This month (November), we recognize the Beaver Full Moon (amongst other names), because, according to The Farmer's Almanac: "November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans. The Native Americans used the monthly Moons and nature’s signs as a sort of calendar to track the seasons.Why this name? Back then, this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs." https://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-november .
Although the people who used to live on this land did have a deeper spiritual connection with the Earth and the celestial bodies that surround it, they named each full moon according to it's practical purpose for each month; how the flora and fauna surrounding them was utilized to the fullest to ensure survival. In today's age of grocery stores and abundance, we are fortunate to be able to gratify most of our needs before we become even the slightest bit mentally or physically uncomfortable, we needn't count on the survival of seasonal crops and trapping certain animals at exactly the right time, or we've completely missed our chance and that missed opportunity could lead to death. This is a great thing of course, but downside is that, through constant immediate gratification and comfort, we've become detached from our environment, from the land, animals, and stars, and thus, detached from Spirit. We have a hard time knowing what it actually means to "listen to our hearts" because our intellect has taken over, throwing our "selves" off-balance. By spending more time in nature and exploring our environment on a spiritual level, as well as a practical/useful level, we deepen our understanding of all that is around us, and help bring balance to our intellect and intuition.
One way to deepen our understanding of nature (besides actually, uh, going outside more) is to explore the practical and mystical natures of the animals we share our life space with (and often forget about). So what does the Beaver symbolize? What is it's significance in the mystical/spiritual realm? And how does it relate to this month and the upcoming Winter Season? Here's a little bit about the Beaver from Ted Andrews' awesome book, "Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creature Great & Small".
KEYNOTE: The Building of Dreams
CYCLE OF POWER: Dusk and Night
The beaver is the largest of the rodent family. It disappeared from Europe and Asia, and is found now only in this hemisphere. It is adapted for life in the water. It has webbed feet, and its tail serves as a rudder. It is an excellent swimmer, and it can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes at a time. It has extra-large lungs, and it can take in more oxygen and tolerate more carbon dioxide than humans. Because of this, beaver can also teach lessons about breath and its control for the greatest health and effectiveness.
Water has long been associated with emotions and with dreams. One of the most common dreams the average person has is to have a home and a family. This dream is embodied by the beaver. It lives in a close-knit family, and beavers will mater for as long as both are alive. If beaver has appeared in your life, it can reflect the opportunity to build upon your dreams.
Beavers are also master home builders. They perform magnificent feats of engineering in the felling of trees and the building of dams. Their homes can have intricate canals, and they keep their dams in constant repair. This magnificent skill at building may even link those with this totem to the ancient and mystical Masons. A study of the Masonic tradition may open many doors.
A beaver lives less than twelve years in the wild. Its most noticeable characteristics are its large incisor teeth and its tail. One of the reasons that the beaver is always chewing is that its teeth continue growing until it dies. Without the chewing, the teeth would become too large, and it would be unable to eat. If a beaver loses a tooth, it will usually die. For those with the beaver as a totem, proper dental hygiene and care will be essential.
Tree bark is the beaver's favorite diet, and poplar and aspen are its favorite trees. A study of the qualities of these trees may provide you with even more insight. The actual tree felling is accomplished through teamwork. One beaver rests and keep watch, while another chews. The trees are often stored in the dam to provide food throughout the winter.
Although some see the beaver as a pest, it actually serves wonderful benefits. Its felling of trees enables brush to grow, thus providing food for deer and moose. Its damn even help make farmlands for humans. A beaver pond will fill with silt. When the beaver leaves it, eventually the dam in that pond will break. The water drains off, leaving a flat pocket of rich soil.
If beaver has come into your life, ask yourself some important questions. Have you been neglecting your most basic dreams? Are your dreams in need of some repair work? Are you or other around you becoming too lost in their dreams-always dreaming and never acting upon them? Is your home in need of repair?
Remember that the beaver reminds us that we have to act on our dreams to make them a reality. When it shows up, it is a time for action. Beaver can show you how to construct wonderful dreams."
Hopefully you find this information as interesting (if not personally useful) as I do! Please check back in a couple of weeks for my November Moon Meal!