Waxing moon period: From night after new moon 1/2/2014 to full Wolf Moon 1/16/2014
Waxing first quarter moon: 1/8/2014
Full Wolf Moon: 1/16/2014
Waning moon period: From night after full Wolf Moon: 1/17/2014 to new moon 1/30/2014
Waning last quarter moon: 2/24/2014
The January full moon is the Wolf Moon. This is a point of great stillness when the cold has frozen the ground and the water as hard as stone. The name for this month’s full moon comes from long ago Algonquian observations that the wolves howl during the January nights from hunger as prey grows scarce. Other names for this moon include the Hunger Moon, the Old Moon, the Moon after Yule, the Snow Moon, and the Cold Moon.
For Wiccans, this is a time of waiting, endurance, and survival – but great potential is building. Look ahead and imagine this upcoming year’s journey through the seasons. The path stretches ahead of you like a pristine blanket of fresh snow. This is what you want. The Wolf Moon is point zero. The blank slate. You want to be worthy of such an auspicious beginning because the gift of a second chance only happens at this particular time every year. You must start from a point of emptiness and purity before you can recommit yourself to your spiritual path for the year to come.
So this is the time to perform banishing rituals to sever the ties with any negative energy and bad memories that you fear might follow you from last year. You should also do protection spells to shore up your psychic and physical energy during this time of cold, emptiness, and potential. Lastly, it is good time to practice divination with Tarot, runes, Ogham, pendulum, scrying, or another favorite method to gain insights into the year’s potential. Remember to write down your predictions in your Book of Mirrors so you can check them as the year progresses.
Drape your altar with a clean, pure white cloth to symbolize snow. You can lay a smaller silver cloth over that to symbolize moonlight. Because this is a time of emptiness and potential, keep your altar almost bare. Cleanse and consecrate your ritual tools of athame (or wand) and chalice. Place them on the altar along with your chosen divination items. Use crystal candleholders if you have them for candle magic, which you will work for banishing spells and protection spells.
Waxing Moon Magic
The night after the new moon to the full Wolf Moon
This is a time of growth and summoning. Do all protection spells during the Waxing Moon time to call upon the aegis of your patron gods. Do spells to summon strength, vitality, and purity. Imagine yourself absorbing white light from the universe.
Remember that nature abhors a vacuum – and this is why you are at risk when striving for the emptiness and purity necessary to start the year afresh. You could attract any stray energy floating around the universe, waiting to rush in and fill the void you have created. This is why you take charge with protection spells and spells to summon the physical and psychic vitality that you will need. In this way, you and only you fill the void that you create this month within yourself. White candles are good for protection spells and red to summon vitality.
Full Moon Magic
The night of the full Wolf Moon is a great time for divination, guided meditation, and communion with your patron gods. Bring out your Book of Mirrors and let yourself glide into a trance; listen to what your patron gods want you to hear. They might have a distinct message for you about what goals you should concentrate on this year. Remember to write down the results of your divination and any messages the gods might pass along to you. The night of the full Wolf Moon is also a good time to take a shamanic journey to the upper world to speak to the gods or to the lower world to ask advice of your animal allies or your ancestors.
Waning Moon Magic
The night after the full moon to the next new moon
This is a time of letting go and sending away. Do all banishing spells during the Waning Moon time to rid yourself of anything negative that could follow you from last year. You want to start with a clean slate. I would recommend you use white candles for your banishing rituals because of the extra element of purity offered by the color white – unless you have something really major from which you are trying to sever emotional and energetic ties. Then you should probably bring out the big guns and use black candles, which offer powerful banishing ability.