Every month has at least one full moon, and each moon has a name. Early Native American tribes named the moons based on the seasons. This could include flora in bloom at that time of the year, animals that are active, or the tribe’s activities such as hunting or harvesting.
The Beaver Moon is also sometimes known as the Frost Moon, Trading Moon, Oak Moon, Mourning Moon, Turkey Moon, Dark Moon, Hare Moon, and Scratching Moon.
When Is the Beaver Moon?
The Beaver Moon falls in late November. It comes after the Hunter’s Moon when the game is fattened for winter and easier to hunt in the cleared fields, and before the Cold Moon when winter’s icy grip has settled across the northern hemisphere.
This year, the Beaver Moon will reach its peak on Monday, November 27, 2023 at 4:16 a.m. EST.
Sunday night’s moonrise will give you a beautiful view of the full moon as it approaches its maximum illumination. You can use this moonrise and moonset calculator to see when the full moon will rise above the horizon in your area.
Beaver Moon Meaning: Why Is It Called a Beaver Moon?
With winter quickly approaching, this full moon rose during the time of year when Native American tribes and European trappers set their beaver traps to collect the warm pelts before the swamps and ponds froze over.
Soon, the beavers would retreat into their lodges, which are small, dome-shaped “houses” made by weaving sticks, grasses, and mosses together with mud. A lodge is not the same structure as a dam. Beavers build dams to create a safe pond where they can build their lodge, which has an underwater entrance and a dry, insulated room above the water line.
Image source: https://www.britannica.com/science/beaver-lodge
Beavers don’t actually hibernate, but they do slow down their activities in the winter. During the summer, they build up a cache of food and overeat to fatten up so they’re prepared to spend less time outside searching for food during the cold season.
Their fur coat is made of two layers to provide maximum insulation, making it appealing to trappers for the fur trade. The outer layer of the coat is long, thick, and waterproof. The inner layer is oily and has finer fur to trap body heat.
Beaver Moon Spiritual Meaning & Significance
When the full moon arrives in November, the seasons are in transition. We are in the dark half of the year now. The trees have dropped most (if not all) of their leaves, the mornings are crisp with frost, and the smell of the first snow is in the air.
The full moon is the end of another lunar cycle. It represents closure, reflection, and fruition, but it also shines a light on some of our most intense emotions, spiritual energy, and the shadows we try to ignore. In one study, as many as 81% of health workers believe the full moon has a negative effect on mental health, disorders, and illnesses (even though this is purely anecdotal and scientific evidence comparing ER volume during various lunar phases has failed to back up this claim).
Physicians and philosophers have been drawing a connection between human health and the moon for centuries. In fact, the word “lunatic” comes from the Latin word “luna,” meaning “moon.”
Every full moon brings us heightened awareness, and that can sometimes manifest chaotic energy in our lives. We might feel particularly restless. Although the full moon has a peak illumination time, the energy of the full moon is more of a three-day event right before and after its peak.
During the full moon, it’s important to open yourself up to the shadows needing to be addressed. What’s being illuminated? What unhealthy habits, mindsets, and behaviors are hindering your progress? What inspires you? What’s preventing you from reaching your goals?
When the full Beaver Moon lights up the night sky, we are slipping deeper into the restful transition phase of the year. Like the beavers and other animals, we prepare to hunker down for winter after an intense period of hard work during the light half of the year.
Spiritually, the Beaver Moon is a time of reflection and gratefulness. The end of the year is a good time to look back on your journey and consider the goals you had set at the beginning of the year. Did you reach them (or at least get close)? Even if you haven’t yet, did you progress in the right direction? Why or why not? What can you learn from your achievements and failures when you’re ready to set new intentions?
Altar Tips, Colors, & Crystals for the Beaver Moon
As you’re preparing to honor the Beaver Moon, you’re welcome to decorate your altar with anything that brings you peace and happiness. If you really want to sync with the spiritual energy of the Beaver Moon, the best altar colors are black, navy, purple, and other dark colors to honor the upcoming period of rest for the Earth. Deep reds and burgundy would also fit well as we shift from fall to winter.
The best crystals to help you tap into the energy of the Beaver Moon are tiger’s eye, moonstone, and jasper. The Beaver Moon has a close relationship with the element of water, so blue crystals such as chrysocolla would also fit well.
Appropriate altar decorations can include anything you scavenge from the end of the harvest, including root vegetables, husks, dried flowers, seed pods, nuts, leaves, and fall fruits. Please gather sparingly; leave enough for the animals to store for winter.
Since the Beaver Moon is close to Samhain, you can also incorporate those themes into your altar display and add mementos from loved ones, both living and departed.
Beaver Moon Ritual Ideas for a Solitary Witch
For this moon, find a quiet place to meditate and focus on your breathing. Think about the importance of rest so you feel recharged and ready to set new intentions soon with the new year. Take a little “me time” and do whatever helps you relax. You might consider taking a ritualistic bath to help with that.
(If so, I highly recommend the candles and bath sets from Hemlock Park. This amazing business is a certified carbon-neutral company that uses organic ingredients and plants a tree for every purchase.)
Remember that the Beaver Moon is an ideal time for reflection. Journaling can help you sort out your thoughts, count your blessings, and reflect on your journey. If you’re a creative person, expressing yourself through writing, poetry, dance, art, music, et cetera can help you tap into the full moon’s energy and release it in a productive, safe way.
This is also a good time to clean your home. Your lodge should be comfortable as you prepare to settle in for winter. Make cleaning part of your full moon ritual and fill it with intention so it isn’t just another chore. Decorate your living space with things that make you happy and perform a smoke cleanse (also known as smudging) to clear away negative energy. (This guide will you help choose the right
Burn candles to remember the power of warmth and light even when the days are short and cold. (Check out my guide to match candle colors to your intentions.)
Charging my crystal collection is always a part of my full moon rituals, and I find the power of the summer/fall full moons to be particularly powerful for cleansing and recharging.
If you feel like you need some spiritual guidance to help you identify your goals and obstacles, consult with runes or tarot/oracle cards.
In the end, my most important advice is to listen to your mind, body, and soul and honor the full moon in whatever way feels most fitting to you. As long as you find your own way to connect with the Beaver Moon’s energy, you’re doing it right.
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For more information on full moons, see the 2023 full moon calendar with names, dates, and meanings here.
Award-winning fantasy author, freelance writer, spiritual explorer, and sole founder of Green Witch Lunar Witch. She created her first website in 2016 and published her first novel two years later. Sara spends most of her time writing, creating, and daydreaming.