The February full moon is known as the Storm Moon. In my random, pre-article web poking, I discovered that Storm Moon is not the most popular name for this Esbat. The most common name appears to be the Quickening Moon.
This name is associated with the season of Imbolc and the quickenings of new life – in animals and in the earth Herself. The first signs of spring are starting to appear, and we use this moon to work our fertility or growing magics.
The other more popular name is Snow Moon. This is likely due to the fact that in much of North America, more snow tends to fall in February than in any other winter month.
Both of these views of the February full moon are perfectly valid, and I had considered changing my view to be more in keeping with these seasonal views. If I still lived in the Pacific Northwest, I probably would have gone with Quickening Moon. By mid to late February, spring begins to show its colours and that chill in the air is finally starting to move off. It is a palpable and most welcome change.
Here in Calgary, however, the world still wears a thick coat of ice, and everything outside of a greenhouse is still cloaked in drab winter beige. February 2013 has been fairly mild; it’s just windy, cold, bright, and barren.
Last year, on the other hand, February certainly earned its name of Storm Moon. Specifically, with hail storms. I’ve been in hail before, but nothing like this. From the comfort and safety of a home, it sounds like rain coming down; but if you are unlucky enough to be caught outside, the cold winter wind rips the warmth from your body as you are repeatedly pelted with countless stones of ice. I think in the Pacific Northwest, hail tends to be more on the balls of frost side than solid ice.
Last year, we had a hail storm where the pellets were the size of golf balls. There was vehicle damage all over the city, people were hospitalized, and I hear that local body shops are still booked solid through the next 3 years.
The Witches Almanac says of the Storm Moon: “A storm is said to rage most fiercely just before it ends, and the year usually follows suit.” This brings to mind the adage of, “the night is darkest just before the dawn”.
Both quotes speak of hope. Spring is coming. This one last bump, this one last turn in the road, one last storm, and then there will be calm. Thus, the energy of the Storm Moon is of hope. It is the energy of preparation, spring cleaning, and blowing out the cobwebs.
Before any planting or growth can happen, a solid foundation must first be built. Magics of for this esbat should focus on our own base practises and knowledge. If you haven’t been diligent with your daily meditations or other spiritual practises, now is the time to rekindle them.
If you have been stuck indoors for too long, now is the time to get back outside. The sun may still be watery and weak, but it’s there. Let it shine down on your face and remind you of what you have been waiting so patiently for.
The 2013 full moon in February will occur on February 25th. It will be in the sign of Virgo. This reinforces the ideas of planning, reestablishing routines, and building a solid foundation. Spells with an eye toward the bedrock of a situation (ie. what lies beneath), will align with the energies of this moon.