Rhythms of the Moon

It was a full moon this week – but so cloudy and wet for three nights that I missed seeing it. Much like the winter solstice really! Before M was born I particularly enjoyed having an evening walk at the full moon, seeing familiar countryside in a slightly different way. It is rare that I can do that at the moment, but it will come again and I may even have company in the future.

M is very good at moon spotting, not being hampered by any expectations of time of day or direction. I still get it wrong on occasion and look in the wrong place, although I am improving provided I don’t miss seeing it for too many days in a row. The waxing moon can be seen in the afternoons and evenings, following the sun’s path through the sky so that it rises where the sun rises and sets where the sun sets according to the time of year. The full moon I see in the evening only, while the waning moon is visible sometimes on late evenings or in the morning.

Many witch covens meet at the full moon; they are the Esbats of the pagan year. I have had times when I have celebrated esbats by myself, especially when I have wished to make changes in my life, and then periods when I have done very little. Some covens also celebrate new moons – because if you wish to start a new project there is no better time. To work with the rhythms of the moon will always be more powerful than to ignore what is around us, for it is subtle energies that must shift for the changes we wish to see. The simple rule I follow is that if you want something to increase, then let it increase with the waxing moon. Maximum power is at the full moon, while things you wish to loose are best lost with the waning moon. This rule works for gardening too, with seeds planted just before the full moon being the quickest to emerge in my experience, while pruning can be adjusted depending on whether you are trying to stimulate growth or restrain it.

January’s full moon is sometimes known as the Wolf Moon; it represents a time of frozen lands and hunger, when the pack and family relationships become all important to survival. This has certainly been important in my own life this year as the holiday season comes to a close – and various seasonal illnesses have meant we have all had to look after each other even more than usual. Unlike bears though, wolves don’t generally hibernate, they just hide out from the worst winter weather in their dens. People are very much like this!

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