September Folklore

The name September is from the Roman word ‘Septum’ meaning Seven. It was known by the Anglo Saxons as Gerst Monarth (Barley Month) or the Harvest Month. Harvest Festival was traditionally celebrated in England on the 24th September. As part of these celebrations are two wonderful old traditions;

Calling the Mare

It was vitally important that harvests were gathered in a timely way – often farmers would have to wait for a clear spell of weather and then if that came the whole community would be on hand to help with the harvest – right up until Victorian times it was perfectly acceptable for the local school to sent their pupils into the fields at Harvest time to help the Farmers. As an incentive for a timely harvest the first Farmer to successfully get all his crops in would take the last sheaf of corn and fashion a Horse shape from it, they would then throw it over the hedgerow of a neighbouring Farmer who was yet to finish – it was a way of saying that the ‘wild horses will be after the crops if they are not harvested soon’. The Corn Mare would then make its way around the community until it finished with the Farmer who was last to Harvest – he then had to display it all year round to show he was the slowest.

Corn Dollies

I have written about this tradition before (visit here if interested and you can see my attempt at one! – Corn Dollies) Corn Dolly’s were traditionally made by farmers from the last sheaf of corn harvested – they had a lot of demands for this last sheaf of corn! This was then woven into a simple or complex ‘Dolly’ that would be used as part of the harvest celebrations. The Dolly would then be planted back into the earth come Spring time. It is thought that people believed the spirit of the corn lived on in the Dolly and was in this way preserved.

The Moon

New Moon – Sunday 13th September

Full Moon – Monday 28th September

This Months Moons

Native American; Sturgeon Moon (Current) and Harvest Moon (New)

American; Dog and Harvest

English; Grain and Fruit

Celtic; Dispute and Singing

Wiccan; Wyrt and Barley

Neo Pagan; Lightning and Harvest

The Stars

Constellations to look out for this month in the Northern Hemisphere;




Ursa Major and Ursa Minor

Gem; Sapphire

Flower; Aster

Image from;


1 Comment

  1. I like the Corn Dollies ritual, but to be honest, giving the Corn Mare to the slowest farmer seems kind of humiliating and mean. Fashioning anything out of the last sheaf of corn is cool, though. I especially like the idea of planting the Corn Dolly back in the Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

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