On Sunday night, there's set to be a rare "super blood wolf moon" from 9:36 p.m. EST to 12:31 a.m. EST. Despite the werewolf undertones of its name, a "super blood wolf moon" is not as spooky as it sounds. Really, a "super blood wolf moon" is just a lunar eclipse that occurs on the first full moon of the year — but it's still a powerful, transformative time.
Whenever a full moon is described as "super," it's referring to its relative proximity to earth in its orbit, explains Laura Tempest Zakroff, modern traditional witch and author of Weave the Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft. "This closeness makes the moon visually appear a little bigger for us in the sky than usual, though this can happen several times during a lunar year," she says. "Blood" refers to the "reddish hue the earth's shadow casts on the Moon during a lunar eclipse," she says. And "wolf moon" is typically the nickname given to the first full moon in January, possibly to represent wolves' mating season in January and February, says Mickie Mueller, author of The Voice of the Trees.
In addition to the particularly vibrant hues, the moon's energy may feel stronger than usual, given its closeness to earth, Mueller says. Lunar eclipses are often associated with change, mystery, and upheaval, Tempest Zakroff says. "As this one coincides with the first full moon of the regular calendar year, it's a good time to contemplate what things — ideas, habits, practices — you may wish to leave behind, and what you want to bring into your life and build upon for the year to come," she says. Many of us made ambitious resolutions at the start of the new year, and this weekend is a good time to reevaluate what's serving us, and what's no longer useful. "It's a magical reset button," Mueller says.
As you settle into your Sunday scaries this weekend, take a break to gaze at the super blood wolf moon and reflect. The super blood wolf moon should be visible throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. Its colors will peak around 10:34 p.m. EST, when the "partial" eclipse begins, and the total eclipse will be around midnight, according to AccuWeather. And although hanging out outdoors in the middle of the night in January sounds miserable, the next total lunar eclipse won't happen until May 26, 2021. And in case you don't feel like looking IRL, there are also a number of YouTube channels that will be streaming the super blood wolf moon online.