The full moon rises tomorrow (Thursday 7 May), and it will be the last of three supermoons to occur this year. A “supermoon” occurs when the moon is closer to the Earth, making it look larger and brighter than usual. Tomorrow’s moon won’t be as big or bright as the March and April ones were, but should still be an impressive sight.
Many cultures around the world have given names to the different full moons of the year, both to serve as a calendrical mnemonic and also as a way of passing on folklore and knowledge of nature related to specific months and seasons. While it is the Algonquin name “Flower Moon” that is often used to refer to May’s full moon, Celtic and British traditions call it other names including Hare Moon, Grass Moon, Milk Moon and Bright Moon. All of these names speak to the activities of nature at this time of year – hares are visible in the fields, grass is growing and cows and sheep are providing milk for recently-born young.
In Druidry, the full moon is traditionally a time to reflect and meditate on peace, or do a ritual to bring forth peace and send it out across the world. Peace in this sense is understood not as passive, or as simply the absence of conflict, but as an active, inspired and sacred way of being in the world. Welsh Druids use the word “Heddwch”, which means peace, but carries with it the wch ending that connotes an imperative, a command to peace.
At the full moon, I like to get outside under the moonlight if I can, light a candle to symbolically connect that little light of the hearth and home with the alchemical light of the moon (itself transformed and reflected sunlight) and meditate on peace as it relates to Land, Sea and Sky. The Anglesey Druid Order have audio recordings of their full moon peace meditation, which can be very helpful as a guide.
This May’s full moon marks another month in lockdown, separated from much of the human world, from friends and gatherings, yet still constantly bombarded with the stress, anxiety and fear of pandemic. It can be hard to find peace in times like this.
Peace doesn’t mean not having fear, or having a perfectly calm mind. Nor does it mean accepting the current crises of the world without trying, fighting even, to change them.
Peace for me means learning how, in the midst of chaos, to find those moments of beauty, of love, of stillness. It’s connecting with that “still small voice” at the centre of our beings. It’s learning to love ourselves and then radiating that love outwards.
It’s about standing strong, rooted in peace even when the storms rage.
May the full Hare Moon bring you peace.