And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
– Elizabeth Coatsworth
November – The Mourning/Frost Moon
November is the eleventh month of the year. Its name is derived from the Latin word for “nine,” as it was the ninth month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Scorpio, the scorpion (October 23 – November 23), a fixed water sign ruled by Pluto. November reveals signs of winter. The raw winds sweep up the valleys and over the hilltops. The wild grasses along the lanes are bleached to a tawny color. Nature is stripped to its bare essence. Now is a time of simple beauty. The trees reveal the shapes of their naked branches, and dried leaves flutter up the roads in the late autumn breeze.Traditional magickal activities include scrying with fire, smoke or a magick mirror. The harvest is complete and we gather for Thanksgiving to share our bounty. In the darkness, the hard frost sequins the grass and bare tree branches with a silver jacket-giving November’s Full Moon its name, the “Frost Moon”. In the backwood Traditions, November’s name is also referred to as the “Mourning Moon.” To honor her, scry into a black cauldron filled with water and one silver coin.
At November’s commencement, the veil between the worlds is thin, and spirits linger close to the realm of the living. The Mayan Day of the Dead celebration continues until the seventh day of the month, when deceased loved ones and other spirits are bid farewell with a banquet. As the month progresses, the days get shorter and colder, and we take refuge in home, family, cozy blankets and clothes, candles and the hearth. It’s a time to rest after the hard work of the year’s literal or metaphorical harvest, and to honor and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Mid-month, the Leonid meteor shower makes an appearance. Named after the constellation of Leo, from which they appear to emanate, the Leonid meteors herald the smoldering end of the sun’s stay in Scorpio as well as its forthcoming fiery visit to Sagittarius. While the flashiness of the shower varies, it always adds a burst of brightness to the spirit while promoting authenticity, blunt honesty and sociability. This month, be kind to your immune system by aligning with the rhythm of the season: be sure to stay warm, stay positive, get plenty of rest and keep your environment ordered, attractive and bright.
–Excerpt from 2017 Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac
Tess Whitehurst, Author
The Mourning/Frost Moon of November
November’s full moon is always a signal of the changes to come; as the last full moon before the Winter Solstice, it’s seen as the final bit of light before the darkness of winter. It’s also known as the “Mourning Moon.”
While many modern-day superstitions surround the moon in general, the full version has long been upheld in Paganism as a time, every month, to reflect. People who follow Pagan traditions spend autumn preparing for the colder months, and the final step in this process is the letting go of old things — the things we must leave behind before we reach the new year. Hence, the “mourning.”
Cleansing rituals, during which you take note of what you don’t want in your life anymore, are commonly conducted in observance of the Mourning Moon. These discarded things can be anything from the most frivolous (a nail-biting habit) to the deeply profound (the grief over a lost loved one). The point is to think of these things one last time before resolving to move on from them. You can make a list and drown it in a jar of water (the element associated with this full moon) or perform a modern adaptation: Put your list in a note on your phone, and then delete it. (We don’t recommend drowning your phone in a jar of water.
It’s a symbolic gesture, to be sure. But given how much we value gratitude at this time of year, it can be helpful to take stock of what you still need and cherish in your life versus what you’re ready to forget.
Think of the full moon as a spotlight — in November, it’s pointing right at you. The emphasis on the personal and the internal can be a lot of pressure, but, as the holidays and the end of the year approach, your psyche could probably use a little love and attention. Use this lunar phase to restore your emotions, clear away reminders of the past, and express something you’ve unnecessarily bottled up. The dark nights to come needn’t bring you down.
Ways to Observe and Honor the Mourning Moon
Consider how you “mourn.”
When something goes wrong or you suffer a loss, do you give your reaction its due? All too often, we feel compelled to rush through — or completely ignore — feelings of sadness, as if those emotions are embarrassing or, heaven forbid, just going to inhibit our progress. There’s nothing wrong with pausing for a moment to acknowledge your feelings. Doing so may help you cope better with the next turn of events. Full moons are known to bring emotions to a head, and this one is no different. Just for one night, allow yourself to sit with the spectrum of your emotions. Never underestimate the power of a good cry.
Brave the cold.
Okay, with temperatures hitting record highs, “cold” is a relative term. Nevertheless, the November air always feels a little different. Maybe it’s the shorter days, the falling leaves, or the fact that we’re in the midst of Scorpio season — this month is imbued with darkness. You don’t have to love daylight saving time, but going outside, especially around dusk, will help you weather those long nights that lie ahead. Plus, catching the full moon in all its glory can be inspiring in and of itself.
It’s always a good idea to kick off a new lunation (aka, a month-long lunar cycle) with some form of cleansing ritual. This month, focus your efforts on anything you’ve been holding onto simply for nostalgia’s sake — and yes, these items tend to be the hardest to give away. Don’t feel obligated to turn off all sense of sentimentality in the name of cleaning out your closet. But, after some reflection, you’ll probably realise that you don’t need every stuffed animal or candle you got from an ex. As we said before, give your feelings room to breathe, then decide whether your 2011 diary belongs in the “keep” or “toss” pile.
Send a message.
Full moons bring personal truths to light — even those we keep closest to the vest. Lean into this illuminating energy and share how you really feel with a loved one or friend. Whether you’re ‘fessing up to a fault or asking for an honest answer, these conversations are bound to break new ground under the Mourning Moon. And, don’t overlook those who have already passed on. You can truly honour the Mourning Moon by writing a letter to someone you’ve lost, especially if you left something unsaid before they died.
Even as the longest nights approach, this full moon encourages us to bring our thoughts, feelings, and past out of the darkness — before we bid them farewell.
—Sara Coughlin, Author
Published on Refinery 29
In Celtic traditions it is the beginning of the new year, considered a month of beginnings and endings.
Astrological Signs: Scorpio, Sagittarius.
Nature Spirits: Banshees and other beings who carry messages between worlds.
Herbs: Ginger, hops, wormwood, hussop, patchouli, mugwort, nutmeg, star anise.
Colors: Black, white, purple.
Flowers: White lily, dahlia, chrysanthemum.
Scents: Rosemary, dragons blood, lilac, pine, wisteria.
Stones: Topaz, obsidian, onyx, Apache tear.
Trees: Pine, cypress, yew, elder.
Animals: Bat, wolf, sow, dog, snake.
Birds: Owls, raven, falcon.
Deities: Astarte, Calleach, Cerridwen, Circe, Cybele, Freyja, Hathor, Hel, Holda, Horned God, Kali, Maman, Nepthys, Sekhmet
Symbols for the Month of November
November’s Festival: All Hallows’ Day
November’s Sign of the Zodiac
Scorpio (October 21 – November 20)
Sagittarius (November 21 – December 20)
November’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Ngetal (Reed) October 28 – November 24
Ruis (Elder) November 25 – December 22
November’s Runic Half Months
Hagal (October 28 – November 12)
Nyd (November 13 – November 27)
Is (November 28 – December 12)
Topaz and citrine
November’s Birth Flowers
Lilies and orchids
Other: All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, MIschief night, Bonfire Night, Armistice Day (Martinmas), St. Andrew’s Day (Scotland)
“Thunder in November means winter will be late in coming and going.”
“Frost in November to hold a duck, the rest of the winter is slush and muck!”
“Flowers bloomin’ in late autumn, a sure sign of a bad winter coming.”
“Ice before Martinmas, enough to bear a duck, the rest of the winter is sure to be but muck!”
Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Calendar of Events for November
1: Mexico’s Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos
2: Birthday of Wiccan author Sirona Knight
4: Full moon — Mourning Moon at 1:24 am. Why not use this month to shed your bad habits and toxic relationships, and get a fresh start? Work on developing and strengthening your connection with the Divine as well.
11: Veteran’s Day
23: Thanksgiving day (United States)
24: Celtic Tree Month of Reed ends
25: Celtic Tree Month of Elder begins
30: Birthday of Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, founder of Church of All Worlds
30: Festival of Hecate Trivia, honoring Hecate, a goddess of magic and sorcery
“Over the river and through the woods
Trot fast my dapple gray.
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound
On this Thanksgiving Day, Hey!
Over the river and through the woods
Now Grandmother’s face I spy.
Hurrah for the fun,
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie.”
– English folksong, It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
In a perfect world, when a family gathers around the Thanksgiving table, the conversation is filled with love, friendship, support, sharing and caring. But we do not, alas, live in that perfect world, and when many families gather, they usually bring along old arguments, jealousies, hurt feelings, sibling rivalries, and ingratitude.
How can we bring love and gratitude to the feast along with the turkey, mashed potatoes, and that weird green bean dish! Volunteer to set the table! This is probably the least favorite dinnertime chore, so you’ll win immediate gratitude from the cooks. Here are Emily Post’s rules for a place setting: Forks go to the left of the plate, knives and spoons to the right. The napkin goes under or near to the forks or on the plate. The salad plate goes to the left of the forks. The water and wine glasses go above the knives.
If your family is not Pagan (and even if it’s a bit Pagan-hostile), you can do the following ritual silently. If anyone get curious, you an either say you’re so happy to be there that you’re doing a table blessing or admit you’re doing a ritual of gratitude. Ask them to join you and help set the table. Let them add their own wishes to the invocation if they want to.
Gratitude at the Thanksgiving Table
Starting with the dinner and salad plates, hold the stack and stand at the east side of the room near the table. Say the invocation either aloud or in your mind:
I call the powers of the East to bring amity and friendship to this table.
I call the powers of the east to whisper, “We give thanks,” in the ear of everyone here,
from Grandma and Grandpa to the kids at the kids’ table to our aunts and uncles, and cousins.
Visualize and feel the energy of gratitude begin to fill the plates, then set them (moving sunwise) along the east side of the table. Repeat the invocation at the south, west, and north sides.
When you pick up the flatware and are holding big handfuls of forks, knives and spoons, stand at the east side again and say this:
I call the powers of the east to fill each bite of food we eat with
both love and nourishment. I call the powers of the east to fill our hands and mouths and bodies with gratitude that we have
this good food to eat, that we are sharing this feast with each other, and that we unconditionally love and support each other.
Feel the energy filling the forks, knives, and spoons. Moving sunwise again, set the flatware at each place setting along the east side of the table
Move to the other sides of the table and repeat the invocation for each side.
Bring the water and wine glasses, coffee cups, and saucers to the table. Standing in the east, say this:
I call the powers of the east to filll these glasses and cups to the brim with gratitude and friendship. Let us drink in peace and love.
Move around the table as before.
When your family sits down to eat, there will probably be a traditional grace. Join in. Be sincere. When the turkey is passed around, speak up, “How about we do a good, old-fashioned Thanksgiving ritual? Let’s go around the table and say one thing we’re grateful for today. I’ll start. I’m grateful to be here with my family.” if you want to, give thanks for something else. Turn to the person sitting to your left and invite him or her to give thanks
Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar 2017
Witchy Ways to Celebrate November
Decorate your home and altar with white and deep purple, and light incense of rosemary or nutmeg.
Use a cauldron or pot with a candle lit inside as your focus of the hearth.
Work with yourself! Find time to develop your own witchy skills, and take that magical bath.
Cook with the last of the foraged ingredients before they disappear for the winter. Use winter vegetables and game to create seasonal meals.
Connect with the Goddess in you by journeying into your own mind. Explore and take notice of all that you see there, and record all your discoveries in your Book of Shadows.
Celebrate the darkness by drawing the curtains and spending time by candlelight.
Make your home more magical using herbs and symbols, and research the folklore on home protection.
Don’t panic about Christmas. Admit it; you do it every year to0.
—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.
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