Perhaps it’s about a shift. Maybe it’s about slowing down to reflect. Or perhaps it’s about endings and new beginnings. Whatever the full moon means to you, it arrives in February as the Snow Moon, which comes into full view in the Northern Hemisphere on Sunday, February 5, 2023. It will reach its peak at 1:29 PM EST.
Look for the best view of this moon starting the night before or later on Sunday when it drifts above the horizon line.
The Snow Moon is also the first full moon after the Imbolc new moon, the early February midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It’s a moment when the light begins to shift towards spring, even as we are certainly still blanketed in snow and cold, at least in many places in the Northern Hemisphere.
February’s Snow Moon is also a micro moon, the second of two micro moons in 2023, following the January moon. But February’s full moon will be 2023’s farthest – and last – micro moon of this year. Its distance will be 252,171 miles (405,830 km). Compare that to the average distance between Earth and the Moon which is 237,700 miles (382,500 km).
While a micro moon can appear up to 14% smaller than a supermoon, February’s 2023 Snow Moon will still shine very brightly, especially in contrast to a snow-covered ground.
What Is A Snow Moon?
The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. The explanation behind February’s full Moon name is a fairly straightforward one: it’s known as the Snow Moon due to the heavy snowfall that typically occurs in February.
In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver, who had visited the Dakota, wrote that the name used for this period was the Snow Moon, “because more snow commonly falls during this month than any other in the winter.”
Other Names For the Snow Moon
Ancient cultures used the moon as a calendar in the sky. The ancients tracked the moon and sun cycles with precision because their food supply—and therefore their lives—depended on it.
The Cherokee referred to the Snow Moon as the Hungry Moon or Month of the Bony Moon because, for them, February’s harsh winter conditions created difficult hunting conditions, causing a scarcity of food.
The Snow Moon is also called the Tinglet Black Bear Moon and Objibwe Bear Moon because it is the time of year when bear cubs are born.
Other names given by different indigenous communities include:
- Eagle Moon or Bald Eagle Moon (Cree)
- Raccoon Moon (Dakota)
- Groundhog Moon (Algonquin)
- Goose Moon (Haida)
While we no longer track the sky for our survival, we can still find deep meaning and benefits for our lives by tuning into lunar and solar cycles. How will you tune in to this Snow Moon? We have a few ideas to spark your imagination…
How To Use the Snow Moon for Spiritual Growth: Rituals
Rituals help us tap into the deeper meanings in life, and allow us to embrace change. They offer us a chance to reflect on our past wins and misses, to take stock of what we need to release, and what we want to create in the future.
Smudge Your Space
The full moon tends to mark an accumulation of energies—both light and dark. This makes the Snow Moon a perfect time to cleanse our space energetically to remove or let go of any built-up negative vibes, renewing our surroundings with fresh energy.
From Native Americans to Buddhists, cultures that turn to smudge are some of the most connected on earth. The sacred ritual of smudging clears stagnant energy and shifts us into a higher place.
Tips on Smudging
Take a few moments before you start your smudging ritual to clear your mind and calm your heart. Reflect on what kind of energy you want in your home. The intention is one of the most important aspects of smudging. Open the windows or ring a bell in each room to awaken the energy so it can be shifted.
Then light your Sage or Palo Santo, ask for renewed energy, and walk around the perimeter of each room you want to cleanse. Invite the smoke into all the shadows and corners of your space where negative energy likes to lurk. Once finished, extinguish the smudge in a bowl of sand and thank Mother Earth for the gift of cleansing and renewal.
The Snow Moon marks an ending and a beginning, so it’s an ideal time to reflect. Sit quietly, and ask yourself some important questions. Is there something you need to release? Do you need to forgive, or ask for forgiveness? What energy would you like to bring in for the new beginning after the Snow Moon? Take your time to reflect deeply.
Cleanse, Recharge, and Program Your Crystals During the Snow Moon
Like our cell phones, crystals need to be recharged. Crystals do a lot of heavy lifting clearing toxic energy, and as a result, they need care, too. Here are a few powerful ways to restore your crystals.
By the Light of the Snow Moon
Moonlight washes away negative energy, and using the Snow Moon to cleanse, recharge, and program your crystals is genius.
All crystals can benefit from a full moon bath. Simply place your crystals on a windowsill in the light of the full moon, or place them in a safe spot outside. Leave your gemstones under the full moon and allow them to work their magic.
Bring out the Palo Santo and fire up your Sage. Smudging sweeps away bad vibes and can be applied to your crystals, too. Simply hold the crystal in your hand as you waft the smoke using your other hand.
Allow the cleansing smoke to surround the crystal for at least 30 seconds. This cleansing ritual will send negative energy packing and will allow your crystal to open to its full power.
With A Singing Bowl
Bathe and recharge your crystal with the healing vibrations of a singing bowl. Simply place your crystal in a clean space next to the singing bowl. Gently strike the bowl so it emits a ringing sound, and rub your singing bowl mallet against the outside of the bowl so the sound continues. Singing bowls are a powerful way to cleanse and charge your crystals. It sounds pretty, too.
How to Program Your Crystals
After you’ve cleansed and charged your crystals, it’s time to program them with your intention. With love, set your intentions for the good. Your crystals are here to help you on your journey. Simply quiet your mind, focus on your intention and let that energy radiate into the gem. Be as clear and as specific as possible. When we program our crystals, they can help us on a highly intuitive level.
Meditate or Chant Holding Crystals or Symbols
Let your intuition guide you in choosing crystals or symbols to use during your meditation. Sense into what you need, with every deep breath. Ask yourself what you need or wish to contribute. Select a crystal that’s in alignment with that intention.
For instance, if you wish to receive or give more love, a rose quartz crystal would be a powerful gemstone to hold during your meditation or chanting. Is there another symbol that resonates? Ask the question, and listen for the answer.
Whichever way you choose to spend this Snow Moon, it’s a good idea for it to feel reflective and conclusive. Turn your focus to what you have done since the last full moon. How have you grown? What do you need to release? What do you want to keep or improve?
Full Moon rituals help us on our journey when we use them to cleanse, recharge, and reflect. Revel in the calm of the moonlight for a moment, and charge your energy until the next full moon. It will be here before you know it.