The First Full Moon of the Year Is the Poet’s Moon

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It’s January, from the Roman god Janus who had two faces and ruled over beginnings and endings and the past and the future. To start the new year right, you should leave the old and outdated in your life and make plans for new. I’m not sure if Romans made new year resolutions, but it would make sense.

The Holiday Moon is a name used in China where this is considered a time for settling debts, honoring ancestors, and having family reunions. Paper images of dragons are carried through the streets and fireworks are used to chase away evil entities and misfortune.

This month’s Full Moon on the 26th is often called the Wolf Moon for the howling of hungry wolves that once gathered outside villages and native encampments. It is also known as the Winter Moon, Hunger Moon, Old Moon, Moon After Yule, and the neo-Pagan Ice Moon.

This is the also the time of the year that is the first arrival of the Morning Star in the east. The Morning Star isn’t a star but just the name given to the planet Venus when it appears in the east before sunrise. The Greeks referred to “Phosphorus” (“Light-Bringer”) or Heōsphoros (“Dawn-Bringer”) when speaking of Venus in its morning appearance.

The Druids consider our January to be their Llianth, their fourth month of the year. This full moon is known as the Poet’s Moon. It is a good time for creativity and inspiration.

Let us not forget the many Native American names for this moon based on where the tribe was located.  For northern tribes, this might be the Cold Moon (called Unolvtani in Cherokee celebrations) or Cooking Moon, Moon of the Terrible, Moon When Trees Pop, Moon of the Raccoon, Full Snow Moon marked the start of the season for personal and ritual observance, fasting and personal purification. It was a time to prepare for planting by repairing tools to be ready for the next season which would begin with the Windy Moon in March. It was the time for the Cold Moon Dance, and for community fires to be put out and new ones to be made by the holy men of certain clans.

 

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Ken Ronkowitz

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

7 thoughts on “The First Full Moon of the Year Is the Poet’s Moon”

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