October gifts us with the first cold moon of the season. At this time of the year, Lady Moon is often veiled in drifting clouds for several nights in a row, and this time was no exception. I would have loved to witness the penumbral eclipse at moonrise, but could see nothing for the towering clouds. That this month's moon is rather spooky moon is perhaps not surprising, given that Samhain (or Halloween) is only a few days away.
For the ancient Celts, the last day of October signified summer's end and the onset of long nights and cold. As Himself, Spencer and I shivered in the garden last evening and hoped to see the full moon, there were no two ways about it - summer is over and autumn is well and truly in residence. Oh, there are splendid sunny days now and then, but nights are chilly, and the wind has icy fingers after dark.
In about two weeks, the deer hunting season will begin, and so October's glorious moon is traditionally known here as the "Hunter's Moon". That is what my Algonquin ancestresses called it, and so have I. This month's full moon is no brighter than the other full moons in a calendar year, but it always seems so because of the position of the ecliptic in the sky in late autumn.
As a lover of moon lore, I always find it intriguing that Lady Moon is such a prominent motif in Halloween stories and decorations, and I'm ever on the lookout for new appearances. Witches on broomsticks, bats, dancing skeletons, jack-o'-lanterns, ghosts, spectral owls and crooked trees - they all make their appearances silhouetted against ghostly full moons and vast inky skies. Lady Moon will be well into the waning part of her cycle when Halloween arrives this year, only a few days from the fruitful darkness in which she rests briefly before journeying back to brightness in the great cauldron of night.
We also know this moon as the: Acorns Cached Moon, Banksia Moon, Big Chestnut Moon, Big Wind Moon, Blackberry Moon, Blood Moon, Chrysanthemum Moon, Corn Ripening Moon, Drying Grass Moon, Falling Leaves Moon, Frosty Moon, Hallows Moon, Ivy Moon, Joins Both Sides Moon, Kantlos Moon, Kindly Moon, Leaf Falling Moon, Leaf Dance Moon, Leaves Change Color Moon, Maple Moon, Michaelmas Daisy Moon, Middle-finger Moon, Moon When Birds Fly South, Moon of Poverty, Moon When Geese Leave, Moon of Changing Seasons, Moon of Harvesting, Moon When Deer Rut, Moon of Acorn Gathering, Moon When Corn Is Taken In, Moon of Falling Leaves, Moon That Turns the Leaves White, Moon of First Frost, Moon When They Store Food in Caches, Moon of Long Hair, Moon When Quilling and Beading Are Done, Moon When the Water Begins to Freeze on the Edge of Streams, Nut Moon, Pekelanew Moon, Raking Moon, Samhain Moon, Shedding Moon, Small Trees Freeze Moon , Song Moon, Striped Gopher Looks Back Moon, Strong Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Travel in Canoes Moon, Trees Felled by Fire at Butt Moon, Trout Moon, Turkey Moon, Vintage Moon, White Frost on Grass & Ground Moon, Wild Turkeys Moon, Wilted Moon, Wine Moon, Winter Coming Moon.