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The Mourning Moon of November: A Poetic Ritual of Grief and Letting Go

Written by Tara Coumoundouros


Posted on November 16 2021

The Mourning Moon of November

A Poetic Ritual of Grief and Letting Go

Leaves flutter to the ground,

 blanketing it in the warmth of grief.

An ode to another life,

another year lived well.

Empty fields a plundered grown thick,

 decaying neath the moon of thunder.

As the darkness enshrouds us we light candles and fires to illuminate our way through the long nights as we sing hymns to our kith and kin, bawdy tales of glory and heroics of our bloodlines within.  The candles they flicker all over our house to stave off the coming dark but come it must.  Brisk cool winds begin to blow.  How comfortable can you be in a quiet home?  Can you sit with reverence as the pulse begins to slow? 


Modern humans and Americans most notably are notorious for shunning rest but this is the season to create our hibernation nest.   Embracing that touch of grief, that sadness that seems to creep.  Exploring our depths and healing our souls with sips of hot brandy as we curl up at home.  What are your vices and why are they so?  Journals are great to let it all flow.  Exploring within.  Be sad, be etheric, be quiet in the dark be all the things that you can’t be in the light.  Eat your grief and spit it out so that it does not consume you.

As a society we are told that grief is messy and ugly.  We must be happy always and when the seasonal affective disorders kick-in we reach for medications, for parties, for alcohol and for lights to mask it.  We know that we often lose our aging and dying loved ones in these coming long winter months and as the wheel of the year spins we lose the symbolic son/sun god and his glittering strength and illumination.  Let us not be afraid of the dark, not be afraid of the solitude and not be afraid of the letting go.  Death is always followed by new life.  Fear not for the time is nye for his rebirth, but until then we dress in black and we light our torches.  The veil is thin, primed closely to the day of ancestral reverence and the dead.  Whisper to those who have gone before.  Their reassurance can be felt.  The burdens that we carry are not our own.  We are breaking generational curses and it begins at home.  We must peak our own shadows to glimpse the crosses that we bear.

The Ritual
  1. burning bowl or fireplace
  2. black center altar candle
  3. blank papers and a black pen
  4. bones either ones you’ve purchased from Halloween décor or actual bones if you have access to them, black clothing, skulls and other death image items that feel appropriate.

Prepare to play the digital download recording if you choose:




Ritual:   please begin to decorate your center altar.  This can be done either indoors or outdoors if you have a place of solitude.  I prefer to do shadow rituals alongside my lit burning fireplace.  Place the lit black candle in the center, the death image items, bones, skulls etc. around ceremoniously.  Have your paper and pen handy and press play on the recording. 


Cast a circle (please see my free How to Call a Circle on Spotify if you’re unfamiliar) calling in ancestors to help you shoulder the horcrux that is your generational/inherited shadows:


Press play on the ritual audio.  Move your body, especially dancing or swaying movements. Don’t worry if it takes on a bit of rebellion or differs from my words when your trance intuition takes over.

Or if you’d rather not follow along let all of the things that you think your family has been carrying spill and on to the paper as you move your body.  Think curses, afflictions, shame, guilt, food insecurity and the like…

Press play now on the digital download now.  I will see you on the other side.

“She buried those old bones

amongst the moss and stones

laid to rest an old dress

that long had she outgrown.”


All of the blessings be to you, you’ve shed that skin that you out grew, blackened bones and tawny sinew, stripped away to begin a new.  May you resurrect in wholesome holy forms.

Feel free to spread the cooled down ashes into the wind.

Much love,