What will you call the August Full Moon in Aquarius, which arrives August 15th at 12:29 UTC?
Many cultures name their “moonths” and Full Moons based on what is happening in their locale and — of course — these vary worldwide. And I always recommend naming the Full Moon as it manifests for you in your locale, as a way of strengthening your connection to your own sacred land. For me, the August Full Moon is most often the Blackberry Moon as that is when the wild (and invasive!) Himalayan blackberries are at their ripest, and I forage the berries and vines for jams and craft projects. The indigenous blackberries actually ripen earlier, but are not quite so prevalent across my urban landscape.
Many of us are familiar with the names often referred to as “the” First Nation or “Indian” name for the months… as if there were only one name amongst the many First Nations across North America, each with its their own unique culture, language and moon names, varying by the conditions across our huge continent .
For instance, the August Full Moon is often referred to as the Sturgeon Moon but is also known as the Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, Moon When the Cherries Turn Black, and Barley Moon (typical August harvests).
Today, I’m sharing the names from the Stellat’en Nation (a Dene/Athapaskan people and a member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in Nadleh Bun, now known as Fraser Lake, British Columbia), for whom August is Salmon Moon.
Each month of the year has a different significance to Stellat’en First Nations:
January – Big moon. Cold, cold weather
February – We can fall trees on top of the snow
March – Ling Cod Moon
April – Pea Mouth Fish Moon
May – Sucker Moon
June – Trout Moon
July – Middle of the Summer
August – Salmon Moon
September – Kokanee Moon
October – Char Moon
November – White Fish Moon
December – Short Days Moon
If I look to my own ancestral roots (English-Irish), there are some similarities. Grain Moon is often used in the UK and Ireland to refer to the August Full Moon. And in Old English, August was known as Weod-mōnaþ “Plant month”.
It may be interesting to look to your own ancestral roots and how your people(s) named the months , possibly providing some insight into their activities and focus throughout the year.
The image of the wheel of the year (and months, and seasonal activities) in the Carrier language of the Stellat’en (courtesy of Emma Baker) plus the list of months above can be found here:
- Bitly link http://bit.ly/2MZCTG9
- Full link https://www.stellaten.ca/languages/days-weeks-months/