Insight for January 2020's Full Wolf Moon
January's full moon is known as the Wolf Moon. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, a favorite in my household, "The full Moon for January was called the Full Wolf Moon because wolves were more often heard at this time. It was traditionally thought that they howled due to hunger, but there is no evidence for this. However, wolves do tend to howl more often during winter months, and generally howl to define territory, locate pack members, and gather for hunting. In addition, Native American cultures typically hold a lot of respect—not fear—for wolves, so this month’s Moon name should be viewed with that in mind, too.Other traditional names for the January Moon include: the Cold Moon, the Old Moon, and the Great Spirit Moon."
Because this moon is a Lunar Eclipse, you may be noticing some major changes and shifts going on around you. While we won't be seeing the eclipse here in the states, it still affects the physical, mental, and spiritual planes regardless of where we are. Whether you are taking notice of some of the national or global happenings this month, or have been put in a situation where you're realizing that you're going to have to be honest with yourself and others, this moon is carrying heavy transformative energies.
This Lunar Eclipse is also an opportunity for setting intentions that can be manifested (kind of like a New Year's Resolution); but think about your true fulfillment and happiness when you're setting those intentions, not what's going to make others happy. Why do you want to run more? Why do you want to go back to school? Why do you want to change jobs? Is it because someone expects you to or would be more interested in you if you did it? Then don't! Do it because it's your calling, because it's your Medicine. Only our truest intentions can be manifested in a healthy way.
"Don't be afraid of getting lost; sometimes the Path you find was the one you were supposed to be on all along."
Folks who are struggling with trust, who are in need of direction, or who are battling loneliness can find fortitude in Wolf. There are two sides to Wolf: the Lone Wolf and the Pack. Both are two sides to the coin of Wolf Medicine. Neither is right or wrong. They are two paths that many of us have walked on at different points in our lives. Whether you find yourself in a place of solitude, withdrawing from society for a time of introspection, or if you are in a place where you need the support of your friends, this is Wolf Medicine. Both sides of this Medicine can help us with the challenges I mentioned, and Wolf is willing to help if we reach out.
This Medicine is difficult, and sometimes finds us in a place of hurt, abandonment, or betrayal. Think of the wolves in our natural, physical realm now. They are often misunderstood and mistreated. They are taken advantage of. But this powerful animal has been recognized by various peoples across time as the Lord of Animals, as the Shaman's powerful teacher, and as the Nurturer. She is fierce, tenacious, and hardy, and she is here to help you.
Wolf as an Ally
Wolf is an ally who helps guide us on our path when we're feeling lost or needing community. We sometimes find ourselves wandering through a wilderness of expectations, where we can get tangled in a dangerous undergrowth of emotions that have been left untended. Wolf encourages us to go deeper into the woods, past the territory that is unfamiliar to our heart and spirit, to find our way back home. By listening to Wolf's teachings, we find that tuning in to our instincts is a key place to start when rediscovering our Path. Along our way, we will most likely pass the tempting, lesser paths of "more money," "better reputation," "greater beauty;" the list could go on. Don't fall victim to that. Lean into Wolf's strength to remember that we can discover our Path, our purpose, our calling, by listening to those deep, inner instincts that connect us to the Universe.
Wolf is all about stepping out of the comfort zone, and she knows how to help us navigate through it all by awakening our instincts and teaching us how to trust them. Working with Wolf Medicine helps us find stability and move out of survival mode so that we can handle our challenges with strength and accuracy. Wolf has been the companion to mythological legends since what seems to be the beginning. A steadfast companion to the likes of the Cailleach, the Gaelic goddess who was the destroyer and protector of all things wild, as well as the caretaker for mortal men who would later become great leaders or conquerors, like Romulus. The legends of how powerful Wolf and her various forms in myth are can be found across cultures; you can tap into that power when tackling your own challenges, remembering that with determination and passion, you will conquer your own obstacle.
In harmony and balance,