Welcome the Moon of bone marrow broth and sparse hunting. Welcome the Moon of ice. It’s cold in February, and in much of the world the snow keeps falling. All through the days of this month, I can feel February inside me. I notice how creaky I feel as I get out of bed every morning, and how my energy ebbs more quickly throughout the day. It’s not unusual for me to drift off to sleep before nine at night like a shaggy animal sinking into a burrowy sleep.
It’s emotional shut-down weather, too, or often it feels so to me. I open to the light and pull of this Full Snow Moon coming on, and I feel myself traveling inward. My meditations feel deeper, darker. I yearn for the warmth and earthy explosions of spring, and yet I abide with the deeper darkness. I am learning things about myself, my life and my world even in the cold. I have slowed down in this Moon, but it’s a good slow.
It is during the arrival of this Full Snow Moon that I am transitioning from one community back to another and moving in with my long-time, often long-distance partner. Each of us is independent and protective of our time and space, and so we have work to do to create a third thing—our space—that will nurture and satisfy both of us. So we’ve spent time padding about the house, imagining together, negotiating, making plans. It’s proving to be a marvelous practice in Presence, in waking up to the ongoing challenge of compromise and celebration and making a relationship work.
Perhaps in this Full Snow Moon, you are also finding yourself exploring a change of course, a new job or relationship, or a refinement of a partnership that is asking for renewal from you and your mate. It’s a good time to cuddle up and talk earnestly from the heart. It’s a good time to be quiet and slow and to listen carefully, skillfully. Go into the subterranean, warm earthiness of your core for new insights and previously unforeseen possibilities. Share what you learn with a significant other, a family member or trusted co-worker.
And then? Soon the snow will melt. Spring is coming. It’s why the Chinese also refer to the Full Snow Moon as the Budding Moon. If you look at the bare branches, you can see nubs of new growth emerging. You and I will emerge too. Soon, we’ll resurface and step out into what feels like a new world, a heaven reborn. Under the Full Snow Moon we are gathering ourselves. We are gaining new insights and new power. And our beauty will emerge from the melting snow.
To accompany you in your process, you may enjoy this snowy poem by Emily Dickinson.
There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –
Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –
None may teach it – Any –
Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –
When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –