The Full Wolf Moon

A wolf original drawing in blues and white with bright yellow eyes. A moon sit over the wolf's head. Original drawing by Anna Loscotoff, 2021.
We are never alone
We are all wolves
Howling to the same moon.

 - Atticus -

The January full moon, the Full Wolf Moon, reaches it’s peak on January 28th 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 through the 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.

Digital drawing by Blu on Instagram at blu.s_drawing.s
My daughter’s interpretation of January’s Full Cold Moon. You can find more of her art on Instagram at blu.s_drawing.s

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, woman’s cycles synced with each others’ 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 at 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, 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.

A wolf original drawing in blues and white with bright yellow eyes. A moon sit over the wolf's head. Original drawing by Anna Loscotoff, 2021.
The Wolf Moon, by Anna Loscotoff, 2021
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.)

Links

Nasa, the Full Wolf Moon

Western Washington University – Native American Moons

Significance of the Wolf Moon

Why You Should Try a Full Moon Ritual

January: Full Wolf Moon Ritual

How to Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual

Wolves, A Poem

My Most Important Blog – About Me

More of Blu’s art on Instagram

The Full Cold Moon

Native Americans named the moons to track the passage of time. The Full Cold moon, or “tsothohrha” (time of cold), comes from the Mohawk tribe (the most easterly tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy, southeastern Canada and northern New York). This is the final moon of the year and the one in which we have finally moved into the coldest weather patterns. Other names for this moon include “rvfo-rakko”, big winter (the Creek Tribes of Georgia), “wahi mua”, evergreen moon (the Comanche Tribes of the Southern Plains), her winter houses moon (the Wishram, the Columbia River of Washington and Oregon), and my personal favorite, “ik’ohbu yachunne”, sun has traveled home to rest (the Zuni Tribes of New Mexico).

My daughter’s art, she reminds me of an Evergreen Goddess, the Full Cold, or Full Evergreen Moon. @blu.s_drawing.s on Instagram.

The “sun traveling home to rest moon” refers to solstice, which generally falls on December 20th or the 21st. The Mohican called this moon The Long Night Moon because of how it sits closest to winter solstice; with the nights at their longest, the days at their shortest, and the moon sitting high and long in the cold sky.

The Full Cold Moon hits it’s peak tonight, December 29th, at 7:28 pm (Pacific).

The Full Cold Moon, one night before her peak, December 28, 2020.
 Winter Moon

 Brightly the moon like a jewel is beaming,
 White in the east, o'er a lone landscape gleaming,
 Over the meadows and over the snow, 
 Glimmering, shimmering, silvery glow.
 Low in the east, when the gloaming is ending,
 Slowly this white winter moon is ascending, 
 Looming so large and appearing so nigh,
 Satellite framed by a star-spangled sky.
 High in the sky, with soft radiance teeming,
 Nigh to the time when men, women, are dreaming,
 Weird is her splendor on valley and hill,
 Cold is her gleam upon river and rill.  
 Brightly the moon like a heel is shining,
 White in the west she is slowly declining;
 Beautiful Moon!  Which beams gorgeous and grand
 Over the homes of our own Native Land.
 
-Charles Nevers Holmes-

Links

Native American Moon Names – Western Washington University

Yule and the Solstice – Welcoming the Return of the Light

The Cold Moon – Old Farmer’s Almanac

Winter Moon Poem

Blu.s_drawing.s

The Full Beaver Moon and Penumbral Eclipse

Drawing of the Beaver moon, a brown beaver swimming with a branch through a pond, but the pond is also the moon. Art by Anna Loscotoff, 2020

Castor Canadensis

Safely back in the lodge

Living room you share

A lunch of bark

Golden sharp teeth peeling it skillfully

From the young branch

Before grinding it between your molars

Later that now naked limb will be carefully

Added in to the new structure

Your beaver family has begun work on

Andrea Schwenke Wyile

As I sat outside this Thanksgiving, keeping social distance while still enjoying a small gathering of family, I watched as the V formation of geese flew overhead, honking as they make their way south on their winter migration. The geese remind us of the transition of seasons, always having their own clocks, their own maps, oftentimes using the light of the moon to guide them on their way.  

November’s moon is called the Full Beaver moon.  The beaver is settling down, not for hibernation, but storing food for a long winter within their lodges.  Lack of food in winter, as well as frozen lakes and ponds, force the beaver to prepare.  Their pelts are also at their thickest and most luxurious, making this time of year optimal for hunters.  

November’s full moon is also called the Geese Going Moon (as we watch them fly over in their formations), the Frost Moon, the Freezing Moon, and sometimes the Digging (or Scratching) Moon, as animals are scratching through the fallen leaves, trying to find the last bits of growth before winter.  

The moon will hit her fullest at 1:30 in the AM on the morning of November 30th.  Watch for her the night of November 29th, as she will be on the cusp of her peak.

Not living in an area with beaver, but connecting so deeply with birds, I think Geese Going Moon resonates with me the most deeply. Which of the moon names do you relate to?

Two sounds of Autumn are unmistakable…

The hurrying rustle of crisp leaves

Blown along the street…

By a gusty wind

And the gabble of a flock

Of migrating geese.

– Hal Borland – 

A moon nearing the full rises behind the red leaves of a fall tree.  Photo by Anna Loscotoff, Nov 2020
The moon, near the full, rises behind the changing colors of a tree in Autumn. Photo by Anna Loscotoff, 2020

The Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse’s are not what we imagine when we hear the word eclipse, their isn’t the dramatic disappearance of the moon, the way we often think of a full solar eclipse.  The moon doesn’t change to deep red, the way it will in a total lunar eclipse.  What you will see, however, is what appears to be a slight shadow on the upper rim of the moon.  There may be a slight change in color, depending on weather, from grey to brown or even a yellow hue.  

The penumbral eclipse will last for just over 4 hours on the morning of November 30th, however the best time to see it is within a 40 minute window, from around 1:24 am (PST) until 2:04 am, with the peak of eclipse falling around 1:44 in the am.

If you stay up to watch the eclipse, I’d love to know what it looked like for you.  We’re you able to see earth’s shadow? What colors did you see?

Links

About the American Beaver

Busy beavers plan ahead for long cold winter

Castor Canadensis Poem

How do geese know to fly south for the winter?

Lunar eclipses: What are they & when is the next one?

Look for November’s Full Beaver Moon

A Beaver Full Moon lunar eclipse occurs Monday. Here’s what to expect

November’s Beaver Full Moon 2020: See a lunar eclipse and a near-minimoon

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Ritual of the Full Moon

I think of the full moon as a time of letting go.  As the moon loses her roundness, so we release the things that no longer serve us.  

  • Think about the things that are no longer serving you, the things that are hurting you, the things you no longer need in your life.
  • Write the things you wish to let go on small slips of paper or bay leaves.
  • Using a fire safe bowl in a fire safe space, a fire pit, a fireplace, burn these things that you wish to release.  
  • Watch the flame, thinking about these weights being released from you. 
  • When the fire has been extinguished, your thoughts burned, reground with a bit of chocolate, or in honor of the Harvest Moon, hot cider, cinnamon, or tree nuts. 

The Hunter’s Blue Moon

Original mandala drawing of a woman, Artemis, standing in front of a full yellow moon. She has long red hair and pulls an arrow to her bow. Art by Anna Loscotoff.

The way she shines as she peeks over the mountain to the East.  A pine silhouetted. Her light fills the sky.  The huntress with her bow moves slowly, silently, as she prepares the hunt for winter.

This October, we are given two full moons.  The first, The Harvest Moon, reached peak on October 1st.  The second arrives on Halloween.  This moon, the Hunter’s Moon, will reach it’s peak at 7:49 (pacific) in the A.M, giving us two nights of very full moon rises. Because the Hunter’s Moon is the second in October, it is also a “Blue Moon”.  This is the first Halloween full moon for all US time zones since 1944.

As the Harvest Moon gives us extra light to harvest, the Hunter’s Moon gives light to the Hunters, preparing their store  for winter.  Harvesting opened the fields and allowed hunters to see the animals which came to graze on the remnants of the harvest.  It also allowed light to see the predators; the coyotes and foxes and wolves. The Hunter’s Moon has been know as “The Blood Moon”, whether from the blood of animals or the turning of the seasons, as the leaves become red. 

There is some mixing of information this year, as 2020 brings us 13 moons.  Traditionally, the Harvest Moon falls in September. If you search many sites, that is exactly what you will see. However, both the Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s moon are based upon the date of the Autumn Equinox.  

A mandala full moon, drawn on black paper in blue and white.  Original art by Anna Loscotoff.
The blue moon, shown in a drawing on black paper with colored pencils. Original art by Anna Loscotoff, © 2020

Traditionally, the Harvest Moon is the full moon which is nearest to the equinox.  The equinox this year fell on September 22nd with the September moon reaching it’s peak on September 2nd.  The following moon reached her peak on October 1st, giving her the designation of “The Harvest Moon”.  The moon following Harvest is always “The Hunter’s Moon”.  Because of the way the calendar fell, the September full moon this year was titled “The Corn Moon”. 

The Hunter Moon is also the farthest moon from the earth this year. The moon has an oval orbit around the earth which brings it closer (a supermoon) and farther (a minimoon). Despite being further, it will not seem smaller.  And even though it is called “A Blue Moon”, it will not be blue. 

A Prayer to Artemis

Goddess of the Hunt, the Wilderness, The Moon, Wild Animals, and Chastity

Artemis, huntress of the moon, make my aim true.

Give me goals to seek and the constant determination to achieve them.

Grant me communion with nature, allow me to live surrounded by plants and animals

that I can grow, protect and nurture.

Allow me the strength and wisdom to be my own mistress,

not defined by the expectations of others.

And sustain my sexuality to be as yours — wild and free as nature itself.

Ritual of the Full Moon

I think of the full moon as a time of letting go.  As the moon loses her roundness, so we release the things that no longer serve us.  

  • Think about the things that are no longer serving you, the things that are hurting you, the things you no longer need in your life.
  • Write the things you wish to let go on small slips of paper or bay leaves.
  • Using a fire safe bowl in a fire safe space, a fire pit, a fireplace, burn these things that you wish to release.  
  • Watch the flame, thinking about these weights being released from you. 
  • When the fire has been extinguished, your thoughts burned, reground with a bit of chocolate, or in honor of the Harvest Moon, hot cider, cinnamon, or tree nuts. 

Links

A list of Hunting Dieties

About Artemis

Farmer’s Almanac Full Moon’s of October 2020

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