full moons

The 12 Full Moons: Their Names, Meaning, and Magical Influence

All full moons have an impact on our lives, but each one has its own energy and characteristics that make it unique. Here are the traditional names of the 12 full moons, and what you should know about them.

The Outdoor Apothecary

Ancient Understanding

Since ancient times, the Moon has been integral to marking the passage of time and the changing of seasons. The moon is a dynamic, enchanting, and powerful force that has guided humankind since ancient times. From its monthly cycle of waxing and waning, to the season changes it brings with it, the Moon has long been a symbol of change.

Ancient cultures believed that our primal connection to the cosmos was through the moon, and throughout history it has been held in reverence as a guide to planting and harvesting, celebrations and fertility. Ancient cultures held the full moons in reverence because they knew that when she was full, she gave off her most powerful energy; her illumination could guide them toward great goals and aspirations.

The moon is often an object of fascination. Its phases and names say a lot about how we relate to, and derive meaning from, the moon’s seemingly ever-shifting aspects. Here are all 12 full moons, their names and meanings, plus tips on how they can influence your life. 

full moons

The 12 Full Moons

January - Wolf Moon

January’s full moon is traditionally known as the Wolf Moon, named for the hungry howling of wolves that would echo through the night air during this time of year. 

The Wolf Moon is believed to represent a time of renewal and the start of a new cycle. It is said to be a time of heightened intuition and spiritual growth, and to empower us to take a stand and make changes that will benefit our lives and the lives of those around us. Its energy is thought to be especially powerful when it comes to manifesting our desires, and it is a great time to focus on our goals and intentions.

Learn more about January’s Full Wolf Moon here: All About The Full Wolf Moon: The First of the Year’s 13 Moons

February - Snow Moon

The traditional name for the February full moon is the Snow Moon, as this is often the month when heavy snowfall blankets the landscape. The Snow Moon was given this name by Native American tribes, as February was typically the month when snow was the heaviest. 

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. Many Native American tribes also believed that the Snow Moon provided protection from the harsh winter weather, and that it was a time for renewal and rebirth.

Other names for the February full moon are: the Hunger Moon, the Ice Moon and Quickening moon. This is the season of Imbolc and a good time to think about what you would like to achieve during the coming seasons. 

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!

March - Storm Moon

The traditional name for the March full moon is the Worm Moon, which is derived from the Native American tribes of the northeastern United States. The name comes from the fact that as the temperatures begin to warm, earthworms start to make their presence known in the soil, and thus the name Worm Moon. 

The appearance of the Worm Moon is said to have both magical and spiritual implications, as it is seen as a time for renewal and growth. It is a time to plant new seeds of intention, both figuratively and literally, and to look ahead to the future with hope and optimism. The Worm Moon is a powerful reminder of the cycles of nature, and is a perfect time to focus on personal transformation and development.

The March full moon is also known as the Storm Moon. This is the season of Ostara, celebrating the start of springtime. 

April - Pink Moon

The April full moon is known as the Pink Moon. This name comes from early colonists in North America, as the pink phlox flower typically blooms around this time of year. The meaning of the Pink Moon is often associated with renewal and rebirth, as the spring season brings new life to the world.

 As for magical attributes, many believe that this full moon brings with it a heightened sense of creativity and intuition. It is a time for exploring one’s own inner power and for allowing oneself to be open to new ideas that can help bring about personal growth. It is also the season of love and conception, April is a good time to focus on romantic relationships, conceiving a child, and taking continued actions toward your goals.

 

The April full moon is known as the Wind Moon. 

May - Flower Moon

The traditional name for the May full moon is the Flower Moon. This name reflects the abundance of flowers that bloom in May, as well as the beauty of the moonlight during this time of year. The Flower Moon is associated with fertility and growth, and it is believed to have powerful magical properties. 

It is thought to bring good luck, abundance, and joy to those who take the time to appreciate its beauty. Additionally, the Flower Moon is believed to be a source of inspiration and creativity, encouraging people to focus on manifesting their dreams and desires.

As spring blossoms more fully in May, reflect on how your life has blossomed so far. What kinds of seeds have you planted? How can you tend to them over the next several months? 

Beltane also known as May Day takes place in May and marks the midway point between spring and summer.

June - Strawberry Moon

The June full moon is often referred to as the Strawberry Moon, due to the short season for harvesting strawberries in parts of North America. The Algonquin tribes named it for the wild strawberries that appeared around this time of year. This full moon is also known as the Rose Moon, Honey Moon, Mead Moon, and Hot Moon. 

Its magical attributes include its ability to open us up to the power of love and bring us closer to nature. It is a time to celebrate the beauty of the summer solstice and to honor the abundant energy of the season. This moon can also be used to create powerful ritual work or to set intentions in line with the energy of the season.

 June is a time to celebrate the longest day of the year with Litha and the Summer Solstice. Spend time outside, enjoying the long days and abundant sunshine.

July - Meadow Moon

The traditional name for the July full moon is the Buck Moon, and this name comes from the time of the year when male deer begin to grow their new antlers. This full moon is a time of growth and transformation, and it is believed to have magical attributes that can help us move forward in our lives. 

Some magical attributes associated with the Buck Moon include increased strength, courage, and determination. It is also said to give us the power to break free from negative patterns and start anew. On this night, it is believed that our intentions will be amplified, so it is important to focus on positive affirmations and to be mindful of the energy we put out into the world.

The July full moon is also known as the Meadow Moon and Blessing Moon. July is traditionally the warmest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and as such is a good time to relax, meditate and reflect on your life. It is also a good time to think about how you can bring more positive things into your life.

August—Sturgeon Moon

The traditional name for the full moon in August is the Sturgeon Moon. This name comes from the fact that sturgeon, a large fish native to North American waters, is most easily caught during this month when the full moon rises. This moon is also referred to as the Green Corn Moon due to the fact that this is the time of year when corn is especially ripe and ready for harvest. 

The Sturgeon Moon is thought to be a time of abundance, good fortune, and magic. It is said to bring forth abundance in all areas of life, including finances, career, and relationships. This is a time to focus on your dreams and goals, as the Sturgeon Moon has the power to manifest our desires.

The August full moon is known as the Barely Moon. The first harvest of Lughnasadh is celebrated in August, and it is a time to celebrate all the work and toil of the past months, while still planing ahead for winter.

September- Harvest Moon

The traditional name for the September full moon is the Harvest Moon. This name is derived from the fact that the moon rises at almost the same time each evening during this month, providing farmers with extra light to harvest their crops. 

The Harvest Moon is also associated with abundance, fertility, and gratitude. Magically, this full moon is a time to give thanks for the good things in your life and to practice abundance rituals to attract more positive energy into your life. It is also a time to focus on your goals and to reflect on the progress you have made. Make the most of this full moon’s energy to manifest your dreams and create a better future.

The September full moon is also known as the Singing Moon or Wine Moon. It is a time to celebrate the balance of light and dark, with the Autumn Equinox and Mabon. As the Wheel of the Year comes to an end, it also a good time to give thanks for all the blessing in your life.

October - Hunter’s Moon

The October full moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon, or Blood Moon. It is believed to be a time of great power, when the veil between the physical world and the spiritual realm is very thin. This moon is associated with courage and strength, as it is believed to aid hunters in the successful pursuit of their prey. 

It is also said to have magical properties that can help bring about positive change and transformation. Aligning with the celebration of Samhain, October is also a time to honor ancestors and those who have passed on, as it is believed to be a time of heightened spiritual connection.

It is also a good time to do spiritual and physical house cleaning, getting rid of what doesn’t serve you in the coming year, be that bad habits or clutter in your home

November - Beaver Moon

The traditional name for the November full moon is Beaver Moon, and it is given this name due to the Native American tradition of setting beaver traps during this time of the year. This moon signifies a time of preparation and gathering resources for the upcoming winter months. 

It is believed to be a magical time, with increased psychic abilities and heightened intuition. This is the perfect time to go within and focus on your intentions for the future. The Beaver Moon is a powerful time to set goals and manifest your dreams into reality.

The November full moon is also known as the Mourning Moon. The first full moon in the Wheel of the Year, November is a good time to cultivate healthy habits and continue to let go of negative energy.

December - Cold Moon​

The traditional name for the December full moon is the Cold Moon. This name is derived from the fact that December is typically one of the coldest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Cold Moon is a time for introspection and reflection, as it marks the end of the year and the beginning of the winter season. 

It is believed that the Cold Moon has powerful magical attributes, such as providing protection from the cold and helping to bring inner peace and harmony. It is also said to help manifest wishes and desires, as well as providing guidance and clarity.

The December full moon is also known as Big Winter Moon or Long Night’s Moon. It is a time to celebrate Yule or the Winter Solstice and the return of longer days. Spend time with family and friends and celebrate the beginning of winter.

Last Thoughts on the Full Moons

The moon is a constant source of power and inspiration for those who choose to make it so. The moon’s energy is strong, and we honor it by observing the magnificence of the full moons.

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