What would you do with your days if each one was only six hours long? How much of that day would you allocate to spend with your family and loved ones? For most of us the value of time shared with those we care about increases exponentially when we think of the limited time we have with them. This is the essence of December’s Full Moon, the Long Night’s Moon.
Also known as the Cold Moon, this month’s Full Moon reached her fullest point early in the morning on Christmas Day. This was the first time that Saint Nick’s sleigh has been guided by a Full Moon since 1977. This Full Moon rested within the constellation of Cancer, which is the embodiment of home and ultimate nurturing instincts. Perhaps most importantly, December’s Full Moon marked a very auspicious day in the wheel of the year known as the Yule. Yule is the Winter Solstice which is the longest night and indicates the shift of the pendulum to days beginning to gain more and more length. All of these elements together make this Full Moon a significant time to reflect on the precious time we share with those we love.
Traditionally, Yule was honored within the community as a long night of celebration sharing food, wine and gifts. The Yule log was lit in each home and guests would visit each other bearing toys for new members of the family; sweet cakes and beeswax candles signifying the hive of the community and the returning light in the New Year. Pine, Cedar and Evergreen were brought inside to adorn the home and it was then dried into boughs that were later used to burn an extra hot fire designed to clean the hearth in Spring; hence the origins of Spring cleaning. The jingling bells we associate with Yule are literally a reference to the ringing bells of neighbors stopping by with gifts and joy to share.
As the longest night before the return of the sun, this time of year has long been held as a time for reflection upon the previous year and as an opportunity to create prophecies and projections for the year to come. Setting of goals and aspirations like this has woven itself into contemporary life through the practice of New Year’s Resolutions. Such self-reflection is especially catalyzed this year by the Cold Moon occurring within the zodiac sign of Cancer. While sometimes overly subject to the watery flows of emotion, Cancer’s biggest care is family. Whether by blood or their closest relationships, they deeply value the peace and joy that family brings.
Do you remember where you were early on the morning of December 25th when all this natural alchemy was occurring? Were you wide awake with anticipation of the day filled with family and celebration of the season or deep asleep dreaming of warm fires and hot cocoa? What thoughts came to you? What fears or regrets? What inspirations? Those were the messages of this month’s Full Moon wisdom. How can you embody that wisdom and absorb and embrace the lunar pedagogy that came to you during that time? Is it more time with loved ones or perhaps more quality time alone? Is it more time tending to your own hearth and fire, making sure you keep your corner of the hive thriving? Do you see yourself on the precipice of a journey guided by something outside yourself? Now is a perfect time to set such shifts into motion Baby and only you know what Yule tidings are meant for you to put into play this year! Embrace it!
Words by Jamie Leigh Fish
Full Moon artwork by Garek Jon Druss