Wolf moon—what it symbolizes and how will it affect the month ahead?

Wolf moon—everything to know about the January 2022 lunation and the distinct effect it's likely to have in the upcoming month

WOLF MOON: A supermoon rises over Mow Cop Castle near Stoke-on-Trent, central England on May 7, 2020.
(Image credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Wolf moon sounds like something to howl about and considering the first full moon of 2022 comes in the midst of the Northern hemisphere's winter—you can kind of get where that might come from. However, the origin of this name and what it means for the upcoming month are deeper than you expect.

The January full moon 2022 is known as a Wolf Moon and according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, it really is to do with howling.

The Farmer's Almanac explains, "It’s thought that January’s full moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time." 

"It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter," they explain," but we know today that wolves howl for different reasons. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting."

The moon's name, along with all of the others featured in the lunar calendar, has its source from a combination of places including Native American, European, and Colonial American sources.

In light of the fact that the Wolf Moon is in the midst of  Mercury retrograde in Aquarius 2022, it's likely you're wondering how this moon will affect us—for good and bad reasons!


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Wolf Moon 2022—how will it affect the month ahead?

The intensity of this lunation is heightened by the presence of Pluto—the planet of power, death, control, transformation, and taboo. If you're familiar with your astrology birth chart, you're probably all too aware of the havoc this little planet can wreak. 

As the January full moon 2022 sits opposite Pluto in Capricorn and the sun in Capricorn, the sun and moon’s light shine bright on Pluto—which can put all of our fears, pain, and past traumas center of stage.

With the spotlight shining directly on such difficult subjects, this Wolf Moon's energy can bring up and highlight our deepest insecurities, power struggles, taboo topics, and uncover secrets. 

This difficult planet is meeting with Mercury retrograde in Aquarius 2022, which brings its own challenges you need to consider. One of the FOUR Mercury retrogrades in 2022 by the way so, mark your diaries accordingly!

Of all the astrological events in 2022, this full moon is a time to accept surrender, because there's no easy way to meet Pluto's energy. In order to move forward the way we truly want to, we have to address issues that are buried deep beneath the surface.

Aoife Hanna
Aoife Hanna

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.