Continuing our exploration of what celebration looks like in modern Pagan families, this is the next in our series of blogs from the Children & Families Team write about the traditions they have developed to celebrate the full moons of the year with their children aged 3 years and up, continuing with the November full moon.
I have a 4-year-old and here’s how we will celebrate the November full moon.
November’s moon is often called the beaver moon. This is because it is the time of year that beavers start building their winter dams to protect them and their homes from predators. We will look up about beavers, how and why they build dams and have a go at building our own (probably with blankets in the lounge so we have a den to play in but also twigs we’ve picked up on our walks to practise stacking). We’ll talk about how it relates to us, for example how can we protect ourselves, physically and spiritually, we may do a mini house protection spell. Beavers also store supplies for winter, this would be a good opportunity to think about what we need and make sure there’s a few tins of beans in the cupboard just in case. We will put an image of the beaver on our moon altar in honour of it.
This moon is also sometimes known as the frost moon as historically this is the time when winter frosts start to take their toll. For this we will make a frosty juice drink to have at our moon celebration.
Another name for this moon is mourning moon as it is a time of letting go. My 4-year-old may not understand about ‘baggage’, but they do understand about clearing away to make room for new and decluttering. So, we’ll have a bit of a ritual sort, clean and tidy of our space.
Manager, Children & Families Team
Blo∂ Mona∂ – Blood Month
The venerable Bede (a 7th century monk that documented a great deal about early Anglo-Saxon traditions) mentions that: “Blo∂ Mona∂, of the month of sacrifices, because they vowed in it the flocks which were to be slain to their gods.”
This was done to ensure they survived the approaching harsh winter conditions. Knowing what to store, what cattle to keep, how to feed that cattle, and what cattle should be given to the Gods and provide meat to the community in the darkest of months.
This is the last point in the harvest period where our harvest is fully tallied, and decisions made on how to survive through the cold months of Winter. This may be literal for some people though for many of us, including myself, this is a period of contemplation and decisions.
What did we, as a family, sow earlier in the year and what harvest have we managed to reap from those seeds?
How do I ensure that my bounty provides for my family?
Obviously, we do not sacrifice any animals to the Gods, but what we can do, is consider how we can gladly sacrifice our time, energy, or expertise to help others in the wider community that have had a less bountiful harvest.
It is also a great time to celebrate and be thankful for the bounty of the year though, so in my case that involves ale, mead, and warm stews and typically we think about crafting activities and games we might play together through the winter when we’re all indoors far more.
Northwest Liaison, Children & Families Team
The full moon in November is known as Beaver Moon, Mourning Moon or Frost Moon but these don’t really resonate with my family, so we call this moon “Quiet Moon.” This is a quiet time for us before the madness that is December and I think it’s important to a bit slow down.
As the moon is associated with water and fire, we will honour the moon by toasting with a glass of water and lighting a candle where we will then just have a quiet reflective moment.
The herbs and scents connected to the November Moon are ginger, hops, wormwood, hyssop, patchouli, mugwort, nutmeg, cumin, gardenia, vanilla, star anise, sage, rosemary, lilac, pine, wisteria, cedar, hyacinth and peppermint.
Our moon gardening activity will be picking medicinal herbs.
Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team
The November new moon in Scorpio falls on 4th November, close enough to Samhain that we’ll probably incorporate it into our celebrations. Scorpio energy connects us with our deepest emotions and the cycles of life, death and rebirth which we are all subject too, so this can be a great new moon for honouring ancestors and talking with the children about family members who have gone before. It’s also a good time for reviewing what we hold onto and what we need to let go, which in our house probably translates into a big decluttering before the inevitable midwinter influx of new stuff.
The full moon in Taurus on 19th November is a lunar eclipse and speaks of issues around attachment and emotional security – definitely time to shed some possessions and remind ourselves what is truly important. I think of this season as a kind of “putting the old year to bed” time as we get ready for the rebirth of the Winter Solstice and will be hopefully finding some time to talk with my children about what we want to release and what we are carrying forward into the new cycle.
London District Liaison, Children & Families Team
November’s full moon lands at a busy time in our household, between the joint excitement and solemnity of Samhain and the Solstice and Christmas period – as we’re a multi faith household! We also have two birthdays around this time, so finding time to breathe and appreciate the cycle of the moon can be challenging.
I try and take some time to clean my altars, perhaps adding some seasonal items. The kids sometimes help with this, for example, this year my eldest brought me some scarlet leaves he found on the way home which not only touched my heart, but he was happy for me to use this as a new altar decoration.
In England, November’s full moon is sometimes called the Frost Moon, as this is the month we tend to see the first really cold snaps. There is something quite magical about standing outside on a cold night, wrapped up in cosy clothes, watching your breath condense into clouds as you watch the moon rise.
Secretary, Children & Families Team
We refer to the November full moon as the Blood Moon, all though my daughter does prefer the Mourning Moon. We use this time to consider any bad habit or worries we wish to eliminate, or new beginnings we would like to manifest, making these intentions part of our ritual. As the first full moon after Samhain, we are generally still in a festive mood and will remember to mark the moon in some way. This may be something simple such as a ritual bath or simply adding to our BOS.
It is this time of year that we will put away summer duvets and clothes and hunker down for the start of much colder weather. We will give the house a deep clean and donate/clear out items that we don’t need or want anymore. This clearing will then put us in the mood for preparing for Yule, which is a big deal in our house!
Deputy Manager, Children & Families Team