Hunter’s Moon 2018

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Hunter Moon Image One
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Hunter Moon Image Two
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Hunter Moon Image Three
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Hunter Moon Image Four
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Hunter Moon Image Five
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The leaves are falling. The deer have grown fat for the winter. Hunters can move more easily over cleared fields, spotting the smaller animals. Also known as the Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon, Native Americans named the moon for the hunt and the storing of meat for the winter. Traditionally, it was a feasting day in Western Europe and among many tribes. From Moon Giant:

Contrary to popular belief, the Hunter’s Moon isn’t actually bigger or brighter than usual. It simply rises earlier, soon after sunset, which would give hunters plenty of bright moonlight to hunt by during the early evenings. To Neo-Pagans, however, the Hunter’s Moon is known by a far more morbid name – the Blood Moon.

Humans through the ages have always found autumn’s full moons to be creepy and not without good reason. There’s a reason why English folks in the Middle Ages called October’s full moon the Blood Moon and it’s the exact same reason why even Halloween imagery today often features a large, low-hanging moon with an eerie reddish glow. The Hunter’s Moon rises early in the evening, which means that you are more likely to see it near the horizon. When you observe the moon while it’s near the horizon, it gives off the illusion of being bigger while it’s in fact the same size. In addition, observing the moon at the horizon makes it look redder. This is because you’re seeing it through a thicker atmosphere, which scatters more blue light and lets more red light pass through to reach your eyes.

Scientific explanations aside, the Hunter’s Moon or Blood Moon still holds an undeniable aura of mystique and power. As October’s full moon occurs right before Samhain, the Gaelic mid-autumn festival that has evolved into Halloween today, Neo-Pagans consider the month of the Blood Moon to be a special time denoting the change of seasons and, a prime opportunity to contact dead loved ones, given the thinning of the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world. Precious stones such as amethyst are used to ward off evil and, sacred flowers like chrysanthemum are used when working with spirits, such as in rituals to commune with long-dead ancestors.

Despite the Blood Moon’s spooky associations, it rarely actually happens on Samhain or Halloween night itself. The next time you’ll get to see the full moon on Halloween is 2020, and if you miss that, you’ll have to wait 15 years to see it in 2035. Sometimes, October’s full moon even happens early enough in the month that it becomes the Harvest Moon, which is defined as the full moon that’s closest to the fall equinox. In Chinese culture, the Harvest Moon is celebrated during the Mid-Autumn Festival, where people gather to celebrate by eating mooncakes. There is also a harvest festival in India that celebrates October’s full moon called Sharad Purnima. Devotees fast all day before offering delicacies to the Moon God under the moonlight.

In contrast to the day-long fast of India’s moonlight festival, the Hunter’s Moon was a very important feast day in Europe as well as for many Native American tribes. Appropriately, the Ponca tribe’s name for the Hunter’s Moon is “the moon when they store food in caches”. Taking advantage of the fact that the fields have been reaped, hunters would capture foxes and other small animals who come out to graze on the fallen grains as well as hunt down deer in the moonlight. They would butcher their prey and preserve their meat. Blood Moon is an excellent name for this month’s full moon, given that it was a final, bloody harvesting of meat before the winter months.

Sadly, the tradition of feasting during the Hunter’s Moon was lost around the year 1700, but its spirit still lives on in historical reenactments like the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, or even the feast of candy enjoyed by trick-or-treaters everywhere on Halloween.

This Hunter’s Moon reached 100% illumination at 12:45pm EDT.

Howl for me…

10 thoughts on “Hunter’s Moon 2018

    the britchy one said:
    October 25, 2018 at 7:08 AM

    Those photos were wonderful. Taking pics at night is hard! I love seeing the hunters moon, it looks like it’s bending down to listen

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      November 4, 2018 at 11:40 PM

      Britchy, sorry for the delay in responding. I just discovered this comment in my spam folder.

      And, thank you…muchly. I love Moon.

        the britchy one said:
        November 5, 2018 at 7:22 AM

        I occasionally find ‘real comments I my spam folder too – along with so many Nike adverts they must think I’m a centipede!

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          November 5, 2018 at 12:54 PM

          I keep getting slammed by Eastern Europe & Russia. They must have gotten excited when I posted a photo from a Russian photographer from Unsplash.

          Funny you should mention that… My father used to say ” My daughter, the centipede”… I had a LOT of shoes in my younger years. Heh. 😉

    JT Twissel said:
    October 25, 2018 at 1:34 PM


    ekurie said:
    November 11, 2018 at 5:46 AM

    Not even sure i’ll make it to 2035. If I do i’ll be 80 so I better watch closely 2 years from now. Your photos are like looking at the actual moon. Despite the fact we have actually set foot on it, the moon still holds unfathomable mystery. Even people can’t take that from it.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      November 11, 2018 at 12:03 PM

      I’m not sure I will either. I will be 69. What is to watch closely two years from now?

      Thank you for the compliment. My phone does a decent job but, it can’t capture what I actually see nor does it have the ability to do what a real camera & a zoom lens can do.

      I was born during a full moon in Pisces. I love water & moon! 😉😁

        ekurie said:
        November 11, 2018 at 2:43 PM

        2 years from now is next Halloween full moon

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          November 11, 2018 at 3:08 PM

          Oh. Yes. Thank you! Duh. I knew that. It’s in the post. Sorry. I hadn’t finished my coffee, yet.

    POTD: Hunter’s Moon 2021 « Cosmic Observation said:
    October 21, 2021 at 6:01 AM

    […] Moon was also a Blue Moon and fell on Halloween. It’s also called a Blood Moon and I did a write-up in 2018. Full illumination occurred at 10:56am EDT, yesterday. Howl for me! […]

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