November’s full Beaver Moon will be visible in the early morning hours of November 12th (8:34 AM EST). Full moon’s have colorful, but meaningful, names thanks to the Native American Algonquins. They call this month’s moon, the full beaver moon because in the month of November, trappers would seek as many beaver as possible. At this point in the season, the beaver would already have their thick winter coats, which were a prized possession for making warm garments.
The Cherokee called it the Trading Moon, as it was the last time passing traders would come through before winter set in. The Choctaw called it the Sassafras Moon. It was called Dark Moon by the ancient Celts and the Snow Moon in Medieval Europe.
What You’ll Need For This Ritual
This ritual is designed for a group and is best performed outside around a generous bonfire
What items you’ll need to collect for this ritual (as written)
Four quarter candles – yellow (east), red (south), green (north), blue (west)
Seasonal Altar Cloth
Pencils and paper
Cakes or other seasonal baked goods
Seasonal Beer and Ale to share
Goddess Candle (White)
Any portion of the ritual that is bracketed by <> symbols should be understood as instructional notes and not to be spoken aloud.
From the earth to the sky, across the forests and plains, from mountain and canyon alike, I do declare this a place of magick, energy, and power. The circle is cast – we are free to commune in safety.
Calling the Quarters
From the East, we call in the great winds. On this first full moon of the New Year, we ask for your presence in this circle this night. We seek the messages that ride upon your invisible wings. The dark half of the year will come and it will go, but the messenger will remain with us for all eternity. <light yellow candle>
From the South, we call in the great flame. When darkness spills forth across the barren landscape, we seek your light and your comforting warmth. Join us in this circle tonight and bring our community closer with your binding power, radiant beauty, and magnetic attraction. <light red candle>
From the West, we call in the mighty waves. Our souls are soothed by the rhythmic beauty of the water cascading across the great expanses. We seek you to join us tonight and share in the energies and the never-ending power of water. <light blue candle>
From the North, we call in the spirits of earth. The elements, plants, animals, and all things holding space in this land of infamy, we seek your council and bid you a hearty welcome to join us in this circle. <light green candle>
Great Goddess, as we gather once again to cleanse our physical bodies of spiritual baggage, we first ask for your blessings. We are but humble citizens of this vast world and seek your continued protection. In the great circle of life, it is you who sit at the center; guiding, teaching, and providing. We humbly ask for your presence tonight. <light Goddess candle>
All pagan rituals are improved with a little bit of singing, dancing, or seasonal music. Full moon rituals are especially enhanced with songs that are a bit spooky, a bit magical, and a bit mysterious. For this month, I have chosen a song called “Wolf Music – Full Moon” by Brandon Fiechter. It’s hauntingly beautiful and makes the listener feel as if they are about to undertake an ancient heroic quest.
Tonight we gather under the light of this full beaver moon to enjoy the last temperate night before the deep cold sets in. We gather to break bread, drink ale, and share time with one another. But most importantly, we gather to release that which no longer serves us.
Lesson of the Session – Don’t Get Trapped
As mentioned previously, the full beaver moon gets it’s name from the Native Americans, and how beavers with full winter pelts were trapped in the month of November. I had begun writing this ritual without a real focus point in mind. The introduction and music were finished and my thoughts were random. Thinking about the story of the trapped beaver gave me an idea. They spend the entire summer building a great dam and then growing a thick fur coat only to get trapped at the last minute. Even though they were prepared, success wasn’t guaranteed.
Regardless of how much preparation, planning, or training we do, sometimes we find ourselves off our spiritual path and in our wandering, we can easily get trapped. I’m not talking about the literal interpretation; such as the trap the poor beaver found himself in, but rather the trappings of everyday life. Many of us feel trapped by our jobs, trapped by gossip, trapped by the noise of everyday life, or even trapped inside of ourselves. What’s scary, is that more times than often, we don’t realize that we are trapped, and even worse, don’t realize that we hold the key to our own release.
The good news is that once you realize which things are holding you back, you can make changes to how you deal with them and take a step forward. Enough forward steps and you’ll find yourself feeling as light as a feather, your sight restored, and the road to getting back on your spiritual path, right in front of you. It sounds easy, but in reality it takes some hard work on your part to achieve that focused feeling.
If you follow these few steps, it will be easier. First, step back and evaluate your life as if you were someone else analyzing your being. Use your chosen spiritual path as the basis of the analysis; what do you see yourself as in life? If you are a writer, are you writing regularly? Do you consider yourself a healer, if so, how often are you helping others and how does it make you feel? If you are an ordinary person with no special gifts other than human emotions, are you doing good in the world, or just flying under the radar?
Once you’ve established your own personal baseline, then factor in the big things in life. How does your family, your job, your activities, and other interactions connect to your path? Many of us can’t see a connection when it comes to work or leisure activities. But if you open your inner eye wide, you can find them. Are you considerate of your co-workers, or can you have a discussion about differing opinions on current events, but still remain civil with others? Do you put people before profits? Are you taking time to get involved in activities in your community that help those who need a helping hand? If not, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate why you do certain things; especially if you’ve seen they pull you even further away from where you ultimately want to go.
Finally, look at your circle. Look at who is influencing you, who is trying to “steer” you, who always supports you, and who holds your hand when you are in need. We need to take stock in those around us from time to time to make sure we have the right kind of energy around us as well as make the tough decisions to release those who only wish to use us, our abilities, or our possessions.
Once you’ve done the hard analysis, you’ll find a lot of other things that need your attention; but don’t fret. This is a good thing. You know what needs done, you see the challenges and problems. There are people that aren’t there for you on an equal basis. The truth is out there. But, what you with it is up to you. Set yourself free from those traps and get back to being who you want to be, rather than who you feel, you have to be for someone else’s agenda.
Cleansing And Releasing
Each month we re-energize our selves under the light of the full moon. On this full beaver moon, also the first full moon of the Celtic New Year, we need to get focused and prepared for the chaos of the traditional secular holiday season.
Now is the time to release that which no longer serves us. Things that we no longer need in our lives, or things we have outgrown, have to go. Tonight we purge ourselves, we unburden ourselves, we release and let go of the anchors which have been weighing us down. It’s time to step out of old ways and false identities which no longer define who we are or what we stand for. We must examine our behaviors, our attitudes, and our frame of mind. Only by getting rid of the old can we celebrate the new. Under this full moon, we can show ourselves and the universe that we are truly ready to take the bold step toward the new and unknown opportunities ahead of us.
We look to the power of the cleansing flames to consume that which is old and no longer valid in our lives; by burning the remnants of things useless and without value, we strike them from our memories. Some people have brought specific things that have been dead-weight in their lives to burn tonight, others have them in their minds. The latter can be written with intention and burned in the fire.
<Offer paper if they need to write things down>
<Allow time for each participant to ritually burn their items>
As you place your items into the fire, say this aloud with intent – “I give up freely that which is no longer serving me, releasing it, to create a space to fill with things that inspire me”
<Once this is completed, have everyone in the circle join hands and say:>
We gather tonight by the light of the moon, to celebrate the season, to offer thanks to the ancestors of this land and rejoice. May the next turn of the Wheel bring us love and compassion, abundance and prosperity, fertility and life – As the moon above, so the earth below.
So Mote it BE!
But, before we move into the fellowship portion of this ritual, it’s important to remember that cleansing is a two-part process. Once we’d chosen to release the negativity found in our lives, we must allow it to go in peace. Afterwards, we must fill the spaces those negative thoughts once held, with something positive. Free yourselves from anger and replace it with understanding. Don’t be afraid to free yourselves from bitterness and replace it with compassion. Free yourselves from pettiness and replace it with wisdom.
Cakes & Ale
Many groups choose to bring drinks and food to share around the bonfire. Take as much time as you’d like to converse with one another and enjoy the time together.
Closing The Circle
Immense and unmatched power of the earth; we thank you for attendance in our circle. Leave us with the knowledge of the land, the music of the forests, the majesty of the mountaintops and the comfort of the morning sun. <extinguish green candle>
Healing waters of life; we thank you for attendance in our circle. Leave us with your cleansing moisture, your icy cold thirst quenching goodness, and your magickal ability to wash all things clean. <extinguish blue candle>
Cleansing flames from the great fires, we thank you for attendance in our circle. Leave us with the heat that warms us through winter, the light that makes our pathways clear, and the flame that invokes the great mysteries of the universe. <extinguish red candle>
Whispering invisible winds, we thank you for attendance in our circle. Leave us with the ability to hear that which the universe is saying and feel the answers to our questions. <extinguish yellow candle>
Great Goddess, we thank you for your abundance, your wisdom, your continued blessings and your unconditional love. <extinguish Goddess candle>
This circle is open but never broken!
Additional Reading on the Full Beaver Moon