The Wolf Moon is a name given to the first full moon of the year, arriving in January. It’s a time when the clear, cold skies in the northern hemisphere mean the Moon is at its brightest. Although it’s visible all around the world, January’s wolf moon tends to hold a greater significance for those in the colder seasons.
When to see the full wolf Moon in 2024
This January’s wolf Moon rises on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at 17:54 GMT/ 12:54 P.M. EST.
Full moons occur when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun so that its face is fully illuminated by the Sun’s rays. This happens approximately once a month, when the moonrise and sunset happen simultaneously, and it’s the peak in the lunar calendar.
What are the origins of the wolf Moon?
It’s thought that the name “Wolf Moon” comes from certain Native American tribes who gave distinct names to each full Moon, based on the time of year and the activities happening in their surroundings.
According to the Algonquin tribes, the full moon in January was called the Wolf Moon because wolves were often heard howling during this cold and barren time of the year. Whether a howl of hunger or a howl for marking territory, the sound of the wolves morphed into the moniker for this Moon. And although this name has stuck – and spread – other tribes had different names for January’s full Moon. (these are described below).
In addition to Native American tribes, the Old Farmer’s Almanac also has its own set of full moon names, which were derived from Colonial American and European sources, and they also reflect the changing seasons, environment, and activities of the time.
Why is the wolf Moon special?
The influence of the Wolf Moon has been a part of human culture for centuries. Many cultures have their own stories and myths about the Moon and its power, and the January Moon calls forth strength, loyalty, courage, and the power of community.
In Native American culture, the Wolf Moon offered a time to gather together and share stories. The appearance of this bright, full Moon, rising high in the sky through the long, clear nights encouraged a sense of optimism, when winter was still at its peak.
Today, the Wolf Moon is still a time of celebration for many people. As the first full Moon in the new year, its’ illumination brings an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and also to set our sights on what we may want to achieve in the coming months.
What does the wolf Moon mean spiritually?
The spiritual meaning of the Wolf Moon relates to clear sight, hope, and vision through the darkness. It’s also about stepping up as a fierce protector and nurturer in your life.
Occurring during the longest winter nights of the whole year, the Wolf Moon often symbolizes tapping into your inner strength, resilience, and instincts. Often associated with trusting your intuition, this Moon offers us a guiding light through the darkness and can help us to discover our own, self-sourced wisdom.
Right at the beginning of the year, before Spring arrives, the January full Moon invites us to drop into our dreams and tap into our inner world. The Wolf Moon’s spiritual meaning relates strongly to recognizing the unseen connections you have with your pack. Whether it’s your family, friends, or community, this full moon is a reminder to honor and nurture those connections.
The importance of community and cooperation are highlighted by the full wolf Moon, as these same instinctive values are mirrored in this Moon’s totem. Wolves live in packs, living and hunting together. They are a sign of the freedom that comes from interdependence.
It’s about finding the power that emerges from your vulnerability with others, and drawing on the strength of togetherness from your own “pack”.
In some cultures, the Wolf Moon can be a time to honor and connect with ancestral wisdom and traditions. The spiritual meaning of paying homage to those who came before is called forth as the land is bare, and “stripped to the bones”.
Realize that the spiritual significance of the Wolf Moon can vary widely depending on cultural and individual beliefs. The January full Moon also falls in the astrological sign of Leo, and this brings a whole other perspective and potential for interpretation.
Other January Moon Names
Frost Exploding Moon
Freeze Up Moon
What are you supposed to do on the full wolf Moon?
Like any full Moon, the wolf Moon can be a time for ritual, ceremony, celebration, and gathering with friends. Getting together with your pack to celebrate January’s full Moon under a clear night sky can be one of the best ways to harness the particular spiritual power of this Moon.
Being in the middle of the cold season, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get up and go outside, when the winter nights draw on. But if you can wrap up tight, light a fire, and share a little warmth with like-minded pack members, January won’t feel so cold after all.
Wolf Moon Ritual 2024
The Wolf Moon is a great time to perform a ritual to release any negative energy and to welcome positive energy into your life. Here’s a simple ritual you can perform during the Wolf Moon:
1. Set up your fire somewhere suitable – your garden, a designated campsite, fire pit, for example, but don’t light your fire yet.
2. Gather with friends as the sun sets and night draws in.
3. Once darkness falls and the Moon rises in the sky, light the fire. Take a few moments for quiet, deep self-reflection and centering, allowing the group to attune to their surroundings and the Moon’s glow.
4. Invite your friends to take turns making a small offering to the fire (a twig, or dried leaf, for example) and then share an intention, aspiration, or personal reflection related to the Wolf Moon. This sharing can be informal and spontaneous, allowing each person to speak from the heart.
5. If it feels good, encourage drumming, singing, or dancing around the fire, to celebrate the Moon’s light and the spirit of the Wolf Moon. Encourage a sense of levity and joy, as the whole group embraces the heat and illumination of the fire.
6. Conclude the ritual with a collective expression of gratitude, acknowledging the transformative power of the fire and the shared experience under the light of the Wolf Moon. Offer a closing blessing or affirmation to honor the energy of the evening.
7. Don’t forget to ensure that the fire is properly extinguished.
When is the next full Moon?
If you love the bright light of the full Moon, HERE you can find an entire calendar for all the full Moons in 2024.
Now tell me how you’re planning to unleash your inner howling wolf and harness the power of the January full Moon. Leave me a comment below!