Attributes & Correspondences
In the old Roman calendar, which originally had ten months, Novembris (from Latin novem, meaning ‘nine’) was the ninth month. However, it became the eleventh month when January and February were eventually added to the start of the year.
The Celts celebrated Beltane from sundown October 31 to sundown November 1. This marked the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Late summer would have seen the start of preparations for winter, and these continued throughout November, leading up to the winter solstice when the days would start to get longer again. Thus, November and early December were seen as a time to prepare for the coming of the light.
November had other names. The Anglo-Saxons called it Blotmonath (‘month of sacrifice’), as that was when livestock was slaughtered to sustain people over the winter. In old Germanic, it was called Nebel-mond (‘fog month’), and the Frankish name was Herbistmanoth (‘harvest month’).
The element for most of November is Water, which is associated with the astrological sign Scorpio (October 22 to November 21).
The chrysanthemum is the official birth flower for this month. Its name is Greek for ‘golden flower’, so the yellow chrysanthemum is traditional. According to Chinese beliefs including Feng Shui, this perfectly-formed, cheerful flower represents the Sun and brings happiness and laughter into the house. It also symbolizes loyalty and love. Chrysanthemums are often given to those who are ill as a sign of compassion and get-well wishes.
Yellow, pale green and grey, along with red and dark blue, are the colours of November. Tying into this are the sunny hues of the official birthstones. Yellow topaz represents friendship, and its more affordable cousin, citrine, symbolizes health, energy and hope.
November’s full Moon reaches its peak on November 30, 2020 at 4:30 a.m. EST. Its traditional Native North American name is the Beaver Moon, as this is the time beavers finish their preparations for winter and retreat to their lodges. Other names include:
Dark Moon (Celtic)
Deer Rutting Moon (Dakota, Lakota) – refers to the mating season
Digging/Scratching Moon (Tlingit) – when bears dig their winter dens
Freezing/Frost Moon (Anishinaabe/Cree) – as cold temperatures deepen
Snow Moon (medieval English/Wiccan)
White Moon (Chinese)
For neo-Pagans, if the last full Moon before the winter solstice falls in November, it becomes the Mourning Moon. This marks a time to reflect on the past year and to mentally, physically and symbolically prepare for winter. Cleansing rituals may be performed to rid oneself of baggage and bad habits, negativity and grief. In 2020, the next full Moon doesn’t occur until December 29, so November’s full Moon is indeed a Mourning Moon. There’s certainly a lot to let go of this year!!!