Full Wolf Moon Meaning and Rituals

Wolf Moon Meaning in January, Energy Report, and Rituals

The Winter holidays have passed. Many of us sink into our shadowy shells in the month of January. To some this month seems particularly bleak. Yet in the cold, blustery nights we see the moon growing and bringing us a bit of magick. The Full Wolf Moon comes to us in the month of January and is the first full moon in the New Year. And it brings with it some potent energy for magick-makers. Let’s learn the wolf moon meaning, it’s history and lore, find out what energy it brings, and perform some powerful rituals to make the most of it.

Wolf Moon Meaning

I’m not a big fan of January, but truthfully, I can’t help but love the name of this moon. What witch or pagan doesn’t love the symbolism of the Wolf and therefore the Wolf Moon itself? The Full Wolf Moon occurs in the month of January annually. And here’s the thing – the symbolism of the wolf indeed empowers the magick of this full moon. The name Wolf Moon comes from the Native peoples of North America and indicates that this animal is particularly active at this time of year.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it was once believed that wolves howled during this Full Moon due to hunger. However, we know now that they howl for other reasons including to communicate with their packmates. There are other names for this Full Moon in January including the Severe Moon, Frost Exploding Moon, and Center Moon. All of which give us a glimpse into the energy of this esbat.

Energy Report: The Wolf Moon’s Spiritual Effects

As magical people, we understand and experience the moon phases in profound ways. We also know that the Full Moons in particular affect the environment and the people all around us. Often in a chaotic way. This is why the police officers and nurses all prepare for crazy shifts on Full Moons. If you are a magic worker, you’ll also be keenly aware of amplified supernatural activity on the Full Wolf Moon. In the “dead” of Winter, there are dead things about. I believe folks associate spiritual chaos with the Samhain season, when in reality, the spirits are active STARTING at Samhain and all through the Winter.

In addition, there is a feeling of sadness and emptiness during this time for many people. So that energy can permeate the air and be kicked up during the Full Wolf Moon. The holidays are over, a new year has begun bringing with it stressors that frequently affect the lot of us. Taxes, bills from the holiday spending sprees, and the brutal weather.

“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Here’s what to expect on the Full Wolf Moon if you’re a witch…

If you’re a witch or magical individual, you will feel the Full Wolf Moon strongly. You may encounter spirits while falling asleep at night or just before waking. The spirits are prone to wandering during the Full Wolf Moon and will be drawn to potent spiritual energy such as yourself. You may feel restless at this time and have an urge to hunker down, similar to the last Full Cold Moon in December. This is also a liminal time since January is between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox but not quite at the time of Imbolc, the first Spring sabbat.

You might also feel called to work with Winter deities such as the Cailleach, Odin, Skadi, Morozko, Berchta, and others. Since January 5th is the Night of the Epiphany, Berchta is particularly present during this time. And truly all month long, in my experience. In addition, cueing into the Wolf as a spiritual archetype is accessible during the Full Wolf Moon. Think wolf things like cunning, pack mentality, the hunt, endurance, speed, ferocity, and survival. Focus your full moon spells and rituals on these themes for extraordinary results. If you practice shamanic journeying and shapeshifting, the Full Wolf Moon is an easy time to cross the hedge.

Full Wolf Moon Spiritual and Magical Correspondences

Keep in mind, these spiritual and magical correspondences are not traditional, but based on my own personal practice. So, if you plan to perform ritual, cast spells, or engage in a little divination this Full Wolf Moon, consider crafting your own ritual and spells yourself. And use magical items, tools, and energies in alignment with the Full Moon in January. Which might include:

Wolfsbane (toxic)GrimoireFire ScryingClear quartzWolfWhite
RosemaryCandlesSnow & Ice ScryingSeleniteOwlBlack
PepperDrumsRunesSnowflake obsidianStagBlue

Rituals for the Full Wolf Moon in January

The magical energy shifts in January. We aren’t experiencing as much excitement as during the previous month. Things tend to quiet down and become a little more on the somber side. At least, this is how I experience the Full Wolf Moon and the first full moon of the New Year. Some common magical themes during this Full Moon include embracing peace and calm, dream work, shadow work, thinking of intentions for Spring and inner healing. Here I will provide a few rituals for the Full Wolf Moon.

1. Run with the Wolves: Shapeshifting Ritual

If you haven’t read Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes yet, I highly recommend you drop everything you’re doing and do so. Particularly if you’re a woman who is in need of embracing her own inner power. Secondly, the Full Wolf Moon’s meaning is tightly wrapped up in the symbolism of the Wolf…so why not engage in a little shapeshifting? When we say shapeshifting, we are referring to the visionary journeying that a witch does when they astral travel. Or what many call “cross the hedge” between this world and the spirit world.

The purpose in shapeshifting into the form of a wolf could be whatever you wish to accomplish while in spirit-wolf form. This could be with an intention of “hunting down” something you’ve been working to achieve. It could be to feel more empowered within yourself. To find a “mate” or simply to explore the other realms in a different guise. Be sure you know what YOUR intention is before engaging in any otherworldly journey.

What You’ll Need:

  • A quiet place
  • Incense and candlelight
  • Soft drumming music
  • Something that represents the wolf: tooth, claw, pelt, fur, or even a photo or figure

What to do:

  1. Turn down the lights, turn off any distractions including your phone, and light your incense and/or candles.
  2. Turn on some soft shamanic drumming music and sit in a comfortable position with the representation of the wolf in your hand or on your body.
  3. Close your eyes and listen to the drums. Breathe in and out slowly. Pay attention to your breathing for a few minutes.
  4. As you begin to feel yourself drifting, visualize either a tree or a hole in the ground. Some people might even enter through a cave or under the water. This will be your entrance to the Otherworld.
  5. Once you reach the other side, look around and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Then look down at your body and notice you are not in human form. You are now in the form of a great wolf.
  6. See a glimmering pond nearby and go to it. Look down at your reflection. You are in full wolf form.
  7. Familiarize yourself with being in a different spiritual body. When you feel comfortable and/or invigorated, go about your journey and towards your initial intention.
  8. Once you’ve accomplished what you came to the Otherworld to do, retrace your steps, thank the spirits for allowing you to visit, then go back through the way you came.
  9. Return to your human body slowly by wiggling your toes or fingers, feeling your breath in your lungs, and opening your eyes.
  10. Record your journey. Then go outside (if you aren’t already) and feel the energy of the Full Wolf Moon coursing through you.

2. Quicken Your Results: A Simple Power-Amplification Ritual

This is a simple ritual that embraces the Full Wolf Moon Meaning in order to amplify whatever magick you’re currently working. It only requires two things: a representation of the Wolf and a representation of the Moon. If you can print out a picture of a wolf standing near the Full Moon, even better!

Once you have the item, hold it between your hands and close your eyes. Visualize a great wolf, the leader of its pack, howling at the Full Moon. See the energy from that wolf connecting with the energy of the Full Moon. I like to envision sparkles flowing from the Moon into the wolf and back to the Moon. Sort of a magical feedback loop. Now see yourself reaching out and gently touching that beam of magical energy.

Feel it flowing through your hand and into your body, to the top of your head and down to the bottom of your toes. This is Divine Full Wolf Moon energy. Open your eyes and place the wolf and moon somewhere you will see it every day until the next full moon.

3. Rune Casting on Snow

For this Divination ritual, you’ll need your set of runes and a background with snow. If you can go outside and cast the runes directly onto the snow, even better! I have also used a cloth of white to represent the snow since where I live I don’t get snow often. This is a powerful way of casting runes because it utilizes the snowy weather and taps into the Full Wolf Moon energy. Bonus points if you can cast runes outside on the Full Moon!

This reading is as simple as pulling three runes from your bag, then cast them onto your cloth or directly onto the snow (just be aware if they sink you’ll need to fish them out!). Again, you may have a question in mind or simply allow the runes to speak. Sometimes they’ll all fall facing up, sometimes they’ll all fall facing down or another variation. You might interpret the runes that fall facing up as the more pressing matters and the ones face down as not so pressing. Alternatively, runes facing up are positive outcomes and runes facing down are setbacks.

When the Full Snow Moon comes in February, read up about it so you’re prepared!

MORE Full Wolf Moon Rituals and Activities to Try

Since I’m a mother, a wife, and a business owner, I don’t always have time to do a full-blown ritual on the Full Wolf Moon. So I’ll try to work my magick in other ways. Here are a few full wolf moon rituals and activities to try:

  • Take a cleansing ritual bath (and if you have a window in your bathroom, open the blinds so you can see the Full Moon)
  • Tap into the energy of the Wolf Gods and Goddesses by reading about them and connecting with them in meditation
  • Wear something that represents the Wolf (a t-shirt, accessory, etc.)
  • Repeat a personal affirmation on the Full Wolf Moon that affirms you are cunning, wise, and strong like the Wolf
  • Cleanse and charge your crystals, tools, etc. by the light of the Full Moon
  • Make full moon water to use as a cleansing substance
  • Make a Full Wolf Moon tea or brew to drink and share with your guides
  • Write in your grimoire or record your most recent dreams in a dream journal
  • Cast spells for manifesting things like love, career success in the New Year, health, etc.
  • Read up on all of the esbats, including the Full Buck Moon and Snow Moon

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