The Hunt For This October's Costume

This October, we celebrate the Hunter's Moon. It is named that because it takes place after the Harvest Moon. Agriculture had been mostly harvested and so our ancestors looked to hunt animals, fattened for the winter themselves, by the light of the Moon. In the previous New Moon ritual, I encouraged you to become a joy detective or 'hunter' by forgoing pop-psychology "shadow work" and looking instead to joy. By writing down what it would mean to "only do joy" under the New Moon, we were able to see that you don't need to go to the "shadows" or do trauma work to uncover limiting beliefs. The voice of the critic is loudest when we do "light work." By confining the critic's voice to the margins of the page, then cutting it out and burning it, we initiated the hunt for greater peace. If you were able to participate in the New Moon ritual, were you able to review your "only do joy" manifest? How did it feel? Did you notice any shifts in your day-to-day experiences as a joy detective? The Full Moon is when we release our intentions to the divine. Whether you were able to participate in the New Moon ritual or not, if you reviewed your manifestation or not, you can still lift up the dream you are working towards tonight, and ask the divine to work on your behalf.

For me, Halloween costumes have always been a source of joy. I remember breaking my arm one year on Halloween afternoon and going from the ER into my costume and then trick-or-treating. I was determined at 12 never to miss a year of dressing up and I never have! I know that for many people, choosing a Halloween costume is actually a source of stress and anxiety. I designed this ritual to help you get in touch with the transformational magic that Halloween makes possible- even if you decide not to dress up! I wrote a little about my theory on Halloween costumes last year, and I want to expand on it today and see if the Hunter's Moon can help inspire you to get in touch with the part of yourself that the critic would prefer you to silence. Halloween is a day when the forbidden is permission without consequences. Don an orange jumpsuit knowing that come November 1st, you will be free. Take a cardboard box, paint it silver, and become an invincible knight of the round table. Women can fearlessly throw off the unspoken rules of dress and reverse the power dynamics of sex by dressing as salaciously as imaginable, knowing that they will be safe from speculation, rumor, shame, ridicule, and obligation. Men can abandon the pervasive limitations of toxic masculinity to become teddy bears without embarrassment, or warriors without violence. Halloween is the day that the jester rules the castle.

Halloween can provide a waking dream state. Our dreams are communications from our unconscious, helping us play out what we cannot do in real life. The purpose of our dreams is to help us process our feelings, hopes, and fears. In the New Moon exercise, it became clear that we have some fears around embracing joy. I'm inviting you to play with those feelings in the waking safety of a Halloween costume. I hope that this Full Moon exercise can help those of you who don't normally enjoy costuming and those of you who can't live without it equally. You certainly don't have to dress up at all or dress up as your imagined character, but I can tell you that for me, dressing up with an intention to invite transformation and growth has worked. At a moment when I wanted to feel glamorous safe and powerful, I was Marie Antoinette.

In recovering from divorce, I became the phoenix and then a raven, and finally a peacock. There were a lot of birds those years! This year, I want to expand my experience of feeling like a powerful healer and so I plan to be a white witch.

There were a lot of birds those years!

This year, I want to expand my experience of feeling like a powerful healer and so I plan to be a white witch. If your costume is already planned out, use this exercise to investigate if your wise unconscious mind had a hand in its choosing. You can always imbibe whatever you decide to dress as with intention and magic!


TO BEGIN All you need is a pen and paper.

If you can, try to get outside and see the Moonrise. If it is cloudy or too cold, you can stay indoors near a window, and light a candle. If you have your joy manifest, reread it. Does your critic still want to invite you into negativity? That's okay, just notice. As you settle in, close your eyes, take a few meditative deep breaths and begin to see yourself as if a character in a movie. Observe yourself over the last two weeks, as if you were in an Imax theater. What are the descriptive titles or roles that would be in the script for your life? For me, I've been a daughter, a friend, a dog mom, and a business owner. Every day I am a cook, a cleaner, a driver, a gardener, a diabetic, and someone who gets dressed. In my professional life, I have been a housecleaner, a hostess, a saleswoman, a comedian, and a tarot reader.

Next, what feelings does the character go through in this movie? Love, romance, exhaustion, anger, joy, fear? What does the character want to feel, but can't seem to access? Safety, acceptance, strength, adoration? Remember you are just observing with no judgment or attachment. Next, what are some things this character is afraid of being? These may have come from the critic. For example, destitute, ugly, alone, sick, imprisoned, vulnerable, greedy, weak, or objectified. What are some of this character's fantasies? Maybe these are on your joy manifest. You can start small, like having more time, creativity, money, sex, status, or freedom. When you have written all this down, come back to the breath and review. Did your critic try to take a front seat in this exercise? Maybe just reading these instructions is kicking up resistance? Remember that you are exercising your creativity and you can't get it right or wrong.

Next, take the feeling your character longs for but can't access and see if it aligns with a fear or a fantasy. Then, blow up that fear or fantasy until it is in Imax proportion. What would be the biggest exaggeration and expression of that feeling? World-fame, immortality, magic powers, superhuman skills, invisibility? Is there an animal that embodies those fantasies? What is the ugliest, weakest, or most unlovable thing you can imagine? Gollum, the Ghost of Christmas Past, Beetlejuice a zombie?

Finally, go ahead and 'dress up' your everyday titles in these exaggerated expressions. For example, if your movie character is a busy mother who wants more time and greater freedom, but is afraid that taking time for herself would be greedy, imagine costuming that character in either the most liberated or greedy outfit you can. Feel free to pull from history or myth. In thinking of freedom, I think of a bird. For greed, The Queen of Hearts comes to mind. Perhaps a feathered queen from your imagination would embody both extremes. Perhaps you are professionally successful, but your intimacy is limited by a fear of vulnerability, sadness, or being perceived as lazy or weak. The avatar for you might be the Cowardly Lion, an emo musician, or the strongest most burdened man in the world, Atlas. What could you do to blow up the fear into such a huge exaggeration that it could only seem outrageous, and then step into that role? When we put our fantasies and fears outside of reality, we can look at them more objectively. The feeling that you long to inhabit can be accessed through an avatar of your creation. When you've written down your ideas, go ahead and return to the breath. Close your eyes and drop into your body. Ask the divine to illuminate for you how you can continue to be a hunter for joy and inspiration. Verbally commit to doing everything in your power to pay attention and receive joy and inspiration. Before you go to sleep, place your creative moon work underneath your pillow and ask to receive any more information from your subconscious dream life on what it would like you to face and embrace, especially for Halloween. Be prepared to write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. I am wishing you love and laughter, strength, and pumpkin-spiced everything!

xoxo Meredyth