The first full moon of the new decade will rise in the night sky this Friday, 10th January. Known by many names including the Wolf Moon for the howling of wolves when they still roamed the forests of Britain, Stay-At-Home Moon (a good idea on a cold wintery night) and, my favourite, Quiet Moon for the stillness of the frosty night, this first full moon of the year marks a time to stop and stand in simple wonder at the beauty and changing constancy of nature.
For the ancients, the full moon marked the turning of the month (the words moon and month are etymologically linked) and was a time for working later outdoors under it’s light, which at this time of year may have meant turning the soil, preparing it for later Springtime planting.
Over bare and sleeping trees, the moon will rise, and later take on a pinkish hue, as a dramatically-named “Blood Moon”. This is a penumbral eclipse, meaning the moon will pass through the outer shadow of the earth (the penumbra) which will make the moon appear dimmer and give it its cherry hue.
At around 9pm the moon will climb out of the earth’s penumbra and take on a bright, bluish tone. The best time to see a glimpse of the “Blood Moon” eclipse will be between about 5pm and 9pm in the UK.
In the Druid tradition, the full moon is a time for peace. Many Druids meditate on peace at the time of the full moon, visualising and setting intentions for peace within themselves, within their communities, and sending that out to the wider world.
In the Anglesey Druid Order, Druids meditate on the Welsh word “Heddwch”, which is a command for peace, not seen as passive but as active, concerned with making choices for peace in how we act and live in the world.
You can take a moment at the full moon to stand outside, or sit in front of a candle, and meditate on peace. Feel peace within yourself, within the land beneath you, the seas around you, the sky above you.
In the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, there is a Druid prayer for peace, which I say each night:
Deeply within the still centre of my being
May I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the grove
May I share peace.
Gently within the wider circle of humankind
May I radiate peace.
Now, perhaps more than ever, we need peace in the world. And that peace starts with each of us, bravely choosing to live in peace, to share peace, to radiate peace.
So on Friday, take some time to look at the beauty of the Quiet Moon, and find that peace if you can.