Our Lunar Calendar

Offerings at the Cold Moon.

Many Pagans are excited for Blue Moons in both January and March of this year, and no Full Moon in February. It’s a rare occurrence, but not one that has any bearing on the lunar calendar that we use at our hearth.

I’ve briefly outlined how our calendar works elsewhere, but haven’t really gone into any details. Really, it’s no more than personal preference and a choice to follow the seasons rather than the Gregorian calendar – not that there’s anything wrong with that way, and certainly what most Pagans do.

Our lunar calendar is reckoned by the first full moon after the Winter Solstice. If this full moon falls within the Solstice Tide, there will be a blue moon in the year. Blue moons are the third full moon in a season, as determined by the solstices and equinoxes.

What this means is that our moon names don’t always line up with what the rest of the pagan world is doing. I’ve wondered if this is a flaw, because it means missing out on collective energy that could be shared with others also worshipping at the same time. For example, most people called this past January 1 full moon the “Wolf Moon”, though we won’t be using that name until the January 31 full moon – the January 1 moon is the “Cold Moon”, which most people used for the December moon. What these names and associations mean in common practice and in our own practice may differ.

Nevertheless, I think there’s some value in keeping this kind of calendar, especially because I think there is value in seeing how solar and lunar cycles intersect and change over years. The second full moon in a season is the occasion to mark the High Day with a smaller hearth celebration (as solar High Day reckoning will most often be done in community). Influences for this calendar are the Coligny and pre-Christian Germanic calendars, and it follows the Metonic cycle and can be kept with a primstav.

Why am I doing this weird moon method anyway? In short, because I was asked to do so. A question asked of me in trance led me on a multi-year exploration of calendars, timekeeping, and structured prayer, and it’s time to be serious about it. I can only know what benefit this will bring after a concerted effort to follow what’s been given to me.

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