Continuing our exploration of what celebration looks like in modern Pagan families, this is the next in our series of blogs from the Children & Families Team write about the traditions they have developed to celebrate the full moons of the year with their children aged 3 years and up, continuing with the December full moon.
December’s moon is often known as the Cold Moon because the days and nights now are indeed very cold. We’ve had lots of snow already here in Yorkshire, which has made for some wonderful walks with my 4-year-old. We have a lovely story from the little oak learning, all about the Hiddles who live in an oak tree, they ask all their woodland animal friends how they keep warm then go home and try it- blankets, jumpers, food, warm drink. We will read this snuggled under our blankets with moon snacks and a hot chocolate and give thanks to the moon.
Another name for this moon is Oak Moon. This is believed to be because of the druids cutting mistletoe from oak trees. We will do some oak leaf crafts and read the holly King and oak king.
This year’s December moon is also the Moon Before Yule, so a good time to read some festive stories and make some decorations in preparation for the Solstice. We will make our solstice incense and leave it out under the moonlight to charge.
We will include aspects of all of these on our moon altar and of course some moon biscuits.
Manager, Children & Families Team
The December full moon can be known as cold moon, oak moon or long night moon and in my house, we call it cold moon as by now the temperatures are usually cold. On this moon we tend to say a Thank You for what we have today and feel connected to our ancestors by remembering how hard this time of year was for them, after all they did not have the modern luxuries we do today. It is a good exercise in feeling grateful for what we have.
This moon is associated with fire and water so we will light a candle during our ritual for thanks and make moon water.
Herbs and incense associated with the December moon are holly, Ivy, fir, mistletoe, cedar, juniper, sage, lilac, violet, patchouli, frankincense, myrrh, rose and geranium and as our moon gardening activity is gathering or harvesting, we will spend this moon gathering winter greenery which is always lovely to have in the house at this time.
Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team
The beginning of December brings a solar eclipse in Sagittarius, a sort of super charged new moon. Eclipses always happen at new and full moons, twice a year when the earth, sun and moon are in alignment. Sagittarius is a fire sign, which might seem strange in the dark and cold of December. But this is lights in the darkness season, a phrase I use so much each year I’m sure my kids are sick of hearing it. In the Christian church it’s the season of advent and in our family, we like to find a more pagan take on this Sagittarius energy of hope and optimism as we look forward to the rebirth of the sun at the Winter Solstice. Lantern parades often happen locally, either at our local park or the tiny urban nature reserve down the road, where we have been known to gather to walk the paths between the trees at twilight, lanterns held high. Sagittarius is the seeker of the zodiac, and this is a great new moon to sow the seeds of a new journey, perhaps an inner journey towards learning something new or exploring our beliefs. Then we can reach out to like-minded folk with the full moon in Gemini later in the month, making both inner and outer connections.
London District Liaison, Children & Families Team
December moon is Moon Before Yule in our house. As this is quite a busy time of year, it is often a forgotten moon, and we don’t really have any traditions specifically attached the ritual or worship around it.
In the main, all our celebrations for this time of year are a blend of Yule, Christmas, new moon, and full moon. When my children were little, we would read stories about the season in general, and watch films more geared towards Christmas than Yule or the full moon. We visit family and friends and take the overall period as more of a community celebration with individual highlights than try to separate out all the different festivities.
As many of the festivals in November and December are focused on the return of the sun, the December full moon has a feel of clearing away the old to make way for the new. We take time to visit local light festivals and, if we are feeling brave, will enjoy a roaring fire in the garden.
Deputy Manager, Children & Families Team