New and full moons have been crucial throughout history long before astrologers began writing monthly horoscope forecasts on the internet. As the second most important luminary after the sun, the moon and its phases revealed — and concealed — a lot from our ancestors; a full moon, for example, created optimal circumstances for hunting and celebrations, while a new moon, shrouded in darkness, was a time to stay put. And then there were eclipses, when one heavenly body, like the moon or a planet, moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. This fall, the astrology brings a full partial lunar eclipse, sometimes known as the Beaver Moon on November 17, on the Taurus-Scorpio axis. Read everything there is to know about the Beaver Moon, below.
Why is it called the Beaver Moon?
The Farmer's Almanac refers to November’s full moon as the Beaver Moon in a throwback to extremely literal times. In November, beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges on rivers and streams in preparation for a long winter, which signaled the coming frost to the hunters, who knew they would have set up beaver traps to secure their own warm winter fur. It’s also called the Frost Moon because it signaled when temperates began to drop. Again, extremely literal.
What is a full moon partial lunar eclipse?
According to NASA, a partial lunar eclipse happens when part of the moon enters Earth's shadow. In a partial eclipse, Earth's shadow appears very dark on the side of the moon facing Earth. What people see from Earth during a partial lunar eclipse depends on how the Sun, Earth, and moon align. November 17’s Beaver Moon partial lunar eclipse is close to a full lunar eclipse, with 97 percent of the surface of the moon covered in Earth’s shadow.
Eclipses were freaky for people in a pre-electricity world (imagine the sun suddenly being blocked or the moon burning red!) and in astrology, they hold the same level of intensity. Eclipse energy is considered to be volatile, and is not a time for manifesting without major consequences and blowbacks. “Eclipses blast open the gates to primal forces, which are neither subtle nor peaceful,” warns NYLON astrologer David Odyssey. “This is not a moment for wading in the depths and discovering inner treasures, but for burning away, and claiming what survives the inferno.”
Odyssey further breaks down the forthcoming full moon partial lunar eclipse in Taurus in NYLON’s November 2021 horoscope:
The full moon partial lunar eclipse in Taurus on November 19 will blow open the family tombs, exposing hidden or suppressed histories of gaslighting, control, and self-sublimation. How long have you downplayed your value? Who has taught you to compromise? This is but the first of several eclipses on the Taurus-Scorpio divide, raging through 2023. Everything is up for renegotiation.
Can I see the Beaver Moon partial lunar eclipse?
Depends on who you ask. For the astronomically-inclined, the lunar eclipse will be visible in North and South America, Australia, and some parts of Europe and Asia. The lunar eclipse can be spotted in the night sky as a tiny sliver streak as the Earth’s shadow hovers over the moon. For the astrologically-inclined, take into consideration how destabilizing eclipses can be, and maybe stay home.