It’s that time again. How fast the month flew by! This month features some interesting names. I had fun doing my spreadsheet the other night in preparing to write this post. Now pictures are another thing. Hang on a minute while I stick my head out the door.
Yes, we have moon pictures. The moon is so big tonight. It is only a few hours from being full. That will happen in the wee hours of the morning, so by the time you read this it will be full. Seeing how beautiful it was and needing a clear shot, I crossed the street to the bog to snap a quick shot or two. It is a good hour earlier than when our resident coyote makes his rounds, so I felt somewhat safe armed only with a camera and my voice. I figure if I sing or talk to myself it give anything out there warning and they will run the other way. I have seen this coyote several times when coming home after ten at night. He comes off the bog, walks down the center of the road and then cuts along the hill two houses up from me. He seems to have a regular routine. Most coyotes I have seen are scraggly looking things but this one is magnificent. If I didn’t know better and I really don’t, I would say this is one of Devorgilla’s special friends.
Enough of that tangent, let’s get back to the moon. Here is the moon a week ago. I was out running errands and stopped to snap this in a shopping center parking lot.As with the other months we have names that come from the animal kingdom and what is happening with the animals. Probably the most common name for the August moon is the Full Sturgeon Moon. This comes from the Algonquin tribes centered around the Great Lakes. These fish, sturgeon, are easily caught during the month of August. The Cree call it Young Ducks Fly Moon. The babies are now youths and ready to fly so they can migrate with the flock in another month or so. The Passamaquoddy call it the Feather Shedding Moon and the Arapaho, Geese Shedding Feathers Moon. Again the preparations for the winter are starting.
The plant kingdom and the happenings in that world are next. The Sioux call it the Black Cherries Moon. The Dakota call it The Moon When All Things Ripen and Creek call it The Big Ripening Moon. Another name the Creek use is The Big Harvest Moon; the Chinese call it the Harvest Moon. To the Kiowa it is The Yellow Leaves Moon and the Shawnee call it The Plum Moon. Some Algonquins call it the Edible Corn Moon while other call it the Grain Moon. Medieval English and English call it the Corn Moon. To the Cherokee it is the Fruit Moon or the Drying Up Moon. The Mohawk call it the Freshness Moon because of all the fresh foods available. The Wiccan tradition has it the Wyrt Moon as it is a time for gathering herbs. I also saw reference to The Barley Moon with no particular culture.
We do have a few names connected with the weather and season. The Creek have a third name, The Heat Moon. The Neo-Pagans call it the Lightening Moon. The Taos call it the Autumn Moon. Another Algonquin name is the Red Moon because of the haze from the August heat. The Potawatomi just call it the Middle Moon.
Colonial Americans call it the Dog Days Moon. This stems from the ancient tradition of Sirius the Dog star being closest to the sun and therefore bringing the heat. The Choctaw have a wonderful legend that gives the August Moon the name Woman’s Moon. Please click here to read it. It so simply and beautifully told I could not retell it without encroaching on the author’s work.
The Hopi call it the Joyful Moon and the Celtic tradition has it as the Dispute Moon. I could not find a reason for either. The Algonquins had so many names this month and we will end with the last of their names, The Woodcutter’s moon. Gathering wood for winter fires? I think that is the most likely reason for the name.
August is a time to enjoy the fruits of the earth and it shows here in the names. There is also the start of preparation for winter. In reading and gathering my information for this month I had a very strong sense of Magic. I had the sense of wonder. I could feel a sense of woman’s magic in particular. I can already feel Sue-Ellen and Deirdre smiling at this and hear a downright cackle coming from Devorgilla.
I have a shorter day shift but will look in tonight. Enjoy!