Why Tomorrow's Blood Moon Isn't As Spooky As It Sounds

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This Saturday, the full moon will rise at 12:24 a.m. EDT. As is the case with most months' full moons, October's goes by many names. It's most commonly referred to as the Blood Moon in Pagan traditions or the Hunter's Moon among certain Native American tribes, though it's also known as the Dying Grass Moon and the Travel Moon.

In nature-based faiths, the Blood Moon serves as a reminder that the harvest season will soon come to a close — Samhain, on October 31, is the final harvest festival of the year. It's viewed as a time to prepare for winter and to reflect on our own mortality and ancestors. Animals are getting ready to hibernate. Trees are shedding their leaves and some plants are even dying. Nature is about to go dormant. Why shouldn't you spend time thinking about how you can best care for yourself during the dark, cold months to come?

The idea is to take this opportunity to think about all of this now, so that by the time the Mourning Moon comes around next month, you're sure about what you need to get through winter and what you can leave behind.
All this may ring a bell for you if you've been following this season of American Horror Story. Last week's episode actually name-dropped the Dying Grass Moon. In the show, this is a phase of the moon that lasts for six days before the full moon. One character explains that, during this time, spirits can "slip the veil between the shadow world and ours," a.k.a. the world of the living. If you didn't guess already, AHS clearly upped the spooky factor here, but to the show's credit, the Blood Moon's connection to the dead isn't totally fabricated.

Among certain sects of Paganisn, it is believed that the borders between the living and the dead blur around this time of year. But instead of interpreting that as something creepy, that mostly means that this is a wonderful time to set intentions around your own spiritual growth. Maybe you reflect on something you learned from your deceased loved ones. Maybe you return to an old personal ritual or start a new one.

Whether you call it the Blood Moon, Hunter's Moon, or Dying Grass Moon, this can be your chance to take a moment and breathe before winter, the holidays, and, looking even further ahead, the new year. Like we said, this is ultimately a personal choice (unless you happen to be a particularly disposable AHS character — then, you may have cause for concern).

*This post has been updated.

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