If there were ever a good excuse to howl at the moon, it’s the next full moon on Thursday, January 25. (Seriously, it's literally called the Wolf Moon.)
The full moon will peak at 12:54 p.m. EST on January 25, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It will be below the horizon for those of us in the U.S. at this time (a peak full moon phase lasts only a moment, after all). The good news is that it will look full to us for about three days, starting the day before. So enjoy it the nights of January 24–26. It will rise over the northeastern horizon around sunset. For the specific time for your area, reference the Almanac's Moonrise Calculator.
What is the meaning of the 'Wolf Moon'?
Wolves howl this time of year, hence the traditional name for January's moon. It's the beginning of wolf mating season and that comes with more social behaviors, like traveling in packs. "Howling is for long-distance communication to pull a pack back together and to keep strangers away," according to the National Wildlife Federation.
Traditional Native American names for this moon, according to the Almanac, include Center Moon (a reference to the middle of winter), Cold Moon, Frost Exploding Moon, Freeze Up Moon, and Severe Moon. Given the freezing weather we have experienced across the country this month, these names are making a lot of sense right now.
What do astrologists say to expect during January's full moon?
You know that full moon energy—perhaps you feel edgy, or your teacher friends talk about their work week being extra wild? According to astrologist Annie Botticelli's analysis, you can expect an amplification of those effects around January's full moon thanks to its position in Leo, which is associated with theatrics and drama, along with other astrological factors that will heighten emotion and bring conflict to light. You might feel the effects longer too, she says, from as early as January 17 through February 1.
This full moon will be a boon for fire signs, especially Leos, she says, with some upsides for air signs as well. It will be a bit more challenging for water and earth signs and might "push us out of our comfort zones,” she says, but that's not all bad. This can ultimately lead to positive changes, and as it turns out, it's a particularly good time: All the planets are going "direct" a couple of days after the full moon, which means no retrogrades for the next few months!
“If opportunity comes, this is really a great time. The stars are all saying, 'Let’s move forward.' You’ve got green lights from the stars. Regardless of what challenges come, you can make lemonade out of them,” Botticelli says.
Whatever your sign, she says, this is a good time for focusing on yourself (time for self-care and self-love!), expressing your creativity, letting your inner child play, setting bold intentions (nothing too dangerous though), sparking romance, getting through conflict, and expressing and receiving gratitude.
Hmmm—permission to let our inner child play? We return to our original statement: If there were ever a good excuse to howl at the moon, it’s the full Wolf Moon this January.
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