Every month of the year has a full moon, and every full moon has a special name based on the months of the year or the season in which it appears. These names are rooted in Native American and European history.
Naming a full moon allowed for our ancestors to not only create a kind of calendar of the year for themselves but also to reflect on the seasons as they passed by, and to think about how the moon and the seasons affected them and the natural world as a whole.
For example, the full moon that lights the night skies in August is known as the Sturgeon Moon. The Sturgeon Moon got its name from the Algonquin tribe who lived near the Great Lakes. They named it such because the full moon rose at a time of the month when giant sturgeons were in abundance and easily caught.
All About The Sturgeon
The Lake Sturgeon – also called the Rock Sturgeon – is the largest and oldest species of fish native to the Great Lakes.
This giant freshwater fish may look like something you’d see in a Jurassic Park movie, and that’s because you very well could. Well, almost. Lake sturgeon can be traced back about 136 million years. So while this prehistoric fish didn’t exactly live during the Jurassic period, it did live during the Cretaceous period. So, close enough.
These living fossils can live for decades. Male sturgeon can live about 55 years, while there are records of female sturgeons living up to 150 years! Females aren’t even ready to reproduce until they hit about 20, and after that, they can reproduce every four years.
Sadly, giant sturgeons aren’t as abundant in the Great Lakes anymore as they were at the time of the naming of August’s full moon. A combination of overfishing, invasive aquatic species, pollution, and global warming have nearly decimated the entire species. In 1994, the Lake Sturgeon was designated as a threatened species in Michigan.
Recovery efforts to repopulate the lakes and revive the species have proven slow due to the delayed maturation of female sturgeon as well as their sporadic spawning cycles.
All About The Sturgeon Moon
Other Native American tribes called the Sturgeon Moon by different names. The Cree called it the Flying Up Moon, representing a time of the year when young birds left the nest and learned to fly. The Ojibwe called it the Corn Moon. It was called the Harvest Moon by the Dakota, and the Ricing Moon by the Anishinaabe. The Assiniboine people referred to it as the Black Cherries Moon, denoting the time of the year when chokecherries were ripe for picking.
August is all about strength. As you go about your month, ruminate on the mighty sturgeon and how it managed to survive in the same waters as literal dinosaurs. If you’re having a hard time, just remember, that if the sturgeon can last 136 million years, through dinosaurs, overfishing, and climate change, you have the strength to make it through the month.
Call on the sturgeon for its resilience and ability to adapt through millions of years of change. You are just as strong. You are just as adaptable. You, too, can persevere through any challenge you face.
The Sturgeon Moon represents strength, gumption, flexibility, gratitude, perseverance, and flourishing. Wear gold, orange, and dark green to represent August’s beautiful moon.
The Sturgeon Moon will rise in the evening of Saturday, August 21st, and will reach its peak in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A Ritual For The Full Sturgeon Moon
The Sturgeon Moon is the perfect time of the year to get rid of all the old dinosaurs that are weighing you down. Below is a quick ritual you can perform on the night of the Sturgeon Moon to help banish any negative energies and prepare yourself for the changing of the seasons ahead. Just remember, whatever negativity you plan to banish, you must replace it with positivity. The power of the Sturgeon Moon will help you manifest your new reality.
What you’ll need:
- One black candle
- Your cauldron (or another fireproof container)
- A pen a pencil
- Two strips of paper
- Your favorite purifying incense. Lavender, sage, palo santo, rosemary, or cinnamon work well.
Before you begin, cast your circle and invite your spirits/deities/elementals/watchtowers to join you in your rite.
- Once your ritual ingredients are placed on your altar, light the candle and incense. Take three deep, meditative breaths. As you exhale, visualize all the negative energy you’re trying to rid yourself of leaving your body.
- On the first piece of paper, write down what sort of negative energy you’re trying to banish. Maybe it’s a bad habit you’re trying to quit.
- Set the paper alight with the flame of your black candle and drop it into the cauldron.
- As the paper burns, watch it while you chant the following words: “By the Sturgeon Moon’s mighty power, and the power bestowed to me, I banish this thing from my life, so mote it be.”
- Once your chant is done, take the second piece of paper and write on it a description of the new you, without the banished energy’s hold. For example, if you’re doing the spell to quit drinking/smoking/snacking, etc., you would write, “I am a non-drinker/smoker” etc.
- Repeat this description of the new you thrice and then put the paper in your grimoire/Book of Shadows/journal.
- Thank your spirits/deities/elementals/watchtowers for joining you in your ritual tonight and close your circle.
- Every single day until the next moon rises, when you awake in the morning, stand in front of a mirror, make eye contact with yourself, and repeat that description. This helps to strengthen the spell every day.