Cold Moon Ritual – Illuminating the Winter Night, December, 2018

cold moon

The thirteenth and final full moon of 2018 occurs on Saturday December 22nd, just one day after the Winter Solstice.  The solstice is December 21 at 4:23 p.m. CST and the Cold Moon occurs on December 22 at 11:49 a.m. CST. Despite the longest night of the year happening the day prior, the illumination from this full moon will keep the skies lit up until dawn.  The last time the Winter Solstice and Cold Moon happened less than a day apart was in 2010, and the next time will be 2029.

This ritual uses the cleansing flames from a naked fire for the clearing process. We encourage people to bring the things, or a symbol of those things that they wish to permanently release from their lives, to be consumed in the flames; this can include just about anything.  If something is too large, non-flammable, or a living being, then the participants can write them on paper and burn the paper symbolically.

You’ll need the following items:

Quarter Candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
Goddess Candle
Paper and pencil for each participant
Fire pit or cauldron suitable for safely burning small objects and paper
Altar – decorations for this cold moon can be seasonal greens (holly, ivy, mistletoe, pine boughs, etc.) or pure white to symbolize the illumination of the moon

Ritual Begins

Under this full moon light, a sacred sphere I do conjure, where time has no meaning and we are invisible!

Calling of the quarters

Invisible, unpredictable, and powerful beyond all human imagination are the mighty eastern winds; we feel your protecting presence in the prevailing winter winds and welcome your attendance in our circle this night.

Bright, beautiful and steady burning southern flames are a welcomed site as the cold settles in; we feel your eternal heat and guiding light drawing us into a comfortable peace and we welcome your presence in our circle this night.

Through night and day, and all of the seasons, the western waves never relent in their perfection; we bask in the relaxing power of water and welcome your visitation to our circle  on this night.

Our lives revolve around a great planetary harmony; one masterfully presented and ever evolving with the magical power of earth.  All things are provided as the great wheel turns. We humbly bid you welcome

Great Goddess, we stand before you in reverence and awe on this night of divine illumination.  We ask for your continued blessings and protection in all aspects of our lives.  As we take our places in the great circle of life, we know it is you who sits at the center; guiding us, teaching us, and providing for our needs; both the ones we can see and the ones we cannot.  We, who are worthy of your blessings, ask for your presence tonight in this circle.

Music – The Wolf and The Moon by BrunuhVille

Opening Statement

Tonight we once again gather together under the light of the full moon.  This full moon is known by many names across many cultures.  It’s commonly called the Cold Moon, also the Bitter Moon, the Big Winter Moon, the Oak Moon, or the Long Night Moon.  It’s a reminder that winter is here to stay for a long time and the warm days are but distant memories and we must focus on the realization that our days will be short and the nights long, cold, and dark.

Lesson of the Session – Illumination on the Darkest of Nights

The cold and lengthy darkness of winter can be difficult on many people; often allowing depression to surface unknowingly.  With several months of cold still ahead of us, we need to all remember to watch out for one another.  Darkness is but a temporary thing, while community is a way of life.  The more we care about one another, the stronger our community becomes.  We can share the magic of the outside world with one another and learn as we go.

Tonighr we are blessed with a bright moon despite being in the depths of winter.  To some, this great illumination is both meaningful and magical.  The light is precious and if we pay attention, we’ll see there is a valuable lesson shining in it’s illuminating halo.  It’s one that many people get wrong.  Although it’s true, “Even in the darkest of times, there is light in the universe,” the full moon on this dark night says more.

Ask yourself what true illumination means.  Notice that it shines strong and even on all things.  Look to the stones and to the flame; gaze upon the black branches and the dormant hedge.  They are all treated equal by the moonlight, are they not?  Does the magic hide when certain people walk beneath it?  Is one man more illuminated than his companion?  Will the words of one man be more convincing than those of another and draw sway upon the light?  Even a great Orator or decorated speaker cannot block the magic.

And yet in a landscape of true equality, so many only see the light for its brightness and allow the magic to pass them by.  So many lose sight of the benefits of nature, that they fail to teach them to the youth.  Sometimes when things are free, we fail to accurately value them.  Assuming everything of real value costs something is a fallacy.  Value, like the magic of illumination can mean different things to each of us, but only if we choose to seek the answer.


The cold moon is a great time to perform spells which need a little extra boost of power.  Magickal workings in this cycle include cleansing, travel, communication, writing projects, clearing the air, illuminating, grounding, and centering.

The Great Guardians of the South have provided us with this cauldron of cleansing flames to consume that which is old and no longer valid in our lives; by burning the remnants of things useless and without value, we should use these flames to strike them from our memories.

<Offer each person paper/pencil to write things down>

Each of you may come to the cauldron when you are ready to cast the unwanted from your life and create an open space to fill with things that have meaning.  As you burn each item, state the following, “I give up freely that which is no longer serving me”

<Once everyone has burned their items, have the group join hands and say the following>

We gather tonight by the light of this cold moon, we feel the chill of winter on our faces, we see the first signs that the ice and snow are taking hold.  The darkness is heavy and deep across the land, yet we refuse to surrender to the winter; instead we celebrate the season, and rejoice, for our bodies and minds are now cleansed and we are ready to fill those empty spaces with those things which strengthen our spirits and provide us with direction to grow and flourish.  May the next turn of the Wheel bring us love and compassion, abundance and prosperity, fertility and life – As the moon above, so the earth below.  So Mote it Be!

<Depending on your particular beliefs, you can either take this time to share cakes and ale among those gathered, pass a talking stick and share thoughts on the future, or you can skip it altogether and go right to the closing>

Closing the Circle

Immense and unmatched power of the earth; your gifts are too many to number and your abundance beyond comparison – we are honored by your attention to this circle.

Healing waters of life; leave us with the relaxing calm of the never-ending tides and the stillness of a mountain pond – we are blessed by your attendance in this circle.

Cleansing flames from the great fires; we’ve surrendered our unwanted to your fire so they’ll be transported far from us – we are thankful for your presence in our circle.

Invisible whispering winds; we feel your great power but also your soft caresses on our skin – we are humbled by your protective strength and offer you praises and thanks.

Great Goddess, as we prepare to face the challenges of the cold of winter, we offer you our gratitude; for your abundance, your guiding wisdom, your continued blessings, and your unconditional love.

This circle is open but never broken!


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