As the Hunters Moon of 2023 graces our skies, the spiritual bond between the human soul and the October Full Moon connects. It’s a celestial feast full of meaning, a ghostly dance of ritual, and represents the very core of astrology and spirituality.
Throughout the hallowed pages of history, the Hunters Moon has symbolized a time of harvest, abundance, the afterlife, spiritual transformation, and divination. Keep reading, and we’ll explore the spiritual significance of October’s Full Moon!
Every full moon has its own name based on the month or the season in which it appears. Creating a name for each full Moon allowed people to reflect on each season and how it affects them AND the natural world. There can be some variation on the Full Moon names due to the origins from whence they came.
Most Full Moon names are English translations of Native American names; others are rooted in Celtic, European (Anglo-Saxon and Germanic), and more recent Neo-Pagan origins. I created a guide to each Full Moon, complete with their meanings and how you can celebrate
Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.
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Table of Contents
When is The Full Moon in October 2023?
In 2023, October’s Full Moon is called the Hunter’s Moon and occurs on October 28th; its peak will be at 4:24 p.m. EST.
September, October, and November’s Full Moons are a bit different than other months. Most Full Moon names coincide with the month they land in. However, the Full Moon landing closest to the Autumn Equinox is considered the Harvest Moon, and the following month is the Hunter’s Moon.
Typically, the Harvest Moon lands in September, but occasionally it lands in October (about every 3-4 years). According to NASA, the name Hunter’s Moon was first used in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1710.
Does the Hunters Moon 2023 Have a Lunar Eclipse?
Yes, the Hunters Moon has a Lunar Eclipse! In fact, there will be two lunar eclipses in 2023! The first eclipse takes place during May’s Full Flower Moon and is called a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. Although this eclipse is barely visible, it creates a subtle shadow while still casting a mesmerizing effect in the night sky.
The second will be a Partial Lunar Eclipse, which takes place during October’s Full Hunter’s Moon. Check out this map on Time and Date to see if you can view the Partial Lunar Eclipse in your area!
There’s also a SOLAR ECLIPSE that takes place during the month of October! According to NASA, “The Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America…In the U.S., the annular solar eclipse begins in Oregon at 9:13 a.m. PDT and ends in Texas at 12:03 p.m. CDT.“
After the harvest moon comes the hunter’s moon, in the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and fox unable to hide in bare fields.
Like the harvest moon, the hunter’s moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at nightRoyal Museums Greenwich – Why do we have special names for full moons?
Hunters Moon 2023 Spiritual Meaning
The Hunter’s Moon derives its name from the hunting that takes place this time of year. Now is the season of the rut for Deer and Elk (mating season), and game are well-nourished. October’s full moon brings the season of the hunt, preservation, and preparation for the icy cold days and nights to come.
The Hunter’s Moon spiritual meaning is focused on internal work and self-reflection. We now begin the dark half of the year; accept and welcome the darkness with open arms and spirit. Before industrialism, people focused on harvesting and preparing for the coming of Winter. Failure to do so meant facing one’s own death or mortality.
You can feel the magical energy in the air right now as we head toward Samhain, and the veil grows thin. This increases your ability to communicate with your ancestors or loved ones. It’s an opportunity for spiritual growth, goal setting, gratitude, and finding ways to slow down and enjoy the season of Autumn.
The sacredness of the moon has been connected with the basic rhythms of life and the universe. A widespread phenomenon, appearing in various eras and cultures, moon worship has engendered a rich symbolism and mythology.
The moon is viewed in terms of the rhythmic life of the cosmos and is believed to govern all vital change. The cyclical process of disappearance and appearance of the moon is the basis of the widespread association of the moon with the land of the dead, the place to which souls ascend after death, and the power of rebirth.Britannica – Moon Worship
Hunters Moon Alternative Names
Many cultures around the world have their own beautiful names for October’s Full Moon, and I did my best to include the ones I could find sources on.
These names beautifully reflect the connection between humans, Nature, folklore, communities, and historical influences throughout time. Remember, most of these names applied to the entire month, not just during the full moon!
- Falling Leaves Moon (Binaakwe-giizis) (Ojibwe source: Ojibwe.net)
- Seed Fall Moon (Celtic) (source: Time and Date)
- Harvest Month (duninvdi) Cherokee Native American origins
- Haustmánuður (Norse) Autumn or Harvest Month (source: Nordic Culture – Skjalden)
- Sanguine or Blood Moon (Neo-Pagan origins)
- Freeze Begins on Stream’s Edge – Cheyenne Native American origins
- Whale Moon (South African origins) (source: Centre for Astronomical Heritage)
- Kindly Moon (Chinese)
- Big Wind Moon – Zuni Native American origins
For a list of even more Native American Moon names, check out the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association’s article here or Western Washington University’s article here.
Many names for the full Moon are culturally based and are not arbitrarily given. The full Moon for October is typically referred to as the Harvest or Hunter’s Moon.
For the Chinese, this is the Kindly Moon or Chrysanthemum Moon, while in medival England this was the Blood Moon.Riddle, Bob – Moon Phases
October Full Moon Correspondences
The Hunter Full Moon spiritual meaning can be a potent time for magic and rituals, as well as a beautiful time of inward growth and reflection. Here are some correspondences and intentions to help get you started!
Hunter Moon Spiritual Meaning And Intentions
- Divination work
- Shadow work
- Psychopomps (Greek – a spirit, human, or being who guides souls who have recently crossed over)
- Ruby Red
- Dark Purple
- Burnt Orange
- Deep Navy Blue
- Black Tourmaline
Sacred Space and Altar Decoration Ideas
Feel free to decorate with any seasonal items from your area! These are just a few ideas to get you started!
- Small pumpkins
- Autumn leaves
- Skeletons or skulls
- Gothic candleholders
- Acorns or other nuts and seeds
Hunters Moon 2023 Journal Prompts
The Hunters Moon reveals itself during the beautiful season of Autumn, yet we’re also eagerly anticipating the continuing thinning of the veil and the arrival of Samhain. Here are a few journal prompts to help you explore the spiritual meaning of the Hunters Moon.
How can you align your actions with the themes of hunting, preservation, and preparation as you enter the darker half of the year?
Explore the idea of accepting and welcoming darkness in your life. How can you embrace the shadow aspects of yourself while also finding personal growth in them?
How does the thinning of the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds affect your sense of connection with your ancestors or loved ones who have passed away?
How can you slow down and savor the beauty of Autumn in your daily life? What practices or rituals can you incorporate to connect more deeply with the season?
How does the concept of preservation resonate with your own desire to protect and nurture what is important to you in life?
Imagine you’re in the last stages of your life. What memories do you hope to have? What values and stories do you hope are told about you when you’re gone? How can you incorporate these insights into your life now?
Hunters Moon 2023 Ritual and Celebration Ideas
The Hunter’s Moon symbolizes a time of preservation, transition, divination, and balance. To help get you started, here are some spiritual correspondences and intentions to celebrate October’s full moon!
Check out Full Moon Rituals for even more ritual ideas!
How I Celebrate the Hunters Moon
Hunters Moon Preservation Ritual
This Hunters Moon candle magic ritual combines the spiritual intentions of preservation, gratitude, and a connection with the afterlife. It allows you to honor and preserve what you cherish, appreciate, and enrich your spiritual journey with the moon.
Gather Your Supplies
- A small fireproof bowl, cauldron, or 6.5″ cast iron (this is what I use)
- A white candle (or any candle color of your choice)
- Matches or a lighter
- A piece of paper and something to write with
- A quiet, sacred space (try outdoors beneath the moonlight if possible)
Begin Your Ritual
Begin your ritual by cleansing the area in the method of your choice. Then set up your fireproof bowl on a stable surface where it’s safe to burn a candle.
Light your candle and take a moment to center yourself. Focus on your breath and clear your mind.
Grab your paper and write down what you’d like to preserve in your life and specify what you’re grateful for (relationships, personal growth, traditions, etc.). Be detailed and vulnerable in these intentions.
Call Upon the Hunters Moon
Look up at the moon (if possible) and acknowledge its spiritual energy. Think about its meaning and connection with the season of the hunt, preservation, and the thinning of the veil.
Hold the paper with your intentions and say the following words aloud
Beneath the Hunters Moon’s soft light, I honor preservation on this night.
To the afterlife, a bridge I seek, Thank you for the blessings that I speak.
Protect what’s dear, both near and far, Guided by ancestors, like a shining starAmanda Brethauer – The Peculiar Brunette
Light Your Intention
Use the lit candle to carefully burn the paper with your intentions. Place it in the bowl or cauldron to let it burn completely. As it burns, visualize your written intentions being released into the universe and forming a connection with the Otherworld. Try doing a candle flame reading as you watch your candle burn.
Reflect and Close
Sit in silence for a few moments and think about the intentions you burned and what you’re grateful for. Feel the protective energy of your ancestors and passed loved ones.
Let the candle extinguish, and remember to take a moment to thank the moon and your ancestors. Collect the cooled ashes in a small container. Use them to represent the preservation of your intentions and ancestral connection.
Preserve the Ashes
Find a meaningful place to keep your ashes, maybe in a small container or jar. Place it on your altar or in a sacred space in your home.
Revisit the ashes as often as you like! Hold them in your hands and remember everything you’re grateful for. You can also use them to make black salt and use them in future rituals.
Embrace The Season
As the veil thins, take some time to contemplate the natural cycle of life and the Pagan Holidays. Observe how Nature dies externally each season to rest and prepare for the light and growth of next Spring. Here are some ideas to help you embrace the October season!
- Visit a local cemetery. Bring fresh flowers to place on graves you connect with or who might need a bit of love. Read each headstone and imagine who they were and what they cared about in life.
- Since the veil thins the closer we get to Samhain or Halloween, it increases the opportunity to spot Fae! Learn more about how to incorporate Fae mythology origins or different types of Fae into your spiritual practice.
- The harvest season of October is traditionally a time for protection magic as well. You’ll see this rooted in the history of pumpkin and turnip carvings to guard the home and people from sinister or evil spirits. Draw or design your pumpkins with sigils, bind runes, symbols, animals, or spiritual meanings you’re drawn to, like sacred geometry or the pentagram.
- You could also spend more time researching spiritual paths or topics you’d like to learn more about, like How to Do a Cord Cutting Ritual, the Evil Eye, or types of witches. Start here if you’re a beginner witch.
- Embrace all things October: decorations, pumpkin spice everything, cozy blankets, bonfires, or whatever your heart and spirit connect to! Have fun, be free of judgment, and celebrate this wonderful season.
Practicing divination work during the Hunter Moon is very popular due to its close connection with October and the thinning veil. A magical blend of lunar and spiritual energies combine, making it a perfect time to seek spiritual insight!
The act of divination involves diving into your inner self, examining the past, present, and future, and communing with the Otherworld, ancestors, and spirit guides. Basically, the Hunter’s Moon and October season is perfect for exploring hidden realms and gaining valuable insights into your life path.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
- Casting Bones
- Norse Rune casting
- Ouija Board
- Smoke Divination
- Celtic Ogham casting
- Egg Cleanse Reading and Interpretation
- Tarot Reading
- Pendulum and Pendulum Board
- Candle Wax Reading
- Oracle Cards
I’d also recommend checking out my YouTube video on Beginner Candle Reading Divination | Wax, Flame, and Smoke.
Make Moon Water
Harness the potent energy of the Hunter Moon by infusing it into Moon Water, and creating a powerful tool for spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being. It will contain the spiritual intention of the Hunter Moon, including preservation, gratitude, abundance, dreamwork, and a connection with the afterlife.
Remember, you can collect Moon Water during all the lunar phases, not just during full moons. For example, Moon Water made during a New Moon, is perfect for setting new intentions that represent fresh starts and new beginnings.
A Dark Moon is a time of introspection, self-love, and rest (emotionally, physically, and mentally). However, a Black Moon represents luck, creativity, and prosperity. Moon Water made during these lunar phases will also reflect these qualities.
Hunters Moon Apple Candle Ritual
This magical Apple Candle Ritual will harness the ingredients and power of the elements to manifest your intentions or desires. It will allow you to align your desires with the natural flow of lunar energy for positive change and protection.
Gather Your Supplies
- Apple (color choice is up to you; they have long symbolized love, knowledge, sin, and magic)
- Pillar or Taper Candle (any color of your choosing)
- Cinnamon (wards off negative energies; used for protection)
- Sugar (brings joy and the sweetness of life)
- A knife
- Fireproof small plate or bowl
- Matches or a lighter
Prepare Your Space
Set up a sacred space somewhere quiet, where you won’t be disturbed. Feel free to decorate your space with items related to the Hunters Moon or Autumn. For example, leaves, acorns, or moon symbolism.
Remove any negative energy from this space by doing your preferred method of spiritual cleansing.
Take a minute to clarify what your purpose is for this ritual. What do you want to protect yourself from? What sweetness and joy would you like to invite into your life during this lunar cycle? Feel free to write it down if you like.
Collect Your Apple
Prepare and dress your candle by carving symbols or words into the candle, like protection or joy. Use the ground cinnamon and sugar to dress your candle. Remember to visualize your intentions coming true and a joyful protective energy surrounding you.
Check out my YouTube video for step-by-step instructions on how to cleanse and dress a candle.
Light the Candle
Carve into the apple bottom so you can place the pillar or taper candle inside. Place the candle and apple into your fire-safe bowl. Use matches or a lighter to ignite the candle’s flame. As you light it, say this simple affirmation
With this candle’s light so bright, I beckon protection and sweet delight,
Beneath the mystic Hunter’s Moon, May they bloom and aid me soon.Amanda Brethauer – The Peculiar Brunette
Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and meditate on your intentions. Visualize the Hunter Moon’s energy forming a protective barrier around you, followed by happiness and sweetness filling your life.
Finish Your Ritual
When you’re ready, thank the elements and lunar energy. If you can, leave the candle and apple in place until they burn out completely.
Once the apple is withered and the candle is completely burned, bury them in your garden to release them into the Universe.
Full Moon Schedule 2023
Below is a schedule for 2023 Full Moons, including dates, times, and links if you’d like to read more in-depth.
- January Full Wolf Moon January 6th, 2023, reaching its peak at 6:08 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
- February Full Snow Moon – February 5th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 1:29 pm EST.
- March Full Worm Moon March 7th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 7:40 am EST.
- April Pink Moon April 6th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 12:34 a.m. EST
- May Full Flower Moon May 5th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 1:34 p.m. EST
- June Full Strawberry Moon June 3rd, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 11:42 p.m. EST
- July Full Buck Moon July 3rd, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 7:39 a.m. EST
- August Full Sturgeon Moon August 1st, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 2:31 p.m. EST
- What is a Blue Moon and How To Celebrate August 30th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 9:36 p.m. EST
- September Harvest September 29th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 5:57 a.m. EST
- October Full Hunter Moon October 28th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 4:24 p.m. EST
- November Beaver Moon November 27th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 4:16 a.m. EST
- December Full Cold Moon December 26th, 2023, reaching its peak illumination at 7:33 p.m. EST
I hope you enjoy Hunters Moon 2023; lots of love to you, and remember as always…