The 2022 Full Snow Moon will peak at 9:59 AM, MST, on February 16th. This moon’s name originates with the Native Americans, who named it the snow moon since most of the lands were covered in snow during this cycle. It is also called the Hunger Moon, the Storm Moon, the Wild Moon, and the Trappers Moon. Other names were connected to animals, and the snow moon has been called the Eagle Moon, the Bear Moon, the Goose Moon and the Raccoon Moon. History tells us that February is the snowiest month in America, so the naming makes sense.
The Celtic name for this month’s moon is the Ice Moon. This is the time of the year when reindeer shed their antlers, which gave rise to this moon being called the Horning Moon by ancient Germanic tribes. Another name is the Quickening Moon, which refers to when certain seeds and bulbs would make their way to the earth’s surface at the end of winter.
For those who watch the skies, look for the full snow moon above the horizon in the east around sunset and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight.
What You’ll Need For This Full Snow Moon Ritual
This ritual is designed for a group and is best performed outside around a generous bonfire (bonfires just seem to make everything better, especially in February)
What items you’ll need to collect for this ritual (as written)
Four quarter candles – yellow (east), red (south), green (north), blue (west)
Seasonal Altar Cloth
Pencils and paper
Cakes or other seasonal baked goods
Seasonal Beer and Ale to share
Goddess Candle (White)
Any portion of the ritual that is bracketed by <> symbols should be understood as instructional notes and not to be spoken aloud.
I cast this circle round and round from earth to sky, from sky to ground. I conjure now this sacred space, outside of time, outside of place. This circle is now cast; we are between the worlds.
Calling the Full Snow Moon Quarters
We look to the East and call upon the Great Spirits of Air. The East is the direction of Spring, Sunrise and the waxing moon – We bid the Air spirits to join us on this night and usher in the full snow moon. We seek the pathway to clear understanding, the opportunity to research that which is unknow, and the ability to follow our intuition, without fear or reprisal. <light yellow candle>
Next we look the the South and call upon the Great Spirits of Fire. The South is the direction of summer, Midday, and the full moon – We seek Fire spirits to join us on this night and keep our circle well lit, our bones warm, and our spirits energized. We seek to grow as individuals, just as the fire begins with a single spark, we wish to burn to our fullest potential. <light red candle>
Now turn to the West and call upon the Great Spirits of Water. The West is the direction of Fall, Dusk, and the waning moon – We seek to master the flexibility of water, the transformational qualities of water, and the absolute determination of water. For that which is fluid enough to dodge every obstacle, intelligent enough to change forms at will, and strong enough to keep moving forward no matter what seems to be blocking it, is without compare. <light blue candle>
Now shift your gaze to the North and call upon the Great Spirits of Earth. The North is the direction of Winter, Midnight, and the new moon – We seek to gain favor with the earthly spirits of the woods, and the fields, and the livestock and the weather. Spring is upon us and our hopes and dreams are tightly wrapped in the comfort of knowing another good harvest will be our reward. <light green candle>
We look skyward, the the full snow moon and beyond to the realm of the Great Goddess. She who we call the Lady of the Moon, Mother, Maiden, Crone, and Lady of Fertility, we are honored by your presence tonight. We hold love in our hearts and humbleness in our actions, for we know that our pathway is one of hope, and light, and love. <light Goddess candle>
In February, the snowpack gets its largest monthly addition. Many states in the southern part of the country will only get a small amount of snowfall each year, and it most often happens in February. Combine that with sub-freezing temperatures in most of the country, and you have the perfect storm for staying inside the house. But, a word of caution. It’s easy to get complacent and just relax on the sofa with a hot drink. This month is a perfect time to do extensive planning; planning that you actually write down, and work out the details.
It’s time to get creative as well. Our world has changed dramatically over the past few years, and more people are beginning to realize that self-reliance is coming back into style in a quick hurry. We’ve lived through this reactive period, but now believe everyone needs to shift into a proactive period. Start planning for how you are going to feed your family (definitely time to put in a garden, or two, or more). Start taking classes on anything that seems worth knowing. Plan to include your kids in the activities of readiness. Be creative in finding ways to store, save, and otherwise prepare for an uncertain future.
And while you are at it, make sure your plan includes how you are going to maintain your spiritual health and remain on your path during periods of crisis or uncertainty. Write things down, put together a plan with a kit to accompany it. Come together as a group, a family, or a community and we’ll all get through it together.
It’s been said that music sooths the savage beast, opens up a hardened heart, and brings comfort to all. Our rituals always have a song; one that is specially chosen for the occasion. For our Full Snow Moon, I’ve chosen The Frozen Call, an Ancient Nordic Chant by Jonna Jinton. It is deeply moving and will take you to a magickal frozen place a thousand years ago, if you let it.
Lesson of the Session – Creative Planning
Last month we spoke about being mentally prepared to handle adversity. We learned that mental toughness will keep you going for a lot longer than you might think. Also that keeping calm in a crisis will probably be the difference between surviving or some other result. Tonight we are going to build on that foundation and talk about planning; creative planning as we like to call it. And like learning how to be mentally prepared, there is also a checklist on planning. A plan is only a plan if it’s written down – I can’t stress this enough – Write it down and put a binder together with ‘plans for anything and everything”
First and foremost, unless you are building the Space Shuttle, all plans should be Simple, with Easily-Identified Objectives and Free From Ambiguity. Some of you have heard the KISS (Keep It Simple Simple). A plan should be something everyone in the family can understand and execute upon without fail, every time. Imagine a fire escape plan with fifteen steps and multiple scenarios and then imagine your ten-year old trying to function when the house is filled with smoke. Use the tools that you are surrounded with – your environment, landmarks, favorite sports, anything that can be used to keep everyone on point will work.
Secondly, a plan must be Economical, Comprehensive, Stable, and Able to Withstand the Test of Time. If part of your plan is to build up a food supply, you can’t just spend your entire paycheck on it. Likewise if your plan for bugging out is only good in the summer, it’s not really a good plan. A plan must be thought out from start to finish (all things considering) and be something that lasts. If you keep making changes, then people will forget their role and perhaps compromise the entire thing.
A plan must be Flexible. I know, we just said a plan needed to be stable and now we’re saying it must also be flexible. Think about it like this. You keep a box with chains, extra gloves, and road flares under your seat. That’s being flexible to allow your plan of ‘driving’ all year to happen. Think outside the box on ways to make sure what you want to do, can continue to happen, even if the outside world gets messier than it already is. What happens if your power is out and you need to get your emergency supplies out of the garage and bug out in a hurry? What’s the most effective method in the quickest time? What are the priority items for grabbing to go when time is short? How does that change seasonally? That’s the layer of flexibility you need to think into your creative planning.
Lastly, a good plan needs to cover small things just as much as it covers big things. “Where do I go potty?” is just as important as “do we have enough gas,” depending on the timing. This is where your creativity really will be challenged. Think outside of the outside of the box – we’re talking way out there. Focus on what happens around you and develop an alternative way. You might not have power to play videogames or internet games, but you can play cards, board games, or other family fun. I’ve made plenty of cold meals by candlelight that tasted great. If you make everyone an important part of everything going on during a crisis, everyone will work together and strive to accomplish the endgame of the written plan you’ve put together. Buy in, is all in.
Winter Cleansing & Clearing
Planning is a task for tomorrow and the rest of February. Tonight we take some time as the Full Snow Moon shines bright across the sky to do some self work. This full moon is an optimal time for cleansing and clearing negativity from our lives. It’s the second full moon of 2022, winter is throwing the last of her tantrums, or so we hope, and all thoughts are on springtime. January has proven to be a strange month, in hindsight. The hope of January and a New Year quickly faded with continued sickness, political corruption, financial woes, and the possibility of a large-scale conflict. Usually there is a great optimism, but not so much this year; in fact there is negativity, fear, gloom, and unhappiness across the land. The need for personal cleansing is stronger now, more than ever.
In the opening of our ceremony tonight we honored the four directions. Each direction has a story of infinite wonderment to tell, but we’re not here to hear stories. On full moon nights, the cleansing power of fire holds center stage as it burns away that which no longer serves us. We also honor the great energy of air to carry the smoke far away from here. Tonight on this Full Snow Moon, nothing is different. We all stand united in our belief that, that which no longer serves us is useless, and perhaps dangerous. It must be cleared and permanently banished from our lives. The blanket of negativity has covered the land and everyone is tainted.
We have cleansed our spirits and burnt away that which has no meaning or value for many years around this circle. We have watched as the smoke carried away the energy vampires, the users, the cheaters, and the wicked. Our eyes have realized the change in those who stood and made a deep pledge to step away from the madness and eliminate that which was bringing them down. Our hearts were warmed as negative characters were expelled, the guilty given a permanent banishment, and the wrongs partially righted. Yet, our world is heavy with the weight and anguish of negative energy. I call upon each of your to lend your strength to the collective this night.
Tonight, under the light of this Full Snow Moon, it is up to each one of us to decide how we are going to live. It is up to each of us to know when we need to rid ourselves of toxic people and toxic behaviors. And it is up to us to take that great and terrifying step forward into a better version of ourselves. We must make a commitment to release the baggage and move forward into a phase of positive spiritual growth. We know what needs to be done. I call upon each of you to write down that which no longer serves you and commit it to the fire for purging. I call upon you to make a true pact with yourself to avoid returning to bad behaviors and associating with bad influencers, regardless of how hard they try to pull you back.
<Offer each person paper/pencil to write down the things they wish to purge tonight>
Write down the things you wish to purge with intention. That is the key. Put all of your energy into removing that which drags you down, from your life. Each of you may come to the flames when you are ready. As you approach to cast the paper into the fire and out of your life forever. Free up the places in your mind and soul to be filled with positive energy, hope and the light of the universe. Leave no room for the bad to return.
As you burn each item, state the following out loud, “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>
Our spirits are strong and our wills are much stronger. Tonight we cast out that which has no positive meaning in our lives and we cast out any negativity that we see growing around us. The great flames will burn away that which seeks to make us a slave. The great winds will carry that negative energy far away from here, never to be seen again. We pledge to fill those now-empty spaces with positive energies and give ourselves the tools to achieve a higher state of being. So it is and so it shall 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 Full Snow Moon Circle
Our hearts now lighter and our hope renewed, we now bid farewell to the great spirits of the Earthly realm. We look forward to the months ahead and everything comes up green. For now, we shall plan out our goals and set our intentions to reach them. <extinguish green candle>
After a great cleansing, our thoughts are deeper and we’re able to look at things with great clarity. We bid farewell to the spirits of Water and the lessons of transformative energy. We are eager to forge ahead with a new plan and refuse to be stopped, just as the water refuses to be corralled. <extinguish blue candle>
The flames continue to burn as we say farewell to the spirits of Fire. We are eternally grateful for the cleansing powers offered here each month, and for the eternal gift of flame. As we are cleansed, we are now an open vessel and look to fill the spaces with wisdom from on high. <extinguish red candle>
We cannot see the Air, but we can feel the weight of negativity being carried away on strong gusts. We hear the songs of our ancestors whispered on the currents, giving us guidance on all things and wisdom on planning for a strong future for us and ours. <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 at this Full Snow Moon Ritual. We will always welcome you with open arms, eager minds, and loving hearts. <extinguish Goddess candle>
This circle is now open!