Happy Full Moon from Full Moon Cottage! We christened her the night we moved in, 24 years ago. We pulled up the creepy carpeting just inside the door, covered the floor with clean shelf paper, and set our mattress down. A huge bow window opened to the tree-covered lawn and that May’s Full Flower Moon kept us awake all night long, offering a dazzling introduction to life in the country and a new appreciation for lined curtains. It astonished me that I could walk outside at midnight and so clearly see my way, see the trees and their shadows, and see the ribbons of light that formed our drive and the trail beyond, leading to the bridge and shining river.
I began to collect the names people had given these Full Moons throughout history. I love the imagery these names conjure, and what they tell us about those who lived, moved, and had their being beneath the moon centuries before us. In most cases, the names reveal how deeply connected to the Earth these humans were, how intimately they knew her seasons, and the gifts, signals, and dangers each one contributed to these people’s survival. The moon names show an intimate awareness of the Earth and her creatures and plant life. They speak of the seasons’ colors; the wind flow; the air temperature; the weather conditions; the varying states and levels of water; what can be harvested; what is still; and what is in motion. To me they are precious historical poetry. In the past few years, I’ve started a monthly post of the moon names on Facebook, and I usually add my own. (Feel free to share yours in the comments!)
This October, we’ll benefit from two Full Moons, October 1st and October 31st. The first earns all the traditional names for the month’s Full Moons, except for Harvest Moon, a name that alternates between September and October, depending upon which month’s Full Moon falls closer to the Autumnal Equinox, so this year, the October 1st Full Moon is our Harvest Moon, and it will be ”officially full” at approximately 4:05 P.M.; rise at 5:57 P.M.; and reach its highest altitude at about 11 P.M. (All times are Central Time.)
The October Full Moon is also known as the Hunter’s Moon; Travel or Migrating Moon; Dying Grass Moon; Sanguine or Blood Moon; Freezing Moon; Long Hair Moon; Ten Colds Moon; Falling Leaves Moon; Corn Ripe Moon; Leaf Fall Moon; Raven Moon; Blackberry Moon; Wine Moon; Spirit Moon; Snow Moon; Shedding Moon; Winterfelleth (Winter Coming Moon); Windermanoth (Vintage Month Moon); Moon When Quilling and Beading is Done; Moon of the Changing Season; Kindly Moon; and White Frost Moon.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where spring is just beginning, the days are waking earlier and stretching towards their summer length, so the Full Moon names we see in spring now appear: Waking Moon; Pink Moon; Seed Moon; Fish Moon; and Egg Moon.
Our second Full Moon this month occurs on Halloween, October 31st. Today, when a single month has two Full Moons, the second is known as a Blue Moon. The older definition of Blue Moon was seasonal, referring to the third of four Full Moons in a season (a season meaning the time between a solstice and equinox). The next “seasonal” blue moon will be August 22, 2021. I’ve read some articles referencing this second Full Moon as the month’s Hunter’s Moon. It’s rare to have one on Halloween, so I think it invites a merry celebration, and we’re looking forward to it at Full Moon Cottage!
My own names for the October Full Moon: Moon when the Houseplants Come Indoors; Gardens Put to Bed Moon; Caramel-Making Moon; Stop Eating So Many Caramels Moon; Extra Quilt Moon; First Fire Moon; People Still Staying Home Moon; Colored Trail Moon; Halloween Moon; and this year: Vote Blue Election Moon. May it augur healthy and necessary change.
Be well and safe, and gentle peace to your hearts and spirits.
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