The full Moon highlights tonight’s sky. Like all full Moons, the full Moon of February has several names — and all of them conjure forlorn wintertime images. The names include Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, and Wolf Moon.
It’s hard to say when and where these names first appeared. Most full-Moon names describe something about the season in which they occur. And it’s clear that almost every culture on every continent developed its own dictionary of Moon names. It’s interesting to note that cultures scattered across the globe devised similar names for the same full Moons.
Throughout the eons and all over the planet — same moon, same sun, same rains, same wind (some places a little colder, some a little warmer, but still the same stuff of nature asserting its power).
It’s no surprise that the hopes and fears of ancient people from Africa to Alaska developed myths about natural phenomena that enabled them to think that they might have a way to control the uncontrollable. Their myths evolved into deities that assumed the traits of those who created them. And those who created them prayed and sacrificed and continued to hope and fear and pray and sacrifice. And so religions were born — a little different in each of the planet’s pockets of humanity, but all still based in the same need to feel that they had some way to influence the randomness of life.
Right now, in the clear sky, the full moon is centered in my living room window. I have the urge to go outside and dance, light candles, make wishes, howl.
Instead, I’ll do the dishes, check on my mom, have a cup of tea and watch Jack and Bobby. Or maybe, while the moon is still in my window’s sight, I’ll turn off all the lights and let my mind wander into the wolf’s full hunger.
Full Moon. Wolf Moon. Hunger Moon.