Sunday, November 21, 2010

November and Its Full Moon

"O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being.
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing."
-  Percy Bysshe Shelley
November is a witchy month. The month and its full moon go by many different names that fit into this time on the Wheel of the Year (with its global cultural themes of harvest and communing with the dead). It's known as the Apple Moon (Appalachian), the Larder Moon (Stregheria), the Blotmonath (Sacrifice Month), the Herbistmonoth (Harvest Month), the Ancestor Moon, the Moon of the Dead, and the Mourning Moon.

Even in non-European cultures, November is associated with the dead and darkness: In Tibet, they celebrate the Feast of Lanterns, which is a winter festival of the shortest days of the Sun. Among the Incas, it was a time of the Ayamarca, or Festival of the Dead.

November is considered a month of beginnings and endings- because it follows Samhain (well, in the northern hemisphere, anyway), which is the Witches' new year (many, but not all, Witch calendars follow the Celtic calendar). 

The Witches' patron goddess, Hekate, has a night on November 16. On this night, Hekate devotion is performed in a three way crossroad at night. Food is left there as an offering to her. It is apt that her day is in November- she is known to rule the passages of life and transformation, birth and death- very appropriate for this time of year.

Full moon rituals, or esbats, can actually be held on any of the three days that the moon is most full. Full moons are a time for action, for harvesting the fruits of our labors, for realizing that which we began at the last cycle, and of giving thanks. So, US folks- if you are celebrating Thanksgiving why not do it at this month's full moon?

What do you do for full moons? I invite you to the Witch Mom Forums to talk about it!

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