Reflections on the October Moon

Although the cycle of November is well underway, I wanted to pause to reflect back on the spirit of the October moon recently passed.  It brought with it a flurry of magical activity, and I needed some time to process before I could adequately honor this celestial life and death.

The new moon rose at the Equinox in Libra.  Ruled by Venus, lover of all things earthly, sensual, and exquisite, it ushered in the most glorious weeks of autumn’s beauty.  The final throes of the turning leaves blushed in unseasonable warmth.  I was so distracted by the lack of snow that I almost didn’t notice the day they all finally fell, leaving the trees stark and skeletal.

October is a month of spirit, and communication with spirit.  It embraces the crone aspect – the first signs of decay, mischief in the dusk of life, a welcoming of death.  It conjures up scenes of cemeteries, hunters and scavengers (crows, owls, black cats), singing bones, ghosts and demons.  Our houses introduce their haunts, and we shapeshift into forms that claim and reveal what in brighter seasons stays hidden.

This last month I hit some major first spiritual milestones despite having been on this path for decades, and I think October blessed and eased that opening.  I attended a spirit message circle during which I received my first reading from a medium, a message from my dead grandmother (Alma!), and even a channeled letter from my angelic guide that the reader had uncharacteristically received that morning and brought with her.  I also attended my first public seasonal ritual – a Samhain celebration hosted by my very beloved local nuns, which was shockingly pagan and yet wonderfully inclusive.  I was one of two attendees under the age of 70, and they invited me to call the West into the circle during the invocation, although I had never attended before.  We wove stories of our ancestors and lifted up their names amidst songs and tears and blessings.  Lastly, I performed my very first full-on ritual, at least in the sense of what other practitioners might recognize as one, including an official dedication and some tool consecration, among other things.  It was both thrilling and satisfying.

During the opening of the Samhain ritual, one of the sisters used the phrase: “the veil between worlds is thin as a spider’s web.”  I smiled deeply, because for a couple of weeks prior I had settled on the spider’s web as the symbol that I felt best expressed the feeling of the October moon.  This time of year the colder winds tend to drive the spiders indoors and we become aware of them and their work.  The spider mother is a weaver, drawing connections between this side and the Other side in intricate patterns we can’t anticipate, can’t help but admire.  She claims and crawls into the dark and neglected corners, calling our fears hallowed, pulling us in.

Unlike other months, I feel like the strength of the October moon is not when it is full, but when it is waning.  It emphasizes the waning light of the days, the descent into the sensitivity and spiritual self-consciousness of Scorpio.  It’s an auspicious time for spiritually preparing for the inner work of winter, for calling on and inviting in our spirit guides, for divination, transformation, meeting the Shadow, renewal of vows to ourselves and our paths.

Happy New Year, dear readers, and brightest blessings to you.






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