The name September is from the Roman word ‘Septum’ meaning Seven. It was known by the Anglo Saxons as Gerst Monarth (Barley Month) or the Harvest Month. Harvest Festival was traditionally celebrated in England on the 24th September. As part of these celebrations are two wonderful old traditions;
Calling the Mare
It was vitally important that harvests were gathered in a timely way – often farmers would have to wait for a clear spell of weather and then if that came the whole community would be on hand to help with the harvest – right up until Victorian times it was perfectly acceptable for the local school to sent their pupils into the fields at Harvest time to help the Farmers. As an incentive for a timely harvest the first Farmer to successfully get all his crops in would take the last sheaf of corn and fashion a Horse shape from it, they would then throw it over the hedgerow of a neighbouring Farmer who was yet to finish – it was a way of saying that the ‘wild horses will be after the crops if they are not harvested soon’. The Corn Mare would then make its way around the community until it finished with the Farmer who was last to Harvest – he then had to display it all year round to show he was the slowest.
I have written about this tradition before (visit here if interested and you can see my attempt at one! – Corn Dollies) Corn Dolly’s were traditionally made by farmers from the last sheaf of corn harvested – they had a lot of demands for this last sheaf of corn! This was then woven into a simple or complex ‘Dolly’ that would be used as part of the harvest celebrations. The Dolly would then be planted back into the earth come Spring time. It is thought that people believed the spirit of the corn lived on in the Dolly and was in this way preserved.
New Moon – Sunday 13th September
Full Moon – Monday 28th September
This Months Moons
Native American; Sturgeon Moon (Current) and Harvest Moon (New)
American; Dog and Harvest
English; Grain and Fruit
Celtic; Dispute and Singing
Wiccan; Wyrt and Barley
Neo Pagan; Lightning and Harvest
Constellations to look out for this month in the Northern Hemisphere;
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
Image from; photoaltoblog.wordpress.com