We all tend to share the Native American names for each full moon these days. Today is the first full moon of 2023, The Wolf Moon.
But back in 2006 I named this moon for the connection with the region where I lived, the Yorkshire Wolds, UK. I recently moved back to the Wolds, about half an hour from where I lived up until 2009 and I am reconnecting with these ancient hills and the spirit of place here.
In 2006 I was just completing my Bardic studies at The New Order of Druids, where I became a mentor and council member. The final assignment took 13 moons to complete. I meditated at each full moon in a lunar year and named the moon for my connection with it and the land. This was an amazing assignment and really sealed my connection with the land. It is worth trying for yourself.
Here is a transcript of my sittings and all the moon names.
Soft snow moon.
At the end of my garden there is a peaceful place where I meditate. It is the wild part of my garden and is bordered by fifty-year-old Blackthorns and open fields, leading up to the last of the Yorkshire Wolds.
The night was still, the garden covered in deep snow. I sat on a chair, well wrapped, although it was warmer than I thought it would be. The moon was achingly bright, reflecting off the snow, casting an ethereal light around me.
I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, easing myself down into the earth. The over-riding feeling was of complete peace and stillness. The plants hidden beneath the snow slumbered still, even the snowdrops seemed to be quiet under their white blanket. I felt energies though. Forms moved around me, as if curious. They were not spirits of people, just energies. They were pleasant, not threatening. My meditation lasted around twenty minutes when I reluctantly returned to the house to see if my toes were still inside my Wellington boots. Reluctantly, because the feeling of peace was so restful that I would have gladly stayed much longer.
Restless wind moon.
I sat in the same spot as before, again on a chair. The wind restlessly played around me, as it had played within me all month. I had been twitchy with an energy bursting for release. On the night of this full moon, this feeling had a crescendo effect and I spent the night in fidgety frustration.
My meditation related my feelings to the garden. The vibrant energy of spring, was bursting for release but was held in check by bad weather. Everything felt ready to explode with life, but the frosts held everything below the surface. This moon I decided that this meditation should be about tuning in to the land, not about the song of Amergin which for me is not related in quite the same way.
( Note…part of this assignment was about The Song of Amergin).
Spring rain moon.
April is a wet month here. This April was no exception. The moon was hidden behind dark clouds that were low enough to cover the hills behind the house. The night of this full moon then was filled with the pitter patter of large persistent raindrops. I walked around the garden, allowing the rain to touch my skin. Feeling its cool bite, as the north wind blew it. It was shiveringly cold, but exhilarating! And the garden felt the same. The daffodils and tulips, so newly opened were pounded almost flat with the ferocity, but they welcomed the rain that would feed their bulbs and encourage them to fight back upright when the downpour stopped. The young Cedar I had planted last year was happy to drink the water, having recovered, with my healing, from a nasty case of hungry horse over the winter (she grazes the garden occasionally). The Willow, just beginning to stir its longhaired branches, relished in this watery cascade. Although I meditated indoors this night, my garden tour, filled me with encouragement, exhilaration and the promise that soon the wind would change.
Sound beneath sound moon.
Once again clouds obscured the moon. But at least this month the winds had changed and were coming in from the warmer west. I sat out to meditate, and after awhile felt slightly queasy, very unusual. I had the feeling that I was riding a thermal of sound, hearing sounds beneath the sounds, beneath the rustle of the leaves and the roar of the wind. The garden was showing promise through its battering, and the scent of may blossom reached me from the Hawthorn, taking me back to childhood. But the sounds kept on. Indescribable.
At last a still and clear night! The moon was bright above me. I had waited until one in the morning for it to rise high in the sky. At this time of year it is never fully dark. I felt immediate peace, calm and deep tranquillity. Many scents drifted around me, from the flowers in my vicinity. All were happy. The trees reached high into the clear sky, proud, standing tall in their young years. The biggest feeling I received was tranquillity but also there was a deep acceptance. I left my meditation feeling a calm, deep joy.
No moon in evidence again. The night is still and cloudy. Muggy, with no breeze. I felt disturbed as I sat to meditate and didn’t relax. This time of year doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like the heat. The only thing that made it bearable was the heavy scent of roses. I find I feel aggressive as the heat rises and lose my temper more. Perhaps this is the fire burning too strong in me. At the time of the full moon all these feelings are intensified. I didn’t sit for long. I retired to bed and prayed for thunder to clear the air. It came with amazing lightning, and, as usual, loss of electricity! I should be careful what I ask for!
Although the days are warm the evenings in August are refreshing. The night is drawing in a little sooner now. The moon was full and round in the sky, casting long shadows around me. I was relaxed this month. Although the tensions of July had not entirely evaporated, they had begun to ease. The breeze was strong enough to rustle the leaves in the trees and it suddenly occurred to me that I like the energy of the west wind. I connect with it somehow, it stirs something in me. I meditated for three quarters of an hour, the longest I have managed under a full moon. I sat on the grass and felt almost a sucking sensation, as if I was being pulled down. It continued throughout the meditation, and then at last I was released, or rather, eased back up. Around me I had felt as if the breeze vibrated rather than blew.
Night Breeze moon.
I like September. The fruit trees have yielded, as has the vegetable patch. The days are cooler and shorter, the nights fresher. But the sun shines gloriously. The garden seems to enjoy this time as much as June. It is still in full swing, almost a last outburst before bed. Scents mingle still, but in a lighter refreshing way. This moon was full of this energy for me. Not bursting at the seams type energy, but a relaxed constant supply. The night was cloudy with a strong breeze and the moon peeked out from behind the clouds when it got the chance. My meditation was refreshing and inspiring. Almost it was a bringing together of ideas.
The night was stormy, and once again the moon was covered, although occasionally the clouds showed it for a while. The month had felt like a culmination of events, which I felt fitted into the time of year rather well. My meditation was done indoors and throughout it I felt as if I was supported by hands. I also felt a great deal of expansion, which is something I feel often when I meditate, as if I am feeling to the edges of my soul and then merging into the ethers. At one point tiredness overcame me and I drifted into a semi dream state, my head filling up with nonsense. I was brought back to my meditation by a face, like an angel, or a cherub that appeared right in front of my minds eye. It had blond short hair, which curled, a child like face and very intense blue eyes. I felt drawn by the eyes and for a few seconds I felt like I was being pulled through energy. Afterwards I felt very peaceful, deeply so, and at ease.
This month has connected me with my ancestors in many ways that I won’t go into here. It has been inspiring, giving me plenty of soul-searching opportunities for the approaching winter. The month has been cold, with frosts. Most nights have been clear, but unfortunately this one is cloudy. The wind is in the North west and is strong. The trees are virtually bare, their energy sinking low into the warm earth. I sit out in a sheltered spot, trying to meditate. I find it difficult tonight. Instead I try to release my mind to the wind, letting it flow around the garden, through the bare branches and brittle stems of perennials. I do find the Holly, sitting quietly in his corner, proud of his shiny green coat in the midst of the nakedness around him. I find the wind taking me back over the year when I found Druidry and at last a place where people understood. The year had been full of wonder, delight, but also strife with my husband. But I knew the path I had found was the right one, and straying from it would not be good for me. What would come to pass I didn’t know, but I knew I had to be true to my heart.
I got a clear night! And it wasn’t too cold. It’s funny but December is often slightly warmer than November and January. I sat out and felt happy. I had found a place deep down inside me that was firmly rooted and would give me the strength to go forward. My husband was still not happy with my Druidry but he was also under no illusions. He knew what it meant to me and we had come to a point of something like balance. The meditation was peaceful and undisturbed, deep and calm. I left it feeling sure of my intentions.
Winters kiss moon.
Snow, blizzards, hard frosts and strong north winds characterise this month. I long to get the fireplace renovated. To sit in front of a warm fire with a good book would be heaven! I have been with NOD a year now, and feel I have re-found a connection with the land I had as a child. I enjoy the cold days of winter, although sitting outside to meditate was not great in –5 degrees. So I sat indoors with the crystal clear moonlight shining in the window and the wind rattling the sashes. My meditation was long and deep, the only thing I remember being a buzzing, vibrating, which I sometimes get. It isn’t strange really, but then nothing is until your conscious mind considers it.
Soft snow moon.
I gave this month the same name as last year as it was virtually snow covered through its entirety. The snowdrops however did bloom in time for Imbolc. Brighid has become a stronger guide for me over this year, and I have asked for her guidance this month. This is my last meditation for this assignment. I have felt a gradual deepening of my connections with the land over the year. Now when I walk I feel the soft touch of energies as I pass trees and plants. I feel the mood of the weather, and the land, it mirrors within me. I have learnt much that has brought me to a more thorough understanding of myself. My meditation was done inside, with a white candle dedicated to Brighid. I left it feeling as if her arms held me, offering support. I cried a lot that night, in both sorrow and joy. It was a much-needed release.
(Reading this now, I think I would have named it Brighid’s Moon).
My meditations took me deep within the energy of Britain. Where I live it is not masked by the energy of people, as this area has always been sparsely populated. This village is probably 1500 years old, and was definitely around and prospering in the Doomsday book. It has always been tiny and quiet. I found my meditations took me deeper into that peace and deeper into nature’s cycles so that little of Amergin’s poem felt relevant to my feelings under each moon. I could have tried to find a connection, but then I wouldn’t be writing my true feelings, but instead twisting them around another’s words.
I gained an acceptance in my area from ancient energies, perhaps guardians. I also became aware of the earth as an entity, feeling her rhythms and their echoes within my life. I developed eyes beyond my eyes and ears beyond my ears. All my senses were learnt anew on another level. There are definitely comparisons between my meditations and what I gained from them, and Amergin’s words, but I feel best if they are kept separate.
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