the full wolf moon

All About The Full Wolf Moon: The First of the Year’s 13 Moons

The Outdoor Apothecary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The first full Moon of the year, known as the Full Wolf Moon, will shine brightly in the sky on Thursday, January 25, 2024, and reach peak illumination at 12:54 PM Eastern Time. 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.

the full wolf moon

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.

full moons

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.

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.

full moons

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 on January 25th, 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.


Tools: Paper, pen or pencil, matches, glass jar or bowl

This is one of the most rewarding full moon rituals you could perform. It’s highly symbolic and lends itself to lasting feelings of accomplishment, since it lasts all month long.

What to do: List your desires and what you would like to manifest in your life. Feel the possibilities swirl around you. Believe in the outcome and think of ways in the coming month that you can help your desires to become reality.  Think of ways you can take action.

  1. Start by lighting a candle, focus on getting present and letting go of everything spinning through your mind.

  2. Spend a few moments thinking about what no longer serves you and what you want to release, 

  3. Take the paper and, one by one, jot down the things you’d like to have show up into your life over the next month – these are your full moon wishes.

  4. Place the wish list someplace special: in a special box or jar, for example  – and then set it outside to soak up the moonlight.

  5. In the morning, bring the wishes back inside and place them somewhere you will see it daily. It’s a great idea to create a sacred space for keeping your wishes, but make sure it’s somewhere that you can gaze on it daily.  Each evening before you go to sleep, take a look at your list and think about those desires.

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.  

Get the FREE 2024 Lunar Calendar

Free 2024 Lunar Calendar

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top