February's full moon

Exploring February’s Full Moon: A Night Under a Glowing Snow Moon

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February’s full moon, the second full moon of the year, is known as the Full Snow Moon. The Full Moon in February will reach its peak illumination on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 7:30 AM EST. 

It’s a time when the moon’s glow feels almost magical, especially against the backdrop of a crisp winter’s day.

Throughout history, the moon has always been a source of wonder and mystery. It’s not just a celestial body; it’s a symbol of spirituality and a reminder of our connection to the natural world. The way it influences the tides, rising and falling with a rhythm that feels like it’s in tune with our own lives, is truly fascinating.

So, let’s take a closer look at this amazing moon and all the stories and traditions it brings with it. It’s more than just a light in the night sky; it’s a part of our shared human experience.

full moons

What is a full moon?

When the Moon is full, we see it as a complete circle in the sky. This is because the whole of the side of the Moon facing the Earth is lit up by the Sun’s rays. The Moon produces no visible light of its own, so we can only see the parts of the Moon that are lit up by other objects. A small amount of light comes from distant stars and the reflection of light from the Earth (known as ‘Earthshine’). However, the main source of light for the Moon is the Sun.

The Full Moon phase is the third of four primary lunar phases, along with the New Moon, the Third Quarter, and the First Quarter. It is considered a highly spiritual time and is the most spectacular of all four phases. It is during this time that the Moon appears at its brightest and largest. Likewise, it marks the most visible phase of the lunar cycle. 

FULL MOON ENERGY

Ancient peoples used the Full Moon and the Lunar calendar to track the seasons. They named each Full Moon for an entire month, not just for the night of its fullest phase. Each Full Moon has its own energy, and this energy is magnified during a Full Moon. The Full Moon does not just affect us humans; it also affects animals and the Earth itself. A Full Moon causes bigger ocean tides and even extreme meteorological conditions.

Full moon – Two weeks after the new moon, it becomes wholly illuminated by the sun. Hence, we have a full moon, and its orbit is halfway completed.

How do I harness its energy? — During a Full Moon, our emotions are amplified and dreams are intensified. For some people, it is a time of balanced energies. The light of the full moon illuminates our world, allowing us to see the situations in our lives and in our relationships with other people more clearly. It allows us to see things we have ignored or repressed, but also allows us to let go of things or people we have outgrown. Full Moons are a good time to start a new ritual or project.

February's full moon

Why is it CALLED THE Snow MOON?

The traditional name for the February’s full moon is the Snow Moon, as this is often the month when heavy snowfall blankets the landscape. February’s Full Moon serves as a reminder that winter isn’t over yet. While this month is usually cold and snowy, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy other aspects of winter like snowboarding, skiing, and ice skating. Let this moon light your way through this chilly season!

The Snow Moon is also the first full moon after the Imbolc new moon, the early February midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It’s a moment when the light begins to shift towards spring, even as we are certainly still blanketed in snow and cold, at least in many places in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you’re looking to learn more about Imbolc and the Wheel of the Year, we have a great selection of articles to explore. From articles about the history and meaning of Imbolc to practical tips on celebrating the pagan holiday, you’ll find plenty of information to satisfy your curiosity. Dive into the fascinating world of Imbolc and the Wheel of the Year today!

OTHER NAMES FOR February's Full Moon

February’s Full Moon is known by a variety of names. It is commonly referred to as the Snow Moon, but is also sometimes known as the Hunger Moon, Ice Moon, Storm Moon or Quickening Moon.

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE FULL Snow MOON

The spiritual meaning of a full moon is often connected to completion, illumination, and transformation. This is because full moons are symbolic of the completion of a cycle. With the moon at its fullest, it is said to be the most powerful time for spiritual work, such as meditation and rituals. During a full moon, it is thought that a person’s intuition is heightened, and it is an excellent time to reflect on personal growth. The energy of the full moon is also believed to be a time of renewal and release, providing an opportunity to let go of anything that no longer serves us and to begin anew.

February’s full moon has been celebrated by many Indigenous tribes since long before the arrival of Europeans to North America. Many Eastern Woodland tribes called it the Hunger Moon, because of the scarcity of food during this time of year due to harsh winter conditions. This full moon was also believed to have magical attributes, such as providing courage, strength, and guidance. It was believed to be a time for re-evaluating decisions, gaining clarity and looking for new opportunities. 

For many, February’s Full Moon marks the beginning of the spiritual journey of self-discovery and a reminder to be mindful of our inner and outer environment. Symbolically, February’s Full Moon marks a time for self-reflection and contemplation, as well as embracing the power of transformation. It is a time to set intentions, find clarity and create balance in our lives. Taking the time to be still and listen to the wisdom of our inner voice is essential to creating the life we desire.

February's full moon

Full Moon Calendar 2024

In 2024, there will be 12 full moons. Mark your calendars accordingly! Here are the dates for the 2024 full moons: 

January 25, 2024 (The Full Wolf Moon)

On Thursday, January 25, 2024, at 12:54 PM EST, witness the Full Wolf Moon, marking the second full moon of winter. It’s also known as the Ice Moon, Old Moon, Moon After Yule, and Snow Moon.

February 24, 2024 (Full Snow Moon)

The Full Snow Moon graces the sky on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 7:30 AM EST, signaling the end of winter. It’s alternatively called the Hunger Moon, Chaste Moon, and Storm Moon.

March 25, 2024 (Full Worm Moon)

Catch the Full Worm Moon on Monday, March 25, 2024, at 3:00 AM EDT, ushering in the first full moon of spring. This moon is also referred to as the Sap Moon, Crow Moon, Chaste Moon, Sugar Moon, and Lenten Moon. A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse coincides with this full moon.

April 23, 2024 (Full Pink Moon)

The Full Pink Moon appears on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at 7:49 PM EDT, marking spring’s second full moon. It’s also known as the Egg Moon, Full Sprouting Grass Moon, and Full Fish Moon, the latter commonly used by coastal indigenous tribes.

May 23, 2024 (Full Flower Moon)

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 9:53 AM EDT, the Full Flower Moon emerges as the last full moon of spring. It’s also called the Corn Planting Moon and Milk Moon.

June 21, 2024 (Full Strawberry Moon)

The Full Strawberry Moon, the first full moon of summer, will be visible on Friday, June 21, 2024, at 9:08 PM EDT. Other names include the Rose Moon, Mead Moon, and Honey Moon.

July 21, 2024 (Full Buck Moon)

Sunday, July 21, 2024, at 6:17 AM EDT, brings the Full Buck Moon, the second full moon of summer. It’s also known as the Thunder Moon and Hay Moon.

August 19, 2024 (Full Sturgeon Moon)

The Super Sturgeon Moon, a seasonal blue moon and the third full moon of summer, occurs on Monday, August 19, 2024, at 2:26 PM EDT. It’s the first of four 2024 supermoons. Other names include the Barley Moon, Corn Moon, Dog Moon, Fruit Moon, Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Herb Moon, Red Moon, and Wyrt Moon.

September 17, 2024 (Full Harvest Moon)

Tuesday, September 17, 2024, at 10:34 PM EDT, features the Super Harvest Moon, the last full moon of summer and the second of four supermoons in 2024. A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse coincides with this moon. It’s also known as the Full Corn Moon in other years.

October 17, 2024 (Full Hunter’s Moon)

The Super Hunter’s Moon, the closest full moon of 2024 and the first of autumn, will be on Thursday, October 17, 2024, at 7:26 AM EDT.

November 15, 2024 (Full Beaver Moon)

On Friday, November 15, 2024, at 4:28 PM EST, the Super Beaver Moon, the second full moon of autumn and the last of the 2024 supermoons, will be visible. It’s also known as the Frosty Moon.

December 15, 2024 (Full Cold Moon)

The year concludes with the Full Cold Moon on Sunday, December 15, 2024, at 4:02 AM EST, the final full moon of autumn. Other names are the Long Nights Moon and the Oak Moon.

the full wolf moon

HONOR THE FULL MOON WITH A RITUAL

As we approach the full moon in February, I am reminded that we are not separate from these celestial wonders, but a part of them.

For centuries among every culture there have been full moon rituals, and yet they seem to be dying out. Herbalists, however, are great keepers of rituals, and most of us have our own celebrations to honor another month around the sun.

Developing and practicing a full moon ritual is one way to reconnect with the natural rhythms of the universe. Here is a wonderful full moon ritual that I have used to embrace the many gifts of this blessed time and restore my connection to Mother Earth. 

According to renowned American herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, “Our inner balance comes to us from our relationship to the moon,” so developing a full moon ritual can help you center and care for yourself during each new or full moon cycle.

Full Moon Ritual Bath

On nights of the Full Moon, it is a wonderful opportunity to submerge yourself in water. Not only does it cleanse the body, but it can help you to more deeply connect to the energy of the Moon. One of my favorite Full Moon activities is to take a detoxifying and meditative bath. It is believed that during the Full Moon, the body is able to absorb the minerals from the bath more effectively, allowing for greater benefits. To make the most out of February’s Full Moon bath, here is a step-by-step ritual you can use:

  1. Creating Space For Magic—Before you begin your ritual bath, it’s important to make sure your bathroom and tub are completely clean. This will help you clear any negative energy and create a relaxed, distraction-free atmosphere. Taking your time to deep clean your tub with natural products will make the entire process more enjoyable. Consider using a vinegar and water base with cleansing essential oils like tea tree and citrus for a natural yet effective clean. Finally, give your tub a hot rinse to ensure all the dirt and grime have been removed. With a sparkling clean bathroom, you can start your ritual bath with the perfect environment.

  2. Prepare Your Items—Find your best towel, a book if you like to read, and I always make sure to bring a journal just in case a great thought comes to me in the tub. To add an element of fire, why not light some scented candles in the room? Not only do they make the atmosphere more calming and inviting, they can also help to release built-up energy. Don’t forget a cold glass of water to cool you off and anything else you need to feel completely comfortable and relaxed.

  3. Draw A Healing Bath—Start running a warm bath and drop in some of your favorite bath salts or herbal bath melts. If you’d like to take it up a notch, add some herbs to the mix to make it even more indulgent and calming. Lower the lights, light some candles, and put on some soothing music to really set the mood. Binaural beats are great for reducing stress and promoting the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain.

  4. Soaking It Up—Step into the bath, find your most comfortable position, and let yourself relax. Use a towel or pillow to prop your neck or head if needed. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, tuning into how your body feels. Notice the warmth of the water on your skin, the scent of the oils or candles, the flickering of the candlelight against the wall and the way the flowers move along the surface of the water. Once you’re grounded, you can use this time for whatever feels right—reading, writing, meditating, stretching, or just being. Stay in the bath for as long as it feels good to you. Enjoy this time to heal and restore your body and spirit.

  5. Ending the Ritual—After taking the time to carefully set up your sacred space, it is just as important to take the time to return it to its original state. Let the candlelight continue to flicker as you rinse off in a calming atmosphere. As the water washes away any toxins and fills you with a new energy, simply wipe away any dried petals that may have accumulated around the tub or drain with a paper towel. These can be added to a compost. Give the tub a rinse with hot water, and if any oils have been used, use a natural cleaner to wipe it down one last time.

OTHER IDEAS FOR HONORING February’s FULL MOON

  • Gather with friends or family, or go solo to watch the full moon rise in the evening sky.
  • Practice yoga or meditation outdoors under the full moon for an extra special experience. If it’s simply too cold where you live, do yoga inside on the night of the full wolf moon. 
  • Take a nighttime walk and use the full moon’s light as your guide.
  • Create a special ritual that honors the full moon and its energy (see above). 
  • Spend some time journaling and reflecting on how the full moon’s energy affects you.
  • Make some sacred moon tea.  

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