The Hindu name for this beautiful Full Moon is Kartik Poomima, and it commemorates the end of a four-month period during which Vishnu sleeps. It is also the birthday of Vishnu’s fish-incarnation, Avatar. It is also said to be the day when Krishna danced rasa with Radha and worshiped her.
In North America, the Full Beaver Moon takes its name from Algonquin tribes who knew it was time to set their beaver traps before the swamps froze, and its calling card is white frost on the grass. In many places, like the alpine valley I live in, another prominent feature is dense ground fog, also white and chilly in appearance.
Most of us no longer need to set traps to ensure that we’ll have plenty of warm furs to keep us warm against the brutal cold of winter, and may do not follow Vishnu, but we would do well to remember Vishnu’s awakening as a reflection of our own, and the diligence of colonists and Native Americans as a reminder that there is always inner and outer preparation and work to do. The outer light may be fleeting, the darkness long and deep, but the inner light burns brightly if we attend to it with reverence and care. This is the rich opportunity presented to us by this Full Beaver Moon.
To celebrate this Full Beaver Moon, immerse yourself in a warm bath infused with rose water and lavender oil. If a bath is not practical for you, sit beside a pool (or even a bowl!) of scented water. As you relax in the sacred water, or near it, recite this prayer and others of your own making:
Full Moon above, I wake from my sleep your servant, ready for service, forgiveness and love. Light my path, extinguish my wrath, and guide me above with the lark and the dove. Allow me to build up there, to be giving, open and fair.
This prayer and others you may devise and recite release the thoughts and anxieties that no longer attach to you. In your sacred bath or beside the water, you gather them up and let them go. And as you emerge from this ritual, imagine that you are stepping into the full moonlight that protects you and feeds your soul.