The Howlin' Wolf Moon

"We are all filled with a longing for the wild. We are taught to feel shame for such a desire. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed."

-Clarissa Pinkola-Estés, Ph.D., from Women Who Run With The Wolves

Atka, arctic grey ambassador wolf, it has been my pleasure to meet you. All images courtesy of The Wolf Conservation Center.

Atka, arctic grey ambassador wolf, it has been my pleasure to meet you. All images courtesy of The Wolf Conservation Center.

On the Full Moon of January,

deep in the forest, 

the howling of the wolves can be heard,

through the cold

and the stillness.

The Wolf Moon.

Wild and free,

fiercely protective,

guiding us through the darkness.

Though most pagans will agree that the natural cycle of the earth declares October 31st as the end of the harvest, and thus the beginning of the New Year, it's interesting to note that January also has some pagan roots as a marking of a new cycle. The Roman god Janus, for whom the month is named, had two faces: one ruled beginnings and the other endings. Janus ruled both, as well as the past and the future. Indeed, many pre-Christian lunar festivals were held in January, including the birth of the ever-fabulous Inanna in ancient Sumeria on January 2nd.

Hmmm.

Back to the wolves.

Diego, one of the few remaining Mexican grey wolves, may have pups one day soon!

Diego, one of the few remaining Mexican grey wolves, may have pups one day soon!

Wildlife and the Wild Self.

Both are on the critically endangered list.

The Feminine and the Wolf share keen senses, deep intuitive prowess, and an intense devotion to their pack, all qualities brightly illuminated by this Full Moon. We are both playful,  possessing great strength, bravery, and adaptability. Healthy wolves exemplify this, as do healthy women, which is where I come in to howl at you: You must keep yourself well and strong in order to create. The magic is only as powerful as the magician. My clients and close humans hear me say this constantly, because it is TRUTH. (My furry, scaled, and winged friends, of course, already know this, and need no reminders.)

We also share a darker reality. You know the one. That which has caused us to be the subject of fear and harassment. Right now the wolf is on the verge of extinction, with only a dangerously small percentage left living in the wild. This is a travesty. One that disrupts the natural order in ways that cannot even be fathomed yet. Here in the States, as their numbers dwindle rapidly towards nothing, hunters are granted the right to destroy them. My Wild Self is haunted by this, though I am deeply grateful for conservation efforts by sanctuaries like The Wolf Conservation Center, whom I had the privilege to visit last year. Take a moment with them at www.nywolf.org. You will fall in love.

Red wolf pups growing up protected, essential to the recovery of their species.

Red wolf pups growing up protected, essential to the recovery of their species.

Thursday's Full Wolf Moon in Cancer shines her light on emotions coming to a boil. Beware the cauldron bubbling over, for Cancer rules the silver Lady, at her peak strength now, with expansive Jupiter making everything bigger somehow, and a formidable dash of Plutonian intensity adding to this most powerful brew. Uranus joins the cast as The Disruptor, one who has the power to trigger outbursts.

But fear not, my Loves. As with all planetary storms, there is wisdom in balance, and the strength of preparedness in knowing what the weather forecast holds. 

Use the innate nurturing of Cancer to be loving towards those around you, and to yourself. Be empathetic, be a good listener, give hugs freely...because everyone needs them. And because the maternal beauty of Cancer demands that you step into the light of the night sky.

Be the example. 

Here are the "General Wolf Rules For Life," as written in Women Who Run With the Wolves. Heed them, now and always, my lupine Loves:

1. Eat

2.  Rest

3.  Rove in between

4.  Render loyalty

5.  Love the children

6.  Cavil in the moonlight

7.  Tune your ears

8.  Attend to the bones

9.  Make love

10. Howl often

Beautiful Alawa, a NORTH AMERICAN GREY WOLF, lives protected, along with her brothers, helping to educate the public about the necessity of her race.

Beautiful Alawa, a NORTH AMERICAN GREY WOLF, lives protected, along with her brothers, helping to educate the public about the necessity of her race.

Wolf wisdom. Moon wisdom. Nature's wisdom.

May you never be afraid to bathe in it.

May it enter your bloodstream,

and live inside you,

evermore.

xxx Alise

(P.S. New episode of LUNA VITA! this week reveals more about the Cancer Full Moon...)