Full Cold Moon Spiritual Meaning, Magic, and Rituals
The Winter season is upon us. Samhain has long since passed and we are still feeling the effects of the ancestors’ visiting us. In fact, most of our ancestors are still hanging about…making their presence known and blessing us with love and prosperity. All of which is amplified the closer we get to the Full Cold Moon. Here, you’ll learn all about the magic and energy of this special Full Moon in December. What to expect energetically, what magic to perform, and the Full Cold Moon spiritual meaning.
What is the Cold Moon Meaning?
Where did the name Full Cold Moon come from? Is this an ancient name for the Full Moon or something more modern? The Full Cold Moon meaning is how it sounds – a Full Moon in which we feel the chilling effects of the Winter season. The Full Cold Moon occurs in the month of December. This year, in 2023, the Full Cold Moon will occur on December 26th in the Northern Hemisphere. Which makes it the Full Moon following the Winter Solstice (December 21st) and Christmas Day (December 25th). And, since it occurs on December 26th in 2023, it’s the same day as Boxing Day and the start of Kwanzaa. Making it an especially potent Full Moon.
Its History and Lore
The Full Cold Moon is a name that was given to this particular Full Moon by the Mohawk people. Because many indigenous tribes used the moon as a calendar, they often named each moon to keep track of the time. The Cold Moon obviously tells us this is the first lunar cycle in which we feel the chill of Winter beginning to settle in. There are other names for the Full Cold Moon depending on the indigenous people and region of North America including the Snow Moon (Cherokee), Hoar Frost Moon (Cree), Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers (Dakota), and Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki), among others. From the many names given to this moon in North America, we understand more deeply its unique spiritual energy.
The Cold Moon’s Unique Spiritual Energy
We have all kinds of powerful energy flowing through our atmosphere during the month of December. If you didn’t already know, there’s the Winter holidays including both pagan, Christian, and other religious observations. We have Krampusnacht (Krampus Night) and Faunalia on December 5th, St. Lucy’s Day on December 13th, Saturnalia beginning December 17th, Winter Solstice and Yule around December 21st, Christmas on December 25th, Kwanzaa and more.
This season brings in feelings of “hunkering down”, getting comfortable in our homes, preparing for Winter and enjoying one another’s company. In the past, our ancestors were busy preparing their food stocks, homes, and livestock for the long, cold months ahead. We still experience some of this “need to prepare” type energy, yet at a smaller level than our ancestors. Because of modern conveniences, our Winter holidays are less about survival and more about celebration. So, therefore, we are indeed blessed.
And, while things can seem peaceful at times, there can also still be a bit of chaos involved when it comes to appeasing everyone during the holidays. And we have the Full Cold Moon in December which always adds a bit of “extra” to the holiday season. I feel the Full Cold Moon amplifies the feelings of joy and festivities yet it can also bring some unstable, irrational energy into the fold.
What happens on a Full Cold Moon?
The Full Cold Moon rises and lights up the night sky. Its light brings a beauty to the landscape, and most especially if there’s already a fallen snow where you live. Depending on the person and situation, the Full Cold Moon can bring feelings of peace and quiet, comfort and joy. It can also bring feelings of insecurity, unprepared-ness, and anxiety. This truly depends on your personality, what moon phase you were born under, your zodiac sign, and what phase of life you’re currently living. There’s a reason cops, nurses, and other community service workers dread the Full Moon shift…because often it stirs up spiritual energy that is too much for some individuals to handle. And therefore, there might be more accidents and injuries, crime, and emotions run really high.
Are you a witch or magical practitioner? Here’s what to expect…
If you are particularly affected by the moon phases, the Full Moon in December will likely affect you. Unless you were born under a Full Moon, this Full Cold Moon might cause you to have a few sleepless or restless nights. You might dream prophetic dreams or involuntarily travel out of your body during the night. The Winter season energetically brings a time of self reflection, inner work, shadow work, and contact with the spirit world.
This is a time of the ancestors and spirits, as our Norse ancestors knew, and therefore you might be visited by your passed loved ones. In dream, vision, and via omens and signs. This is a common theme during the Cold Moon. There’s a reason people used to tell ghost stories around the fire during Christmas time. The spirits were and are active during the Winter season. In addition, you might get the urge to clean, declutter, and cleanse your space in preparation for the long Winter ahead. Honor those urges and instincts.
Full Cold Moon Spiritual and Magical Correspondences
Keep in mind, these spiritual and magical correspondences are not traditional, but my own personal practice. So, if you plan to perform ritual, cast spells, or engage in a little divination this Full Cold Moon, you might consider crafting your own ritual and spells yourself. And use magical items, tools, and energies in alignment with the Full Moon in December. Which might include:
|Rosemary||Cauldron||Automatic writing||Red jasper||Polar bear||Green|
|Cinnamon||Grimoire||Tarot & Oracle||Moss agate||Mouse||White|
Rituals for the Full Cold Moon in December
The magical energy flowing through the Winter season is palpable. You can literally see it, smell it, hear it and feel it. From the sight of Christmas lights and evergreens, to the smell of cinnamon and bread wafting on the air, to the sound of laughter and bells. At least, this is how I experience the Full Cold Moon and the Winter season. Some common magical themes during this Full Moon include purification, instilling peace and calm, dream work, shadow work, ancestral veneration and relieving anxiety. Here I will provide a few rituals for the Full Cold Moon.
Full Cold Moon Ritual to Purify and Shake Up the Stagnant Energy
You’ve heard of Spring cleaning? Well, I’m one that believes in EVERY season cleaning and purifying. Before the Winter season really settles in and before we feel like hibernating, consider cleaning and cleansing your space. This prepares us for the Winter season AND shakes up any stagnant energy from the previous season.
What You’ll Need:
- Cleaning supplies
- Bags for trash and donations
- Floor wash or powder
- Front door wash
- Herb bundle or incense
- Offering for household spirits
What To Do:
- Declutter your home. Go through your closets, drawers, cabinets, pantry, fridge, etc. Trash anything that can’t be donated. Bag up anything that can be donated then take it to the thrift store or local charity.
- Clean your home from top to bottom. I recommend starting at the top with fans, lights, and windows. Then moving down to the floors. Dust everything. Vacuum, mop, etc. The physical act of cleaning in itself is a way to shake up old, stagnant energy that tends to hang out in the corners and dark spaces of our homes.
- Next, prepare a front door wash and a floor wash or powder (depending if you have mostly carpeted or hard floor). A front door wash is an infusion of herbs in water and might include herbs like rosemary, basil, rue (be careful if you have an allergy), salt, lemon, etc. A floor wash might include the same ingredients, as well.
- Wash your front door, inside and out, and ask your household spirits to allow new, prosperous energy to flow in.
- Wash your floors with your floor wash (or spread your powder and vacuum/sweep it up), asking your household spirits to remove stagnant old energy and allow new to flow in.
- Last, smoke-cleanse your entire home with the smoking herb bundle or incense. Moving from room to room in a counter-clockwise fashion. Open your windows or doors to allow the old energy to leave and verbally invite new positive energy to flow in.
- Leave your offerings for your household spirits near the hearth of the home (kitchen/fireplace).
A Warming Simmer Pot Ritual for the Full Cold Moon
As it gets colder outside, what do we all think about on a daily basis? Staying warm! What better way to fill the air with joyful, warm vibes than to create a Winter Full Cold Moon Simmer Pot? These are easy to make, smell great, and you can repurpose the remnants later.
What You’ll Need:
- A large pot, dutch oven, or stockpot
- 3 sprigs of Rosemary
- One orange, sliced
- Juniper berries
What To Do:
- Fill a large pot, stockpot, or dutch oven just under halfway with water.
- Add your rosemary, oranges, and berries to the water.
- Bring the water to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer on low for up to 3 hours. The aromas and energies of the herbs within will fill your home with Wintry, loving, warm vibrations. This is particularly powerful on the Full Cold Moon.
- When finished, allow to cool, strain out the herbs, bottle the water. Then spray around the home for extra effect.
More Cold Moon Magical Activities and Traditions:
- Make pomander balls and hang on the tree and around your home for protection and blessings
- Add cinnamon sticks to your wreaths and garland
- Take a cleansing, uplifting ritual bath using (topically safe) Yuletide herbs like chamomile or rosemary
- Craft a special Full Cold Moon tea and offer a cup to your ancestors
- Tell ghost stories around a warm fire
- Cook and hold a Wintry feast with traditional Yuletide foods and wassail as a beverage
- Bake Christmas Yule cookies with your little one or with friends
- Cleanse and charge your Yule crystals and tools in the moonlight
- Make Full Cold Moon water to bottle and use for many magical purposes
- Tell the story of the Wild Hunt and leave offerings at the front door for the Winter spirits
- Craft a special Winter besom with evergreens, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, and the like then hang above the front door to bring in blessings this Winter season
- Work in your grimoire, taking special care in the Winter Solstice section and/or Full Moon esbat sections