Full Moon at Michaelmas September 29, 2023

In the northern hemisphere there are five things overhead every night: a king, a queen, two bears, and a dragon. This week, the Full Moon draws attention in the Storyteller’s Night Sky to the king and the dragon.The first moon of autumn will come full on Thursday, September 29, which is celebrated as Michaelmas in the Christian calendar, Feast of the Archangel Michael, who defeats the dragon.

As high spiritual beings, the archangels bear specific tasks toward humanity. With Michael, it has to do with awakening “cosmic intelligence,” and way of knowing the divine nature of the human being, as a being of body, soul, and spirit.

What is unique to this knowing is that it cannot be compelled by external dictates, but must arise freely from within the human being, out of one’s inner sense of self, expressed in as a striving for truth, for goodness, and for beauty.

In many stories of Michael, he is depicted in battle with the dragon, which is the battle within the human being against fear, doubt, and hatred.

In the Old English epic Beowulf, the tale ends when the king engages in mortal combat with a dragon, which was roused from sleep by an errant soldier who stumbled into his barrow and stole a golden chalice.

Each character here can be imagined as part of the individual human being: the gold is the sacred treasure of self knowledge which is held captive by the dragon of doubt, fear, hatred, which must be overcome by the striving individual, the king.

When you look into the sky each night, and particularly during the Michaelmas Full Moon, you’ll see Cepheus the king and Draco the dragon circling overhead, engaged in this epic battle for human consciousness.

Note that the first Full Moon after autumn equinox always “anticipates” the following year’s first full moon after spring equinox (March 25 in 2024), which is used for setting the festivals calendar, particularly Easter and Passover. 


Hear this episode Monday morning, September 25, 2023 on Interlochen Public Radio, and on podcasts everywhere at any time.