Moon-gazing: The Mourning Moon

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The Darkest Depths Moon or Mourning Moon and also the Moon before Yule

Consider the leaf piles and the broken branches that accumulate after the first winter storms. These dead plants may benefit creatures that we cannot see and will decay and disappear from sight. There will be transformation. By bacteria, mushrooms, worms, mosses, by time … they are no longer ours. We can let go of our own purposes.

  • The Mourning Full Moon is on Monday 27 November at 9:16 am GMT.

In this blog, I use a UK time zone: GMT as this is where the Earth Pathways Diary is rooted in the Earth.

Celebrating the Darkest Depths Full Moon

In the Northern hemisphere days are now so short that we have to plan outdoor activities with care if we want to use the light. Though the Full Moon gives us light in the evening after sunset and the morning before dawn. Wrap warmly and go outside alone or gather with others to celebrate what is lost and make room for new feelings, new experiences and maybe even new plans. Between now and the Winter Solstice we can envisage the creation of our new priorities.

Gardening by the Moon phases

Gardening by the moon for the coming lunar month

Full Moon Third Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon
27 Nov 9:16 am 5 Dec 5:49 am 12 Dec 11:32 pm 19 Dec 6:39 pm 27 Dec 00:33 am


On the day of the Full Moon: Monday 27 Nov

Where you still have plants or indoor plants, harvest all parts of the plant that are above ground as this delivers optimum flavour. It also delivers maximum potency for healing herbs and teas.

Waning Moon Full Moon to the Third Quarter: 28 Nov to Tuesday 5 Dec

Root growth is favoured in the week after the Full Moon. This is good for planting perennial plants that need to be well rooted, for dividing bulbs and planting bulbs, and for transplanting plants if the soil is not yet hard.

Waning Moon Third Quarter to the New Moon: 6 Dec to Tuesday 12 Dec

This is considered a resting period for plants, for slow growth.

Harvest below-ground crops now if you plan to store them as they will last better. Gather in any remaining root and bulb crops.

Prune plants that should re-grow slowly like hedges or lawns and leave fallen branches and leaf litter for small animals and insects. This is the best time to clear weeds that are outcompeting your preferred plants. Mulch everything.

Waxing Moon New Moon to the First Quarter: 13 Dec to Tuesday 19 Dec

From the remaining plants, harvest parts of the plant that are above ground - especially if you intend to preserve it in any way. You can sow plants indoors - those that produce fruit above ground - try out baby leaf plants that you can grow under cover and sow leaf plants that will overwinter including cereals, grains, and flowers. Sow green manure crops that are intended to provide ground protection.

Prune vines and trees to increase fruiting.

Waxing Moon First Quarter to the Full Moon: 20 Dec to Wednesday 27 Dec

If you have a way to place seeds that will not be very wet, sow and plant plants that will fruit above ground and overwinter in your area. This includes flowers.

Grafting takes best in the two days before the Full Moon.

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