The colors are the most beautiful in the Fall Season. Warm browns, golds, yellows, purples, reds, oranges of all shades. Even reflected in the school buses and Number 2 pencils for the beginning of the school year. Fall Equinox and the celebration of Mabon marks an equal day and night of light and darkness. The Sun enters the sign of Libra, representing balance. Preparations are underway for stocking up food and supplies before the Dark Time of the year. Everyone waits for the brightly colored foliage to make it's much anticipated mark on the landscape. The second harvest is of fruits, vegetables on the vine and new wine.
In myths and legends, the story of Ceres aka Demeter, Persephone and Hades represents Mabon. Ceres was the Earth Mother who represented agriculture, growing and fertility (think "cereal"). Persephone, also called Kore meaning "Maiden" was the daughter of Ceres and Zeus. She grew up very beautiful and had many suitors. Her beauty dazzled and grabbed the attention of Hades, the God of the Underworld who eventually kidnapped her. Ceres wept and mourned for her daughter and decided she would not let anything grow and people and animals began to starve. Zeus heard the cries of the people on Earth and said to Ceres that Persephone had to prove that she was being held against her will--if she could not prove it, she had to stay with her husband. Hades was all into trickery and offered the fruit of the pomegranate to his captive and she ate six seeds. During the final audience in front of Zeus, it was decided that since Persephone ate the pomegranate seeds, she would remain with Hades for six months of every year--thus "creating" the dark time. At the end of that period, she would leave the Underworld and return to the surface of the Earth to be reunited with her mother for every six months and witness growth and fertility during the spring and summer seasons.
This is a time for all of us to be assessing what OUR own personal harvest is; what did we do this year that was successful and what needs to be our focus? Is there a working formula that can be used again? What mistakes did we make that we can learn from? Going inward to work with our shadow side, retreating, hibernating. Magickal workings for our Mabon/Fall Equinox celebrations and rituals centers around these themes.
How does all of this translate into the Tarot? Lenormand? Oracles? Runes?
I pulled some cards from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck that associate the Harvest for me.
Those are noted here:
King and Queen of Pentacles
10 of Pentacles
9 of Pentacles
7 of Pentacles
Ace of Pentacles
3 of Cups
When these Tarot cards show up in any reading, they are noting the following: assessing, auspiciousness, harvesting, gathering, providing, fertility, plenty, generosity, giving, enjoying the fruits of one's labour and abundance.
Trees laden with fruit, wheat and grapes in Tarot Symbology stand for plenty.
The Empress is Ceres/Demeter representing abundance, fertility and plenty
King of Pentacles is a sugar daddy or a generous benefactor
Queen of Pentacles, the consummate Earth Mother
10 of Pentacles is a family legacy card
9 of Pentacles is having what you need and celebrating that (if the querent is a female, she does not need a man to be financially independent)
7 of Pentacles is assessing hard work to make sure one is getting a fair return
Ace of Pentacles is a gift of something tangible
3 of Cups is abundance with relationships with lovers, friends and/or family
When it comes to the Lenormand oracle, I would say that the Scythe CAN denote the Harvest. This is a tricky one as this card really does not have that as a keyword and it is not traditionally used for any auspicious meaning at all. Look carefully to the other cards in the spread and around this card if you are doing a Grand Tableau to see if it means "Harvest" for the querent.
One of my favorite decks to work with is the Power of the Runes by Voenix and his interpretation of the Rune "Jera" is spot on. What we see in this image is a tree that is flowering and bearing fruit, budding and with bare branches, the field workers drinking wine, the full field of grain being harvested, flowers and fruit and green grass. This rune represents the natural cycle of the Earth and represents one year when doing timed readings. It represents the Solar Year, a rich Harvest, completion, fruitfulness and harmony.
"Birth, life, death, rebirth."
One of my favorite oracle decks to work with is the Mystical Shaman Oracle by Alberto Villoldo, Colette Baron-Reid and Marcela Lobos. The four cards pictured above from that deck best represent the Harvest.
The Completion card is about finishing a cycle--the end of the warm months, rewards and celebration.
The Corn is the reaping of rewards after hard work with prosperity as the result
The Gatherer has what she/he needs--all she/he has to do is reach out and grab it
The Tree of Life is about personal health and balance
So that is a dance through some of the decks I use, what cards are specific to the Harvest topic and how I might advise someone from what I see in their Tarot, Lenormand, Runes or Oracle spread.
Best wishes to all for a fruitful and plentiful Harvest!
So mote it be.
It was lovely to see other oracles used, thank you for the lovely analysis on how they connect to Fall! <3