Howling Into the New Year: Why You Should Try a Full Wolf Moon Ritual

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It’s a new year, which means a lot of firsts. First day of 2020. First Monday (ugh). First day back at work (double ugh). First weekend. And in the coming days, the first full moon of the decade. On Friday, January 10th it is the first full moon of the year, otherwise known as the Wolf Moon. Other names for this specific full moon include Old Moon, Ice Moon and the Moon After Yule. It has several names, which is the first clue that this moon is a powerful opportunity to transform and heal as we enter the new decade. And in 2020 the Wolf Moon happens to coincide with an eclipse, also the first of the year, making it even more meaningful. 

This week’s eclipse is known as a penumbral lunar eclipse, which occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned, and only the outer shadow of Earth falls on the moon’s face, creating a more subtle lunar eclipse. It’s harder to discern than a full or even partial eclipse, and if you’re not in the right place at the right time, you’ll probably miss it completely — sadly it won’t be visible anywhere in the U.S. because it occurs at 2:21pm EST (during daylight hours). 

But even though you cannot see it, the eclipse coinciding with the Full Wolf Moon is still a spiritual and transformative event for many people looking to embrace a fresh start this year and achieve a sense of balance during this transitional period. It’s a chance to wash away insecurities from the past and anything that makes you feel imbalanced or unsettled, and it’s a really good excuse to dedicate some time and energy to a ceremony or practice that will help you set positive intentions for the year ahead. 

What Is a Full Wolf Moon Ritual?

Put simply, a Full Wolf Moon ritual (or really any ritual performed during any full moon) is a ceremony of sorts or some symbolic action that occurs on the night of the full moon. It can be a formal ceremony or a more casual intentional action. It can be a symbolic behavior or event that you observe during the full moon, with the purpose of using the energy of that moon to impact your life in some way. Full moons are thought to be powerful sources of energy, but that energy can be used for good or it can wreak havoc on your life. It all depends how you approach it and how you harness those energetic qualities to amplify what is already taking place in your life. 

During a full moon, “crazy energy, as well as loving energy, will be intensified. Knowing this is a huge opportunity for your emotional and spiritual growth,” explains Feng Shui expert Jayme Barrett for MindBodyGreen. This is where a full moon ritual can be so useful and beneficial — it can help you use your actions to make the power of the first full moon of the year work for you, not against you. 

Think of a Full Wolf Moon ritual as an empowering practice that focuses on transformation and spirituality during a full moon — this ritual taps into your unconscious mind and helps to stimulate change deep within by harnessing the energy of the moon. We know, a full moon ritual isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay. It also might mean something very different for different people. Just as yoga or meditation can feel different to every individual, what really matters is finding ways to make this ritual your own so you can get as much out of the experience as possible.

Ideas For a Meaningful Full Wolf Moon Ritual

So where do you begin if you’re down to practice a Full Wolf Moon ritual this coming weekend? For starters, don’t stick to someone else’s agenda or plan, and instead try to craft a ritual that suits your needs, your mood, your intentions, and your personal capabilities in terms of time and effort. Remember that the rituals you create yourself will have the most positive impact on your life. But to get you started, here are some inspirations for your full moon ritual. 

Create a Vision Board

A full moon is a perfect time to focus on your dreams to set yourself up for success. And the fact that this full moon happens to occur in the first week of the year makes it even more appropriate and powerful to start manifesting your vision for a better and more fulfilling year/decade/future. Create a vision board with visuals, photos, words, and images that represent your dreams. Put the board somewhere you can see it every day such as by your bed, by your front door, or where you work. Creating this board during the full moon will give your board (and you) extra inspiration and motivation to get things done this month and this year. 

Make a Photo Album of Loved Ones

One of the most important things we can do to wipe our slate clean and start fresh this year is to forgive others and move on from anything holding us back in the past. Instead of wasting energy on things that make you sad or angry, choose to let those feelings go and use your energy on positive feelings of love and warmth. Especially during the Full Wolf Moon when energy is amplified and emotions run high, use the power for good and create an album of photos of people you care about and memories that make you happy.

Take a Relaxing Bath

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Create the ultimate relaxing environment and turn the lights down low, light some candles, sprinkle in some aromatic bath salts, and soak in a warm tub. Listen to your favorite music, close your eyes and just breathe. When you emerge from the tub you’ll feel refreshed and literally cleansed for the new year.  

Meditate

Whether you do it at home, by yourself or in a group setting such as a yoga class or a mindfulness class, take a moment to meditate. Use your energy to create a sense of calm and peace, and use the power of the full moon to create a sensation of stillness amid the chaos. You can even host a Full Wolf Moon meditation gathering for friends with similar interests. 

Reflect and Write Down Your Goals For the Year

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Use this opportunity to set goals for the year, recognizing that the New Year’s resolutions rush is over, and now you can actually think about realistic and rewarding goals you want to achieve, as well as what has impacted you emotionally and spiritually in the past. What has made you feel at home or fulfilled in the past? What relationships do you value most? What relationships could you work on more? What do you need to express to experience closure from last year so you can move forward? What do you need from others to help you achieve these goals? Are you getting in your own way of success? Think about it, work through it, and write it all down.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

And when in doubt, focus on what you are thankful for, proud of, and excited to experience in 2020. Write down each and every positive thought of gratitude. And then read out loud what you have written. Use the positive, powerful, healing energy of the new moon and the new year to guide you and bring you good karma for the future.