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The November Full Moon – 2023

Everyone can appreciate the beauty of a Full Moon, but to pagans, witches, heathens and many other alternative religions and spiritual paths, a Full Moon is something very special. Most often the moon is a symbol of the Goddess, the divine Feminine, and the balance to the Sun, usually seen as a symbol of the God, the divine masculine. I say usually because some traditions see the Moon as masculine and the Sun as feminine, and some have both gods and goddesses for each. But all traditions love a Full Moon.

But what does a Full Moon mean to pagans and others? For most it is a marker of one of the basic cycles of the natural world. From Full Moon to Waning Moon to Dark/New Moon to Waxing Moon and back around to Full, this cycle has continued for uncounted millennia. The oceans rise and fall under its influence. Hunting animals are more active at night under a Full Moon, while prey animals spend more time concealed at night. The natural world has evolved to take advantage of these changes. We have evolved to take advantage of these cycles.

A Full Moon is a time for observing and celebrating the Goddess in her Mother aspect (the others are Maiden and Crone, but that’s for another post), however you might see her, however you might name her. Full Moon rituals are held to honor her, to learn more of her, to find her within ourselves. Each month’s Full Moon is different because of where it falls within the Solar cycle. Think of agricultural cycles. A Full Moon in April will have themes and workings relating to beginnings and plantings, of starting things whereas a Full Moon in October will relate to harvesting what you started earlier that year.

So a November Full Moon will be part of preparing for Winter, the cold times when we would have to endure a difficult and dangerous time. Nowadays we have warm clothing, heated apartments, even heated car seats! Not so in earlier times. You could easily die in winter, of cold, of starvation, of disease. Someone not prepared for Winter could very well not see the next Spring.

Since much time was spent indoors during these times, it was and is a good time for introspection, for evaluating how your year’s plans turned out and making plans for the next year. It’s a good time to take a look at what you need to let go of, maybe patterns or habits, someone who has left your life or things no longer needed. Maybe you have someone to mourn, to grieve, to accept that they are gone. Most rituals at this time of year have this as a part of them.

A common way this is done is for all in the ritual to bring a small piece of paper with the things they wish to release written upon it. At some point during the ritual they will be gathered, or perhaps each person will approach the altar themselves, contemplate the things they wish to release and then burn the paper those things are written upon. If they are gathered (sometimes this may be done for time considerations, or just preference) the priest or priestess performing the ritual will burn them, maybe with a prayer to the Goddess to take them from the celebrants. Such rituals of releasing can be very emotional, and tears are common. After this, there is usually a blessing of some sort to bring a positive energy to the space where the released things used to be.

It’s interesting to see that each Full Moon has a name, often many names depending on where the tradition is from as different cultures looked at things differently. For instance, many Celtic traditions called this Moon the Reed Moon, because they felt the sound of reed instruments, sad and doleful, fit the time of year. Other names include the Frosty Moon, the Cold Moon, the Snow Moon, the Beaver Moon, the Mourning Moon and the Darkest Depths Moon. Many Native American tribes, including the Cree, Arapaho, and Abenaki tribes, called November’s full moon the “Moon When Rivers Start to Freeze”. This was very important because once rivers froze over, no more trapping could be done, ending a source of food and of warm furs.

Pagan traditions aside, anyone can benefit from taking the time to self-reflect and to let go. Take advantage of the Full Mourning Moon this November to look back on your year and take stock of your desires, your ambitions, your mental and behavioral habits, and the people you spend your energy on. Clean your living and work spaces, and sort out the physical objects that are not contributing to your well-being. Take the time to fully mourn and let go of anything - or anyone -

that does not bring you joy, so that you can begin to move forward, unfettered, towards a lighter and happier new year.

Let’s also consider the astrological point of view on this upcoming Full Moon. This Full Moon the moon will be in Gemini. Moon in Gemini manifests itself by the need for changes and spontaneity. Safety lies in thinking about your feelings and sharing them with others. You can be more talkative and speak with ease during this time. You might have a better ability to keep a cool head, but beware, because a cold heart can discourage others. Harmony of thinking and feeling is important.

So if you’re awake at 4:16 EST this November 27th, take look outside and say “Hello” to the Full Moon. She’ll be there, looking down at the Earth, full, shining and so beautiful. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re pagan, Wiccan or whatever. Mom loves you anyway.

Thanks for reading this post, I really do appreciate it and I hope you found it fun and interesting. Please feel free to tell us how you celebrate a Full Moon in the comments. We'd love to hear!

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Blessed Be

Sterling Knight

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