Full Moon in Pisces: Dancing with the Leaves

fmpisces_300My sister-in-law tells a story about the man her company hired to sweep the leaves outside their building. He spends most days dancing around the courtyard in a graceful pas de deux with his gas-powered leaf blower while recalcitrant leaves scurry around him. “He’s not very efficient,” she says, “But he seems to be having an absolutely wonderful time.”

Which is more important: results, or process? At this Full Moon, the Sun in Virgo argues for efficiency and results. But across the zodiacal wheel, the fully illuminated Moon in the opposite sign, Pisces, makes the case for enjoying the process of life. For dancing with the leaves and having an absolutely wonderful time.

This Full Moon in Pisces, the closest to the autumnal equinox (this year, the equinox falls on September 22), is called the Harvest Moon. At the Harvest Moon there is a virtually seamless segue from sunset to moonrise, traditionally extending a farmer’s day just when it was sorely needed, at harvest time. This is a hard-working Moon of results, of work, of the fine Virgo satisfaction of filling bushel baskets with produce and silos with grain.

My father, a Capricorn farmer with a serious Moon in Virgo, would surely have made the most of the Harvest Moon. No swirling, aimless dances for him – baskets, I assure you, would have been filled. His children would have been in bed long before he trudged onto the back porch, dirty and tired and covered with mosquito bites.

He was a hard-working man, and gruff. But he had a sweet side, as I found out years later when I discovered some letters he wrote to my mother one summer when they were apart. “I miss you and the kids so much,” he wrote – and those were not the kind of things he tended to say, at least not to anyone other than my mother. Those letters let me imagine a more reflective side to my father. To imagine him pausing on those long summer twilight evenings, looking west toward his little family visiting relatives in far-away California, and resting his chin for a moment on the steering wheel of the combine. I wonder whether his hard-working heart took note of the fireflies, and the crickets buzzing in the wheat. Whether the Harvest Full Moon called to him with a longing melody, beckoning him to dance a few furtive steps with the long, waving rows of grain.

Most of us don’t spend our days in the fields. For many, our work is sedentary and its results intangible. Yet all of us seem to be so busy! Preoccupied with work and family, distracted by smart phones and dumb politicians, worried and cross, not sleeping well, enjoying little of our ever-increasing productivity. Years ago, I wrote this essay about inviting the mysterious and unseen into our lives by making rituals of the demands on our time. I stand by that advice; it offers a fine, lyrical approach to the practical affairs of daily life.

But there are moments when the soul demands that we cease our labors and pause a bit. These are moments made for perching on the porch steps in the gathering twilight under the harvest moon, bidding farewell to another summer. In the magical instant between dusk and dark, it’s possible to glimpse an enchanting Oz where we’re free from the demands of daily life. A Virgo type myself, I’ve always had a hard time grasping Pisces; but at a late summer twilight, I almost manage it. If I half-close my eyes, I can see the ghosts of hardworking farmers dancing across the fields, free at last from their labors and from the tyranny of their self-discipline.

At this Harvest Full Moon, instead of wringing productivity from the last hours of light, why not pause your labors and celebrate the bounty of what’s already been harvested? Since the Virgo New Moon two short weeks ago, you’ve probably done enough work for an entire month. Your bushel baskets are already full to overflowing, and the winsome Full Moon is beckoning.

So to celebrate this Pisces Full Moon, gather friends and family around for a hearty harvest supper of roasted vegetables and fresh bread. And when the meal is finished, don’t rush to clear away the dishes. Just push back the table and chairs, hand someone a guitar (or for that matter, a broom), and dance a little.

And have an absolutely wonderful time.


7 Responses
  • New Zealand Nancy
    September 11, 2011

    April, I thoroughly enjoyed your article. A full moon meditation! This particular full moon conjuncts my natal moon @ 20 Pisces. In my 8th house. I’m a little wide-eyed. I think this is a big deal, or maybe not … but I’m sure feeling it. Dreams overnight were pretty darn intense. Also, I’m looking across the zodiac and considering those “3 musketeers” sitting in Virgo (Sun, Merc & Venus) Opposite this full moon. I must say, it feels like it’s taking all 3 of them to ground this Pisces Moon girl. I’d rather dance with the leaves than fill the baskets, that’s for sure. It’s all to easy for me to pause and reflect, not that easy to stay on task in Virgo mode. Today, though, I’m thankful for the balance of Virgo opposite that personal double-scoop of Pisces.

  • leslee
    September 12, 2011

    Very nice post, April! My fresh new solar return chart has Mercury in Virgo (just past my natal Mercury) opposite the early Pisces Moon at the top of my chart (along with Neptune – oy!). I’m in the midst of long Neptune transits opposite my Mercury and Venus in early Virgo anyway, so dancing with the leaves is a major theme! At least I have Neptune sextile those planets natally, so it’s not entirely foreign. Just have to manage holding down a detail-oriented job…

  • pdw
    September 13, 2011

    Lovely Piscean reveal of your father, April.

    With a smattering of Virgo, this Full Moon reminds me of the magic created by some faithful twosomes: inspiration and realization, spirit and deed, hopeful and dutiful.

    I know of a little one born yesterday. Any comments on Full Moon individuals appreciated.

  • Sabina
    September 17, 2013

    Virgo Asc/Sun, Cap Mars/NN, Taurus Moon feels sure your father saw those fireflies and heard those crickets, never fear. The bounty of harvesting that of which one has been a part is true soul fulfillment for Virgo.
    Thanks for this heartfelt sharing of your own bounty.

  • Steve
    September 17, 2013

    Virgo / Pisces is my favourite polarity, not that I am either, but I am best friends with people of both signs, and have always had that combination in my life. Plenty to recommend! With either, at their best, you get breathtakingly astute and magically funny all wrapped up in one.

    Whenever I have trouble deciphering my Pisces friend, I’m usually over-thinking it. Yes, it’s pretty hard when there seems to be so much that’s fanciful, yet so little that’s certain and clearly defined, but actually isn’t that closer to reality than having everything nailed down and compartmentalised?

    The Piscean drives my Virgo friend nuts. They’re both very accomplished, successful people, but whereas she can itemise exactly how she got there, he can only shrug (or tell my Leo ascendant that it’s all thanks to me. Ah, of course it is!).

    Yet observing both, it’s my theory that she works hard to bring order to chaos, while he can spot the order in that chaos, then somehow manages to tease it out.

    In reality, to have both success and happiness, she needs to let go just as much as he needs to get a grip, but somehow they both manage those things in the end. And that’s what I take from them: sweat the details then, with everything set in motion, coast along to a happy conclusion.

  • Bernard Charles
    September 18, 2013

    Wow. Looks like a dreamy social kind of wrap up. I’ve worked and organized as best as I could, not it’s time to have a little laugh time in there. Thanks for writing this up and your life story to use as an example is perfection! <3

  • Pat
    September 18, 2013

    What a beautifully written piece April – thank you so much – and very much what I needed to read at this moment in time….. yes, I do need to dance with the leaves and I look forward to more contemplation and less ‘doing’ 🙂
    Pat xoxoxox