Budding Moon, Bone Moon…

Moon magic affects us all. Even when we’re shut up inside with the lights turned on, we still feel the pull that draws tides upon shores, the pulse of leylines weaving this way and that beneath our feet. We can’t escape it. At the centre of our brains, several tiny crystals of magnetite (our in-built Sat-Nav) ensure we are all just a little bit lunatic!

This particular Full Moon looks both forward and back (perhaps it should be called the Janus Moon?) with one eye turned towards winter, another towards spring. Here are some of the names it has been given over the years: you can choose which one is most appropriate for you, depending on where you are in the world.

In mediaeval England it was known as the Storm Moon. Elsewhere it was called The Bone Moon, The Little Famine Moon or The Snow Moon. All these describe the face that is turned towards midwinter, when chill winds blow and the earth is cold, when fingers are chilled to the bone and hunger hollows cheeks.

Snow Moon is most appropriate for us this year, with heavy snows falling earlier in the week and sharp frosts each night. It’s a perfect time to light the fire, draw up a chair or two and tell tales of yesterday, tomorrow and today…

Other names describe the face of the second Full Moon of the year that looks to the mellower airs of spring . In China it is known as The Budding Moon and the Dakota Sioux of North America call it The Moon When Trees Pop.  I love that phrase! What a great way to describe what’s happening within the bark and sap of each tree right in those places where spring is already stirring. Fizz. Pop. Zing!

Like The Budding Moon, I’ve been feeling a little restless recently, wishing to be up on the tops with the wind in my hair. So here are a few lines to acknowledge the fact that this Full Moon falls within the Celtic Month of the Rowan Tree, most fairie of all the trees and one that always calls me to the wilds…

Best wishes,


  The Song of Rowan

Come away with me! sings the Rowan Tree,

To where the winds are blowing!

Come away with me, where all is free

And mountain streams are flowing!

Come away with me! she sings to me,

To the seas of purple heather!

Come away and dance in the wild with me –

No matter what the weather!

4 thoughts on “Budding Moon, Bone Moon…

  1. Very interesting! I love the first picture of the moon and ‘The Song of the Rowan Tree’. I’d love to hear it put to music.

    The moon features strongly in my books, too. The First Nations People believe in the power of the moon, depending on the phases and times of the year. In ‘Withershins’ my character was drawn to the past during the Harvest Moon in October. In ‘Spirit Quest’, she went back during the Fast Waterflow Moon (at the time of the Spring Equinox) when the power of the East Wind is at its strongest. When the full moon and the Equinox fall at the same time, the power of the moon is increased.

    All cultures honour the moon in different ways, but each has great respect for its influence on the world. Thanks for sharing your information with us.

    • essitolling says:

      Thanks again 🙂 I’ve just been taking a look at your blog and really enjoy it. I love the sound of your books and wonder if we might do a swap, each of us sending the other a copy which we can then review/mention to our readers. What do you think?

  2. the moon when tree’s pop…thats how i was feeling when i woke the morning of the full moon. i had that feeling i remember having when i was tiny and it was christmas eve~a jittery, over excited, almost sick feeling.
    i love the song of rowan~thank you 🙂

    • essitolling says:

      Yes, it was an expression I had not heard until recently. Felt just right, although right now we have enough snow and sub-zero temperatures for the trees to be right back in snooze mode for a while! Best wishes, Essi.

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