Following last month’s Harvest Moon is the bright and beautiful Full Hunter’s Moon. The harvest is already done. The fields are chaff and stubble, the deer are fattened and slower afoot; the foxes and other small animals that go gleaning in the sweet rubble are easily observed. Indeed, this Moon illuminates a hunter’s paradise, and our ancestors anticipated no other Full Moon with such eagerness. She is therefore also the Reaper’s Moon signifying a paradox of plenty and the end of a story.
This was much on my mind as I took my long morning walk that led me to the edge of a nearby farm. The farm extends from a flat, stubby field up a hillside of tight, neat pastures to thick trees. I love standing there, studying the farm and breathing in its energy. It’s a favorite spot of mine to offer up my morning prayers to Venus, and at this time of year I literally see Diana the Huntress prowling the land with happy hounds in tow.
I had just finished my prayers this morning when an odd yet familiar sound made me turn my head skyward. It was far off, then disappeared, then came back again. I peered at the distant hills and waited, wondering if I’d only imagined hearing something. I was about to turn away and continue on my walk when, suddenly, just as it often happens when we stop expecting something, there they were, two Canadian geese. Wings beating powerfully, emerging from low-lying mist, they came on side by side in delightful, controlled descent and skipped without missing a step onto the thin, white froth of the frosty field. They walked a few paces forward, then turned, feathery shoulder to feathery shoulder, and waited.
I knew they had landed in the field to mimic the fox. They were hunting for moles and shrews, but after a few minutes more, I realized they were looking up into the same part of the sky that I had been scanning. I looked, too, saw nothing, heard nothing, but wait! There it was again, the comforting yet busy sound of geese on the wing. Moments later, nine more birds soared out of heaven and gracefully landed to join their leaders or advance scouts. The day would soon warm up, and it would be a good one for these hunters-in-transit. May it be so for you, too, I said to anyone who might be listening as I turned away from the farm.
On this Full Hunter’s Moon, may we all find that for which we’re hunting—whether it’s sustenance, inspiration, or beauty in the fields that have been winnowed for us. May we breathe in the land’s tenderness and vulnerability, the sky’s surprises and amazement, and may we embody the best function, integrity and purpose of all creatures. On this Full Hunter’s Moon, take a walk in in the world and become aware of the eyes looking back at you, particularly the eyes with wonder and no intention to do you harm.
Here is a poem to put in your pocket as you go.
Prayer for the Harvest
Tomorrow may we all be light,
Blessed with second sight
That brings the world to us
As children understand it.
The sweet mare in her stall
Will be still enough for all
Who whisper their confessions.
Come evening may we sleep all night
In the crooked arm of Mother Time
Where the owl’s vigil calms us,
Where the fox in the harrowed field thrills us.
Tomorrow may we all be right
In every thing we say and do,
Forgiving ourselves our dispositions,
And those who can’t forgive us.