Wednesday 12 November 2008

A full moon for mourning

Tomorrow, November 13, at 6.17am, is a full moon. It is often called a mourning by modern pagans. Others call it oak moon, dark moon or snow moon.

According to, Americans sometimes call November's moon beaver moon, because it is the beaver hunting season. I could never call it that - not only am I opposed to hunting animals for fur, but I would have trouble not giggling at the word beaver. I guess it means something quite different in the UK than in America.

Last year, a short while after I first starting writing A Bad Witch's Blog, I wrote about coming home from a party under a full mourning moon.

A year later, the party season is starting once more, but I am also remember one November that was a far sadder time for me. It was the time my father died. His funeral was held one bright autumn day. The leaves on the vines growing up the side of the crematorium chapel were blood red. Now, whenever I see leaves that colour at this time of year, I remember standing in a cemetery, crying.

And on cold, dark, November evenings, I miss him, and when I talk to my elderly mum I realise she will be all alone with just the TV for company, and it makes me sad to realise she must miss him too. I also miss him at this time of year when I plan what Yule presents I will buy and remember those I loved but who are no longer here.

Yes, it is the party season, but it is also the time when we enter the coldest, darkest months of the year. Yes, this full moon is definitely a mourning moon for me - and many others.


Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your father. I wish you comfort in this difficult time.

And don't worry--not all of us here in the US can say "beaver moon" with a straight face either!

Badwitch said...

I'm only sad because of memories - my father died two years ago, but this time of year brings the memories back.

I'm glad it isn't only me finding 'beaver' an embarrassing word.

Anonymous said...

Beaver Moon indeed! Couple beaver with the other meaning of "mooning" here in the UK and Beaver Moon takes on an entirely different context!! :)

Joking aside, I trust the mourning moon will bring comfort to you and your mum tomorrow night as you reflect on the joys your father brought to both your lives.