The first full moon after Yule is called the Wolf Moon. It is also called the Cold Moon, The Chaste Moon and The Disting Moon, The Birch Moon of the Druids as well as The Moon of Little Winter, The Quiet Moon, and The Snow Moon.
I was initiated into a deep tradition on this moon many years ago. It was one of the most amazing things I had experienced. Asked to fast for many days before and then stripped and laid naked and blindfolded in a cold dark basement for what felt like forever I was taken and blessed and called a new name and introduced to a wonderful Goddess I adore to this day.
It was also the eve of Imbolc that year! What a powerful day that was.
Imbolc is coming up at the end of the month this year. I will write about that closer to that date.
A Ritual for the Wolf Moon:
Wolf Moon, coming as it does in the darkest and coldest part of the year in the Northern hemisphere, is associated with hibernation, fire, ancestors, and family.
I love to super bundle up and get outside if it’s not snowing or raining and just let the ice-cold air and the cold silver light of the glorious moon shine down upon me. It’s a great moon for cleansing yourself, your mind, your intentions and to start a new path. The first full moon of the new year is a perfect time to have spells working for you to clarify your intentions and goals. As always, I say to take a ritual bath or spend a few hours concentrating on removing all built up psychic and physical debris you might have accumulated.
This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual. Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities.
January is also a great time to work on full moon magic — after all, the nights are long and dark, and in some areas, the moon itself is the only source of light.
You can, of course, stay inside if it’s too cold or very bad weather. I like to make sure I am comfortable to do magic.
How do we do a Full Moon Ritual?
Well, that’s a great question. People all over the globe do things differently and Wicca is not the only path many follow. The ideas for full moons are as diverse as the people doing them. Generally, it is a time of amassing energy and communion with the Gods. It is a time to ask for what you want to have and to be free in the moon’s light.
Many people like to be Skyclad, which means being naked in ritual but that is not at all necessary. I will say that from my experience it feels more powerful and lets the energy raised fill your body a little faster if there are no clothes in the way. It’s very symbolic also we appear naked in front of the Goddess and God to honor them and to appeal to them for what we need.
That said, you don’t have to honor Gods if you don’t want to. I have been in rituals where just the moon itself was called upon and they were quite powerful.
If you want to have a deity in your circle, then I suggest you try to keep them within the same Pantheon and that the energies they share are compatible. For example, if you are doing a Greek-based ritual perhaps Artemis the Goddess of the Moon is called on and her Brother Apollo the Sun God. Perhaps you prefer Isis and Osiris from the Egyptian Pantheon or Cerridwen of the Celtic or others like Diana or Cassandra. It’s up to you. I always say that it should be reflecting your own heritage if it can be. I find that is most powerful.
So, now take some time and decide what it is that you want? What do you want to work towards? Being that it is a full moon in January and a cold month filled with new plans for the new year and that this moon is in Cancer where the MOON is exalted the energies will be very high. It is the moon’s home sign as she rules Cancer. Cancer represents the home, the mother, the safety of one’s place to live and what is in it. It might be a good time, with the combination of the sun in Capricorn and the moon in Cancer to get organized at home. Once you have decided what you are working towards be sure to have all written out and organized. Purchase all needed and gather all herbs, candles or other things you will need. Write out very specifically what you want. Be sure to keep that handy.
Now that you have decided on your intentions and you have cleansed yourself and are ready to proceed what’s next?
Set up your Altar!
This can be any sort of a table, something beautiful and ornate, something simple or just a box or rock to put things on.
You can place pictures, statues or even just symbols of your deities on the altar. The God on the right of the altar facing you (if you are using one) and the Goddess symbol on the left.
You need some things to represent the elements. The four elements of life. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
For Earth, you can use things like Salt or Rocks or Crystals. In the North of the Altar.
For Air, you can use a feather or incense or even a picture of a bird. In the East of the Altar.
For Fire, you can use a candle or just a symbol of fire like a sun or a volcano. In the South of the Altar.
For Water, you can use a bowl of water or even a picture of water. In the West of the Altar.
This all depends on you and your tradition. In British Traditional Witchcraft you will find specific things used and the same would go for any other tradition. Please look up what you are interested in pursuing and follow that idea for yourself. You do not need to be initiated to do a ritual to the moon.
Next, I usually suggest people ground themselves with a few minutes of visualization and breathing. Sometimes I use tuning forks or singing bowls to cleanse and ground and sometimes I use a good anointing oil I have created based on the time of year and workings. These I make for myself and my clients to order. Ask if you are interested. email@example.com
Many like to take time at this point to cleanse and empower the elements and light candles and incense.
Cast a circle if you will, and ask your gods to be with you, and watch over you under the moon. If you like to use a wand, then one of Birch Wood is the perfect one to use. You can use a knife or just your finger. Listen to my podcast on Spotify under the name the White Witch to hear a basic idea of how to cast a circle of protection. It is a good idea to do this, especially if you are new to this work. Sometimes a huge amount of energy can come in and …sometimes entities you don’t want to be involved in your work. A circle protects you.
Call in the Quarters and the elements that correspond to them now. This is done by facing the direction of the Quarters. There are specific ways to do this. Look for more of my articles and Podcasts to explain or search around to find something that appeals to you. What you are really doing is inviting the energies of the elements to join your circle.
North for Earth.
East for Air.
South for Fire.
West for Water.
It’s a very good idea to be sure of the directions you are facing and working with. There are pretty good compass apps for phones. Speaking of phones, YOU SHOULD NEVER have a phone in the circle. It will draw in all your energy. The same goes for watches and other electronic devices. If you want music have it either played live in the circle or outside of it.
Now it time to call in the God and Goddess you have chosen to work with. Take time to write all this up including the calling in of the elements beforehand.
Once you feel the energy enters the circle welcome them.
Now its time to sit with that energy, ask for what you need, empower all spells with the elements on the altar and ask for the God and Goddess to fill your workings with energy.
Many like to meditate for a while or do a chant at this time.
After some energy is raised by dancing or chanting or just clapping the energy is then sent to the workings.
It’s great to have some good cakes and ale or just cookies and juice to eat at this time. It will help to ground you and the energy. More on that at other times!
Time to thank the God and Goddess and let them leave the circle.
Then release or thank the quarters/elements. Be sure you feel them go no one wants the residuals lingering around them. Take your time.
Release the circle. There are many ways to do this and I will write more on it in the future. The point is to take back the energy you raised to protect yourself and your ritual back into yourself.
That’s it! ]
I hope this helps you have a nice time and an easy introduction or a skeleton to work with for yourself.
Below are some incense recipes I use and some tables of elements, stones, and energies to work with for the Wolf Moon!
Wolf Moon Incense 1 (simple) — use all or any of:
* 1 teaspoon crushed, dried birch leaf — (ruling Ogham tree of the Wolf Moon — purity and new beginnings)
* ½ teaspoon dried rosemary — (health and love)
* ½ teaspoon dried lavender — (happiness and peace)
Wolf Moon Incense 2 — blend, crush or powder together:
* 1 teaspoon frankincense — (protection, spirituality)
* 1 teaspoon birch leaf — ( ruling Ogham tree of the Wolf Moon — purity and new beginnings)
* pinch of powdered sandalwood or two drops of pure sandalwood oil — (health, positive energies)
* ½ teaspoon dried rosemary — (health and love)
* 6 dried juniper berries — (health, fire, and warmth)
Herbs: marjoram, holy thistle, nuts, cones
Colors: brilliant white, blue-violet, black
Flowers: snowdrop, crocus
Scents: Musk, mimosa
Stones: garnet, onyx, jet, chrysoprase
Animals: fox, coyote
Birds: pheasant, blue jay
Power Flow: sluggish, below the surface; beginning and conceiving. Protection, reversing spells. Conserving energy by January, the nights are long and dark, and many of us are trying to stay warm under a blanket of snow as the Cold Moon approaches (in some cultures, the Cold Moon is the name given to December’s moon, instead). Some of the native tribes of North America called this time the Wolf Moon, because this was when the wolves were howling, hungry, outside lodges where people stayed warm within.
Colors: Black and white, silver
Trees: Birch, Hazel
Gods: Inanna, Freyja
Herbs: Thistle, nuts and seeds, marjoram
As always if you are interested in private study with me or having a spell or other materials created for you get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Readings can be done in NYC in person or on Skype anywhere in the world.