Peak after Peak – the Leo Full Moon

Notes from a Resonant Universe — Cosmophilia Feedback is In

Monday is Groundhog Day, and first I have a correction — contrary to what I wrote in an article two weeks ago (Published in Planet Waves and Chronogram), and in a prior article in 2000, groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) actually do hibernate.

Not your ordinary wildlife -- the groundhog is the largest member of the squirrel family. Photo from

Not your ordinary wildlife — the groundhog is the largest member of the squirrel family, who can eat your whole garden. Photo from

According to Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak, they are true hibernators, whose body temperature drops to 40 degrees F, down from the usual 96 when not hibernating. Their pulse drops from 110 beats per minute to four or five beats — a yogi-like trick of slowing down their metabolism and conserving energy.

So distinctive is their hibernation that Andrews describes them as embodying “the mystery of death without dying, trance and dreams.”

I’m not sure where I acquired that incorrect fact in my original article on Imbolc; I’m still trying to figure that out, since the original article (in had a great research team on board. In any event it’s now Groundhog Day.

Apart from the ridiculous tradition of live-televised weather divination, groundhogs can represent signaling boundaries, which they tend to keep to a minimum. Their main boundary is their home, that is, their tunnel.

The groundhog “is also a symbol of opening fully to the dreamtime, the heavy winter sleep, allowing the individual to use the dreamtime more powerfully. those with a groundhog totem will find that there will be increasing ability to develop lucid dreaming — especially during the winter. Any time groundhog shows up, the clarity and power of altered states will be amplified. Dreams will become more significant.”

This time of year is called Imbolc, which means “in the belly of the stars” or “in the milk,” noting the resonance between the name of our galaxy and many of the stars that we see. In the Northern Hemisphere, Imbolc is the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox; the days have already been getting longer for six weeks. In other words, winter is half over, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the summer is half over.

With the Sun at the midpoint of Aquarius, the Leo Moon will make an opposition to it on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 6:09 pm EST (23:09 UTC). The Moon-Sun opposition is speaking to many planets. It is in aspect to Mars, Pallas Athene, Jupiter, Chiron, Uranus and Pluto. Still, this seems to be a calmer setup than the Cancer Full Moon one month ago, if anyone recalls that emotionally dramatic scenario.

Even so, the Full Moon is a time to move gently and feel the energy rise to a crest and then let go. Sometimes it’s necessary to plunge right into the wave and come out on the other side, which is another way of working with the energy rather than against it. There is a strong current, particularly with the Moon conjunct Jupiter and trine Uranus. The Moon is in a rapid, strong flow of energy between those two enormous planets, located in fire signs. Pluto is involved — the Full Moon is in a quincunx, or 150 degree aspect, which grants depth and a soulful quality to what might ordinarily just be glamorous and dramatic.

Mercury remains retrograde in Aquarius. At the time of the Full Moon it will be approaching a sextile to Saturn and a conjunction to Vesta. This aspect describes holding open space for what you want to happen. It’s suggesting that you make a conduit or vessel for what you want to create, and then allow the natural forces to flow through or fill the urn, most likely with fire.

Whatever this symbol of channeled energy or contained fire represents, it’s enough to light the way, hold warmth and provide wisdom for many people.

16 thoughts on “Peak after Peak – the Leo Full Moon

  1. DivaCarla Sanders

    In Maine , stewed groundhog is a popular dish. It’s the fate of many pea-picking groundhogs in June. I’m too blessed by ground hog medicine to want to skin him and eat him, so I plant a row of peas for the groundhog and a row for me. Groundhog sent me a dream on Saturday morning, one that colors my whole year and gives me some precise information to measure all my decisions by. In the dream it was not easy, but everything turned out great.

    Beautiful image of the urn, conduit, or in my case, cauldron, formed under Mercury, Saturn, and Vesta energies,

    I’d love to have a bonfire though all my wood is buried, and the ground too. We dream under a deep blanket of snow.

    1. Shelley Stearns

      I had no idea people ate groundhog! I lived in Ecuador where Guinea pig is eaten, so I don’t know why that surprises me. My only connection to groundhog is waiting to see every February what our fate would be.

      I remember asking my adult relatives tons of questions about how the groundhog saw his shadow, why seeing his shadow was connected to the weather, and how they knew he was a he. All this seemed deeply important.

  2. puma pink

    “in the belly of the stars” …. magnificent eric!! wow!! so fitting that you write about our gorgeous ground-huggers in this article as they are all about ‘retreat’ … for all of us,…. retreat; nestled as one in the belly of our sibling stars. a beaut of a picture, eh? 😉

  3. Yoniyoganidra

    Eric, I so like that image; of going into the trough of the energy wave-through it’s core so to speak- and not being distracted by its crest.

    DivaCarla I had NO IDEA that people ate Groundhogs/ WoodChucks. I can almost hear “who cares if it casts a shadow…I want some groundhog stew”.

    Out here in San Francisco, we would love to be under a couple blankets of snow. So much snow, the groundhog wouldn’t stir for another month.

    Happy Wood Chuck Day, Y’all.

  4. Mary Turcich

    My sister co-exists with a groundhog family on her property. They come up the stairs on her deck to eat dried corn, and will even stay and eat with people around who are quiet, or like my sister, who sing songs to them (a Virgo thing?). I heard one let out a whistle last summer, then realized a cat had entered the yard. Nice signal.

  5. DivaCarla Sanders

    Oh, maybe dried corn would keep them out of the sugar snap peas. One lived under my woodshed for a while, and I come across their various entrances all through the field and wood. One posed for a portrait resting in an apple tree. The medicine of dreamtime in the underworld makes sense for this time of year. I am happy my summer buddy is invoked on this day when I can’t even light a fire for Brigid, other than the one in my woodstove.

    Yogi and Shelley, I didn’t think of them as food either, till a friend who regularly cooks what he catches in the woods suggested I get a .22 and have him for supper. Then I read some books about indigenous folk who considered groundhog a delicacy. While I am not averse to eating my relatives from other species, I don’t hold to fire arms and the only critter in my garden that will send me on a murdering rampage is a tomato hornworm.. and cabbage moth caterpillars, and cucumber beetles. I do a lot of murder in the garden, now that I think of it. But not with guns or poison. Oh gosh, somewhere under feet of snow, there is a garden!

    1. Shelley Stearns

      DivaCarla, I should be clear, I’m not averse to eating them, just surprised, which is silly on my part. I think it goes back to my childhood belief that only one groundhog existed and that he may have been related to Bugs Bunny. (I eat rabbits too.) Im also not one to take a gun or poison to them.

  6. Leilani Curry

    “This aspect describes holding open space for what you want to happen. It’s suggesting that you make a conduit or vessel for what you want to create, and then allow the natural forces to flow through or fill the urn, most likely with fire.”

    I love this, Eric! Now you got me thinking…….

  7. Eric Francis Post author

    This scenario mainly played out on Facebook, but one day in the fall, I found this rather large body of an insect. Something said to take it, so I collected it in a napkin, photographed it and asked if anyone recognized it. After some debate it we discovered that it was a large kind of waterbug. I looked them up and…they are a delicacy in Vietnam or somewhere. People just munch on them. Which leads me to my point, there isn’t anything that moves that people don’t eat, including scorpions, horse shoe crabs, sea urchins, mice, you name my mother was fond of saying, imagine how hungry the first person who ate a lobster had to be.

  8. Carolynkc

    The pagan festival known as Imbolc is the precursor to Groundhog Day and Candlemas, …another Holy Day on which Christianity put its stamp….I thought it was lammas which I believe is when the ewes start lactating in countries that had/have Druids and reasonable temperature.

  9. Patricia Proctor

    It was probably starvation that made people eat fungus growths too. No-one in their right mind would eat the black looking stuff that grows on corn, but it is a delicacy in Mexico.

  10. chief niwot's son

    Imbolic, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain, the cross-quarter day, were considered the beginnings of the seasons in the Druid reckoning. The two Solstices were known as Mid-Summer’s Day and Mid-Winter’s day, and demarcated the middle of their respective seasons, as do the Equinoxes. Ancient earthworks, buildings, temples, and so forth, everywhere on the planet are aligned to the solar transitions as time orienting devices.

    Since we are in the season of Imbolc- Happy Spring!

    And Happy Full Moon!

  11. DivaCarla Sanders

    Appropriate that this cross quarter brings up thoughts of food. In Maine, they say: Half your wood and half your hay … By Imbolc, it was the hungry time, taking stock of stored food, and who among the people had not and might not make it through the winter to springtime.

    I also wondered how the ancestors knew that lobsters were good eating, then I figured maybe the sea gulls taught them. They always know where food is. The fungus on corn is an aid to digestion and increases the nutrition. My teacher from the pueblo tells how the white men from the government came and threw away their stores of corn because it was moldy. The people found it and brought it back because they knew it was good food.

    Insects and fungus: protein, minerals, biomass. Lots of good eating for somebody. Please leave the krill for the whales.

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