The Blood Moon of October
In October, we see the Blood Moon travel through the sky. This moon is also called the Shedding Moon or the Falling Leaf Moon, depending on where you live. In many places, it's the Hunter's Moon, and it's no coincidence that hunting season is in the late fall. Coming right before Samhain, this is a time when the nights are crisp and clear, and you can sense a change in the energy around you.
October Full Moon Correspondences
- Colors: use colors like dark blue, black, and various purples in your altar decor or candle magic, to symbolize the darkening of the skies this time of year.
- Gemstones: Obsidian, amethyst, and tourmaline are all associated with Samhain and the October full moon; these are stones often connected to magic that protects us from evil or negative energies.
- Trees and flowers: Apples and yew are two of the many trees tied into the Samhain season. You can also incorporate sacred flowers such as marigolds and chrysanthemums, which come in handy when working with the spirit world. In some traditions, they’re a centerpiece for funeral decorations or grave memorials.
- Gods: Herne, Apollo, Cernunnos, and Mercury are representative of the late harvest season.
- Herbs: Use apple blossom, pennyroyal, mint family, catnip, and Sweet Annie in your magic this time of year.
- Element: Air is often tied to October's full moon, so focus on magic related to communication, wisdom or the powers of the mind. Air carries away your troubles, blows away strife, and carries positive thoughts to those who are far away.
How to Celebrate the October Full Moon
This is the time of year for hunting and gathering, stocking up on provisions, and making plans for the coming winter. The dark and cold nights are a reminder that for our ancestors, this was a time to consider mortality - those who failed to plan accordingly in late fall could freeze or starve to death before winter ended. Set aside a few hours to can your garden vegetables, hang the last of your herbs to dry someplace indoors, and begin figuring out what sorts of things you can do over the winter to help keep yourself warm and well fed. If you knit, sew, or crochet, stock up on yarns and fabrics so you can begin working on new projects when it's too chilly and dark to do anything outside.
Keldayra is a Pagan who lives in Oklahoma, and she says, "Where I live, the cold weather comes in with a vengeance, and it's often unexpected. I usually spend my evenings in October and November knitting blankets in front of the fire - they keep me warm, give me something to do with my free time, and I get the added bonus of having a bunch of handmade gifts to give out when Yule arrives."
You may also want to use this moon phase to do a ritual honoring your ancestors. Work on your genealogy, dust off the family heirlooms, and hang some photos of your clan and kin around the house. Decorate your altar with symbols of the Samhain season, as well as with items that help you connect to all of those in your bloodline.
Tenae, over at The Witch of Howling Creek, says of October's full moon,
"The Blood Moon refers to the final harvest: not in fact, an agricultural harvest, but that of the last meat of the year before winter returns. Appropriate, of course, as Samhain is the final harvest festival. You can, of course, interpret the Blood Moon many ways, however. You might take it literally and spend the day mixing your own sausage ... or preparing items for simple winter meals such as stew, chili or tomato meat sauce. You could take it to mean familial blood and perform a ritual to honor your ancestors ... [or] a protection rite for your home and family or simply share a meal together."
Keep in mind that this is the season when the veil between our world and the spirit world are at its thinnest. Use this time for spiritual growth; if there's a deceased ancestor you wish to contact, this is a great month to do it. Hold a séance, work on your divination, and pay attention to messages you get in your dreams.