From Moon Giant:
The December full moon is commonly known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Full Long Nights Moon. It takes its name from the Winter Solstice which has the longest night in the year. The Full Long Nights Moon cuts a soaring trajectory through the wintry skies, in direct opposition to the low-hanging sun. The Algonquins called this full moon the Cold Moon in reference to the cold light it casts upon long winter nights. Strangely enough, in certain other cultures, December’s full moon can actually be associated with warmth.
To the Deborean Clan, the Cold Moon is associated with staying in your cosy home beside a crackling fireplace, surrounded not just by physical warmth but, also the warmth of family and friends. Similarly, the Wishram tribe named December’s full moon the Winter Houses Moon. Given that it coincides with holidays like Yule, Pagans consider this the perfect time to open up your home and provide warmth to those you love, as well as to those who are most vulnerable to the cold of winter.
For those who are more inclined towards solitude, the Full Long Nights Moon provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy your cosy home in peace and quiet. Consider taking lots of restful naps under warm, fluffy comforters or allowing yourself to lounge in bed in the mornings instead of rising immediately to work. Appropriately, the Native American Zuni tribe called December’s full moon the Moon Where the Sun Comes Home to Rest. This full moon is a great time for you to take a long overdue break and recharge, so that you may shine all the brighter when it comes time for you to rise again.
This period of slow restfulness is also very conducive to introspection. When you look inwards and take stock of your life during this time, try to focus on loose ends and the little things that you’ve left hanging throughout the year. As the last full moon that rises before the year draws to a close, the Full Long Nights Moon is a time of endings. Take advantage of this full moon’s energy and bring an end to tasks you’ve been meaning to do, clearing your mind so you can move forward with a clean slate.
As much as the Full Long Nights Moon may be about endings, it is also about beginnings and rebirth. The Sioux Indians’ name for December’s full moon is the Moon When Deer Shed Their Horns, thus beginning the process of growing new ones. The Celts, on the other hand, call it the Elder Moon. Elder is fragile and easily damaged but, it’s also full of vitality and recovers very quickly. As the Elder Moon shines upon you, allow yourself to rest and heal from everything that has hurt you over the year and, focus instead on new beginnings and promising areas of growth. This is an excellent time to start planning your New Year’s resolutions and set exciting new goals for the upcoming year.
From Moon Connection:
The full moon name often used by Christian settlers is the Moon Before Yule.
From Farmers Almanac:
Well, so much for capturing this evening’s Beaver Moon. I guess I should have tried last night. Tonight is way too foggy. Instead, I present to you my shots from last November.
Also known as the Frosty Moon, it can be referred to as a Mourning Moon if it happens to be the last full moon before the Winter Solstice, as is the case this year.
November’s Full Moon was one of the most important of the year for Northern American communities. Most commonly known as the Full Beaver Moon, this Full Moon marked a time when rivers would begin to freeze over, making it impossible to set out traps. Many Native American tribes, including the Cree, Arapaho and, Abenaki tribes, called November’s full moon the “Moon When Rivers Start to Freeze”.
With the changing of the seasons, November’s full moon marks the beginning of the end. This year, it is the very last full moon before the winter solstice, which makes it the Mourning Moon according to Pagan tradition. In many different cultures, November’s full moon is intimately connected with death and loss, on both a literal and symbolic level. The Celts, for instance, called it the Reed Moon, comparing the mournful music made by wind instruments to the ghoulish sounds of spirits being drawn into the underworld. And, not without good reason…the Full Mourning Moon marks a dangerous time of the year where people could easily slip into the underworld with a single misstep.
We may enjoy the luxury of winter coats and central heating, now but, freezing to death during the long, dark winters used to be a very real threat to early inhabitants of Northern America. In order to survive, making warm winter clothing out of beaver fur was crucial for American colonists and Native American tribes. This is why November’s full moon is also known as the Beaver Moon. During this month, beavers are very active, working hard on dam construction and this was a good time to start harvesting their fur. Missing the timing for this would mean death for these early Northern American communities. This name drives home the importance of November’s full moon as a signal for these Native American tribes to begin trapping beavers before it was too late, as well as to complete their preparations for the darkest depths of winter.
For the Pagans, on the other hand, the final stage of their winter preparations involved the very important process of “mourning”, which is why they call the last moon before the winter solstice the Mourning Moon. After a full year of accumulating possessions, both physically and otherwise, the Mourning Moon is the perfect time to let go of old, unnecessary things, while giving yourself permission to mourn their passing. Practicing Pagans may perform a moonlit ritual where they write down the things they want to rid themselves of and ask their Goddess for help in removing unwanted burdens.
Pagan traditions aside, anyone can benefit from taking the time to self-reflect and to let go. Take advantage of the Full Mourning Moon this November to look back on your year. Take stock of your desires, ambitions, mental and behavioral habits and, the people you spend your energy on. Clean your living and work spaces and, sort out the physical objects that are not contributing to your well-being. Take the time to fully mourn and let go of anything, or anyone, that does not bring you joy, so that you can begin to move forward, unfettered, towards a lighter and happier new year.
100% illumination occurred at 12:39am EST.
Howl for me… ~Vic