We are never alone We are all wolves Howling to the same moon. - Atticus -
The January full moon, the Full Wolf Moon, reaches its peak on January 28th, 2021, at 11:18 am (Pacific Standard Time), but the nights of January 27th and 28th will appear full and round, weather allowing. The Algonquin tribes called this first full moon of winter The Wolf Moon due to the packs of wolves which howled outside their villages during the freezing cold with snow deep on the ground.
One of my favorite sites for looking at moon names is Western Washington University. There is such diversity and beauty in the moon names of the Native American tribes. The Omaha tribe of the Central Plains, Nebraska, call this moon the “moon when snow drifts into tipis”. The Passamaquoddy of the Northeastern US call it the “whirling wind moon”. The Arapaho of the Great Plains call it “when snow blows like spirits in the wind”. Other names include the cold moon, the stay inside moon, the hard moon, and the big cold.
Ritual for the Full Wolf Moon
Doing a ritual, any ritual, during the full moon doesn’t mean that you are worshiping the full moon. It doesn’t make you a Pagan, or any other religion. Stopping and spending time with the full moon is more about making time for yourself with nature. It is an external calendar that reminds us to check in with ourselves, to ask where we are in the here and now, where we are going, what we want in our lives, and what we are ready to let go of.
Historically, women’s cycles synced with each other’s and with the tides of the moon; with fertile days responding to the full moon and the bleeding time with the dark of the moon. Women would gather in the dark of the moon, when their energy was the lowest, and share wisdom and stories. When you spend time with and reconnect with these cycles, you reconnect with your ancestral wisdom.
Generally, I think of the new moon as a time of growing ideas; your dreams grow with the filling of the moon. The full moon is a time of letting go, releasing, and letting go as the moon wanes. However, on the first moon of the year, the Wolf Moon, ask yourself what you want to work towards this year. It’s not a resolution, but rather, what would you like to put your energy towards.
Some rituals for this first moon of the year may include spending time writing in a journal, and exploring what you are letting go of from 2020 and what you wish to grow in 2021. Another idea is to create a vision board of images, drawings, and words that you wish to bring with you into this year.
Let go of what is no longer serving you.
You can write the things you wish to let go of on bay leaves or slips of paper and burn them in a fireplace, bonfire, or fire pit. Imagine the things you are letting go of disappearing with the smoke. This is your ritual, whatever you choose to do, make it yours. A lovely article on how to create your own ritual can be found here.
Wolves, A Poem The moon is full and the pack is howling. They’re on the hunt and the leader’s growling. They look so graceful in the night As if they were getting ready for flight. In the den the pups are playing Some are romping and some are laying. In the wild they look so free, I feel like wolves are a part of me. They flee so fast like a flash of light, They look so bright In the moonlight. The pack does well, They bring back meat, All of the pups get enough to eat. As long as there are wolves living in the wood All is well and all is good. - Sophia McMurray- -age 9- (This poem is dedicated to Eve. The wolf that the author adopted from Wolf Haven.)