Full Cold Moon 2020 – Setting Your Intentions for 2021


The final full moon of 2020, the full cold moon, will have a high trajectory across the night sky and will be glorious to watch as it sits above the horizon for longer than usual.  It will reach peak illumination on December 29, 2020, at 8:30 P.M. MST.

Our ritual tonight will serve as the last, great, epic opportunity for cleansing and clearing all the noise and negativity of 2020, and before the traditional celebration of New Year’s Day in America.  Even though it is frigid cold across much of the country, bundle up and do this ritual outside with a roaring bonfire, if possible.  We all know that fire is the best cleanser.  Everyone is encouraged to bring anything they wish to permanently part with and burn it as part of the ceremony.  This can include objects, hair, fingernail clippings, personal items that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands, magickal items that are no longer useful, items that are associated with people no long in your circle, or alternatively you can write things down on paper and burn them.

What is important in this ritual, as it is in every ritual, is intention.  Intention is not a wish nor is it a demand.  It is a keenly focused desire expressed through thoughts, words or images.  It is the gathering of your inner strength, wisdom, and power to bring about a desired result.  When applied to cleansing, it can be looked at as a pact you make with yourself; a no-turning-back decision to permanently rid yourself of things or people which are holding you back in any way, shape or form.

full cold moon

You’ll need the following items:

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

Full Cold Moon Ritual Begins

Winter night and full moon light, with open hearts and knowing sight, we gather round to cleanse our souls, break the bonds of all controls, at this time and in this place, I conjure now a sacred space!

Calling of the Quarters

The Eastern wind brings a constant reminder of the power of AIR – Unseen, and yet powerful enough to lift objects, fell trees, and create chaos and mayhem, but also benevolent and mysterious. Surround our circle as we prepare to burn away that which no longer serves us, so that when the time is right, the past will be blown away for all eternity.  <light yellow candle>

The Southern flames demonstrate the power of FIRE – The great lesson of duality cannot be understated, for that which can destroy can also be a tool for creation and that which brings a great light can also lead to a miserable darkness.  We seek cleansing and clearing on this night and call upon the fire to participate. <light red candle>

Icy Western waves crash upon the shores and the magnificent power of WATER is continuously revealed – We could watch for an entire lifetime and the tides would continue on schedule whether it be the cold of winter or a pleasant summer day.  All around the many forms of water connect with our lives to nourish us, but also to teach us that change happens, and it is up to us to adapt to it. <light blue candle>

The great Northern collection of sand, stone, foliage, and living beings demonstrate the true power of EARTH.  Life springs forth from every region and in every climate and although it may not be evident at first, everything we need to survive is provided to us.  <light green candle>


Great Goddess, 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. <light Goddess candle>

Introduction – 2020 Full Cold Moon Ritual

Welcome one and all.  Tonight, we gather under the light of the full cold moon and in the full cold of winter.  Even though the longest night has passed, we’ll still be feeling winter’s grasp for several months.  Tonight, we celebrate for the final full moon of 2020 has arrived.  The weather paints an obvious picture on why we call the December moon the cold moon, but that isn’t the only name used. It is also called the Bitter Moon, the Big Winter Moon, the Oak Moon, or the Long Night Moon.  Each name different, but each also a reminder that winter is still here and won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Musical Interlude

Each time we gather, we use music to set the mood.  Our eyes can see that changing seasons, and we smell the scents of new growth in the air.  Our hands can touch the melting snow and the budding shoot, and we can taste the first berries and seeds.  But before we see the coming of spring, we must first complete this season of winter.  On this cold moon night, we choose to listen to Soul Healing Music – Full Moon Activation.  It’s a little longer than usual, but so beautiful and mesmerizing, that you’ll find the minutes slipping by while you are immersed in a trance-like moment in time.

Setting Your Intentions

As we briefly touched on in the introduction to this ritual, an intention is not a wish nor is it a demand.  It is a keenly focused desire expressed through thoughts, words or images.  It is the gathering of your inner strength, wisdom, and power to bring about a desired result.  It is the aim which ultimately guides your actions.  It is you, as the individual, taking charge of your own energy flow to ultimately gain that which you desire.  If you are casting a spell, intention is what makes the difference between success and failure.  Likewise, if you desire to make a change to your life, intention will be the driving force to ensure that change happens.

At this point, many outside observers will see the opportunity to cast doubt on the process.  Novice spellcasters or people new to the metaphysical world will often talk about things not working for them and look for blame.  Unfortunately, many of them abandon their newly discovered path for something different because of early misfires.  When in fact, they probably weren’t specific enough or not yet fully comfortable with their own abilities and allowed doubt to creep in.

Intentions are found within and with some practice, can be put to work just like any other energy source, to benefit each individual.  What is really important, is to trust your instincts and believe in yourself so much, that you cannot fail.  Look at yourself; I mean really look inward and see the good, the bad, and the vague.  Identify your gifts, your weaknesses, and the areas you can improve upon by research and study.  Be comfortable with your body, your image, and your actions; too many people today are being led to believe that they must fit into a group or act a certain way.  The only person you need to please, is yourself.  It won’t take too long before you realize that what you need isn’t what you want.  This is because human beings often think in terms of physical items; I need a car, or I need a big house, or many other material things.

But once we look inward, we see that our needs are actually simple and can be attained without money or leverage.  We also see that setting an intention is much more than making a wish.  An intention is a very, very specific thing and very personal.  Saying, “I wish I was rich” is a wish.  Saying “I want to have enough money to pay all my bills and then have some left over for the movies after payday” but also believing that you can accomplish this feat.  And then following through by planning, budgeting and working toward achieving your goal.  You are reprogramming yourself to use your internal energies to help you achieve your specific goal.

Setting your intention is quite easy.  You can say it, write it, or type it, but an intention should always include the word “I”, the time frame you wish to accomplish something, and what it is that you desire (specifically).  After you have something in mind, then you need to use your inner energy and focus on achieving that desire – in a way you give yourself an internal pep talk and make that goal a part of everything you do.  Finally, you need to align your actions with achieving that goal.  If you want to get negative people out of your life in 2021, then you need to focus on how to achieve a clean break, envision how your life will be improved without that person draining you all the time, and then put things into action to make sure you are moving in the right direction to achieving that goal.

As with all energy workings, it takes practice to ensure success.  Nothing easy comes overnight.  Do not get discouraged if things don’t work out every time.  Learn from those times; reflect and think about how you went about the process.  Were you fully and completely committed to the intention?  Did you trust in your own instincts rather than an outside influence?  Were you being genuine in the expected outcome, or just wishing on a star, or in this case the full moon?

Cleansing & Clearing

Now that we’ve looked deeper into how intentions work, we can apply them to our monthly clearing ritual.  With 2020 near an end, we can hopefully look forward to a better year, but only if we decide to make it better.  Step one is to get rid of the garbage that is blocking our path to a better self and to make a clean separation from anyone who is not part of our higher circle.  It’s time to put that intention to work.

<Ritual Leader should pause to allow this message to resonate with the group>

<Raise hands>

We honor the Great Guardians of the South as they have provided us with these cleansing flames to consume that which is old, negative and no longer valid in our lives.  When we choose to burn the things which no longer serve our higher good, we are making a conscious choice to improve.  When we carry things with no value, bad energy, or confusion, it places limits on our ability to grow spiritually, emotionally, and in some cases physically.

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

Each of you may approach the fire, and when you are ready, cast the unwanted things, vowing to release them permanently from your existence.  By doing so, you essentially create an open space to fill with things that are positive and have real 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 full cold moon.  Each of us can feel the chill of the winter wind on our faces.  We see the snow covering our fields and pastures.  Days are shorter and the darkness is heavy and deep across the land.  And even so, we refuse to surrender to the winter.  We celebrate the season, and rejoice, for our bodies and minds are now cleansed.  Now, more than ever, we are prepared 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!”

<often times great cleansings have noticeable impacts on those choosing to relieve themselves of heavy burdens – be aware of your group and make sure ample time is allotted to allow for emotional releases or other ‘freeing’ actions>

Cakes & Ale

<If you have refreshments, this is the time to share them – our ancestors would often share cakes and ale among those gathered as a sign of fellowship and oneness.  You can choose to alter this part of the ritual as you see fit, pass a talking stick or share thoughts on the future, or you can skip it altogether and go right to the closing>

full cold moon

Closing the Full Cold Moon Circle

Once again we look to the North, and once again we are in awe at the immense and unmatched power of the earth; your gifts are too many to number and your abundance beyond comparison – we are honored by your presence tonight. <extinguish Green candle>

The lesson of water is found in the West and as we leave, we shall remember the relaxing calm of the never-ending tides and the stillness of a mountain pond – we are blessed by your presence in this circle tonight. <extinguish Blue candle>

In the South, we again offer praises to the cleansing flames from the great fires; we’ve surrendered all that is unwanted for your consumption and ask that they are transported far from us – we are thankful for your presence in our circle tonight. <extinguish Red candle>

As we look Eastward, the winter winds are still with us; we feel your great power and are humbled by your protective strength.  We offer our praises and thanks for your presence in our circle tonight. <extinguish Yellow candle>

Great Goddess, thank you for your attendance in our cold moon ritual. As we continue to face the challenges of the cold of winter, we seek your guidance in all that we do.  We humbly offer you our gratitude for your abundance, your guiding wisdom, your continued blessings, and your unconditional love. <extinguish Goddess candle>

This full cold moon circle is open but never broken!


Additional Readings

If you’d like to browse other Full Moon Rituals available, check out the Rites & Rituals Archives on The Gypsy Thread.

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