Moon and reflect on its influence on your body, emotions, imagination, and maybe your hormones. We’re mostly made of water and, like other forms of life on Earth, experience tidal pulls with moon phases.  Take a moment or two. Does your body want to move differently with the moon or at a different pace than with the sun? Does the moonlight stay external or do you assimilate it through your skin as with the sun’s rays?  How does the moon feel to you?

Slow down and let your body tell your mind what you’re experiencing. This is a supermoon – let it be super for you. Mercury is retrograde – let it take you inward. Let yourself harmonize with this very special lunar moment, letting the moon soothe your nervous system and emotions. If you’ve been feeling unbalanced, let the Libra (a scale) influence and strong sun-moon polarity help you regain equilibrium.

Stretch out your hands and arms so that they evenly extend from the sides of your body and across your heart, forming a firm horizon line. You are vertical and literally horizontal: north, south, east and west, aligned with the moon, Earth and sun, the cardinal axis internalized.

From the shoulder sockets, let your arms slowly turn so that your palms face the moonlight. Feel the round openness of the eclipse spread through the center of your body and limbs. Feel grounded and serene, touched by the soft, magical moonlight.  Join the millions of people across the planet who are observing the moon, vibrating and sharing their energy: Ommmmmmoon.

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This Peaceful Moon post is abbreviated from this week’s Moonday, which discusses the Harvest Moon eclipse and its influence in greater depth. Comments below are invited on how the full moon and eclipse affect you, and on how you celebrate the moon. If you take lunar selfies, please share them with PD.

Peaceful Moon returns with the new moon in October. Read sneak previews of Moonday, which is posted on Monday mornings, in the Sunday PD newsletter.


  • *In his best selling book titled Four Blood Moons (2013), John Hagee connects up the total eclipse sequence with the Jewish holidays and Biblical prophecy. See “What Is a Blood Moon?” (EarthSky, Mar. 27, 2015).

Photo:  Greg Diesel Walck:Full Buck Moon and First Supermoon of Summer at Moonrise” (July 12, 2014)

A lifelong skygazer, the Sphinx learned astrology from her grandmother and private teachers. She later had a consultation practice and weekly astrological column in NYC, where she became deeply immersed in the work of C.G. Jung. She earned a doctorate in journalism, and has been a communications and gender/multiculturalism professor at some of the leading universities in the U.S., as well as a freelance writer and PR/marketing consultant. Her yoga studies began at Dharma Mittra’s first studio in NYC over 30 years ago. Bringing things full circle, after exposure to most of the leading styles, she is finishing up yoga teacher training with an emphasis on the Dharma approach at Spa Walden, located outside Cleveland, OH. Peaceful Moon is published bimonthly, at the new and full moons, on Peaceful Dumpling. Moonday is published on Monday mornings on Facebook and Twitter.


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