Wolf Moon

Photo by Vossman https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

The Wolf Moon is the first full moon of the year.

Wolves and the moon have a long association from werewolves changing at full moon to real wolves howling at the moon – for me the stand out literary association occurs (several times) in Jack London’s, White Fang. In this passage White Fang’s mother and father are hunting. I chose it because it could have represented last week’s them as well as this one:

“As they slid along, noiseless as shadows, in the moonlight, they came upon a run-way.  Both noses went down to the footprints in the snow.  These footprints were very fresh.  One Eye ran ahead cautiously, his mate at his heels.  The broad pads of their feet were spread wide and in contact with the snow were like velvet.  One Eye caught sight of a dim movement of white in the midst of the white.  His sliding gait had been deceptively swift, but it was as nothing to the speed at which he now ran.  Before him was bounding the faint patch of white he had discovered.” https://www.gutenberg.org/files/910/910-h/910-h.htm

Whitefang starts his journey to domestication in a Native American camp and most of the names we have for moons derive from Native American ones that passed into general use in North America and then were brought to Europe. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich has quite a comprehensive selection in this article:


According to the Observatory the first January full moon is also known as the Old Moon and the Ice Moon, which feels about right considering the weather.

In February we have Snow Moon, aka Storm Moon and Hunger Moon, and in March we can look forward to the Worm Moon which has lot’s of alternatives including Crust Moon and Sap Moon, the latter because it is time to tap the sap of maple trees.

 Prompts: I think this theme cries out for rhymed poetry with Old Moons of January following Cold Moons in December – but as always whatever you like, poetry or prose, fiction or memoir, will be more than welcome.

2 thoughts on “Wolf Moon

  1. Wolf Moon

    I see the moon in the evening
    Through my kitchen window
    As it rises over the village roofs
    It looks much bigger closer to the ground
    When it gets high in the sky it
    Seems to shrink – an optical illusion
    You cannot see a new moon
    Or any moon if it is very cloudy or raining

    Nobody told me the names of the full moons
    I was not paying much attention last Friday
    But now I have learned it was the first full moon of the year
    It was called the Wolf moon
    Apparently the Native Americans gave it this name
    As there was a shortage of food in winter
    Causing the wolves to howl

    There are some other full moon names
    Such as snow moon and old moon
    When there is a full moon
    It is almost like daylight


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wolf Moon

    Its January 28th again and 2021
    The first full moon is here,
    It used to be called the old moon or the ice moon
    But now is known as the wolf moon.

    We call it that because of the way it behaves,
    Slyly and secretly following behind his mate
    He may be the leader of the pack,
    But they don’t come with ranks.

    They look so friendly
    But don’t be fooled.
    They are only there because of the full moon ,
    But if they had to they would stand their ground
    Then slink back to the forest to never be found.

    By donna keenan

    Liked by 1 person

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