Other names: Beaver Moon, Dark Moon, Fog Moon, Frosty Moon, Moon Before Yule, Owl Moon, Snow Moon, Storm Moon
Herbs: Sage and Chervil
The Oak Moon Esbat
The significance of each of the Esbats draws its influence from the changes in the earth around us. At this point in the wheel of the year, we have seen and accepted the demise in nature. We are taught as we look around the barren and frozen earth, that nothing dies that is not then reborn. We know implicitly that lying just beneath the surface, life waits to spring up around us anew. However, before this can happen the earth must rejuvenate to resurface refreshed and renewed with new purpose and energy. The Mood Goddess at this time is heavy with child – the Sun God, who shall be born at Yule. But before we celebrate the beginning of the return of the light at Yule, or the Winter Solstice (21st December), we celebrate the Oak Moon Esbat (15th December). It is now that we must take our lessons from the earth, accepting we all must rest before a new cycle begins, preparing to grow anew ourselves.
During the Oak Moon, a transition occurs, we move in this moon from death to birth, life renewed at the time of the Winter Solstice. With this in mind, it is a lovely idea to keep a candle burning from the Esbat to the Solstice, acknowledging the return of the light ahead, as the days begin once again to become longer. It is best, if you decide to keep a candle burning, to use a contained candle such as a votive, which is designed for extended (and safe) burn times, always observing safety, which is especially important if you have small children or pets. As you light the first candle, recite something akin to:
“Fire of the Sun, illuminate the Earth
Bring back life with your rebirth
We await your coming, until your rise
To re-awake the Earth and nourish our lives”
The candle is then extinguished at the Winter Solstice, when the light returns.
At the Esbat of the Oak Moon, there are many relevant rituals. To give candles as gifts at this time of year is a wonderful thing to do – symbolising our individual flames re-igniting at this powerful time of year.