The Witches Lunar Year
The Moon has so many names associated with her, depending on what part of the world you live in, traditions and cultures. Just like the seasons have their cycles so to does the Moon. If you count from the Oak Moon when it is closest to the Winter Solstice in June or December depending on the hemisphere you live in then you can work through the moons for each of the months.
The Full Moon nearest the Winter Solstice is called the Oak Moon. The Oak Moon symbolizes the Oak Tree with its branches in the physical world reaching towards the light, while its roots are in the darkness of the underworld, the spiritual. A time to tap into ancient knowledge and wisdoms.
The Moon after the Winter Solstice/Yule is called the Wolf Moon, a time of our deepest winter. The name is attributed to when our ancestors would hear the howling of the wolves and see them beginning to venture out of their dens in search of food as they were driven by hunger. Call on the Wolves energies for their teachings.
THE BEAR OR STORM MOON
The August moon in the Southern hemisphere has the Storm Moon and we also have the Bear Moon, one of our favourites. These moons would also go by these names in the Northern hemisphere, but in February.
When life is stirring and new growth has started we celebrate with the Sabbat of Imbolc and the Bear celebrates with his/her awakening and choosing to venture out further from the den. He/she may have been awake for some weeks but with the full moon above him he is able to follow his path in a more direct weave and plan his new beginnings whatever they may be. The Bear is a symbol of the Goddess and motherhood as the bear protects her cubs as they romp around in the new grass and still snowy lands. The bear returns to the lands as does the Goddess after her rest and hibernation.
Perhaps you feel that you have stayed indoors too long or have become a recluse, now is the time to ‘awaken’ yourself and your energies, there is a whole new world outside to explore, a world that has been changed from the magick of winter and now sees new life, rebirth and nature making good on the promise of returning the sun and the thaw to our lands. Celebrate your awakening with a feast of fresh greens, berries, nuts and honey.
THE CHASTE OR SEED MOON
Chaste is a word meaning “pure” and with the season of Spring, this is a time of new beginnings, birth, initiations and blessings. A time to sow the seeds of intention, including within the garden.
Associated with fertility and Spring, the Hare symbolizes playtime, fertility, mating and joy. Remember to smile and have fun when the Hare Moon shines in our skies.
Dyad means “Twoness or “otherness” The Dyad moon is during the time of Beltane and the joining and consummation of the Gods and Goddesses. The Sacred marriage of the Deities when they join their two forces together and become one. Honour the Deities and their union.
This was a time when meadows (meads) were mown and honey filled the farmer’s bee hives. “Mead” a favourite drink of the ancients was made from the honey and offered a nutritious, healing and magickal drink for all those who did partake. Include honey dishes during your Esbat foods.
Wort is an old Anglo Saxon word for Herb. This was the time when the herbs were full in the gardens and across the lands. Gathered and prepared they were made into elixirs, potions and lotions for later use.
BARLEY OR GRAIN MOON
The Barley Moon symbolizes the harvest within the land and our own lives. The ancient grains that have sustained us with their energies of rebirth, protection, healing and from going hungry. A Moon to honour all grains.
HARVEST AND WINE MOON
The moon nearest to the Autumn Equinox represents the harvest that is so abundant within the lands. The extra light helped the farmers work later into the evening harvesting their crops. The grapes are full and ripe and ready to be made into wines. A time to rejoice in the harvest and what nature has given us, enjoy in the elixirs from the vine and drink a toast to the Harvest.
THE BLOOD MOON
Also named the Hunters Moon, This Moon came at the time when the Harvest was over and the winter season was beginning. Villagers and farmers knew what the winter would bring and that they would need food and warmth to help them through the long periods of cold. The farmers also could not house all animals over the winter as this would take a lot of extra feeding from their crops. Many animals were slaughtered and this in turn gave warmth (from their skins) and food from their flesh. All parts were used and nothing was wasted. Bones would be made into tools and horns and skulls were used as vessels to carry water or ale. The people believed that the Moon became red due to the blood shedding and thus became known as the Blood Moon. This is a time when we today have our Sabbat of Samhain, a time that honours death and those who have passed on through to the Summerland, be they human or animal.
THE SNOW MOON
As we have come into the winter season, this Moon symbolizes the lands and the icy grip that is upon us all and when the first flakes of snow were said to fall. Whether or not we have snow, it is certainly a cold time. This is when we begin to hibernate, reflect on the past and draw from old experiences. Also called the hunger Moon.