The first full moon of 2023 is the called the Wolf Moon, and it will peak at 4:08 PM, MST on the 6th of January. The name wolf moon, like all the other moon names, originated from Native Americans. In January, the air is cold and thin and the howling of hungry wolves could be heard for many miles. It was a frightening reminder that game was sparse during this time of the year, and hungry wolves could and would attack anything or anyone. Some of the other names for the January full moon include the Frost Moon, the Hard Moon, the Cold Moon, Greeting Moon, the Center Moon, and the Spirit Moon.
January is considered the middle of winter, and even though the days are starting to gradually grow longer, the long nights and bitter weather accompany a feeling of despair among many people. In modern times, the traditional holiday season, starting with Samhain in late October and ending with Yule in late December, have come to a close. Large gatherings usually stop and people tend to hibernate, figuratively, until the spring thaw. It’s a tough time of the year. A time when many of the elders leave this plain for the afterlife. It’s a time of sickness and sadly, a time of loneliness.
Because of the aforementioned reasons, it’s important to bring people together for a full moon circle. Throughout the years, our full moon circles have been focused on cleansing and clearing negativity. Throughout 2022, they were also focused on spiritual growth and living in such a way as to stay true to our individual spiritual paths. In 2023, we’ll still cover important topics, but in a less structured way. With such turmoil in the world over the past few years, we need to focus on togetherness once again. The quarantines are over. It’s time to live life again, get back to nature, grow our local communities, and most importantly, make sure no one is forgotten. Even if you aren’t attending a full moon ritual circle, take time to seek out those who are alone. They’ll thank you for the engagement, in this life and the next.
Full Wolf Moon Ritual Circle
If possible, perform this ritual outside. Dress warm, cast your circle around a generous bonfire, and become one with the healing lunar energy. Depending on your belief system, you may choose to light and extinguish candles during the opening and closing of the circle, or not. If you do, use a yellow candle for the east, red for the south, blue for the west, and green for the north. How you honor your Gods and Goddesses is also a very personal choice. Your chosen path and the lunar energy will be your guide.
Opening the Circle
A circle round, from sky to ground, blessed light, a full moon night – I hereby cast this sacred space, outside the lines, a hidden space. Between the worlds, for now we dwell, safe to cast our magick spells. Time is frozen, our circle is open.
Nearly every ancient civilization regarded honoring the four directions as sacred magick. Guiding sprits were associated with each, as well as important life lessons. Together, they provide the protective energy we depend on for our circle, a greater understanding of how nature moves, and guidance in the interpretation of events in our lives. As we honor those great spirits, we honor our ancestors, ourselves, and our magick.
From the east, we are blessed with the knowledge of new beginnings, birth, rebirth, and starting over. The invisible power of air fill us with hope as does the rising sun. It is the direction of knowledge, insight, awakening, and endurance. As our vibration rises, we are drawn to the east and the lessons of unlimited potential that can be learned.
From the south, we commune with the power of fire, but also the spark that brings it to life. It is the direction of curiosity, playfulness, and leisure. Heavy toils often leave us drained and in need of rejuvenation, so we turn to the south for spontaneous pleasure and mental well-being. Here also is where we can seek the tenants of confidence in our actions.
The west is the directi0n of divinity, and the crossover to the realm of the ancestors. Every great truth of those who came before us, can be found flowing in the waters of the west. It is the direction of the setting sun, and the point of transformation. It is the direction of emotion, enlightenment, and of closure, especially helpful for releasing negativity and freeing oneself from that which no longer serves their greatest and highest self.
The north represents the night, but not the darkness. The night sky is a canvas for the stars and the moon to shine upon us, sharing their energy and power. It is the direction of stoic mediation, purification of the mind, and exposure to the hidden secrets of the universe. The earth spirits reveal the secrets of the great mysteries, logic, deductive reasoning, and create pathways for the faithful to find the sources of magick in the ground and the forests.
Gods & Goddesses
Blessed are the faithful. Those who trust and honor the Gods and Goddesses are rewarded with the love and compassion of nurturing parents. From our first cries as a newborn, to the last breath we take, our lives are in their hands. We offer praises and prayers for protection and safety, health and healing, sight and understanding, honor and humility.
Of all the energies known to humankind, lunar energy is one of the most powerful. Full moon energy raises our awareness, heightens our senses, and gives a boost of energy to everything we do, an especially valuable tool when performing spellwork. Throughout time, witches, wizards, mages, and shamans would travel to sacred places, sometime alone, other times in groups, to practice their magickal workings under the light of the full moon. The lunar energy would provide a boost to their potions and add strength to their incantations. It was a time to charge their tools while ridding themselves of unwanted baggage and negativity. It was a time of healing, creativity, and personal purification.
After the Traditional Celebrations are Over
As the great wheel turns, some times are busier than others. November and December are traditionally two of the busiest months. The numerous gatherings, family engagements, office parties, and the obligatory visiting, can weigh heavily upon most people. Unless you come from an amazing family, getting everyone together leads to hurt feelings, fights, and dredging up of past events, many of which are uncomfortable. Now that this period is behind us, it’s definitely time for a cleansing.
The Full Wolf Moon occurring so soon after the holiday period is optimal. There’s no time to rebury things that were dug up, and no time to make excuses of rationalize for the way others treated you. Consider it a late gift, in some ways. You’ll be able to clean your personal slate and start the new year fresh and ready to grow, both mentally and spiritually. In some cases, you’ll also be able to forgive those who have wronged you, and forget about the pain it caused. It’s time to just let the negativity go.
Sometimes it’s tough to decide on what to let go. Maybe it’s good nature, maybe it’s the desire to avoid conflict, or maybe it’s something completely different and deeply personal. If you’re having a tough time deciding, here’s an amazing, and simple tool to use. When contemplating a specific topic, as yourself these two questions. It it serving my greatest and highest good, meaning is there a benefit to me as an individual to keep a person, situation, or anything else in my life. Secondly, does it vibrate on the same level as me, or do I need to dumb down in order to engage. Life is about balance, harmony, and energy. Each of us exist at a certain level, but it’s not something predetermined. We choose where we want to be, and deciding who and what we associate with, in part makes that decision.
If you want to grow spiritually, then surround yourself with like-minded people. If you want to learn, then find teachers, not gatekeepers. When you want to have a deep conversation, engage with thinkers, not preachers. Put yourself at the center, but not in a narcissistic fashion. It’s not attention you should be seeking, but instead wisdom and possibly guidance. Look to your elders and your ancestors for advice; people who have actually done things and had experiences are far better sources than people who only wish to be seen and heard.
Cleansing and Clearing Negative Energy
The Full Wolf Moon like all full moons, are times of great energy. It is why we choose to cleanse on the full moon nights. The act of releasing negative energy is the same as conjuring or casting a spell. It takes determination and intention to act. To banish that which no longer serves us, cannot be done without intention. Your spirit deserves to vibrate at it’s highest level and the currently, the weight of negativity is holding it down. Be the change. Make it happen. Summon your power, use your strength, and take the step forward!
First, identify that which is burdensome in your life. Remember that not all problems are external either. We have self-inflicted pockets of negativity in the form of guilt, shame, and anger, residing inside of us. Most times, when the topic of cleansing and clearing is brought up, many people immediately gravitate to outside forces. We have so-called friends who only show up to use us, to feed off of our energy, or to complain about things. We hate our bosses, or find fault in our neighbors. Yet, to truly free ourselves, we must tackle both sources of negativity.
Tonight, I call upon each of you to focus on those things which no longer serve you. Write them down and commit that list to the great spirits of fire and air for banishment. I call upon each of 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. As they burn in the fire, and the prevailing winds carry them off to lands far beyond out realm, focus your intention on a complete and guilt-free commitment to cleansing.
When your internal energy has risen to a peak level, and your focus is clear and without remorse, then approach the fire and cast your list into the flames. As they burn repeat the words, “I give up freely that which is no longer serving me,” as many times as necessary.
You’ll feel a great wave of energy course through every fiber of your entire existence as negativity leaves your physical form. A great relief, but one quickly followed by thoughts of uncertainty and sometime even fear. Taking the first step is always scary, even for the strongest of us. Do not allow those aftermath feelings consume you. Immediately fill those new, open spaces, where negativity once resided, with positivity. Don’t look back and go boldly into 2023 as the new and stronger version of yourself.
Full Moon Magick
The full moon provides us with many opportunities other than individual cleansing and clearing. It’s also a great time to clean and charge your magickal tools, stones, and crystals. Those items are no different than human beings. With use and through interaction with others, they pick up spiritual dirt and debris. You’ll know it when you handle them. They will feel off, or unbalanced. Never fear, for it’s easy to get them back to ‘full-strength’ using the powerful lunar energy of the Full Wolf Moon.
Identify a spot, preferably directly on the ground or a natural surface such as a large stone, that gets direct moonlight throughout the night. Immediately after sunset, (5:25 PM, MST) place your items in the chosen space, with none touching one another. Some practitioners choose to say a prayer or incantation during the process, but remember, there’s no right or wrong way. Retrieve them early in the morning and spend some time with each item. If they still don’t feel right, then repeat the process a second night.
There’s a detailed link at the end of this ritual with more detail on cleaning and charging magickal tools, along with some tips for success.
Closing the Full Wolf Moon Circle
As we step confidently away from this circle, we do so with new knowledge, confidence, and the strength to take great steps forward in our personal spiritual growth. Trust in the earth spirits of the north to stay grounded.
With any great cleansing, comes another reminder of the lessons of the water spirits of the west. Nothing is permanent, no matter how soiled, no matter how damaged and scarred. With enough time, patience, and determination, all negativity can be washed away.
Through the powerful fire spirits of the south, we have taken a step in the right direction. That which no longer serves us has been eradicated from our being and banished to places far from here. We have seen the flames, but now, cleansed of negativity, we can see the true light.
The air spirits of the east will remain with us as we depart. There role is that of a messenger, but also one of great support. Every gust reminds us to stay true to ourselves, remain on our chosen spiritual path, and be the best version of ourselves that we can be.
We gather our strength from many sources. Our Gods and Goddesses, the powerful lunar energy, and the grounding energy of the very earth itself, all combine to provide each of us with all the tools necessary to rise to heights unseen. For each and all, I ask for blessings, fortitude, and the love and compassion that brings us together. We are stronger together and our bonds forever. Go now in peace. This circle is open, but the connections not broken.