“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
– Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885
SEPTEMBER – HARVEST MOON/WINE
September is the ninth month of the year. Its name is derived from the Latin word septum, which means “seventh,” as it was the seventh month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Virgo, the maiden (August 23 – Septmer 21), a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury. September is a month of fulfillment. Kitchens are busy, as the garden’s last produce is canned and preserved. The air is filled with the cidery tang of harvest time. Squirrels hide their nuts, and chipmunks line their nests with grain. Asters raise their purple heads, and monarch butterflies add their black-and-orange hues to autumn’s palette. The sacred beverages of the season – cider and wine – echo the colors of nature now. The Fall Equinoxx, or Mabon is the major holiday of September. At Mabon, we celebrate the second harvest, say farewell to summer, and enter the dark season. Days grow shorter as the Great Son, Mabon, returns to Mother Earth. For the Sabbat, altar decorations include pumpkins, squash and grapes. September’s Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, perhaps the most well-known of the year. It rises above the horizon and glows in solitary splendor. She is queen of the September night. The night belongs to her, and to her alone. Honor her by raising a glass of cider or win, then respectfully pour it onto the earth.
THE WINE MOON, also known as the harvest moon and singing moon, is the time in the annual cycle when you celebrate and give thanks to the Goddess for a bountiful harvest. As fermented fruit, wine represents the fruits of your labors. Traditionally, the wine is used to toast family and friends, both human and divine.
Wiccan Spell A Night: Spells, Charms, And Potions For The Whole Year
CORRESPONDENCES FOR SEPTEMBER
NATURE SPIRITS: trooping faeries
HERBS: Copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap
COLORS: Brown and yellow
FLOWERS: narcissus, lily
SCENTS: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamot
STONES: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine
TREES: Hazel, larch, bay
ANIMALS: the snake and jackal
BIRDS: Ibis, sparrow
DIETIES: Dementer, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freyja, Thoth
POWERS/ADVICE: A time to rest after the labors of the last two months, a time of balance of the light and dark.
This is also the time to clear up mental clutter and get thoughts back into perspective.
Symbols & Folklore for the Month of September
September’s Sign of the Zodiac
Virgo (until September 21)
Libra (from September 22 onwards)
September’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Hazel: August 5 – September 1
Vine: September 2 – September 29
Ivy: September 30 – October 27
September’s Birth Flower
Forget-me-not, Morning Glory and Aster
Heavy September rains bring drought.
September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft.
Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go.
If the storms of September clear off warm, the storms of the following winter will be warm.
September’s Month Long Observations
- Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
- Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
- Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
- German American Heritage Month begins on September 15 in the United States.
- National Ovarian Cancer Month
- National Preparedness Month (United States)
- National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
- National Bourbon Heritage Month
- Better Breakfast Month
- California Wine Month
- Food Safety Education Month
- National Chicken Month
- National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
- National Honey Month
- National Mushroom Month
- National Papaya Month
- National Potato Month
- National Rice Month
- National Whole Grains Month
- National Wild Rice Month
Labor Day – September 7th
Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and workers contributions have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.
Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Therefore, in 1887, the United States holiday was established in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.
Canada’s Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 other countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1 as their holiday dedicated to labor.
History Of Labor Day
In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.
Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the previous several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent socialist and anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers’ Day. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.
Labor Day Celebrations
The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations”, followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Labor movement.
The holiday often marks the end of the traditional summer season (although summer doesn’t officially end until September 21), as students normally return to school the following week, although school year starting days now vary.
September 11 or 9/11
The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th, or 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks consisted of suicide attacks used to target symbolic U.S. landmarks.
Four passenger airliners—which all departed from airports on the U.S. East Coast bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists to be flown into buildings. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, leading to a partial collapse in the Pentagon’s western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, initially was steered toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people (including the 19 hijackers) and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage. It was the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively.
In the days immediately following the attacks, many memorials and vigils were held around the world, and photographs of the dead and missing were posted around Ground Zero. A witness described being unable to “get away from faces of innocent victims who were killed. Their pictures are everywhere, on phone booths, street lights, walls of subway stations. Everything reminded me of a huge funeral, people quiet and sad, but also very nice. Before, New York gave me a cold feeling; now people were reaching out to help each other.”
One of the first memorials was the Tribute in Light, an installation of 88 searchlights at the footprints of the World Trade Center towers. In New York, the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was held to design an appropriate memorial on the site. The winning design, Reflecting Absence, was selected in August 2006, and consists of a pair of reflecting pools in the footprints of the towers, surrounded by a list of the victims’ names in an underground memorial space.
The Pentagon Memorial was completed and opened to the public on the seventh anniversary of the attacks in 2008. It consists of a landscaped park with 184 benches facing the Pentagon. When the Pentagon was repaired in 2001–2002, a private chapel and indoor memorial were included, located at the spot where Flight 77 crashed into the building.
In Shanksville, a permanent Flight 93 National Memorial is planned to include a sculpted grove of trees forming a circle around the crash site, bisected by the plane’s path, while wind chimes will bear the names of the victims. A temporary memorial is located 500 yards (457 m) from the crash site. New York City firefighters donated a cross made of steel from the World Trade Center and mounted on top of a platform shaped like the Pentagon. It was installed outside the firehouse on August 25, 2008. Many other permanent memorials are elsewhere. Scholarships and charities have been established by the victims’ families, and by many other organizations and private figures.
On every anniversary, in New York City, the names of the victims who died there are read out against a background of somber music. The President of the United States attends a memorial service at the Pentagon, and asks Americans to observe Patriot Day with a moment of silence. Smaller services are held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which are usually attended by the President’s spouse.
Mabon – September 21
“In late September, the sun crosses the celestial equator and there is a day where the length of the day and night are approximately equal. These days are called equinoxes, from the Latin meaning “equal night.” The autumnal equinox marks one of the lesser Sabbats, called Mabon, occurring around September twenty-second or twenty-third. Astrologically, this is when the sun moves into Libra. This holiday is the second harvest festival, falling during or at the end of the European grain harvest. It also known as the wine harvest, and often marks the beginning of hunting season. In one old Craft tradition, the fall equinox was named “the Night of the Hunter” and farmers would slaughter livestock too weak to survive the winter on this night. Druids know this celebration as “Mea’n Fo’mhair” and honor the Green Man, God of the Forest, and his trees with poured offerings of ciders and wine. Norse pagans celebrate this time as Winter Finding, a time period that runs from the Sabbat until October 15th. This night is known as Winter’s Night and is the Norse New Year. The Wiccan New Year is also approaching at October’s end. It is known the ancient Mayans observed this date as well. At the pyramid at Cihickén Itzá, seven triangles of light fall on the pyramid’s staircase on this date only. In Japan, there is a six-day celebration around the equinox. This holiday is to honor Higan-e, the “other shore” and is based on six “perfections”: giving, observance of the precepts, perseverance, effort, meditation and wisdom. By this time of the year, the days are visibly waning, the temperatures begin to cool and it is time to start preparing for winter. Many people like to refresh their altar(s) for this time, adding elements in autumn colors (orange, brown, gold, dark reds, rust) like acorns, pine cones, leaves, dried plants and herbs, apples, pomegranates, ivy and horns of plenty.”
Some activities of Mabon include:
Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving.
Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season.
Do meditations and chanting as you store away food for the Winter.
Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction – – for home, finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center).
Decorate the table with colorful autumn leaves in a basket.
Display the fruits of the harvest – corn, gourds, nuts, grapes, apples – preferably in a cornucopia. Or decorate with wildflowers, acorns, nuts, berries, cocoons, anything that represents the harvest to you.
Make a protection charm of hazelnuts (filberts) strung on red thread.
Make a witch’s broom. Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel, lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong, relatively straight branch of your choice.
Make magic Apple Dolls Gifts of the Harvest can be used to make tools and emblems that will remind us of their bounty all year round.
Look for colored leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a centerpiece or bouquet for your home. Save the leaves to burn in your Yule fire.
Vist an apple orchard and, if possible, pick your own apples. Hang apples on a tree near your home. Watch the birds and other small animals who will enjoy your gift.
This is also the time for replacing your old broom with a new one. As the broom corn is ripe now, besom making is traditional and magickal this time of year.