This is the first full moon of 2021, and a highly auspicious day. It will reach its peak fullness on Thursday 28th January at 7.18pm UK time, and 2.18pm EST, but will appear full to the naked eye for a day or two more.
It is called Paush Purnima in Vedic Astrology and Wolf Moon in many other cultures. This is a particularly charged and energetic one, so it’s a great time to feel our feels and count our blessings. Full moons are the time when the moon is at its most potent and fertile: the sun positioned exactly opposite, shining directly on it.
A couple of notes about this moon:
- A moon in the height of winter means it is in the sky for longer, as the night is so much longer, so its power and potency is also heightened. One reason for it being given the name Wolf Moon, is wolves are more prone to come out and howl during a long bright night like this.
- This moon sits in the sign of Leo, meaning it is full of her fiery leonine energy, as well as being under influence of scholastic Saturn and expansive Jupiter (who is opposing it alongside the sun). Vedic astrology sees it sitting in Saturn’s lunar mansion (Pushya). So Saturn will be there with his mortarboard, while Jupiter will be making everything look bigger as if under a microscope.
So what does this mean for us, how can we pay homage to the sky, and why do we do this?
All the planets have specific qualities and energies depending on their size, speed of orbit of the sun, gravitational fields etc. The planets, of which there are 9 in Vedic Astrology, are viewed like a community or family, each their own dynamic and relationship with the other. So when there is a line-up as I have described above, and when particular planets come into contact with each other, a specific story begins to appear.
The moon is the closest planet to the earth. It is called Chandra or Soma in Sanskrit. It relates to the mind and the sometimes fickle nature of our emotions. Our experience of life is filtered through our mind, so we need to keep a tab on anything that could be sullying, influencing or perturbing it. The sun is related to the soul and has a consistency and strength to it.
And the other planets? Saturn wants to teach us lessons so that we can evolve. He likes hard work and shining a light on those less fortunate than us. He asks that we take heed and listen to the signs and learn from them. His mother in Hindu lore was called Chhaya, which means shadow, so he often reveals shadowy aspects of ourselves, in order that we may see them, learn from them, and grow. Knowing where our shadows are is a gift; ignoring them stops us from evolving. Saturn likes us to study, keep our head down, and give to charity.
Jupiter is also a teacher, but with an incredibly benevolent nature, he is called Guru in Sanskrit so he is the ultimate master, and he just wants you to expand to your greatest potential. He loves any work you are doing for the betterment of yourself or those around you.
Each planet is vying for you in their own way, some just have a knack of being a little more painful with their methods than others.
My advice for this full moon…
- Take time to bathe in her cooling balm (the moon’s Sanskrit name, Soma, means cooling and she is the feminine to the sun’s masculine). A Hindu ritual for this full moon is to salute the sun, bowing to its steady nature and thanking for its energy giving qualities.
- The moon is all about water element, so this is a great opportunity to pay homage to this element too. If you can, bathe in water today – people across India will be doing this too – to wash away the debris, and past karma that is no longer in service of your development. You could also add water to your altar, say a prayer and make an offering to it.
- Water element, like the moon, is emotional, so this could bring up stuff from within, and with shadowy Saturn’s influence, Jupiter’s magnifying glass, and Leo’s fiery nature this could feel like a lot, think of how fire makes steam of water, so things could be rising from the surface. But it’s all good! If you can sit with it and not react, whatever you are shown from within you is a gift. And the more composed you can be amidst any turbulence, the more equipped you will be for future endeavors.
- In terms of qualities, this combination of planets and lunar mansions and the full moon could bring about a feeling of fluttering in your abdomen area, similar to a localised vata disturbance (an imbalance of air and ether elements). This means enhanced creativity, but it also means ungrounded and unreliable energies, as well as a feeling of gentle worry. So know that this isn’t personal, and try not to make any rash decisions, being careful with communications and emotional outbursts.
So yes, bathe, splash or bow to some water, and allow it to wash away your troubles of the past. Thank the sun for its steadiness, and feel the earth beneath your feet. Meditate on the love that always supports you in the ether and be thankful for the air’s capacity to bring wisdom.
By Selina Van Orden