The way she shines as she peeks over the mountain to the East. A pine silhouetted. Her light fills the sky. The huntress with her bow moves slowly, silently, as she prepares the hunt for winter.
This October, we are given two full moons. The first, The Harvest Moon, reached peak on October 1st. The second arrives on Halloween. This moon, the Hunter’s Moon, will reach it’s peak at 7:49 (pacific) in the A.M, giving us two nights of very full moon rises. Because the Hunter’s Moon is the second in October, it is also a “Blue Moon”. This is the first Halloween full moon for all US time zones since 1944.
As the Harvest Moon gives us extra light to harvest, the Hunter’s Moon gives light to the Hunters, preparing their store for winter. Harvesting opened the fields and allowed hunters to see the animals which came to graze on the remnants of the harvest. It also allowed light to see the predators; the coyotes and foxes and wolves. The Hunter’s Moon has been know as “The Blood Moon”, whether from the blood of animals or the turning of the seasons, as the leaves become red.
There is some mixing of information this year, as 2020 brings us 13 moons. Traditionally, the Harvest Moon falls in September. If you search many sites, that is exactly what you will see. However, both the Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s moon are based upon the date of the Autumn Equinox.
Traditionally, the Harvest Moon is the full moon which is nearest to the equinox. The equinox this year fell on September 22nd with the September moon reaching it’s peak on September 2nd. The following moon reached her peak on October 1st, giving her the designation of “The Harvest Moon”. The moon following Harvest is always “The Hunter’s Moon”. Because of the way the calendar fell, the September full moon this year was titled “The Corn Moon”.
The Hunter Moon is also the farthest moon from the earth this year. The moon has an oval orbit around the earth which brings it closer (a supermoon) and farther (a minimoon). Despite being further, it will not seem smaller. And even though it is called “A Blue Moon”, it will not be blue.
A Prayer to Artemis
Goddess of the Hunt, the Wilderness, The Moon, Wild Animals, and Chastity
Artemis, huntress of the moon, make my aim true.
Give me goals to seek and the constant determination to achieve them.
Grant me communion with nature, allow me to live surrounded by plants and animals
that I can grow, protect and nurture.
Allow me the strength and wisdom to be my own mistress,
not defined by the expectations of others.
And sustain my sexuality to be as yours — wild and free as nature itself.
Ritual of the Full Moon
I think of the full moon as a time of letting go. As the moon loses her roundness, so we release the things that no longer serve us.
- Think about the things that are no longer serving you, the things that are hurting you, the things you no longer need in your life.
- Write the things you wish to let go on small slips of paper or bay leaves.
- Using a fire safe bowl in a fire safe space, a fire pit, a fireplace, burn these things that you wish to release.
- Watch the flame, thinking about these weights being released from you.
- When the fire has been extinguished, your thoughts burned, reground with a bit of chocolate, or in honor of the Harvest Moon, hot cider, cinnamon, or tree nuts.
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