Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hunter's Moon of October

October gifts us with the first cold moon of the season - Lady Moon is often veiled in drifting clouds for several days and nights at a time, for this is a stormy time in the north. That she is a rather spooky moon is perhaps not surprising, given that Samhain (or Halloween) is little more than two weeks away. 

The last day of October signified summer's end for the ancient Celts.  As Himself, Spencer and I shivered in the garden last evening, 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 a few 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 it has always been.  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 find it interesting that Lady Moon is a prominent motif in Halloween stories and decorations, and I am always on the lookout for new examples. 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. In truth, Lady Moon will be in her eleventh cycle of the year and almost at First Quarter when Halloween arrives this year - she will have risen from her fruitful darkness and be waxing bright once again in the great cauldron of night. 
The leafless tree in this photo seems to be holding the moon in its arms, and I feel a little sad - it (the tree) expired earlier this year and will be felled in a few weeks' time.   How many moons I have seen rising through my old friend and photographed, fully leafed out in spring and summer, attired in crimson creeper leaves and vines in autumn, stark and leafless in winter.
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
I am very fond of "Kindly Moon" and "Leaf Dance Moon".


Rowan said...

The Hunter's Moon is one of my favourites and I'm hoping to see it tonight though there's lot of cloud around. A few clear periods here and there though so maybe I'll be lucky.

the wild magnolia said...

Rock on Moon When Geese Leave Moon.

Twirl around under Leaf Dance Moon
Leaves shake from the trees
fire jumps surrounded by stones
roasted corn tastes sweet
bake pumpkins on a dying fire
crack walnuts for dessert
lie softly on big bear fur
fall fast asleep tonight

Wishing you well.

Mystic Meandering said...

Lovely as always - icey fingers about to pick mysterious Lady Moon from the sky. Hopefully Hunter's Moon will be bright here tonight... I have Penobscot ancestry from Maine on my maternal grandmother's side, although I have not been able to find the connection so far...

Maggie Emm said...

That is a beautiful tribute for your tree friend - maybe you can get some of her wood when she is felled and make something?
October greetings to you! x