November's full lunar orb is usually the the second last moon of the calendar year, and it is certainly a colder moon than October's golden visitation. As is often the case at this time of year, I briefly considered staying indoors last evening but wrapped up anyway, and Spencer and I went out to the garden with tripod and camera and waited. A little before seven there was Luna rising in the east, as round and smooth and lustrous as a great pearl.
Spencer is accustomed to his mum's passion for backyard astronomy and her full moon night activities; he leaned comfortably against me and looked up at the sky, contented and sure that whatever we were doing out in the cold garden after nightfall, it was something worth doing and he wanted to be part of it.
November's moon is about loss and remembrance, but it is about community and trust too - trust in each other and those we love, trust in the wild and elemental grace of existence and what I like to call "the great round" of our days and nights. Standing in the darkness last evening, we remembered the gnarled old box elder tree that once honored the garden with her presence. The dear old tree held the rising full moon in her arms for well over a century, but she has gone to her leafy reward and is flourishing somewhere else, perhaps even as a tree again. We thought too of darling Cassie, of all the kindred spirits and journeying companions who departed this plane of existence and have gone on ahead.
We also know this moon as the: Beaver Moon, Blood Moon, Buffalo Moon, Cold Begins Moon, Dark Moon, Deer Rutting Moon, Twelfth Moon, Falling Leaves Moon, Fog Moon, Freezing Moon, Frosty Moon, Geese Going Moon, Hunter's Moon, Large Tree Freeze Moon, Little Bear's Moon, Long Moon, Mad Moon, Moon of Cold, Moon of Fledgling Hawk, Moon of Freezing, Moon of Storms, Moon of the Falling Leaves, Moon of the Shaken Leaves, Moon of the Turkey and Feast, Moon the Rivers Begin to Freeze, Moon When All Is Gathered in, Moon When Deer Shed Antlers, Moon When Deer Shed Their Antlers, Moon When Horns Are Broken Off, Moon When the River Freezes, Moon When the Rivers Start to Freeze, Moon When the Water Is Black with Leaves, Mourning Moon, Moon of Much Poverty, Ring Finger Moon, Sacrifice Moon, Samoni Moon, Sassafras Moon, Snow Moon, Snowy Mountains in the Morning Moon, Trading Moon, Trail Moon, Tree Moon, White Frost on Grass & Ground Moon, White Moon, Whitefish Moon, Willow Moon, Winter Divided Moon, Yew Moon.
Among the many names for this month's moon, I am rather fond of Yew Moon and Moon of Falling Leaves, but for me, this will always be Christel's Moon. My friend passed beyond the fields we know in November, 2011, and I still miss her .
A very Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!