Saturday, December 13, 2008

December's Full Elder Moon

December's full moon is the thirteenth and final moon of the calendar year, and one we like to call the "Elder Moon", "Yule Moon" or "Long Nights Moon".

This year, the full moon made its appearance on the night after my birthday, and I made a point of wrapping up warmly and going outside to gaze up at it in a spirit of kinship. Alas, there was no moon to be seen on Friday evening for it was concealed behind dense clouds which promised (and delivered by morning), snow and lots of it. This image is an earlier winter moon.

What I wrote here last year about December's full moon remains true, and I can't say it any better this year. I think of this moon as the Elder Moon, and as one born under the sign of the Elder Tree, this moon has special significance to me. It tugs away at my lunatic sensibilities as no other moon in the year ever can - as beautiful as all the other moons are in their times of fullness and shining, there is no farewell implicit in their appearance.

December's weather is icy cold in the north, but the Elder Moon is a lambent wonder and worthy of our rapt attention - even though we have to dress warmly to view it. Its sure effortless rising into the icy winter skies is a distilled and elemental magic, its light a blessing in this time of long nights when there is so little light to be enjoyed. There is something stark and very Zen about this winter moon which does not linger below the horizon or complain of the cold - it simply rises as it was meant to do, and I could learn a few lessons from it.

We also know this moon as the:

Ashes Fire Moon, Bear Moon, Beginning of the Winter Moon, Big Bear's Moon, Big Winter Moon, Birch Moon, Bitter Moon, Center Moon's Younger Brother, Cold Moon, Cold Time Moon, Crone's Moon, Deer Shed Their Horns Moon, Eccentric Moon, Frozen over Moon, Heavy Snow Moon, Hecate's Moon, Hellebore Moon, Her Winter Houses Moon, Holy Moon, Hunting Moon, Ice Lasts All Day Moon, Ice Moon, Little Finger Moon, Little Spirits Moon, Long Nights Moon, Long Snows Moon, Middle of Winter Moon, Moon Before Yule, Moon of Cold, Moon of Long Nights, Moon of Much Cold, Moon of Popping Trees, Moon of Putting Your Paddle Away in the Bush, Moon of Respect, Moon When Buffalo Cow's Fetus Is Getting Large, Moon When Deer Shed Their Horns, Moon When Little Black Bears Are Born, Moon When the Young Fellow Spreads the Brush, Moon When the Wolves Run Together, Moon When the Sun Has Traveled South to His Home to Rest Before He Starts Back on His Journey North, Narcissus Moon, Night Moon, Oak Moon, Poinsettia Moon, Popping Trees Moon, Poppy Moon, Real Goose Moon, Sap Moon, Small Spirits Moon, Snow Moon, Star Frost Moon, Turning Moon, Twelfth Moon, Under Burn Moon, White Orchid Tree Moon, Winter Maker Moon, Winter Moon, World Darkness Moon, Yule Moon


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Cate,
Content is in the heart, the soul, finding peace and joy within. You, my friend, certainly are content and it shows every time I see your post. May you be happy for another year. Hugs and kisses to you on your Birthday.

Brenda Pruitt said...

It was certainly beautiful. More yellow and glowing.

Anonymous said...

There is something about the 13th Moon - an end and a beginning - and so the year(s) turn.
We too were shrouded in cloud for this full moon - so I am glad to see your picture, even if it was an earlier moon.

Linda Navroth said...

Nice words about our sage lunar sister. I love the way the moon is framed by the branches and you can just see a little frosting of snow along their edges.

Quiet said...

Such a beautiful picture! I saw something similar on your other blog. We missed the Moon last night as well because of cloud and much needed rain but images like this can be carried in the heart.

Many blessings and thank-you!

Livia Indica said...

Happy belated birthday!

Tabor said...

Happy Birthday. I looked at the same moon through a skylight in my kitchen. I was toasty warm, but it was also about 1:00 in the morning!

Anonymous said...

Wow... such a awesome moment. Its a wonderful photo ! Thanks for sharing !

Best wishes
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