What is the deal with the full moon in October? Every other month has a full moon, some even have two! But the full moon in October has something extra. Is it cultural? Is it astronomical? Superstition?
Welcome to our new What’s the Deal series in which we attempt to answer, or at least ask, life’s unanswerable questions. With the ubiquitous comfortable t-shirt as our soapbox, we’ll delve into some of the trends that shape our aesthetic. And welcome your input and feedback, of course…
This summer we have had super moons, the harvest moon, the strawberry moon, and the sturgeon moon. All wonderful in their own way, but none has the mystery or cachet of the Full Hunters’ Moon, the October moon also called the Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. The recent Hunters’ Moon had the added allure of a full eclipse (and Mercury in retrograde – if that means anything to you), but the moon in October is always something special.
The Farmers’ Almanac tells us: “Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes. (http://farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names/)
The University of Michigan’s dictionary of symbolism give us this smorgasbord of food for thought: “The moon is a feminine symbol, universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. The phases of the moon symbolize immortality and eternity, enlightenment or the dark side of Nature herself. It might reflect inner knowledge, or the phases of man’s condition on earth, since it controls the tides, the rains, the waters, and the seasons. It is the middle ground between the light of the sun and the darkness of night, and thus often represents the realm between the conscious and the unconscious. In astrology, the moon is a symbol of the soul, and in the horoscope it determines the subject’s capacity for reflection and adaptation. It also provides analogy for the stages of human development: the new moon is infancy, the crescent is youth and adolescence, the full moon is maturity and pregnancy, and the waning moon represents the decline of life, sleep.”
Now we’re getting somewhere! But what is so special about the October moon that makes us such lunatics? Halloween seems too obvious an answer.
The Blood Moon has some Christian End-of-Days connotations that make it feel pretty ominous, but the moon always has a certain mysticism about it, despite the calendar. Let’s take a look at the tenth month.
October is National Dwarfism/Little People Awareness Month, National LGBT History Month, and National Cyber Security Awareness Month. These observances in combination make for a most auspicious 31 days, indeed, but don’t really explain things. The number 10, however, cuts to the chase.
RidingtheBeast.com (a religious website about symbols and numerology) claims “The number ten is regarded as the most perfect of numbers, because it contains the Unit that did it all, and the zero, symbol of the matter and the Chaos, of which all came out; it then includes in its figure the created and the non-created, the beginning and the end, the power and the force, the life and the nothing.” Wow. That’s enough to make you howl at the moon!