Lunar Cycles

The Quickening Full Moon in Virgo

The Full Moon in Virgo arrives 27 February @ 12:17 AM PST / 08:17 UTC

How do you experience February, this time when we are slowly shifting from the Earth of Winter to the Air of Spring? 

There is no one way to experience February, or name the February Full Moon. This month may be the coldest month for many north of the Tropic of Cancer, but it is also the first Full Moon after Imbolg, early spring in the Celtic calendar. There are many names for the February full moon, and we can also create our own name for the Full Moon to reflect what is happening in our own locale. 

For instance, some indigenous First Nations call it the Snow Moon, Ice Moon or the Hunger Moon, alluding to both the typical heaviness of February snows as well as the shortage of food as winter drew to a close. 

Here in the Coast Salish region of the Pacific, straddling the US-Canada border, the Saanich Nation W̱SÁNEĆ call this month WEXWS the Moon of the Frog, representing DOLUANW, the Keeper of the Sacred Season and Purification (much like the ancient Romans, who celebrated purification, aka Februa, this month). For the W̱SÁNEĆ, Frog announces the Sacred Season of Plenty, a time to start gathering foods and medicine. They placed cedar boughs in the water near the shore, so that the herring would lay roe on them.

In other traditions, this is the Quickening Moon, a name that resonates within my heritage (Irish and British). All around me, I see evidence of the quickening of Mama Earth: hazel blossoms, catkins on trees, needle tips emerging on the evergreens, nettle shoots, tiny blossoms beginning to emerge on the cherry, plum and apple trees, and sticky resinous cottonwood buds ready to be foraged. 

No matter how the seasons manifest or what our ancestors named the month or Full Moon, I love how they all were so connected to Mother Earth and her cycles, and how so many cultures in the Northern Hemisphere honour the shift towards spring in February, for this is what the Quickening Moon celebrates.

What is the Quickening?

It is the new life that is starting to flow and rise under the snows of winter. It is new beginnings. It is the stirring in the belly of Mama Earth, of pregnancy. It is the seeds that are starting to grow, the buds that are beginning to emerge, the sap that is starting to rise. It is the new ideas that are emerging from your Winter period of reflection — the emerging we honour with this month’s lunar theme.  

Imbolg has just passed and we are now just a few short weeks from the Spring Equinox of March 20th. Imbolg recognizes and honours the Quickening, literally translating as “in the belly”, manifested as the birthing of the lambs and the flowing of the ewe’s milk.

Virgo Full Moon Energies

This Full Moon is in Virgo, a mutable Earth sign. Mutable signs herald new seasons, completing one cycle of change and moving us toward a new three month cycle. They can feel disruptive and perhaps even a little chaotic, but this full moon’s Earth element may provide you with more stability and a fertile ground for nourishing your growing seeds, and the grounding you need to work through the emerging and quickening qualities of this month.

And what of Virgo? This is Maiden energy, so well aligned with the qualities of this month. This is the Virgin Goddess associated with healing, communication, attention to detail, connecting to the cycles of Nature, and manifesting the medicine and wisdom of Brighid in this time between Imbolg and Spring Equinox.

This Full Moon in Virgo invites you to walk into that portal of emerging, quickening, and rebirth — calling on the Maiden aspect of the goddess: independent, self-aware and embracing the adventure that life brings.

Tomorrow’s post will explore Soul Work for this Virgo Full Moon.

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