Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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 nights in a row - this time around, thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  That she is a rather spooky moon is perhaps not surprising, given that Samhain (or Halloween) is only two days 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 and hoped to see the full moon (an exercise in futility), 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 less than a week, 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'm always 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. In truth, Lady Moon will be in her twelfth cycle of the year and just past new when Halloween arrives this year - she will have risen from her fruitful darkness and be journeying 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.


Laura~Pretty Pix said...

Fantastic image. Just beautiful!

Tabor said...

I find it harder to sleep when this moon is shining so brightly into my bedroom.

Mystic Meandering said...

I love that you call her "Lady Moon." And I have always intuitively felt that Summer ended with Samhain! I only read recently that there was a Celtic connection to that. Must be in the genes :) We are still having Summer-like weather here in Colorado though. Temps for Halloween in the 70's - ugh... Am ready for the cool crisp Autumnal weather!

Rain Trueax said...

Beautiful image. We had no chance for a moon shot but Hunter's Moon is one of my favorites.