I was on a quick errand to pick up milk for Sunday breakfast when I saw her.
She lay on her side at the subdivision’s entrance, head thrown back, blood seeping from her muzzle. The doe was dead. A crow stood next to her forehead. It cocked its head to look at me, but did not fly away.
I sent a blessing to the doe’s spirit, and hoped she was not one of the does I had come to think of as “my girls” from their frequent trips through my back yard to feed. And that, if she were a mother, her fawns were now old enough to make their own way.
November is the most dangerous month for suburban deer. It’s the beginning of mating season. They are willing to travel farther and take greater risks so that the next generation can be conceived.
It also can be the beginning of the hungry time for them, as the plants which fed them in parks and the wooded strips between subdivisions begin to die off. I first realized we had deer in the area last January. It snowed soon after we moved here. The deer left delicate tracks where they leaped our fence and walked from shrub to shrub. They range where they can in search of food.
November is Scorpio season. Things die. It also is the domain of Astronomical Samhain. The day the sun sits exactly halfway between Mabon and Yule falls this year on November 7, the day after the full moon. The moon herself sits in fertile Taurus, across the zodiac from the loose conjunction of the Scorpio Sun and lady Venus.
I decided to draw a couple cards to guide my thoughts for this full moon post. The Lady of Beasts and The Empress. The Taurus Moon speaks louder for me, then, than the Scorpio Sun.
Lady of Beasts is from the Goddess Oracle Deck, created by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and Hrana Janto. She is one of the earliest Goddesses, pictured pregnant and surrounded by pregnant animals, the moon waxing and waning above them. So many creatures become pregnant in the fall, then spend the leanest time of the year searching for food for themselves and for the new life they gestate. And the Empress, at least in the Robin Wood deck, sits secure and pregnant in a verdant landscape, smiling, spinning thread, a heart-shaped shield with Venus’s glyph behind her. I always associate her with the sign of Taurus, home of joyous Beltaine.
Those of us who garden know that the soil which nurtures seeds is made of the dead leaves of many years. I have been mixing the leaves which fell from our oaks and maples into the back yard’s hard clay soil in the hope that next spring, the earth will be soft and fertile enough for the flowers and herbs I hope to grow.
This full moon is a good time to reflect on the seeds planted last spring, and how we feel about them. What have we harvested? Did our endeavors flower, or did the fruit fall before it could ripen? What seeds would we save to plant next spring?
This year’s November 6 Taurus Full Moon falls the day before Astronomical Samhain. That’s the day the sun is exactly halfway between its stations of the Mabon Fall Equinox and Yule’s Winter Solstice. It’ s a good time to pause and reflect, again, on the turning of the year from light to dark. Many people find it a good time to listen for ancestral guidance, or to do divinatory work.
It also falls near coming conjunctions between Pluto and Mars, and Venus and Saturn. The energies of those conjunctions already are being felt.
And so we ask—what structures serve us, and those we love? To what will we commit our hearts, and how will we work for it? What relationships are working, and which should be allowed to die away? How will we fight for our deepest passions? What treasures are hidden in the depths of ourselves, if only we will struggle to bring them forth?
With what, then, are we pregnant? What life will we seed in ourselves and others? How will we serve our fertile Lady of Beasts, our smiling Empress? How will we listen for the heartbeat of new life as we walk upon a dormant Earth?
I will continue to work my creative projects, and apply myself anew to some classwork I began in May. Plant a new redbud to take the place of a white pine that died this past summer. And leave some gardening work undone. No need to trim all the shrubs. Green is beautiful against the snow. And it’s a tough season for my girls.