The 2023 Hunter’s Moon will be at peak fullness at 2:24 PM, MST, on Saturday, October 28th, three days before Samhain. Like September’s full Harvest Moon, the peak will occur when the moon is still below the horizon but come sunset, the moonrise will be spectacular; a night to remember. And, unlike the previous four full moons, the Hunter’s Moon will not be a supermoon, and will appear in the night sky in it’s normal size.
Every month except for September, October, and sometimes November, have names that stay the same, regardless of year. These two months are unique as their naming is tied to a celestial event; one we call Mabon, and the commoners call the Autumn Equinox. The full moon which comes closest to Mabon is always called the Harvest Moon and the full moon immediately after it is always called the Hunter’s Moon. Since moon cycles are 28 days and calendar months are 30/31 days, it’s always changing.
It should be noted that not everyone follows this connection to Mabon. Historically, the October full moon has been called the Dying Grass Moon, the Sanguine Moon, the Ice Moon, the Freezing Moon, the Migrating Moon, the Travel Moon, and the Blood Moon, even when there is no eclipse. These names either refer to the color of the changing landscape, or the beginning of winter weather.
The 2023 Full Hunter’s Moon Ritual – A Night to Remember
What items you’ll need to collect for this ritual
Quarter Candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
Large White Goddess Candle
Paper and pencil for each participant
Fire pit or cauldron suitable for safely burning small objects and paper (if a fire is not an option, then fill a wide bowl with salt. During the banishing portion, have the participants bury their paper in the salt)
Athame or Wand
Altar – decorate with antlers, hunting items, skinning tools, and related hunting items
As always, anyone is welcome to bring stones, crystals, wands, or other magical tools to be charged on the communal altar during the ritual.
Any portion of the ritual that is bracketed by <> symbols should be understood as instructional notes and not to be spoken aloud.
The Full Hunter’s Moon Ritual Begins
<Using your Wand or Athame, point in each cardinal directions while calling the quarters; ask all participants to turn in the direction, following your lead>
With breath and life and the magick of my ancestors, I call upon the powers of the light and the darkness to come together in perfect harmony. I conjure this space of duality, this space of balance, this space of everything and nothingness, free from all encumbrance, open to all who come here of free will and an open mind.
Calling the Quarters
The great moment of happening is upon us, so without hesitation, let us begin our journey tonight, and turn to the East. And with this great beginning comes a feeling of hope, and clarity, and togetherness. Close your eyes and breathe in the night. The spirits of Air are everywhere, in their carefully choreographed chaos. We are blessed to share in this great light on this wonderous night. <light yellow candle>
Now we look to the South, where the sparks of the great forges shine as tiny pinpricks in the night skies, and the great spirits of Fire burst forth with their blessings of heat, warmth, and light. We are blessed to be in constant contact with the great lessons of the flame and must remember that like all things great and eternal, we may temporarily tame them, but never command them. That which can create can also destroy. That which gives can also take. <light red candle>
Turn your sights now to the West. Focus your gaze in the direction of the setting sun, and to the land where the ancestors reside. There also we shall encounter the great spirits of Water, moving, flowing, and ever changing into different forms, yet always remaining the same within. As the night unfolds, the thinning veil may reveal a hint of things to come in the coming days, if only we keep an open mind and sharp eyes. <light blue candle>
Now turn your attention North, the direction of night, but not of darkness. We do not fear the night, for the night reveals the great spirits of Earth. Look to the edges of the forest and the shadowy spaces. Look in the trees and to the stones and fences. As Samhain grows near, the night will be a great adventure of sight, sound, and magick. <light green candle>
<Ritual leader should raise their arms high, near the circle center>
Great Goddess, we are gathered in this circle to share in the magnificence of the Hunter’s Moon. And just as our ancestors celebrated the bounty of the forest, we too shall celebrate. For this night is a night to remember. A night when wisdom of the well travelled shall pass to those who are taking their first steps on the path. Our hunt is a hunt for knowledge, a hunt for personal growth, and a hunt for balance. We bring experience and wisdom in our quivers and hold time upon our bowstrings. We ask for your blessings on this night as we too remember our first hunt, so that we may share the wisdom with our new members. We ask for your protection as we ride across the mystical lands of the great unknown. We pray for strength as we take the steps necessary to cleanse and clear ourselves of the things which no longer serve us, and we ask for forgiveness for our moments of weakness. Join us and spread your light and love in our circle on this night. <Light Goddess candle>
Welcome one and welcome all to our Hunter’s Moon celebration. May the Goddess shower you with her blessings and the lunar energy give you the strength to rid yourselves of any negative energy or excess spiritual baggage you might be carrying. Tonight is the first normal full moon, after four consecutive supermoons, so the lunar energy will be much different than what we’ve experienced over the summer. We are phasing out of the time of great experience and moving into the time of great reflection. As the cold settles across the land, we are reminded to gather the last bits of nature that we might need over the winter months, and lay in a supply of wood to keep our hearths warm. Tis the time of study, reflection, and sharing company with friends and even strangers. It’s a time to welcome, initiate, and share that which we hold dear to ourselves, so that the future of our way of life is safeguarded. It is a night to remember.
Music is as much a part of humanity as life itself. From our earliest existence, we have used items from nature to create rhythm. We have chanted, danced, and shouted to the skies above in great merriment while we celebrated. Music raises energy, changes foul moods into ones of joy, and most importantly, it stirs our souls to seek something greater, something deeper, and something more magickal. For tonight’s Hunter’s Moon ritual, I’ve chosen a lively song to get your pagan blood flowing, Federkleid, by Faun. It’s guaranteed to fill your head with the memories of your ancestors.
Taking the First Steps – A Night to Remember
Join with me for a few minutes and think. Dig deep into those old memories and recall the very first time you attended a ritual. Some of you were lucky enough to be brought to one as children, and it’s never left your soul. Others chose to take their first steps on the path, later in life. Some are on the cusp; thinking about it, but not quite ready. And, in circles across the known lands, there are people taking those first steps now, tonight, under the full Hunter’s Moon.
This thought is the inspiration for the naming of this ritual, a night to remember. For those who just starting their journey, it will be a night they never forget. The energy of the full moon, combined with the ceremony, the power of the circle, and being in the company of those who have seen many nights like this, is something beyond compare. It’s likely most will lay awake in the deep hours of the night, their minds abuzz with magick and wonderment. They’ll relive every precious second again and again until its a permanent part of their thought process, just as it should be.
But there’s more to the theme. It will also be a night to remember for those who are given the honor of ushering these initiates into the craft. For they are the keepers of the ancient wisdom. Wisdom which has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. The wisdom that is found deep in the forest, and riding along the mountain air. And on this night, a night when the moon is full and the air is crisp, eager young minds stand ready to listen, learn, and become part of something larger and more amazing. May the blessings flow as the sharing begins. To teach is one of the greatest roles we have. Throughout history those who do not understand the ways of the earth, and the moon, and the power of nature, have tried to erase that knowledge. We must ensure that they never succeed.
So, to the young, the old, the initiate, and the elder, join me now as we begin our banishing ritual.
Banishing Negative Energy – Spiritual Cleansing
<ritual leader should distribute pencils/paper for participants>
Spiritual health depends on many things, most importantly, doing our best to remain unencumbered by the weight of negative energy. Fortunately, we gather each month under the full moon, and use the powerful lunar energy to help us in our quest. Negative energy is best described as baggage. It’s something we’re carrying; sometimes by choice, other times because someone else is exerting some sort of influence over us. It’s tedious and keeps us from becoming the best version of ourselves. Our goal each month is to shed those things which no longer serve us, for in order to grow, we must have more than just a mastery over our craft, but a mastery of our being.
To those with questions, there are answers. Negativity can be found everywhere. It exists in places, some are people, and some are our own behaviors. Gossip, jealousy, anger, frustration, fear, violence, influencers, substance abuse, rivalries, and laziness, are all examples of negativity. Nothing good comes from them, and often times they create a snowball effect, doing great and terrible emotional or spiritual damage along the way. Often times, we do not realize that we are on the path to self-destruction until it’s very late in the process. But the good news is that it’s never too late to break the cycle. It’s hard work some times, but definitely worth it.
If we choose to stop a behavior, end a relationship, or avoid a certain place, we are not passing judgement on others who choose to continue. Instead, we are making a decision for the betterment our ourselves. It’s simply taking a logical and rational look at the multitude of influential things in our lives. Then once identified, eliminating the ones that aren’t good for us. They may have worked in the past, but if they aren’t working in the present, then they need to be released.
Deciding is often difficult, as we can become clouded by trickery or naivety. It’s important to block out the noise and really focus. Ask yourself what things in your current life are not serving your greatest and highest good. What makes you angry? Is it something you can control, or how you react? Are you in a bad relationship or environment? Remember that it was you who chose to be there in the first place. If you choose to do nothing when you could be doing something of value, who is to blame? Negativity once inside of us, will grow. But, when you choose to release it, to truly let it go, then you are taking the first step to living the best life you can live.
Identify those things which aren’t supporting your best interests. Write them down and commit that list to the great spirits for banishment. Make a true pact with yourself to avoid returning to bad behaviors and associating with bad influencers, regardless of how hard they try to pull you back. Focus your intention on a complete and guilt-free commitment to cleansing.
When you are ready, approach and deposit them, repeating the words, “I give up freely that which is no longer serving me,” as many times as necessary.
You’ll feel a great wave of energy course through every fiber of your entire existence as negativity leaves your physical form. A great relief, but one quickly followed by thoughts of uncertainty and sometime even fear. Taking the first step is always scary, even for the strongest of us. Do not allow those aftermath feelings consume you. Immediately fill those new, open spaces, where negativity once resided, with positivity. Don’t look back, for this is a night to remember.
Closing the Full Hunter’s Moon Circle
As our magickal work is complete and we have taken the steps necessary to banish negativity from our lives, please join me once again and look to the north. The land is aglow in the magnificent lunar energy of the full Hunter’s Moon. Things are in harmony, and we are lighter and vibrant. We have a new perspective on things. Our circle shall come to a close, but the teachings, fellowship, and growth shall continue. <extinguish green candle>
Now to the west. On this night to remember, we must remember the ancestors. For the veil is quickly thinning, and our time to commune with them stands but days away. The west is often looked at as the direction of closure or ending, but we must remember that it’s only temporary. Tomorrow, there is a new awakening. Trust in that simplicity as you leave here tonight. The Great Wheel is always turning. <extinguish blue candle>
Now again look to the south, and pledge to follow through on the bold steps you have taken tonight. Making changes in our lives never comes completely easy. But, without those changes, the greatest mysteries of the universe may never be within your grasp. Shed those things which do not serve you, and reach ever higher. Nothing can hold you back if you believe in yourself. <extinguish red candle>
And finally we bring this full Hunter’s moon ritual to it’s final stop. As we turn our gaze once again to the east, we do so with fondness and gratitude in our hearts. For we have been recharged by the moon. We have been blessed to share space with one another, and we leave here knowing that we are not alone in this world. <extinguish yellow candle>
We gather our strength from many sources. Our Gods and Goddesses, the powerful lunar energy, and the grounding energy of the very earth itself. It is up to us to bring all those tools together and use each accordingly to reach the highest of highs. For each and all, I ask for blessings, fortitude, and the love and compassion that brings us together. We are stronger together and our bonds forever. Go now in peace. This circle is open, but in our hearts, is never broken.
Please enjoy our diverse collection of Sabbats or full moon rituals, at this link.
The Gypsy Thread 2023 Pagan Calendar can be accessed here – it includes full moons, new moons, astrological information, and significant pagan celebrations from many different beliefs.
- Ritual for November’s Full Beaver Moon – Cutting the Cord Ritual - November 21, 2023
- Ritual for October’s Full Hunter’s Moon – A Night to Remember - October 25, 2023
- Mabon 2023 – When All Things Are In Balance - September 20, 2023