Here's The Spiritual Meaning Of January’s Full “Wolf” Moon

Be your own protector.

The full moon shines as a silhouetted wolf howls in the foreground. January's full moon is also know...
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With a new year comes a fresh start, and of course a brand-new batch of astrological drama, too. And as the first full moon of the year, the January 2022 full moon (aka the Wolf Moon) isn’t wasting any time putting us in our feels. Rising on Jan. 17, this lunation is asking us to face our deepest feelings and fears — and the spiritual meaning of the Wolf Moon is about stepping up as a fierce protector and nurturer in our own lives.

When the sun and moon oppose each other in the zodiac each month, we have a full moon. This cosmic event marks the illuminated zenith of the lunar cycle. Full moons in astrology are associated with an increase in energy and tension, which can sometimes result in emotional build-ups or blow-outs. However, they’re also helpful moments for letting go of old feelings, seeing situations more clearly, or bringing projects to a climax or conclusion. During the January 2022 full moon, emotions will be at a highpoint, and we’ll be challenged to find power in our feelings.

Working with the magic of full moon energy is a great way to enhance any mystical practice. Read on for a deep dive into the January 2022 full moon’s spiritual meaning.

What’s The Spiritual Meaning Of The Wolf Moon?

Per the Farmer’s Almanac, the Wolf Moon is a nickname given to a full moon that takes place during the month of January. It’s apparently named for the fact that wolves tend to howl more often during the winter season, which is always when this lunation occurs. It was long believed that wolves’ uptick in howling during this time of year was due to hunger, given the lack of food sources during the winter. However, biologists know now that howling is a territorial act that picks up during the colder months as a way for wolves to stake their claim and make their presence known.

On a symbolic level, the astrological themes of this full moon echo the survivalist vibes of its nickname’s origin story — as this Wolf Moon is all about protection, security, and empowerment. With the sun currently in earth sign Capricorn, we’re spending this month focused on matters of wealth, authority, and material security. But at the time of this lunation, the moon will be across the zodiac in the maternal sign of Cancer. This brings up feelings and issues around our homes, family lives, and emotional well-being, and it could make us feel more sensitive and in need of nurturing.

However, we may need to find ways to nurture ourselves. This full moon will face off with stealthy and scrupulous Pluto, bringing our shadowy sides to the surface and activating our survival instincts. It’s uncomfortable to have to face our fears and insecurities head-on, so this lunation could feel emotionally intense. On the bright side, it also gives us an opportunity to show up for our inner selves and open our hearts to self-compassion, which is one of the most powerful of Cancer’s zodiac traits. Owning our vulnerability makes us stronger, and this lunation highlights the importance of accepting, loving, and caring for ourselves — no matter how caught up we get in Capricorn season’s themes of work, money, or financial success.

How To Work With The Full Wolf Moon’s Energy

The Wolf Moon is always the first full moon of the year, so you might find that the intentions you set back on New Year’s Day — or during the January new moon that rose shortly after — are coming into focus in a more realistic way under this lunation. Full moons often represent a climax or conflict, but they also bring a sense of illumination. So if you’ve struggled to maintain your resolutions or found that all the “new year, new me” momentum is harder to keep up than it seemed, you can use your full moon awareness to course-correct. It’s a good time to identify the the previously-unseen roadblocks that stand between you and your 2022 goals, and start letting go of the 2021 baggage you may not have even realized you were holding onto until now.

The moon is Cancer’s ruling planet, and because this lunation is taking place in its home sign, it’s an especially powerful time to align with the moon’s themes in astrology, too. If you want to plan a ritual for this Cancerian lunation, embrace the element of water by taking a cleansing bath. Light some candles and focus on your full moon intentions as you soak in the tub, then let all your fears and doubts wash down the drain afterward. If you’d like, you can also write down a list of everything you’re letting go of and read it aloud as you bathe in the metaphorical moonlight.