The Harvest Moon, by definition, is the Full Moon that falls closest to the Autumnal Equinox, and thus, it shares some of that Sabbat's characteristics. This Full Moon was thus named because it rises within half an hour of the sun's setting, in the Northern Hemisphere, and at this time farmers are able to work longer into the night by the light of this Moon. As the year draws to a close, the Full Moon rises an average of fifty minutes later each night, with the exception of a few nights surrounding the Harvest Moon, which only rises 10-30 minutes later. This moon is also, to the human eye, the fullest and largest of the year's Moons, hanging gloriously huge, yellow and low in the night sky, and many Moon Illusions trick our eyes at this time.
The Harvest ushers in many celebrations in magickal work, including the Equinox and the Festival of Janus, God of Doors. Janus is the Roman Lord of Gateways, beginnings and endings, and transitions. Thus, the Harvest Moon is a time for blessing new undertakings, the onset of new and progressive phases in one's life, and rites of passage into adulthood. This time of year also marks one of the Festivals of Dionysus, Lord of Ecstasy and the Vine.
The autumnal scents of gladiola, chrysanthemum, aster, dahlia, anemone, bergamot, marigold, sage and verbena dust a blend of wine-soaked apples, plums, and red pears, mulling spices and brown sugar, the ivy leaves of Dionysus and Janus' amaranth and lingum aloe.