October - Leaf Falling Moon

These articles are simply about the energies of each moon of the year. I wrote and published all of these in a long article years ago. Today I’m going to share them here, one by one, each month. These teachings/philosophies are from my Native American mentor who guided me through my childhood and taught me a great deal about this world and his people. I met him when I was 9 winters of age, and he began teaching me a year later when he was 86 winters of age. He was of the Munsee Lenni Lenape.

In December I will post two entries because there are not 12 moons in a year, but 13 full moons.
Each year has 13 moons, not 12.
Each moon is about 28 days long, but not exactly.
Since the calendar doesn’t add up, a Leap Year is inserted every 4 years to balance the scales.


The 10th Moon has arrived, or at least it’s month. The full moon will rise at 2055 UT on the 9th.

The Harvest Moon has passed and we enter the time of the October Moon, which my Native American childhood mentor’s people aptly called the Leaf Falling Moon. It is the moon when the deciduous forests shed their cloak to reveal the truth of the landscape once hidden in green drapery. The leaves turn from the deep summer green to a pallet of artistic hues, in one last explosion of glamour before tumbling through brisk autumn air to the damp chilly earth below. And here in the mountains of northern New England, the canopy is at peak color!

The trees spent the last couple of months producing buds for next spring’s awakening; small pouches filled with the promise of another growing season, though a long way off.

Many species of birds are in flight toward their winter homes. The rodent family hoarders have been busy stockpiling food stores all summer, and now feverishly collect the remaining seeds, nuts, and grains before someone else gets them!

Mammals are bulking up with dense fur and hair that will help protect them from the harsh winds and cruel temperatures of the long winter to come. And the ones that can gain weight through building fat layers are busy doing that as well. Some, like the weasel, for example, can neither build up fat nor gather food stores and so must go on as they do their whole lives (of a short couple years), hunting relentlessly to gain enough meat just to survive the moment.

Deer go into the rutting season (breeding season) now. Of course, they won’t give birth until next spring, but the mating season of the deer family in autumn is yet another promise of continuing life in the face of the growing season dying.

Of course, the Leaf Falling Moon is the time of shedding leaves, but also a time of shedding the physical world. September’s moon was the Harvest Moon and the last moon of summer. It was all about harvesting the physical and all that was grown throughout the physical side of the Medicine Wheel and the year. The October Leaf Falling Moon is the first moon of Autumn and therefore the first moon of the non-physical/spirit side of the Medicine Wheel and year.

The physical side of the Medicine Wheel goes from the Spring Equinox until the Autumn Equinox and the non-physical/spirit side goes from the Autumn Equinox until the Spring Equinox. We are now firmly on the non-physical/spirit side of the Wheel.

The Medicine of the Leaf Falling Moon is thus Transformation. It is the Transformation of all life into the realm of spirit within, from the physical outside. The energy of the body that has literally pushed outward in a state of venting all summer is now withdrawing back inward. Just as the sap from the trees that was coursing up and out all summer, it is now retreating back toward the trunk. As we get closer to winter the direction of energy for the body goes from drawing into sinking down into the kidneys and core.

Physical life transforms from being outward energy expressing existence to inward drawing vessels. We start to make the transition between the Black Road (east-west) of physical walking lives to the Red Road (north-south) of a spirit nature. But as it is we remain solidly footed in the western aspect of the Black Road. On the east side of this pathway exists spring, clarity, wisdom, and illumination. On the western side, we have experience, introspection, and strength internal. In the east are the expansion qualities of the mind. Here in October, on the western side, we have the aspect of holding and the physical body. The energy draws in to hold and preserve itself throughout the long cold moons to come.

This is a time when death becomes apparent once again in our physical lives and the reminder of the open door into the vast and eternal realm of spirit. The landscape seems to shrivel and die all around us as we go from fully cloaked forests to barren sticks of skeleton trees. Lush undergrowth turns to dry brown debris that quickly transforms into cold mud. And yet with all the death and dying the horizons open up and reveal the far reaching landscape. The sky becomes more prominent and the cold air turns the atmosphere darker and clearer, making the stars blaze like a million stories echoing in our ancestral DNA, waking the slumbering spirit to this side of the Medicine Wheel.

October is a great moon to remind us that the time we know here on earth as a time of abundant life and diversity is temporary. Life of this quality and nature can only exist on this planet for brief periods (in the scope of the planet's life), between the inevitable cataclysmic environmental events that truly dominate this globe. All the way back through the history of this world there have been massive events that have destroyed life for incredible periods of time. Catastrophic floods, fires, super volcanoes, ice ages, meteor strikes, earthquakes, and so on. It is the way of this earth. But even so, life has always managed to return and blossom, just as we see around us today. However, this kind of life can only exist between the wars of giants, the elemental forces that create and destroy the universe.

So here under the Leaf Falling Moon, The Moon of Transformation, it is wise to remember just how fragile and special our time here is while the giants partly slumber all around us. Much of what you see in this world is not meant to last, but as history shows, no matter how much life goes extinct, including humans, that much life and more will return like spring after winter.

October moon.png

Comments

Yes, it seems that our bodies are in sync with the phases of the moon. Yes, this is the time of leaf shedding (the beginning of it here) but in the north/northeast it's that time of year.

Nord, I know you don't hunt now, but when you did what were the types of animals you hunted and did you eat them? Which did you prefer?

As I've told you before, one of my brothers was a true outdoorsman. He hunted, trapped and fished. I know the one true belief of his was that you always, always eat the animal. OK, we'll make an exception for muskrat...I think.

He was very careful about endangered species and, indeed the state of PA considered hunting them to be illegal. I couldn't/wouldn't eat something like rabbit today (and perhaps you have animals you wouldn't eat now), but I was just interested in your thoughts. He was a man who was a lot like you. Yours, Lenora
 
Nord, I know you don't hunt now, but when you did what were the types of animals you hunted and did you eat them? Which did you prefer?
Hey Lenora,
Yes I always ate anything I killed. Keeping my spec op works aside that is. Well let me see. Since the time I was a child I’ve hunted and eaten the following:
White Tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, Rabbit, Skunk, Opossum, Mice, Pheasant, Grouse, Quail, Woodcock, Goose, Turkey and other Birds, many species of Fish, Wild Boar, Beaver, Mountain Sheep and Mountain Goat, various species of Snakes, Frogs, Turtles, Scorpions, different types of Caterpillars, Worms, Slugs, Grasshoppers, Ants, and other insects. That should be about all… though there may be a few more I’ve forgotten. I’ve eaten other meats that other people have harvested as well, beyond the normal fair, such as Alligator, Ostrich, Kangaroo, Caribou, and some others. All hunted in the old way.

There isn’t a meat I’ve tried that I didn’t like. Of course the insects are not my top choices… but they were eaten in extreme survival situations. Hard to beat that rich tang of moose and wild boar! Rabbit is great when cooked German style. Goat is a wonderful meat when slow simmered. Snake is nice when roasted over coals. Opossum is good when in a stew or soup, like turtle meat and many birds. I could go on describing how I prefer all the meats listed above, but you get the point. :)

The only meats I avoid today are the big long lived fish due to mercury and other heavy metals.

Sounds like your brother lived a good wild life.
 
Skunk? What is that like....and exactly how do you cook it? Also, opposum....I've heard that's very greasy.

Michael wasn't very likely to bring home something we wouldn't eat, but always had them prepared for my mother. Since we were often without food it was protein.

Yes, for him he lived a good life....at least until he lost his farm. He was injured in Vietnam but always, always worked. If it's any help to you, he did finally receive what he was due for his injuries and Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Our father died when he was only 40....and Michael never really got over his death. I can't say I was "over" it (I was 14) but I was able to enter life and different places and careers. We were a year apart, I being the oldest. He stayed exactly where my father was born and like most Pa. men, was very tied to his way of life. He wasn't artistic the way you are....you have that to fall back on, imagination, etc.

We each have a life story and that was his. Yours, Lenora
 
Skunk? What is that like....and exactly how do you cook it? Also, opposum....I've heard that's very greasy.
Skunk is rather dark and a bit oily, but is fine for eating. Opossum isn’t that greasy, really. Eel is far greasier than skunk and opossum put together, but eel is amazing when cooked right. Skunk is good roasted, especially if you can make a rich dark sauce to go with it made from wild raisins, spicebush, salt and a bit of wild mint.
He stayed exactly where my father was born and like most Pa.
Where in PA, if you don't mind me asking?
If it's any help to you, he did finally receive what he was due for his injuries and Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Glad he was able to get something...
We each have a life story and that was his.
Thank you for sharing. :)
 
Hi @ Nord Wolf....Thanks for the info on cooking the assorted meats we mentioned. Good to know.

I'm from western PA. originally and grew up there and then lived in Canada (mainly the Toronto area) for approx. 14 years and then back to U.S. and Dallas.
My mother was from London and my husband is from Bath, so you can see that the UK comes through loud and clear.

We had industry in town, but most of the people were farmers....gorgeous farmland with plenty of Amish. Very scenic and we used to spend as much time as possible in the summer mos. You know, front porch living...porching!

The industry has long left, nothing there for younger people, although a few places are hiring and, if you can believe it, they can't get enough applicants. I'm afraid there is a little too much sitting going on.

The houses were purchased and rented out. Whereas it was once a proud community, it's now run down and I do believe people from other communities are brought in for the cheap rentals. Drugs have ruined the town. Quite gorgeous and a wonderful place to grow up in, but no longer. Times change...and I'm glad my parents don't live among the ruins any longer. A lot of large corporations have taken over the farming....a great pity for sure.

I hear the same story over and over again from friends who still live there or have relatives who do. Things change, like it or not. I hope you're town is still vibrant, although I know that you live outside of it. Yours, Lenora
 

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