August Full Moon – The Red Moon

Welcome to the August Full Moon (August 1, 2012 11:27pm EDT/8:27 pm PDT) and the beginning of the harvest season.

The moon has always been important and fascinating to the people. Since the beginning of time, our ancestors used the movement of the moon to keep track of the passing year and set schedules for hunting, planting, and harvesting. They linked the 28 day lunar month to a given season and gave names to the months that described important events that were happening in nature at that time, such as the behavior of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

To some Native American tribes of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain area, August’s full moon was known as The Sturgeon Moon. They knew that sturgeons were most readily caught during this moon cycle. Others called it the Red Moon (due to its reddish haze), Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon. To the Cherokee people, it was known as the Fruit Moon as August was the time when the apples fell from the trees.

My Celtic Ancestors called this the Dispute Moon, although I couldn’t find anything that said what they were disputing. One website made reference to claiming and disputing women, but that doesn’t quite ring correct in my mind. Maybe during this month’s journey, I’ll ask one of them. If I get an answer, I’ll let you know.

Whatever you choose to call this moon cycle, it is the time when summer begins to wind down and we see autumn approaching. The first of the harvests are beginning and it’s time to take stock and begin to prepare for the coming winter. For some of us, we will take stock of what’s left in the pantry and see what we need from the upcoming harvest to put up for winter use. In our house it’s lots of fruits and veggies to can and dehydrate. Also, making sure that things are in good order/repair for wintering our livestock.

But there is more to harvest than just food. What dream seeds did you plant in the spring? Have you tended them well? Are they almost ready for harvest? If not, what can you do so that these dreams come to fruition? Summer isn’t over yet, so there is still plenty of time to put some fertilizer on those dreams to encourage their growth. And don’t forget to pull those “weeds” that are stealing life from your dream plants. The August full moon is a good time to unburden yourself from the life sucking, dream stealing behaviors.  There is still time for that final growth spurt.

So I invite you to grab a drum or rattle if you have one, light a fire or candle and sit with Grandmother Moon. Spend some time admiring the beauty of this Red Moon. Then ask Grandmother what you need to do to prepare for your harvest. Open your heart and hear her reply. Make an offering in thanks (wine, water, milk). And don’t forget to leave an offering of wine or milk and cake/cookies for the Faeries.

May you dance in the moonbeams and ride the stars.

Until next time,

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),