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Full Blood Moon in Taurus + Lunar Eclipse
28-October @ 1:24 pm PDT / 20:24 UTC
Samhain + Bealtaine, sunset 31-October to sunset 01-November
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Full Moon Blessings First name / Moon Child,
As noted in our New Moon newsletter, this lunar month has two eclipses and it's likely that you will experience at least one of them. 
Some of you were in the path of the annular solar eclipse on October 14th at the New Moon in Libra. If so, how did the eclipse manifest for you?
For me, the eclipse was slightly unsettling in a way that surprised me. It came not long after sunrise and it seemed that we were in the dawn twilight for quite some time. Vancouver, where I live, was slightly outside the path of the full eclipse and it was an overcast rainy day, so the eclipse effect for us was more subtle than in other areas.
What came to me — yet again — was how powerful a liminal space or time can be. We often think of liminal spaces as transitional physical spaces, such as a seashore, riverbank edge of a forest, or threshold between different areas such as outside and inside, such as the door to your home.  But they can also be the threshold of changes in time, such as night and day or between seasons such as summer to autumn, etc.
I sat and pondered with the half-light… the light itself, the patterns in the rain, the changes in the sky and how all reacted as the eclipse progressed. I noticed the birds, somewhat confused by an unexpected “second dawn”, and heard their song as the sky brightened again. And I felt my own energy surge as full daylight returned. I too wanted to sing!
What began to echo in my mind were these words from poet Mary Oliver from her poem Just Rain,  “… and then the birds joined in and I too felt called towards such throat praise”.
Yes, I felt gratitude — for having time that allowed me to sit with the eclipse and ponder and meditate on the experience, and for being able to hear the birds singing again as the day brightened. I felt my own energy rising with the second dawn and embraced the energy of the mid-day sun as the eclipse ended. 
It might have been “just an eclipse” or “just a rainfall" but I wondered how often I have experienced a “just a something” moment and not given it value or worth or listened to its wisdom.  What joys and experiences have I taken for granted? Missed? Overlooked?
Perhaps this was the wisdom of this eclipse, and in Oliver's words, “once more I am grateful to be present.”
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Wisdom from the Bards
Perhaps Mary Oliver's words speak to you too. 
Here is Just Rain from her book Evidence: Poems.
The clouds
  did not say soon,
    but who can tell
      for sure, it wasn't
the first time I had been
  fooled; the sky-doors
    opened and
      the rain began
to fall upon all of us: the
  grass, the leaves,
    my face, my shoulders
      and the flowered body
of the pond where
  it made its soft
      music on the pond’s
springy surface, and then
  the birds joined in and I too
    felt called toward such
      throat praise. Well,
the whole afternoon went on
  that way until I thought
    I could feel
      the almost born things
in the earth rejoicing. As for myself,
  I just kept walking, thinking:
    once more I am grateful
      to be present.

Full Moon and Eclipse Energies
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In case you missed it in our New Moon / Lunar Journey newsletter…
Full Moon in Taurus: a fixed Earth sign. Earth gives those dreams — and you — a rich solid foundation, and holds the seeds that your dreams will nurture into creation. The fixed qualities of Taurus support you in maintaining your trajectory and your focus. Ruled by Venus, it has sensual and pleasure-seeking qualities, such as an appreciation for beauty, for indulging in our senses, and for things of worth — not necessarily their monetary value, but rather as collecting things that are precious to you, things that last, endure and appreciate over time. And, yes, Taurus can also manifest in stubbornness and rigidity.
The Full Moon on October 28th brings a partial lunar eclipse visible in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, much of South America, and across the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans.
During a lunar eclipse, the colour spectrum shifts and the moon may appear to be red or orange in colour, also known as a Blood Moon. 
For full details of the solar eclipse and lunar eclipse paths and timing in your locale, click here for details from, and be sure to enter your location into the search box.
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Ritual for the Full Moon:
Create an Ancestral Altar
The Full Blood Moon in Taurus arrives just three days before the traditional celebration date for Samhain in the northern hemisphere and Bealtaine in the southern hemisphere. These fire festivals are also known as times when the veils between the worlds are thinnest, and an ideal time to connect and communicate with one’s ancestors of blood, bone and spirit.
At the Full Moon, or on the fire festival, consider creating a simple altar for your ancestors, to both honour and remember them.  For me, this simple act reinforces my relationship with my ancestors, and strengthens being in right relationship with them.
Any space where you can sit and meditate quietly is perfect for placing your altar, perhaps on a shelf, a small table, on a flat stone, or on a favourite shawl or cloth gifted by a relative now in spirit.  
A space dedicated to your Ancestors brings their energy — and wisdom — into your home.
Altar or Shrine . . . or both?
Some might consider this a shrine, as it is ancestor-focused, but for me there is a slight difference between an altar and a shrine. 
For me, an altar is a working place, where I focus my energies in ritual and ceremony, where I seek the guidance of my ancestors, deities and allies, and where I can leave an offering. 
I now see a shrine as more of a place to honour and remember my allies, in this case my ancestors, but is something that can be closed. This allows me to set boundaries, for my ancestors and for me. Some place their shrine in a box with a lid, in a cupboard, or simply cover with a cloth when not in use. Others like to create a shrine they can carry with them, perhaps in a small tin or wooden box, or a jewelry case. A friend of mine repurposed her eyeglasses case as a travel shrine.
So, although a shrine and an altar can overlap in purpose, the principal distinction is that a shrine is a closable place for meditation, remembering and honouring. An altar can be all those things, but is also a working place for ritual and other purposes. 
Create what feels right for you, an altar and/or a shrine.
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Possible elements for your Ancestral Altar
  • Pictures or mementoes of loved ones who have passed
  • Pictures of your ancestral birthplaces
  • A scroll of parchment inscribed with some favourite memories
  • A candle for your ancestors or for those who recently passed
    • Optional: Personalize it by carving the initials of the recently departed into the candle, and light it in their honour
    • Tip: Let the candle extinguish naturally. Any colour may be used, but many people prefer black or white.
  • Mementoes of your spiritual heritage
  • An item to represent the land on which you live, and its heritage
  • A fireproof container for burning incense or local herbs to honour the departed, such as a rosemary twig (rosemary symbolizes remembrance).
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The Process
I consider making an altar to be a sacred craft, a ritual, a ceremony. I honour it. I treat it with respect.  I choose the objects with intention — and with intuition. And I consecrate / activate it, as I would with any sacred object, when completed. 
We each would have our own way of doing consecrating and the ritual may be quite different for those from Wiccan or other traditions. 
For some, consecration could be as simple as declaring the purpose of the altar, stating your intentions for how you will use it, cleansing it with the elements (rattles, drums, voice, etc for Air; a lit candle, incense or smudging wand for Fire; a sprinkle of blessed or holy water for Water; passing a windfall branch across the altar for Earth).
As we activate our altar spaces and interact with each piece that embodies the directions, our higher selves, the Divine, etc., we are infusing each piece with medicine or power (good, healing power that can be built upon over time).
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An altar for my maternal lineage from a previous year
Process, continued…
As you select each object for your altar, be clear on its purpose or intention, e.g. “This _____  connects me to my grandmother” or  “This _____ honours the ancestral lands of my people”, etc.
When you have selected a location for your altar and all objects for placing on it, cleanse the space and each individual item. There are many options and you may already have a preference. Some like to:
  • use smoke medicine (aka saining or smudging) to cleanse the object with a preferred herb such as sage, rosemary, cedar, or a homemade blended incense
  • sprinkle it with salt or asperge (sprinkle) with blessed or sacred water
  • use sounds to cleanse: keening with one's voice, shaking a rattle, beating a drum or shaking a rattle
  • anoint with an essential oil blend or a blessing spray
As you place each object onto the altar, consecrate it aloud (or with your inner voice) as you place it, using words such as this (or create your own):
“I ask my ancestors, guides, and allies for their blessings. 
Together we consecrate this ______ (object's name or description) 
for use as ______ (its purpose).”
Once all objects are placed, thank your ancestors, guides and allies for the help in creating your ancestral altar.

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Blessings on 
the Full Blood Moon in Taurus and
the coming of Samhain and Bealtaine.
Le grá (with love in Irish),