On January 17th, the Full Wolf Moon (4:51 PM, MST) will reach its peak. Watch for moonrise from the Northeast. It will be cold across the country, but not cold enough to keep the faithful from having a Full Wolf Moon Ritual. Before we begin, a little history on this month’s full moon.
Traditionally, full moon names originated with Native American tribes, with some other names coming from Colonial Americans or from European traditions. The full moon in January was called the Wolf Moon as it was a time of the year when the air was very cold and the howling of hungry wolves could be heard across many miles. Other names for the January full moon are the Spirit Moon, the Greeting Moon, Cold Moon, Hard Moon, Frost Moon, and the Center Moon, to name a few. In North America, January was basically the middle of winter and many people were already falling into a state of sadness and despair. The cold temperatures and lack of forage were starting to impact lives and some souls would not survive the winter.
What You’ll Need For This Full Wolf 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 January)
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
Pine branches and winter greenery to decorate the altar and circle area
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 Wolf Moon Quarters
Great Spirits of the East, the source of the invisible and invincible power of AIR – we call out in unison and ask you to join us on this frosty January night – as we gather in council, our minds are attuned to the elements, the spirits, and the knowledge that rides upon the wind. As we cleanse and clear away the chaos of the busy season, we look to you to carry away the negativity. <light yellow candle>
Great Spirits of the South, the birthplace of light, heat, smoke, and flames of the mighty power of FIRE – we ask for you to join us on this full wolf moon night – we gather together to provide mutual strength to each other and seek clarity on the decisions dwelling in our future. The flames and coals of the fire present us with an opportunity to meditate and gather wisdom from what secrets they reveal. <light red candle>
Great Spirits of the West, the source of the original spring where the majesty of WATER flows – we seek an audience with your transformative power to learn the many lessons of the great shift of change. Tonight we are following the lesson of ice; with its structure and stability. We seek to expand that which brings us closer in mind, body and spirit to the origins of all things. <light blue candle>
Great Spirits of the North, the place where the physical world begins and the grand power of EARTH – we call out with great reverence and honor across the great expanse and invite all of the natural world to attend this great gathering. We offer thanks to the land and all that grows upon it, on this night and count the many times the world has blessed each of us; we have thrived because of those blessings and we remain humble servants of the world. <light green candle>
Great Goddess; Lady of the Moon; Queen of Fertility and Mother to all those who walk upon these lands – we bow our heads and ask for your presence in this circle tonight. As the full wolf moon shines brightly overhead, we are reminded in so many ways of the great powers of the universe and know that we are but tiny parts of tat great existence. Yet, small we may be, but we hold greatness in our hearts as we look toward a future where kindness, forgiveness, and humility are present and practiced. <light Goddess candle>
Long ago, when most of the land was uninhabited, and people relied upon the sun, the rain, and nature to provide for them, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the moon cycle. As mentioned previous, the Full Wolf Moon name comes from a time long ago when wolves would howl at the winter moon and the sound would travel across the cold landscape. It was a time of hardship. Yet, we know that hard times teach us valuable lessons, such as the lesson of tonight’s ritual; preparedness. Being prepared is more than just stocking up on critical supplies, it’s being mentally prepared to face whatever the world might have in store for us.
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 Wolf Moon Ritual, we present BrunuhVille, performing The Wolf and the Moon.
Lesson of the Session – Preparing Ourselves
The frigid cold and sub-zero temperatures in some parts of the country are not to be taken lightly. Most of us are fortunate to have warm places to get out of the cold, but we mustn’t take them for granted. What is here today, may be gone tomorrow. It sounds a bit cliché, especially with so much of our mass-media being the gloom and doom, end of the world types of stories. Yet, the reality of things in this rapidly-changing world could surprise us all. And for that reason, it’s good to bring up the topic of preparing ourselves.
If anything, the pandemic of last year gave many of us an education on being prepared. As panic turned to fear, people seemed to lose their sense of humanity. Store shelves were picked clean of the basic necessities and those who were slow to react found themselves going without. Fortunately for all of us, things didn’t turn out as bad as they could have turned out. Imagine if the situation was so bad that those shelves didn’t get restocked. Think about what would have happened when the primitive side of human nature took hold of some people. It’s a frightening thought to imagine neighbor fighting neighbor for food, toiletries, or medicine. What would that do to our mental state?
Being prepared mentally is critical when it comes to facing hardship or difficult times. Provisions aside, mental toughness will keep you going much longer than just having a stockpile of food. Eventually you will need to use your wits, your skills, and your ability to keep from snapping, more than most of your other abilities. The good news is that being mentally prepared isn’t as tough as everyone thinks. In fact, it only has a few components, and once you have them committed to memory, it’s just practice from that point forward..
Commit these four things to memory. First, always think solution-minded. This one is tough, because there are a lot of solutions to problems, but the key is to condition yourself to weed out the ideas that won’t work and intensify your focus on those that will. Second, you must accept beforehand that not every solution will work and things will inevitably go bad, maybe worse than when you started. We are not perfect beings, but we must accept failure as part of the process; learn from it and move on.
Third, do not place blame on anyone, yourself, or anything. Your goal in times of hardship is to overcome that which is problematic and keep moving forward. Playing the blame game is like inviting negative energy into your life; why would you even consider it. Lastly, stay strong, optimistic, confident, or any other positive word that gives you the best feeling. Your attitude could be the difference between making it through the tough times or letting the tough times consume you.
Apply these four factors to everything you do in life; start now before it’s too late. You can be the inspiration for others just by keeping your eye on the prize, so to speak.
Winter Cleansing & Clearing
The Full Wolf Moon is an optimal time for cleansing and clearing negativity from our lives. It’s the first full moon of 2022 and we are starting fresh into the new year. The holiday’s are behind us, but the baggage that often comes with visiting family and attending parties is still hanging around. Emotional cords that may have been cut in the past are reattached, guilt trips are back, other people’s problems are desperately trying to become your problems. Let’s face it, the negative energy is there and needs to be banished.
In our ceremony opening, we honor the four directions. On full moon nights, we especially honor the cleansing power of fire to burn 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 Wolf Moon, nothing is different. We all stand united in our belief that what no longer serves us, must be cleared and banished from our lives. Our spirit deserves to vibrate at it’s highest level and the weight of negativity is holding it down.
Before we begin, we must accept the fact that we all carry baggage. We all harbor negative thoughts and actions. We have guilt, shame, and anger inside of us. We have so-called friends who only show up to use us, to feed off of our energy, or to complain about things. We are all susceptible to psychic vampires, unwanted attacks on our core, and allowing the noise of everyday living to pollute our thinking. We are human after all. But, before we get too far down in the pit, we also must accept the fact that we are in control. We deicide who stays in our lives and who goes. We can choose to abolish the negativity that comes with family and we can refuse to carry someone else’s dirty water.
Tonight, under the light of this Full Wolf 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 stronger. We cast out that which has no positive meaning in our lives. 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 Wolf Moon Circle
With a newfound energy, we say farewell to the great spirits of the Earthly realm. Our thoughts shall remain with the land as we ponder the coming spring and our prayers with the belief that abundance will be in our future. <extinguish green candle>
Our minds are elevated and we are capable of deep transformative thought now that we have cleansed ourselves. We can see that the energy of the world moves like the water; always finding a path no matter what obstacle is placed before it. <extinguish blue candle>
High praises are being sung in our minds and our hearts, for the burning of negativity is the first step in become better versions of ourselves. We have seen the flames, but now we can see the light. <extinguish red candle>
Spirits of air, we sing songs of praise and gratitude as you carry away that which no longer serves us. We leave with a renewed positivity about all things physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Our vision is clear and our expectations of ourselves even clearer. <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 Wolf Moon Ritual. We will always welcome you with open arms, eager minds, and loving hearts. <extinguish Goddess candle>
This circle is now open!