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The Moonspinners

Monday night brings us the September's Full Harvest Moon--right in time for the Equinox on Wednesday. Although it's been an odd growing season this year, and many of us have either had a late harvest or a thin harvest on account of the excessive rain in July or the excessive heat in August, the Harvest Moon conjures all sorts of delicious images of autumn. I know this weekend I'm totally planning on making both fall spice and almond moon cookies to celebrate.

Moonlight also always makes me think of the legends of spinners, and for all of you fans of Mary Stewart's novels or Haley Mills films, a particularly fun spinning legend for those of us who love fiber is about the MoonSpinners.

The original legend of the MoonSpinners is Greek in origin. The spinners would take the light of the waning moon and spin it onto their distaffs (yes, they were totally drop spindle users). Then, they would wash their spindles in the sea, not only leaving the silvery light of the moon on the water but also preparing to spin the light in preparation for the New Moon.

The novel, The MoonSpinners, by Stewart was published around 1962 (and Mary Stewart lived a long and fairly prolific life; she passed at the age of 97), and the Mills film based on the novel came out in 1964. I highly recommend both as they are really quite fun, and both do discuss the legend of the moonspinners, as the main character, Nikky, joins her aunt, a musicologist, who is collecting folk songs that share regional legends. Moonlight becomes central to the novel's mystery, though, particularly in illuminating the waters in the Bay of Dolphins.

Who knows, maybe the Moonspinners will be working their magic for us next week.

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