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Wisdom from Seanmháthair Gealach (Grandmother Moon)
Full Moon Super Moon in Gemini
Sunday December 3 @ 7:47 am PT / 15:47 UTC
Gemini energy: Air (the mind, thoughts and dreams), Mutable (preparing us for what is coming next)
Theme for this lunar month: Deep Wisdom

Ah. . .  our last Full Moon of the calendar year, and the last Full Moon before Yule/MidWinter/Winter Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) and Litha/MidSummer/Summer Solstice (Southern Hemisphere).

The MidWinter Moon appears higher in the sky in these long dark nights, and it will rise boldly in the East at sunset.

And it’s a Super Moon too! This means Grandmother Moon’s orbit has brought it even closer to Mama Earth. She will appear bigger and brighter in the sky, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.

Why? According to, “Super Moons during Northern Hemisphere winter months tend to look larger than Super Moons that occur during the rest of the year. At this time of the year, Earth is closer to the Sun. Because of this, the Sun’s gravity pulls the Moon closer to Earth, making any winter Super Full Moons look bigger than summer Super Full Moons.”

Those in coastal areas may experience stronger tidal action in this Full Moon. Here in Vancouver, for instance, we are expecting “King” tides for the next few days. Our bodies are microcosms of Mama Earth’s, and our waters will also feel that lunar tidal pull. Be aware that your emotions may run even more strongly than ever.

What will you call this Full Moon? Those in the Northern Hemisphere may know this as the Full Cold Moon, the Long Nights Moon, the Elder Moon or the Oak Moon (as we anticipate the rebirth of the Oak King at the Winter Solstice).

I find that by naming the Full Moon, I have an even stronger connection with her. This month for me is definitely the Oak Moon, although I often find unique names for each moon that express what is happening around me and within me. Maybe I should call this “Aching Back” Moon as I’m still recovering from a lumbar strain! But I don’t want to give it such power, and plan to release it during the Full and Waning Moon!

Our connection with LaLuna can be even more profound this time of year, as we use these long dark nights for reflection, preparation for the coming winter, rest and healing… and, yes, Deep Wisdom, our theme for this month. We also look forward to the return of the Waxing energy of Father Sun, which starts with the Winter Solstice.

At the Full Moon, we are half way through our lunar journey. Our goals were established by the Waxing Crescent, we nurtured them with the rising Yang energy and now they are peaking, manifesting. Ask your Self, “What is flourishing?” and prepare to harvest those goals and the wisdom gained. If using the Medicine Wheel spread (in the Files section), pull additional cards to amplify the story and prepare you for the coming Waning phase of the moon, as we shift from active Yang energy to intuitive Yin energy.

The Full Moon manifests the Mother energy, and in Winter also the Dark Mother. Look to the Mother Goddesses for inspiration, both dark and light: Gaia, Demeter, Isis, Hestia, Green Tara, Hekate, Danú, An Cailleach (associated with wolf lore) and more.

Who are the Mother Goddesses with whom you connect?

The coming Solstice — both Summer and Winter — is a time of beginnings and endings, energetic shifts, and rejuvenation.

Consider using seasonal local plants on your altar or as a loose incense that reflect those qualities. For me, that would be plants and herbs such as ivy, mistletoe, holly, nuts, berries, pine boughs and cones. These are plants of the north and of the forest, so do consider your local environment and what plants represent — for you and your locale — the qualities and the energies of the season.

This is a time to let go of old stories, beliefs and patterns. It is a time to forgive, not just others but also the Self. Consider this in any release ritual you are planning at the Full Moon and during the waning phase. I have shared several release rituals in the Circle, and sometimes the most effective ones are also the simplest.

After creating sacred space and calling on your guides, meditation on what is now calling for release and on what your life and outlook might be once that’s gone., and what releasing will open space for now.

Write what you are releasing on a piece of paper, or a leaf, and burn in your cauldron or other fireproof vessel. Give thanks to your guides and your Wise Inner Self for the wisdom you have received, and close your sacred space.

I will be making this loose incense for my Full Moon altar and Release Ritual. The formulation is from Gina McGarry’s book Brighid’s Healing: Ireland’s Celtic Medicine Tradition.

She describes it as her basic incense for centering, grounding and honouring ancestors as it invokes the following blessings:

  • Mugwort, for the blessings of the Moon
  • Borage, for the warrior’s courage
  • Mint, for prosperity and to clarify psychic abilities
  • Mistletoe, for sacredness and rebirth
  • Thyme, to invoke the Faerie
  • Foxglove, for deep magic
  • Vervain, to attract one’s desires and to invoke the Divine; for love, health, wealth and protection, for the ancestors

Please note that Vervain (verbena officinalis) be used in place of any herb you don’t have.

I will be using roughly equal parts of each when I make this incense, but let your intuition guide you re the amounts for your blend. You could also add or delete herbs using your intuition or by using plants/herbs with similar qualities but local for you. For instance, adding oak leaves (for Dagda and the Oak King) would be a good addition at this time of year, as would sage, for deep cleansing, etc.

Full Moon Blessings !