Nov 17, 2013

Frosty, White, Dark, Tree, Sassafras, Beaver Moon!

I love full moons. And I have always really loved their traditional as well as ancient names and descriptions. So, when the sky is clear enough to see one, I like knowing which month, and which moon I am checking out and dancing in the light, there of!

My old tradition (if you ever read here during my astronomy/astrology posts) is to grab a great big bag, run outside in the dark, and entrance any neighbor who might possibly be able to view my fairly secluded back yard, with my 63 and 3/4 years old presence and I run around in my red and white polka dot pajamas, dancing and chanting...'filler up, filler up'...the old superstition for creating abundance in your life for the next month!

Filler up refers to the bag, purse, pouch..what ever you've grabbed as you catch the moon beams magic!

And yes, it is such amazing fun to do this, at any age!  There is a wonderful energizing feeling to the air, not to mention being outside in one's pajamas by moonlight, that is such fun! 

This full moon  is called "Beaver” Moon, linking back to the activity of these busy little animals as they are working so hard to gather food and fix their dens for the upcoming winter.  But the moon is also sometimes referred to as the “frosty” moon, given the time of year.

The full moon, above, from one of my trips to Alaska where my sister-in-law and I donned heavy parkas..well, I wore three on top of one another..and literally danced on my wonderful Sandy Beach on my beloved Douglas Island.

But the other names are just as, if not even more interesting! Here is my current ongoing list of 
November Full Moon Names:

Colonial American name: beaver moon
Chinese: white moon
Cherokee: trading moon
Choctaw: sassafras moon
Dakotah Sioux: moon when horns are broken off
Celtic: dark moon
English Medieval: snow or frosty moon
Neo pagan: tree moon

Old woodcuts depicting 1833 Leonid meteor storm.

 And this wonderful sassafras moon is also marked by the fall appearance of  the Leonid Meteor Showers which peaks between Saturday evening and Monday morning.   Unfortunately, the nearly full moon will make viewing the shower difficult.

EarthSky says to expect about 10 to 15 shooting stars per hour, but the actual number you can spot, given the moon’s brightness, may well be lower.

 And to top that all off, we are also witnessing the sudden brightening of the Comet Ison as of November 14th..if cloud cover in your area permits, look up at the wonders you might see!

  Comets in Ancient Cultures
From a NASA article:

 They have been regarded both as omens of disaster and messengers of the gods. Why is it that comets are some of the most feared and venerated objects in the night sky? Why did so many cultures cringe at the sight of a comet?

They believed costs were messages from the gods or a fiery sword blazing across the night sky, a traditional sign of war and death. The Roman prophecies, the "Sibylline Oracles," spoke of a "great conflagration from the sky, falling to earth," while the most ancient known mythology, the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh," described fire, brimstone, and flood with the arrival of a comet.>>

With the anniversary of JFK's assassination, the horrors of the  typhoon in the Philipines, the downing of airplanes in the UK and the loss of life is so many places from so many disasters, it is no wonder that ancient peoples looked up at the night sky and imagined the portents as being so dark and negative as so many forces occurred at once.

Keep up the positive thoughts for a healing from so many events past and present and better times to come for all! Busy beavers (our Oregon state animal) we are gathering up geraniums to weather over in our little green house space, raking immense piles of leaves, and putting away gardening tools for the winter. One last lawn mowing and then away into storage for our lawn tractor. With 2 1/2 acres, we have a lot to mow and a lot to pick up and care for. Frosty, white, dark, trading, broken horn, tree, sassafras, and beaver moon lights our path was we look up at the night sky for omen of meteor showers and comets!

Image above and at top: 
Woodcut showing destructive influence of a fourth century comet from Stanilaus Lubienietski's Theatrum Cometicum (Amsterdam, 1668). 
Click on image for larger view. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes.   Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!


Bee Quilter said...

Michele-I love your magical articles and posts. I only wish I had those pajamas and your bravery. What a interesting article. I enjoyed this and you made me laugh and I needed to do that today!

Jacqueline said...

Very informative post.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I wish I could run with such abandon to collect moonbeams too! With 2 dogs to leave land mines I fear more to slip on their leavings and break the spell ~lol~ Hope you brought plenty plus to make it through the next month.

Funny how every culture has a different name and thoughts about the night sky.

Have a great week.
xx, Carol

Cher said...

great post Michele! I will have to find time to run out and collect some moonbeams.! It does sound great fun.

jenclair said...

:) What a cheerful image of you in your polka dot pajamas dancing and chanting in the moonlight! Love it!

Browndirtcottage said...

Oh how dreamy and misty and spacey and interesting Michele!!!

……if only...

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Oh yeah....lets dance outside with giant bags and catch it all!!! What fun :) Count me in.