The full moon is tomorrow evening, October 23rd. I posted earlier this month about the significance of 10-10-10, and thus I (and hopefully you) have already been tuned in to the shifting energies in the month of October.
Seven years ago (and Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves says that major changes come into a human life about every seven years) I underwent a vision quest that gave me the certainty to make major changes in my life. Without that vision quest, I may not have had the courage to end my marriage and move into a new sort of life, with a new direction (hence this blog and Dragonfly Energy Healing, LLC). The tribe in Idaho that helped me on that vision quest fortuitously just sent an email about this moon, and through that, they gave me a clue to the native name of the moon: “the Ducks Fly-Raven Moon.”
What a beautiful name! As fall has arrived with the trees just pondering their change in hue, the name makes sense. The geese have come to the pond near our house here in North Carolina, and waterfowl everywhere are on the move. The raven, intuitively, seems a bird of the fall or winter, with its connection to things beyond our ordinary vision. As Halloween or, more appropriately, All Hallow’s Eve approaches, raven surely is here as a reminder that to existence there is more than meets the eye.
From a post by Phoenix on the animal guides group on tribe.net, I have learned more about the significance of this moon to the Native Americans. She calls it the “Ducks Flying Moon,” and explains it with some depth:
Moon: Ducks Flying Moon
The Ducks Fly Moon (September 23 to October 23) is the first moon of Mudjekeewis, the Spirit keeper of the West and occurs at the time of the autumn equinox position on the Native American Medicine Wheel. The mineral totem for this moon is jasper, usually of the bloodstone variety; the plant is the mullein; and the animal is the raven. The color is brown, and the elemental clan influencing this moon is the Butterfly clan.
October 23, 2010
Raven is the animal totem associated with the Ducks Fly Moon. The raven is usually an all black bird with a wedge-shaped tail that is often mistaken for the smaller crow. The raven is as large as a red hawk. Although ravens are found all over the world, in the United States they are most often found in the west. Their song is a loud croak.
Sometimes aggressive, ravens are most often wary. They are intelligent birds who know how to drop shellfish from the air in order to break the shells. They are omnivorous and capable of riding the winds with as much enjoyment as their hawk brothers. Ravens are both group oriented and very defensive of their territory. Some ravens pair for life. It is said these birds have tribal councils.
To Native peoples, ravens are considered birds of balance between man and nature. Almost all tribes have a legend about the raven explaining why he is black. In all of these legends the raven begins as a white bird whose color was changed either as a punishment for wrongdoing or because of danger undertaken in an effort to help man. This duality in the legends indicates the duality Native people feel about the raven. To some, the raven is a bad omen; to others, a good one. The Pueblo peoples connect the raven with the Kachina spirits. Ravens have been given credit both with bringing the dark clouds that yield the rain and with holding them away.
Mullein is the plant associated with the Ducks Fly Moon. This tall plant with its velvety-looking leaves is a versatile healer. Tea made from mullein is good for soothing mucous membranes and for strengthening the lungs, heart, bladder, kidney, and liver. Mullein helps to alleviate nervous conditions and is a general astringent. Used externally, the tea helps heal hemorrhoids, ulcers, tumors, swelling of the throat, and muscle tenderness. Oil made from mullein flowers has long been used for the ears, warts, bruises, sprains, and chapped skin. Mullein can teach you to explore the smooth and healing parts of your nature.
Jasper, particularly the bloodstone form, is the mineral associated with the Ducks Fly Moon. Also called heliotrope, bloodstone jasper is a stone that brings many blessings. It provides a positive grounding force and helps to harmonize a person with the earth’s energy.
Jasper is purported to stop bleeding; make its owner invisible; insure a safe, long life; draw poison from a snakebite; restore eyesight; and bring rain, if placed in water. This stone is also believed to give power over bad spirits. Jasper both stimulates and clarifies a persons mental processes, allowing him to find balance on this plane of existence.
Through using Jasper, people experience this energy and can learn how to draw both the earth and sun energy into their being and learn how to understand the messages of the heart. From the Mullein Flower you can learn about your abilities both to soothe and to irritate. From the raven you’ll gain understanding of your relationships with groups, and their ability to soar and dive. This is the position in which you can learn what balance truly is, even if you need to experience discomfort in order to do so. People experiencing the Ducks Fly Moon can teach how to show physical affection and how to be comfortable both in earth and sky. People experiencing the raven energy must be careful not to be totally indecisive, and so changeable they confuse even themselves.
Interestingly enough, in my class on wild herbs I just recently was introduced to mullein. I have a few of the delicate mullein leaves drying in our kitchen, and I have been researching the healing qualities of the plant. It is a kind plant, with long, soft ears for leaves, low to the ground as if it is listening to the very currents of the earth. Will Endres, my teacher and herbal wildcrafter, says that mullein is one of the best herbs to use as a salve for the skin as well as dried in a smoke mix to heal respiratory disease. It seems a plant akin to jasper, helping a person harmonize with the earth’s energy.
Obviously, since this is the closest full moon to All Hallow’s Eve, it has significance in the night being a safe bridge between the worlds. Additionally, in astrological terms, the moon is just at the end of Libra. Steve Nation, in his article, “The Great Turning,” explains that this moon is the second full moon in Libra – a blue moon by astrological understanding (the only one this year). Libra signifies a significant moment in a human life. It is a moment of choice and a shift in the wheel of life. Initially we spend our life and our time in attaining material safety in the world, reliant upon the rational mind and ego. Libra, the sign of balance, (note that both Western astrology and Native American wisdom see this as a time of balance) signifies a potential moment of change, a change so significant that it reverses the direction of the turning of the wheel, signifying a life now spent under the soul’s guidance, dependent on deeper, intuitive wisdom and knowing.
So the significance of the full moon on Saturday October 23rd is that of the Great Turning – the moment in an individual life where one realizes, finally, that to live in alignment with the soul is the highest path. In a way, life will feel as if it is turned upside down, inside out, and major changes can take place – changes that will help us become stronger and better forces of goodness and love in this world.
On a larger level, this full moon, the Great Turning, as we mentioned with the events of 10-10-10, is a time of change for society. Steve Nation explains it nicely at the conclusion of his article:
And so, what of this time right now? We have the opportunity to consider the big, soul sized events of this full moon period in terms of the Great Turning. Imagine that through all the discussion, arguing, negotiation and deep thinking by millions of human beings what is happening is we are collectively weighing up the way forward and that the opportunity is to choose to move forward in line with Soul visions of cooperation, an economics of sharing and justice, sustainable development, advancing human rights and freedoms – freedom from hunger, freedom from poverty, freedom from slavery and abuse.
The big events right now and in the immediate weeks ahead would have to include the November 2 elections in the United States (the largest economy in the world); the Palestine-Israel peace negotiations still going in spite of extreme difficulties; the major meeting of parties to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity currently underway in Nagoya Japan (this is a critical arena in the reshaping of world economics and values evoked by the massive loss of species and ecosystems); and the associated build-up to the Climate Change Convention in Cancun, Mexico November 29 – December 10. In the meditation work we do during this second Libra full moon, may we hold these events in the light and see them as contributing to and providing energy for the Great Turning. And we can do something else. We can reflect that it is not by accident that these issues and events have arisen during a period when the psyche is conditioned by a double-dose of Libra, leading into the discipleship testing of Scorpio. It is right from a human perspective to work for positive results, for greater sharing, for greater generosity of spirit in a nation or the world – and it is right to hope for the best possible outcome of events such as treaty conventions, peace negotiations and elections. Yet from a deeper level we can know that whatever the immediate result, the ground is being prepared for future choices and bold future decisions.
As you embrace autumn, as you prepare for All Hallow’s Eve and the thinning of the veil between the worlds, as you reflect on the events in your own life, perhaps the Ducks Fly/Raven moon on October 23rd will be a reminder that this is a time of change, that the energies are with us to make major changes in the world and in our lives, and that the soul is crying to be heard – the soul within us as well as the soul of the earth. Native tribes understood this – this idea of the soul of the earth. We are not so dense now that this is incomprehensible. Listen to her and live according to her needs, for she is us.