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What names are used for full moons, and what magical associations does each moon have?

Posted by Alison Sheehan on Nov 5th 2019

What names are used for full moons, and what magical associations does each moon have?

What names are used for Full Moons?

The following list is a mix of Native American and traditional names for the full moons by month:

Month Moon Name Origin
January (Moon after Yule) Wolf Moon, Old Moon Named after the howling of hungry wolves. Probably from the Native American folklore.
February Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon Hunger coming from a time when crops stored for the Winter may have begun to run low. Also sometimes called a Wolf moon and the Snow moon because of deep snows.
March Worm Moon, Sap Moon, Crow Moon, Lenten Moon The Spring Equinox in March means that sap begins to run, worms begin to be active. This is a time for new beginnings!
April Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Pink Moon The time when the grass first begins to grow and pollinate. Chickens begin to lay again. Pink moon is from the phlox - pink flowers - that bloom in early Spring in many parts of the country.
May Flower Moon, Planting Moon, Milk Moon Flower moon is from the flowers that begin to come out in May. Milk is due to the number of domesticated animals who begin to give birth and give milk at this time.
June Rose Moon, Flower Moon, Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon Roses and Strawberries bloom and bear fruit in June respectively. The time for making mead was apparently good, perhaps the honey bees had begun to produce by this point. 
July Buck Moon, Wort Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon New antlers appear on the heads of bucks at this time - hence Buck Moon. Wort moon may come from a time for harvesting Artemesia like Mugwort and Wormwood. The violent thunder storms of July are still common, and hay making begins at this time when a first crop may be cut to dry in some places.
August Sturgeon Moon, Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon,  Grain Moon Called the sturgeon moon because of the large number of fish in the lakes where Native American's fished at this time. Corn is still too green to pick at this time, but early fruit begins to be harvested. Grains may begin to be harvested at this time as well.
September Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, Harvest Moon Named for the crops that are harvested at this time. Corn begins to ripen and be cut, apples and pears begin to be ripe, the harvest is in full swing by September.
October Harvest Moon, Hunter's Moon,  Blood Moon This is the time when people in cold climates worked on hunting and preserving meats for the Winter. 
November  Beaver Moon, Hunter's Moon, Frosty Moon, Oak Moon This is the time when beavers become extremely active as they prepare for the long Winter. Sometime referred to as the Hunter's Moon since hunting is often still in progress. Frosty refers to the increasing cold.
December Cold Moon, Moon before Yule, Long Night Moon, Oak Moon December brings the Winter Solstice and the darkest time of the year. The cold has set in and nights are long. This is the time when the Light is revered and people celebrate the turn that will lengthen our days during Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah and many other celebrations of light across the many faiths of the world.
Any Month Blue Moon A Second Full Moon in one month. The Blue moon has no name other than 'Blue'.  October 31, 2020 will be a blue moon!
Last full moon before the Winter Solstice Mourning Moon This may fall in November, but this year it is December's full moon that falls last before the Winter Solstice.
Full moon closest to the September Equinox Harvest Moon Some years this may be in September, others it falls in October.  Most years it is in September, but about every 3 years it falls in October. The Harvest Moon is the only Full Moon name which is determined by the equinox rather than a month. Every 3 years the Hunter's Moon (October) is also the Harvest moon. 

The specific names of the moons also give insights into how they may be used to enrich magical practice.

What Magical Associations does each Full Moon Have

Using the phases of the moon for magic is an ancient tradition. As the moon waxes to full, magic for INCREASE, growth and abundance is favored. As the moon wanes, magic for DECREASE, release and ridding unwanted things and habits is perfect.

Likewise, the cycles of the year favor specific activities and make certain types of magic very powerful.

Month/Moon Key Word Perfect for Magic
January Introspection Connect with deity, focus on self-discovery, meditate.
February Anticipation Although this may be a time of deep and heavy snow and cold, it is also a time when Spring begins to occupy our consciousness. Work on plans for new beginnings, clean your altar, organize your supplies, journal.
March Renewal This month comes in cold and stormy, and the weather can be quite volatile, but this is when the Spring Equinox comes. This is a time for welcoming change, renewal of intention, finding a path and focusing on it.
April Manifest You dreamed of positive change and journaled all winter. You planned for the positive changes in your life. Now is the time for magic associated with manifesting those changes! Spells about bringing changes into the physical realm are favored now.
May Expansion A time of planting, fertility, a time of growth and sewing the seeds of the future you wish to live.  Thinking of changing jobs? Do a ritual to attract the right job to you now. Want a lover? Work magic to attract love and passion into your life!
June Nurturing This moon favors activities that care for the people and things you already have. Now is the time for magic to preserve and care for your home, family and friends.
July Dream The July moon is about divination and dream work. This is a time when you can focus on the many blessings you have and do spell work to attract more of the same into your life.
August Harvest A time to harvest the physical crops you sewed earlier in the year, but also a time to reap the harvest of your magical efforts. This is a time to work magic designed to draw in the benefits of earlier works. But also to always give thanks for the blessings you reap.
September Abundance This harvest month is generally the one with the most yield of crops and the greatest celebrations of harvest. This is a perfect time for abundance magic to draw wealth, solidify wealth and manifest perfect balance. 
October Ancestors Samhain comes in October, and that is the time when we communicate with our ancestors. This is a perfect time for ritual honoring loved ones you have lost and wishing them peace and joy where they now dwell.
November Release Magic to release bad habits, end toxic relationships and end bad behaviors that no longer serve you are highly favorable activities during the November full moon. 
December Reflection As the days get shorter and darker, and the temperature gets colder, take time to reflect. Work magic to deepen your connection to your spirituality and take time to appreciate the joy you draw from your practice.
Blue Moon Psychic These special times give a wonderful boost to workings related to developing psychic abilities, divination and work with spirit.
Mourning Moon Release Ending bad relationships, eliminating bad habits, releasing people, things and behaviors that no longer serve you.

The moon is the fastest moving body in Astrology, and as such moves through many signs. The journey each month from the new moon, through the full moon to the waning moon is a sacred and meaningful study.

Wishing you a happy and meaningful full moon ritual!

Blessed be!