Something exciting is coming up, and it’s not the holidays. No, something a little more celestial: The December Cold Full Moon.
Every month, the moon goes through a variety of phases, passing from new moon to full moon as it waxes and wanes. Full moons occur every 29 days or so, when the moon moves to the side of Earth opposite the sun. With the sun reflecting in full off the moon, the full moon appears in all its glory as a perfectly round orb suspended in the night sky where it has captivated and mystified us for as long as humanity has existed. December’s full moon is coming up in just a few short days, on December 3rd, and this year is especially significant: Not only will be we be treated to a beautiful full moon, it will be a full supermoon.
What is a Supermoon?
While it may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, supermoons have been occurring for as long as the moon has been in orbit — it’s simply the term that’s relatively new! Supermoons happen when the full moon coincides with the point where the moon is closest to Earth (also known as the moon’s perigee), making it appear significantly larger and brighter. This presents a spectacular opportunity to view the full moon, especially on a bright and clear winter’s night when the stars are twinkling and the moon casts long shadows on the snow-covered earth. Each full moon offers the opportunity to honor its alignment with the month ahead, and December’s moon is no different. In fact, it has its own special name…
Different Names for Different Moons
Did you know that each month’s full moon has a corresponding name? It’s true! Check out a full list of the names from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Named by different cultures to align with the practices and needs of the month itself pertaining to that culture, the full moon name could reflect everything from a specific harvest or crop, to different weather patterns and animals. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, December’s full moon is most commonly known as the Cold Full Moon, named for the season and weather in which it occurs (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), though it’s also known as the Long Night’s Moon, Snow Moon and the Blue Moon. The Cold Full Moon coincides with the beginning of the cold season and is typically closest to the winter solstice — the shortest day of the year.
These full moons offer a time to reflect on the month that was and the month that lies ahead, providing the opportunity to act mindfully and celebrate the season we’re in — in a literal and figurative sense. The Cold Full (Super)Moon, with its alignment with the holidays and winter solstice and especially bright, full appearance, is the perfect time to slow down and set intentions for the bustling days ahead of the holidays and new year.
How to celebrate the Cold Full Moon
Even more than the first of the month, the full moon of each month offers the ideal time to think critically and set personal intentions for the next 30 days. The Cold Full Moon, with its alignment with the Winter Solstice, offers not only a chance to think about what you’d like to accomplish in December, but also what you’d like to do for the season. Instead of rushing through your regular routine the night of December 3rd, set aside time to sit by candlelight with the full moon in view. Grab your journal and your favorite pen (everyone has a favorite pen, right?), and maybe some watercolors, too. Sit quietly and meditate on your goals and the attitude you’d like to bring with you into the next 30 days. How do you hope to feel? What do you want to accomplish? How do you hope to interact with others? Write it all down and fill the page, then refer back as you move through the days ahead.
Warm Your Hands
If you live in a colder climate, host a full moon bonfire to enjoy with family and friends. In a safe, approved area with proper permitting, warm your hands against a safely-lit campfire under the starry night’s sky. Ask your guests to write their intentions for the month on a slip of paper and carefully place the paper slips in the flames to symbolize their commitment. Grab some marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers for s’mores, and pack a canteen filled with hot cider and cocoa for extra cozy winter vibes.
Get Some Perspective
Plan a full moon hike with your closest loved ones to view the Cold Full Moon from a higher point. Pack along something warming to drink and some snacks for when you reach the top (and maybe a blanket or two to cuddle up in) – extra points if you can find someone with a telescope and constellation map to see things up close and personal. Just be sure to choose a trail you’re familiar with and pack a flashlight, compass and plenty of layers!
At the start of a season many people love to gripe about, the Cold Full Moon offers the ideal time to appreciate everything winter has to offer — from cozy nights cuddled up with a cup of tea, to hiking through snow-covered woods. Take some time to celebrate this incredible supermoon and you’ll be all the more ready to enter the holiday season feeling happy, contented and calm.
Are you planning on celebrating the Cold Full Moon? Tell us how by sharing with us on Instagram or Facebook with @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine