The first full Moon of the year, known as the Full Wolf Moon, will shine brightly in the sky this Friday night. The Wolf Moon rises over the eastern horizon around sunset on January 6th, 2023 at 6:09 P.M. EST. At a full Moon, the Moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun, so its face toward Earth will be completely illuminated by sunlight.
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.
The moon has long been an object of spiritual contemplation, and its phases are studied with reverence by many cultures, inspiring a sense of belonging to nature. The Moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth causes tides to rise and fall, affecting the rhythm of our lives and our surroundings.
Let’s find out more about this amazing celestial body.
Why is it called the Full Wolf Moon?
The January Full Moon is commonly referred to as the Full Wolf Moon due to the Native American tradition of associating the month with howling wolves. In some climates, January is the coldest and most snow-filled month of the year, and it was believed that the howling of wolves was more prevalent during this time of food scarcity and hunger. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are also used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting. This association of wolves to January’s Full Moon is a time-honored tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation.
Other Names for the January Full Moon
The full Wolf Moon is the most common name for the January full moon, but other names have been used throughout history to describe this winter full moon. Other names include Stay Home Moon, Ice Moon, Old Moon, Quiet Moon, and Moon After Yule. Native American names include Severe Moon and Center Moon.
Spiritual Meaning of the Full Wolf 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.
As the full wolf moon rises into the night sky, it offers an opportunity to go into a place of deep self-reflection. The spiritual meaning of the full Wolf Moon is a reminder that there is an unseen connection to your own “pack” that is worth recognizing and honoring. As you delve into this meaning of the Full Wolf Moon, reflect on ways you are connected to your community and how you might protect what matters most.
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.
The Two Types of Full Moons
There are two types of full moons: Micromoons and Supermoons. The full Wolf Moon in 2023 is a micromoon. A Micromoon occurs when the moon is at its farthest point from the Earth in its orbit. This makes the moon appear smaller in the night sky and less luminous than usual.
A Supermoon occurs when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit. This makes the moon appear bigger and brighter than usual. Both of these phenomena are caused by the moon’s elliptical orbit around the Earth.
Full Moon Calendar 2023
In 2023, there will be 13 full moons. Each month will have one full moon, except for August. For the month of August 2023, there will be two full moons, with one being a rare blue moon. Mark your calendars accordingly! Here are the dates for the 2023 full moons:
January 6, 2023 (The Full Wolf Moon)
The January 2023 Full Moon will be on Friday, January 6, 2023 at 6:08 PM EST or 11:08 PM UTC. The January Full Moon will be the full moon in Cancer.
February 5, 2023 (Full Snow Moon)
The February 2023 Full Moon will be on Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 1:29 PM EST or 6:29 PM UTC. The February Full Moon will be the full moon in Leo.
March 7, 2023 (Full Worm Moon)
The March 2023 Full Moon will be on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 7:40 AM EST or 12:40 PM UTC. This will be the last full moon of the Winter 2023 season, and occurs before the spring equinox 2023. The March Full Moon will be the full moon in Virgo.
April 6, 2023 (Full Pink Moon)
The April 2023 Full Moon will be on Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 12:34 AM EDT or 5:34 AM UTC. This will be the first full moon of the Spring 2023 season and the first full moon after the spring equinox 2023. The April Full Moon will be the full moon in Libra.
May 5, 2023 (Full Flower Moon)
The May 2023 Full Moon will be on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 1:34 PM EDT or 6:34 PM UTC. It will be the second full moon of the Spring 2023 season and the second full moon after the spring equinox. The May Full Moon will be the full moon in Scorpio.
June 3, 2023 (Full Strawberry Moon)
The June 2023 Full Moon will be on June 3, 2023 at 11:42 PM EDT or June 4, 2023 at 4:42 AM UTC. This will be the third full moon of the Spring 2023 season, as it occurs about two weeks before the Summer Solstice. The June Full Moon will be the full moon in Sagittarius.
July 3, 2023 (Full Buck Moon)
The July 2023 Full Moon will be on Monday, July 3, 2023 at 7:39 AM EDT or 12:39 PM UTC. This will be the first full moon of the Summer 2023 season, as the first full moon after the Summer Solstice. The July Full Moon will be the full moon in Capricorn.
August 1, 2023 (Full Sturgeon Moon)
The August 2023 Full Moon will be on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 2:31 PM EDT or 7:31 PM UTC. This will be the second full moon of the Summer 2023 season, and the second full moon after the Summer Solstice. It will be one of two supermoons in 2023. The first August Full Moon will be the full moon in Aquarius.
August 30, 2023 (Full Blue Moon)
There will be a full blue moon in August 2023 on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 9:35 PM EDT or August 31, 2023 at 2:35 AM UTC. This will be the third and last full moon of the Summer 2023 season. It will be the second of two supermoons in 2023. The second August Full Moon will be the full moon in Pisces.
This moon is called a full blue moon because it’s the second full moon in a calendar month. It could also be referred to as a super blue moon because it is the second August Full Moon will also be a supermoon.
September 29, 2023 (Full Harvest Moon)
The September 2023 Full Moon will be on Friday, September 29, 2023 at 5:57 AM EDT or 10:57 AM UTC. This will be the first full moon of the Autumn 2023 season. The September Full Moon will be the full moon in Aries.
October 28, 2023 (Full Hunter’s Moon)
The October 2023 Full Moon will be on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 4:24 PM EDT or 9:24 PM UTC. It will be the second full moon of the Autumn 2023 season. It is the second full moon after the Autumnal Equinox. The October Full Moon will be the full moon in Taurus.
November 27, 2023 (Full Beaver Moon)
The November 2023 Full Moon will be on Monday, November 27, 2023 at 4:16 AM EST or 9:16 AM UTC. It will be the third full moon of the Autumn 2023 season. The November Full Moon will be the full moon in Gemini.
December 26, 2023 (Full Cold Moon)
The December 2023 Full Moon will be on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 at 7:33 PM EST or December 27, 2023 at12:33 AM UTC. It will be the first full moon of the Winter 2023-2024 season and the first full moon after the Winter Solstice. The December Full Moon will be the full moon in Cancer.
Honor the Full Moon with a ritual
As we approach the full moon on January 6th, which is known as the full Wolf Moon, 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 my favorite full moon ritual that I have used to embrace the many gifts of this blessed time every month 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.
Other ideas for honoring the 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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