Continuing our exploration of what celebration looks like in modern Pagan families, this is the next instalment in Full Moon series of blogs from the Children & Families Team; team members write about the traditions they have developed to celebrate the 12/13 moons of the year with their children aged 3 years and up. We give you the October Full Moon
Sometimes known as the hunter’s moon, or blood moon, sometimes called the mist Moon; we have a 4-year-old to celebrate this October moon with.
One thing I’ll get them to help with is setting up a moon altar with tokens for the moon and what it stands for. We’ll also read stories with the moon as its focus, like little honey bear and the smiley moon.
For many this is the hunter’s moon, where our ancestors would take advantage of the full moon light to provide meat for the coming winter months. The most I hunt is the last of the berries, so for this aspect we will pop some of the foraged bits we ‘hunted’ for on the moon alter to give thanks for the food we have.
The blood moon is similar to the hunter’s moon; for our ancestors feeding livestock over winter was impossible, this was the third harvest, the meat harvest. We don’t eat meat so we will drink red berry juice and place a cup of it on the moon altar in honour of the blood moon. We will also make round biscuits and decorate them with red icing for the blood moon, again one will end up on the moon altar.
The moon name I resonate with more is the mist moon. The mists over the countryside look very otherworldly, and October, especially Samhain, is a time where the veil between the worlds is thin. For this moon there will be tokens of our ancestors on the moon altar. We recently had to say goodbye to our cat so there will be a special piece on the mist moon altar for him.
Manager, Children & Families Team
This moon is known as Blood moon, hunters moon and Dying grass moon which is what my family call it as this is what resonates with us. Our lawn grass may not die but it slows it growth from October onwards.
There are many herbs connected to the October full moon including rosemary, sage, cat nip, thyme, burdock, ginger, myrrh, all spice, basil, clove and pennyroyal and we will incorporate ginger and sage. We will toast the moon with water as always and homemade gingerbread biscuits.
The elements associated with this moon are water and air and moon gardening activities are pruning, weeding, harvesting, and preserving so we will harvest sage at this moon and preserve it through drying ready to be used for cleansing, clearing and purifying at Imbolc
Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team
October begins with a new moon in Libra on the 6th, an opportunity to sow the seeds of balance and equilibrium in our lives and our families. I like to use the key points in the zodiac and lunar cycles to reinforce the seasonal shifts and the new moon in Libra is a great time to check in with the insights of the Autumn Equinox and begin to consider how we can manifest new insights and understanding, taking the inner as well as the outer harvest into the darker season of the year.
Astrologically, the full moon on October 20th highlights the dynamic between self and other and is a good time to check in with the levels of give and take in all our relationships. Many of us get into habits of giving more than we might be receiving and being honest with ourselves about our own needs and desires is just as important in redressing any imbalances as the conversation we might need to have with the other person. Modelling positive and equal relationships for our children is really important, especially if we carry wounds from our own past in this area, and the astrology of the season indicates that this is definitely a moon for communication and openness.
London District Liaison, Children & Families Team
October’s full moon often seems like a recharge of the batteries just before Samhain. Indeed, I’ve experienced a full moon for a big Samhain ritual before, and that was quite something!
With the kids, this whole time of year basically revolves around picking the right decorations, deciding if we’re going to be having a party or not, thinking about costumes and who is going out with whom on the 31st.
For me, as the only Pagan parent in our household, this full moon, the Hunter’s Moon, is a moment of peace and tranquillity. It’s a time to gather my own thoughts, focus on myself for a moment, perhaps meditate (if it ever gets quiet enough!), do some divination, and think about what I want to “hunt”. This year, I think I’m on the prowl for more time to practice my spirituality and a date night with the hubby.
Before I take this time to myself, though, if it’s a clear night, we enjoy bundling the kids up in warm clothes and trawling up to the top of the garden with the telescope to see if we can get a good look at the face of the Hunter’s Moon. We’ll see what constellations we can recognize, and in true English tradition, comment on how cold it’s suddenly got!
Secretary, Children & Families Team
Our family celebrates the full moon through meditation. It is a time for us to harness the powerful lunar energies and spend some time both inwardly and outwardly reflecting on our spiritual journey, our personal and family values, and how we can continue to play our part in protecting and caring for Mother Earth.
We use music and sound such as a tongue drum tuned to Celtic D minor combined with home blended incenses, to create a relaxing atmosphere before focusing on our breathing and slowly entering a deep meditative state.
Sometimes the meditations are short, sometimes longer there isn’t a set time; we just allow our Spirit the freedom to explore the subconscious with no constraints.
Sometimes we see visions, other times just a wonderful void of darkness which embraces us and allows us to fully relax and be at one. Once the mediation naturally closes, if it feels right, we share our experiences and collectively work through any visions if they were experienced.
It’s a moment which we all really look forward to, enjoy and cherish. Although we must just remember to take the phone off the hook, lock the back door and turn all mobiles to silent!
South-West Liaison, Children & Families Team
Full moons can be a confusing time in our house. As we follow a blend of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic paths, the names of the full moons can be varied and wonderful. For the most part, we stick with the Anglo-Saxon names, as we live in England and, as our moon names depend on when the Moon after Yule was, this October Full Moon is, for us, the Hunter’s Moon.
Which is a lovely start to a very sad Full Moon. October moon has to be the most forgotten moon in our house. We are very invested in both Samhain and Halloween and the full moon often passes without us even noticing.
Having said that, when we do remember it is full moon, we will endeavour to use the time to dress our space with pictures of relatives that we have known and who have moved to the next part of their journey. We try to honour our ancestors, but this is something we have only started doing more recently. When my children were little their ancestor connection was simply reading myths and legends of England and Ireland, as this is where our family come from. More recently we have begun to look into the history of where our ancestors have come from, to get a better understanding of what their lives would have been like and the challenges they may have faced.
Deputy Manager, Children & Families Team