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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Full Cold Moon

There is a beautiful full moon outside tonight. In the wee hours of the morning there was a lunar eclipse, which wasn't visible to those of us here on the east coast. The rest of the country should have had a good view of it, though. With or without an eclipse, each full moon of the year is special and worth honoring.

December's full moon is traditionally called the Full Cold Moon, or Long Nights Moon. Hal Borland, one of my favorite nature writers, wrote about the many hours this full moon has "to rule in cold splendor". It's really winter now; the trees are bare as bones, the cold air stings, the night seems endless. The human instinct is to draw closer to hearth and home and loved ones, to keep the dark at bay.

I like to give my own names to full moons, to reflect what is happening in my part of the world. In addition to Moon of Long Nights and Cold Nights Moon, I like: Solstice Moon, Storytelling Moon, Moon of Short Days, and Midwinter Moon.

Whatever you call it, tonight's full moon marks another turning point on the great wheel of time. A short walk outside after dark was my way to do a bit of midwinter moon gazing. Tonight's full moon is cold, distant, and absolutely majestic.

Here is a link to a beautiful picture of a midwinter moon I found:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/greg_foster/6486368867/

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