Besides being a big “supermoon,” the November 14th Full Moon this year can be called a Beaver Moon. That was the name used by some American Indian tribes as November was the time to set beaver traps. This was done before the swamps froze and while beavers were active. The furs were prized for warmth in winter. Beavers seldom begin to repair the lodges until the frost sets in. They usually finish the outer mud coating when the weather freezes to harden the outside shell.
Beavers are industrious but very much schedule their work based on the seasons. When building a new lodge, they fell small and medium-sized trees in summer but seldom begin any building until the end of August.
During the Full Beaver Moon, they are now actively preparing for winter.
Beavers create ponds with their dams and lodges. They build them from severed branches and mud. In autumn, they add fresh mud which will freeze when frosts arrive and they will become almost as hard as stone. Water and predators, like wolves and wolverines, will be unable to get inside.
The lodge has underwater entrances, which also makes entry by predators nearly impossible. It is pretty ingenious that they are usually made with two dens within the lodge, one “lobby” for drying off after coming out of the water, and another, drier one, to live in.
When the ice breaks up in spring, beavers usually leave their lodges and roam until just before autumn.
Some other names for the November Full Moon:
- Autumn Time Moon
- All Gathered Moon
- Initiate Moon
- Moon of the Falling Leaves
- Dark Moon
- Fog Moon
- Mourning Moon
- Blotmonath (Sacrifice Month)
- Herbistmonoth (Harvest Month)
- Mad Moon
- Moon of Storms
- Moon When Deer Shed Antlers
- Moon When Horns Are Broken Off (Dakotah Sioux)
- Dark Moon (Celtic)
- Frosty Moon
- Snow Moon
- Sassafras Moon (Choctaw)
- Nvdadequa, Nvdadeqwa or Trading Moon (Cherokee)
If some of these names are a reminder to you of the cold weather to come and that depresses you, remember that in the Southern Hemisphere the November Full Moon is the Corn Moon, Milk Moon, Flower Moon, or Hare Moon.