Olivia Harvey
October 22, 2018 7:00 am
Getty Images

Gather your friends and prepare to celebrate the Full Hunter’s Moon on October 24th. The Hunter’s Moon symbolizes the time of year when game was hunted and stored in preparation for the winter months ahead. It’s also the moon that falls closest to the ancient holiday Samhain, a celebration of the end of the previous year and a welcoming in of the next. It’s also more commonly known as a time to honor and remember the dead.

The Full Hunter’s Moon, sometimes called the Harvest Moon depending on how close it falls to the autumnal equinox, was a sign to Native Americans that winter was on its way to the Northern Hemisphere. Now was the time to wrap up the harvest and ensure there would be enough food to last through the winter. The rituals below pay homage to this old tradition. And because the Hunter’s Moon rises just a week before Halloween, we’ve included a couple of Samhain-related rituals below to get you in the Halloween-y spirit.

Purify your home before closing up for the winter.

Taking part in a purification ritual at the beginning of each season can help reset the energies within your space. If there’s been lingering illness, a bout of fogginess in your brain, financial issues, or just a feeling of heaviness, it’s time to purify.

You can use several different methods and ingredients to purify or smudge a space. White sage is a traditional purifying herb, as is frankincense and/or myrrh. Salem witch Laurie Cabot writes that you can make your own bundle of smudging incense using pine needles, pine twigs, frankincense oil, myrrh oil, and benzoin oil tied together with a cotton string. Alternatively, you could also use a single stick of banishing incense.

Open all the doors and windows of your home and light the tip of your purification bundle. Make sure it’s smoking and carry it throughout each room of your house, starting at the farthest end. Circle the room in a clockwise motion, wafting the smoke into all the corners of the space. You can also include salt water in your ritual, consecrating each window and door with a dab of water.

Make an herb butter.

You’ll need something to dress up your game, wheat, and veggies throughout the cold months. So why not whip up an herb butter? This super easy recipe goes great on your morning toast, your Thanksgiving turkey, or literally anything that’s savory.

Soften a pound of butter. Mix in 2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbs. dried basil leaves (diced or crumbled), 1 tbs. dried tarragon leaves (diced or crumbled), 1 tbs. chopped fresh or frozen chives. Pack into a container and keep refrigerated. The longer you let the herb butter sit, the more flavorful it will become.

Take time to remember your departed loved ones.

Ground yourself in front of your altar decorated with images of deceased loved ones, objects from their past, their favorite foods, incense, and candles. It is believed that spirit communication is heightened during Samhain, so if you wish to receive a sign from a passed loved one, focus in and ask. You may also write your wish to them on a piece of paper and burn it in the candle flame.

Even if you’re not into communicating with the other realm, the Full Hunter’s Moon is an ideal event to set aside time to remember those whom you’ve lost.

Carve a jack-o’-lantern.

Seriously! Carving a jack-o’-lantern is a ritual that most of us have already partaken in. You can put more meaning into your carving by choosing a sacred symbol and using consecrated tools to carve. But carving jack-o’-lanterns will most likely remind you of your childhood and is a fun activity to bring friends together and get into the Halloween spirit.

Get into a cozy sweater and pour yourself a hot cup of tea to watch the Full Hunter’s Moon rise in all its glory. As a wise man once said, winter is coming, so get prepared.

Advertisement