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 January full moon.
The Moon that’s Æfterra Gēola
The moon in January in our household simply follows Æfterra Gēola, or ‘after Yule’. This period for me is an extension of the Yule period… Continuing to reflect on the positive elements of my life that the family is grateful for, and consider how best to improve my metaphorical harvest moving forward into the new year. It is popular in modern culture to think about resolutions this time of year though, for me, I resolve to complete tasks and make changes throughout the year.
Therefore, I do not make new year resolutions as such… The start of the year is busy enough without adding an oath of improvement to the mix, but we do spend the moon, Æfterra Gēola, reflecting on improvements (self and life) more generally. For 2022, fingers crossed for a conservatory upgrade!
Northwest Liaison, Children & Families Team
The January full moon is known as cold moon or wolf moon and my family know it as the cold moon as this resonates with us. Reputedly the coldest day of the year according to folklore is in January on the thirteenth, also known as The feast of St Hilary.
Herbs and scent associated with the January full moon are marjoram, thyme, angelica, holy thistle, patchouli, pine, lavender, mimosa, peppermint, musk and the elements associated are Earth and Air.
This January full moon is a special one for us as it is also Wassail when we honour and bless our trees for the year to come, so with the moon gardening activity being planting we shall be planting a tree and holding our Wassail under a wonderful full moon
Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team
January brings a full moon in Cancer (on January 17th), the sign of the family and of the mother. Activating the axis of Cancer and Capricorn, it’s a great time for practices and magic which help us to build emotional and material security or just to explore what those mean to us. This full moon emphasises the home so its a great time for some good old-fashioned house magic. Space cleansing is a great family activity – we tend to parade around the house banging saucepans and whatever else makes a noise to banish stagnant energy. Now that my children are a little older (8 and 12) they’re also keen to help make incense or carefully take charge of a candle for house cleansing.
The full moon in Cancer can be an emotional roller-coaster, so its a good time to reaffirm family bonds and make sure everyone feels safe and snuggled in to the family group, whatever form that takes for you. Holding space for our children to feel whatever they are feeling is a powerful practice for all of us and helps to build the emotional resilience which is the gift of this full moon.
London District Liaison, Children & Families Team