February 2020 – Full Snow Moon – Focus on Growth

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This is is a full moon ritual for the February, 2020, Full Snow Moon;  The moon reaches it’s peak fullness at 12:34 A.M. MST on Sunday, February 9.  This moon can be best viewed on the night of Saturday, February 8; it will rise in the east and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight.  It’s worth noting that many astronomers consider this full snow moon to be a Supermoon, but technically it may not.  If you are interested in learning more, check out EarthSky to learn more about how moons are classified and decide for yourself.

In order to perform this ritual as written, you’ll need the following items:

Quarter Candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
Large White Goddess Candle – I prefer a three wick candle to symbolize the triple Goddess
Paper and pencil for each participant
Fire pit or cauldron suitable for safely burning small objects and paper
Altar

This is intended to be performed outdoors, under the light of the full snow moon – dress appropriately and use proper fire safety.

<Anything in the ritual that is contained with <> should be understood as instructional for the ritual leader and should not be spoken aloud>

Ritual Begins

I cast this circle all around, high above and below the ground, a sacred place between time and space, where all are welcome and all are safe!

Calling the Quarters

We seek the spirits of the East to join us on this night of the full snow moon – Come forth and share the mighty power of Air to all that gather here – teach us to trust without seeing and to believe without proof, understanding that sometimes we need to test our faith to ensure it is valid <light yellow candle>

Now to the South, we call upon the great Fire spirits to make their presence know tonight – We honor the duality found in fire; it has both constructive and destructive forces that occur simultaneously – we seek cleansing on this night and welcome the ever-lasting flames to carry our negativity far away <light red candle>

The great Water spirits of the West are eternally welcome in our sacred circle – We are forever in a state of amazement at the lessons taught by water, regardless if they come from ice, rain, mist, or a quiet pond.  Bless us with bountiful resources as we near the time of spring when all turns from white to green.  <light blue candle>

And now we turn to the North and the great spirits of Earth – come join our circle on this full snow moon night – come out from the frozen shadows and take your rightful place by the fire.  Show us the wisdom and great light as you showed our ancestors throughout the passage of time – touch the soul of each one of us so that we may never forget our lineage and all the things in nature that have preserved it.  <light green candle>

Great Goddess, we humbly present ourselves as servants, messengers, disciples, and students – As one day silently slips into the next, we see over and over again, your great power to change, to heal, to create, and sometimes when necessary to destroy.  As humans, we are at the mercy of the world and the elements and we once again ask for your protection in all that we do.  Help us to see the light on the darkest of days and the goodness in the worst of situations – with your guidance we can do great and wonderful things for the benefit of humankind.  <light Goddess candle>

Musical Interlude

Music is an integral part of any pagan celebration and we’ve chosen a wonderful piece for our full snow moon night.  It’s called “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Loreena McKennitt.

Opening statement

As we stand here surrounded by ice and the landscape is hidden beneath a blanket of white, it’s easy to see why this February moon is called the full snow moon.  February has a reputation of nasty weather in the northern part of the country and it’s always been a month of heavy snow; dating back for thousands of years.  Native American tribes have been the source of most of the full moon names we use today.  This one is also known as the the Hunger Moon, Storm Moon, Famine Moon, and the Bony Moon; all due to the weather and the difficulty finding food during this time period.

Full moons are seen as a time of great energy, but also as a time of great potential and change.  We gather each month to reinforce the belief that each and every one of us has the potential to change our own lives for the better.  We do this by looking inward to understand the root causes of what is blocking our avenue to growth, and then making a conscious effort to rid ourselves of anything that is in the way.  These blocks are almost exclusively held in place by negativity in one form of another.  Tonight our topic is spiritual growth, and how important it is in all our lives.

Integrating Spiritual Growth Into Our Everyday Lives

Some people go a bit stir-crazy in the winter, especially those who live in remote places.  The drifts pile up and travel becomes  dangerous, so many just hunker down and wait it out; often times growing impatient and uncomfortable at being limited by weather.  Many will choose to fill their days with non-productive activities such as watching television, surfing the internet, playing games, or any of a number of other non-productive activities.  Yet, a much smaller group of others will use the opportunity to meditate, think, and work on their own personal growth.  Today’s topic is demonstrating why you should be part of the latter group and not the former.

Many modern religions will tell us that spiritual growth is essentially trying to emulate a spiritual leader or the teachings of one.  In reality, there is no official definition for spiritual growth, so try to remain open-minded to the possibilities.  No religion owns the phrase or the process to achieve growth.  Growth means something different to each of us and the results usually are subjective to many other inputs and connections.  It’s as clear as mud, or so the saying goes.

We know that personal growth can take place in many different ways; we can take a class, attend an outing, or read about a myriad of topics to improve ourselves.  Usually, humans take this type of growth and immediately add it into our everyday lives.  I say usually, because when we choose to learn about something, it’s because we see it as relevant and important.  Contrast this with things that don’t really concern us, but we are often expected to learn them anyway – these could be subjects in High School, parts of our job description, or other neutral information.  Growing takes a wishful initiative to be effective.  It adds new purpose to our functional lives and leads to an internal hunger for additional knowledge.

If we take that same premise and apply it to spiritual growth, we don’t often see the same results.  Human beings are often skeptical about the value of growing spiritually or in many cases confused about how to measure growth.  When we learn a new process for our jobs, we can see the immediate benefits of the education, but that’s not always the case with spiritual growth.  When we do work to become closer to our ancestors, or to tap into energies on higher plains, it’s difficult to measure how we are doing.  It becomes tempting to look outside and compare our results with those of others.  Likewise, it is tougher to stay focused and on a positive pathway as there is no definitive guide to measure progress by.  Many become frustrated and find themselves stopping any attempts to grow spiritually.

But have no fear, for there is another way to approach spiritual growth and it hinges on integration.  It means making your spiritual life part of your everyday life.  We can all ask ourselves if we are walking the talk of our chosen path.  Are we proud of our beliefs and unafraid to tell anyone what we practice?  Do we follow the calendar of our ancestors when it comes to annual festivals and harvests proudly and without fear?  What do we teach our children when it comes to understanding the world?  Are we courageous enough to teach them the differences between our traditions and the secular traditions of the modern world?

By asking ourselves the tough questions, we’ll quickly see where spiritualism ranks in our overall life.  If you aren’t including it in your everyday life, then you have a lot of room to grow.  For when you live a lifestyle that follows your chosen path, then and only then are you being true to yourself.  If you need to hide your true self from others for fear that they may not accept you for it, then it’s time to self-reflect and figure out what it’s going to take to get you over the bridge and start living your true life.  If you simply can’t or won’t do it, then maybe you need to re-look at your chosen path, as you may not be on the right one.  It should speak to you like it’s the most important thing in your life.

Once you’ve prioritized spiritually in your everyday life, I guarantee that you’ll begin to think differently, and find a renewed desire to learn more about the path you are walking.  This self-fulfilling practice with be an internal springboard that will motivate you to go higher, reach further, learn more and put you on a path of perpetual spiritual growth.  Take the opportunity on this full snow moon night to reaffirm your commitment to make your spiritual path a central point in your life; you won’t regret it.

full snow moon

Clearing and Cleansing

One of the first steps to growing, is determining what is holding us back.  Each full moon offers us the opportunity to reflect on the things happening in our lives.  We also have the chance to evaluate and choose whether those things are helping us reach our spiritual goals, or leading us down a different path.   If we see negativity creeping in, then we can use the opportunity to clear them out.  The full snow moon is a time when winter still holds an icy grip on the landscape.  There are no fields to plow nor outside work to be done, so it’s a good time to focus inward.  It’s a good time to cleanse ourselves of negative energy and excess baggage we carry around for no apparent reason, in preparation of the coming spring.

Negativity has a way of hampering our efforts to grow.  It’s a roadblock to reaching our full potential as human beings, but also as teachers, caregivers, and companions.  Anger, impatience, greed, manipulation, jealousy, lust, corruption, and laziness are all products of negativity.  When we allow those feelings to remain inside us, they cloud our thoughts and divert us from the important things in life like love, compassion, helpfulness, and the desire to become something better than we already are.

So if you are tired of being weighted down by the noise of everyday life, look deep within and identify those negative things.  Once you are prepared to shed that weight, you’ll be ready to take a step in the direction of growth.  Our ancestors have taught us that all things can be washed away in the cleansing flames.  We can witness as the baggage of the past is consumed and the smoke travels far away.  By burning the remnants of things useless and without value, we free ourselves to find new and positive things to fill those empty spaces.

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

Each of you may approach the fire 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 Full Snow Moon; we feel the chill of winter on our faces but we also see the first signs that spring is near.  The darkness is heavy and deep across the land, yet we refuse to surrender to the winter; instead we celebrate the season now that we see the benefits winter provides us with.  Rejoice! for our bodies and minds are now cleansed with the great fires of the South carrying the negative away. 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!

Once you’ve chosen to release the negativity, you will be lighter and ready to take on something new and positive.  Fill those spaces you’ve just cleared with something positive and then feed it and you’ll soon feel growth from within; growth that will be beneficial to your everyday life, but also growth that will help build a solid foundation for your future.

full snow moon ritual

 

Cakes & Ale

Depending on the weather and the make-up of your group, you may choose to have a few libations and food at this time.  Talk, share stories, and get to know your fellow citizens of the earth.

Closing the Full Snow Moon Circle

Earth spirits, we offer our eternal thanks for joining us in our full snow moon circle.  Our minds are full of optimism and we look forward to the days when the blanket of white subsides and the rich black soil once again fills our field of vision.  We bid you farewell. <extinguish green candle>

Water spirits, thank you for your presence in our circle.  Leave us with a feeling of relaxation and the understanding that soon the rivers will be flowing, the waters teeming with fish, and the rains will once again be coming to nourish our crops in the fields. We bid you farewell. <extinguish blue candle>

Fire spirits, without your presence in our circle, none of this could be possible, so we offer a huge thanks.  We continue to honor your light, the heat, and the ability to transform our lives.  May we leave here tonight with eyes wide open to the possibilities of great things in our future.  We bid you farewell. <extinguish red candle>

Air spirits, we again offer our eternal gratitude for being in this circle tonight and reminding us that without faith, we have no foundation.  The greatest lessons often come simply; a light wind on our faces reminds us that we should be focused on being in the present and also being aware of everything around us, both good and bad, so as to make the best choices for our individual growth.  We bid you farewell. <extinguish yellow candle>

Great Goddess, we thank you for your wisdom and love. Thank you for the opportunity to share space with our brothers and sisters.  Thanks you for making us aware that all things, even those which seem harsh and unworthy , are there to provide us with infinite wisdom if we open our eyes to it.  Thank you for sharing this night with us in our sacred space. <extinguish Goddess candle>

This circle is now open!

Huzzah!

Author’s Note

If you found this full moon ritual enjoyable, I invite you to take a look at my complete library of pagan and full moon rituals at this link.

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