Although all Esbats are a sacred time, there are a few full moons out of the year that are especially important. One of these is the October moon, sometimes referred to as the Harvest Moon (which actually takes place in September) but most accurately the Blood Moon. Different traditions and cultures have a variety of names for each moon but the Blood Moon refers to the final harvest: not in fact, an agricultural harvest, but that of the last meat of the year before winter returns. Appropriate, of course, as Samhain is the final harvest festival.
You can, of course, interpret the Blood Moon many ways however. You might take it literally and spend the day mixing your own sausage (easier than it sounds actually – Martha Stewart had a great article in this month’s magazine) or preparing items for simple winter meals such as stew, chili or tomato meat sauce.
You could take it to mean familial blood and perform a ritual to honor your ancestors (there will be more on this later in the month as Samhain is very much a celebration of those passed on.) In the same vein, you could do a protection rite for your home and family or simply share a meal together. As the mother aspect of the moon’s cycle, the full phase is always a great time for family-centered rituals anyway.
Or, you could simply choose to do a harvest/Samhain version of the Simple Full Moon Ritual, easily achieved just by changing up a few of the components. You might, for example, use a red candle instead of a white one, enjoy Gingered Chocolate or gingersnaps instead of dark chocolate and sip apple cider instead of tea.
Happy Full Moon and I’ll see you in the waning!