Howling at the Full Wolf Moon

wolf snow wikimedia

If the cold and deep snows of midwinter have come to your area, you may identify with the traditional name for the January Full Moon of Wolf Moon.  Adapted from American Indian names for this Full Moon, it came from the wolf packs that howled hungrily outside villages.

Here in Paradelle, it’s snowing hard and I doubt that the Moon will be visible tonight. The blizzard winds are howling around the house, but that is as close as we’ll get to wolves.

This month’s moon is also known as the Old Moon, Moon After Yule, and Snow Moon.

Though many ancient civilizations connect wolves with the moon, scientists have found no connection between the phases of the moon and wolf howling.

Hecate, Greek goddess of the moon, kept the company of dogs, as did Diana, Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt. In Norse mythology, there is the tale of a pair of wolves that chase the moon and sun to summon night and day. The American Seneca tribes believe that a wolf sung the moon into existence.

Wolves do howl more at night because they’re nocturnal and they howl up to the stars and moon because the sound carries farther then.

But perhaps you live where there isn’t snow, wolves or even winter. According to, in the Southern Hemisphere the names for this January moon are Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Mead Moon. I think they just flipped the names we usually use in other seasons. I can’t believe that people in South America call any moon the Buck Moon.

Any readers outside the United States: What do you call the Full Moons in your country?


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

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