The Spiritual Practice of Writing
Ideas for how to get started journaling and why it’s such a powerful tool.
November is the month of the full Beaver Moon, according to Indigenous and European traditions in North America. Around this time, beavers settle into the lodges they so diligently built in the spring and summer, preparing for the colder season. The Cree and Assiniboine people refer to November’s moon as the Frost Moon, while it’s called the Freezing Moon by the Anishinaabe, referencing the cold shift we often feel so sharply in November.
September and October are cool months, but they hold warm reds, yellows, and oranges in the leaves of their trees. By November, most of the leaves have fallen and the world turns gray. The outside world becomes less habitable, the days are darker, and it is a time for beavers (and us) to head inside, slow down, and trust in the work we’ve done over the harvest season while we settle in for the coming frost. However, it’s common in modern society that we do the opposite, ramping up our work and school schedules in preparation for the end of the year.
Both the beaver and the frost are powerful spiritual symbols. Beavers are known for working hard and collaboratively—they build lodges and dams that create pools deep enough that they do not freeze in winter. Though beavers don’t hibernate, they spend more time inside during the winter season. They often mate during November and December, so they spend the coldest part of the year gestating and caring for their young in safety, away from the unforgiving elements.
Like the busy beavers, humans can certainly continue to work during the winter season, but the work should change. This is not a time to start new projects, but rather to finish them or put them away until the seasons shift again. This is a good time to practice internal healing work, focus on family life, and build a spiritual connection to our communities and to nature.
The Beaver Moon (also known as the Frost Moon) has lessons for us as well. Frost is a coating of ice, a covering that embraces everything it touches. Plants and animals prepare for this moment in September and October, prepping their bodies for the harsher elements by growing thicker, denser fur or more feathers. When we prepare our bodies for the frost season by slowing down, spending more time inside, and getting warm and cozy, we are less vulnerable to the colds and flus that tend to circulate around this time.
Here are some ways to help align yourself with the spiritual energies of the full Beaver Moon:
Look at your schedule, and plan to wrap up projects and slow down before the winter solstice.
Spend time dreaming and coming up with new ideas, but delay action on those ideas until the new year. Let them gestate over the winter rather than trying to birth them immediately.
Warm up with hot tea, warm scarves, hot water bottles, and heating pads, and spend time by a fire.
Sleep a little more than you usually would.
Spend more time with your closest loved ones.
Enjoy sensual experiences, like fresh baking, hot baths, and making love.
Wintertime is a good season for making babies. September is the most common month for birthdays, as humans (and beavers) like to get to it when it’s cold outside!
Direct your energy to your spiritual and internal practices, such as meditation, reflection, journaling, counseling, or whatever other form of spiritual and emotional connection works for you.
Happy November Beaver Moon!
Listen to Julie's full moon meditation for letting go and letting in here.
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