Last full moon before Winter Solstice

Looking up at the night sky tonight, November 28th, the moon is huge but it is still not a full moon.

                    photo by Doug Lein

November’s full moon this year, is the last before the winter solstice and the phase lasts for approximately seven days.  Known as the Waxing Gibbous phase, it becomes more illuminated each night until November 30th when it is a full moon.  The word ‘Gibbous’ comes from the Latin word ‘gibbosus’ meaning hump-backed (moving from one season to the next).

In many different cultures, November’s full moon is connected with death and loss but, for Pagans, it is the final stage of winter preparations and is considered a time to let go of unnecessary things.

It is also known by several other names, including the Frost moon, the Freezing moon and the Beaver moon. According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, it was called the Beaver Moon by a number of Indigenous and colonial peoples. The Indigenous groups used the monthly Moons and nature’s corresponding signs as a calendar to track the seasons.  This was the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges, having laid up sufficient stores of food for the long winter ahead. During the time of the fur trade in North America, it was also the season to trap beavers for their thick, winter-ready pelts.

Watch for the full ‘full moon’ on Monday, November 30th.