The Full Sturgeon Moon observed each August gets it’s name from Native American tradition. In the areas surrounding the North American Great Lakes, native tribes would prepare for winter by catching and drying sturgeon, which were abundant and easy to catch in August. In 2019, the full sturgeon moon will be visible at 6:31 AM, August 15th (MST), so you may wish to perform this ritual on Wednesday night (14th) or Thursday night, depending on your location.
What You’ll Need For This Ritual
Quarter Candles (yellow, red, blue, green)
Large White Goddess Candle – I prefer a three wick candle to symbolize the triple Goddess
Paper and pencils
Throughout this ritual, any text surrounded by these symbols < > should be considered instructional and not spoken aloud but done in accordance with the directions
Full Sturgeon Moon Ritual Begins
I cast this circle round and round from earth to sky, from sky to ground. I conjure now this sacred space, outside of time, outside of place. The circle has been cast, we are between the worlds.
Calling the Quarters
From the East we hail and summon the mighty AIR spirits – come join us in this sacred ritual under the light of the full moon. We seek your guidance and knowledge in all things related to movement, communication, and freshness. Aid us in visualization of our future selves so that we may achieve our destinies. <light yellow candle>
From the South we hail and summon the mighty FIRE spirits – present yourselves within this circle and all the spaces surrounding it. As the bringer of both destruction and creation, you hold sway over those who walk among us. Teach us to harness your unbridled energies but also to see the beautiful transformation in nature after the flames have passed. <light red candle>
From the west we hail and summon the mighty WATER spirits – surround us in your glorious cleansing and wash away all that we carry into this ritual. We know that without water, life does not exist, but also that an overabundance can wash away centuries of work in a moment. Help us to find the happy medium that will balance our lives and our existence. <light blue candle>
Finally, to the north we call out the mighty EARTH spirits – come gather among the living and share the secrets of the elements, the soils, the trees, and the herbs. Teach us to respect all things that you’ve provided and to conserve for the generations that follow. <light green candle>
Great Goddess, mother of all of us; hold us in your loving arms and help us to help ourselves and our own inner courage. Lend us your strength, your wisdom, and your sound decision-making, as we walk along our chosen pathways. So mote it be <light Goddess candle>
The Full Sturgeon Moon name comes from the Algonquin tribes that surrounded the North American Great Lakes. Other tribes referred to this full moon by different names; the Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, Barley Moon, Grain Moon, and the Red Moon. Most of the names are directly tied to crops that would be harvested in different areas around the country. The latter name, Red Moon is due to the fact that the moon rising in August always seems to have a reddish cast to it. The Ojibwe called the August full moon the Blueberry Moon, while the Dakota Sioux knew it as The Moon When All Things Ripen.
Full Moon Musical Interlude
This month’s selection is called the Pagan Moon Goddess Song – it’s hauntingly beautiful and will certainly put you in a sacred moon trance.
Preparing For Change
We celebrate each full moon with a ritual cleansing and a lesson on how we can improve our lives or learn some wisdom from nature. The full sturgeon moon of August gives us a unique opportunity to discuss the topic of change. We can see change happening all around us this month. The heat of the summer is finally starting to wane, the fields are ripe and full of miracles of nature. Fresh squash, berries, flowers, and herbs are plentiful and the green tops on our root vegetables and vines are gathering size in the sunlight. Our children are enjoying the last few precious weeks of vacation before the abrupt change of the morning school bell and the nightly schoolwork. We are looking in our closets for longer sleeves and jackets in the evening and planning for the coming cold ahead. We experience these mundane changes with little to no fanfare as if they’ve become a comfortable routine.
Yet, with all the physical changes that we are surrounded by, many of us forget that this is a time of spiritual change as well. Our bodies have been running at top speed for most of the summer; vacations, trips to the pool, hiking, and of course wild crafting our favorite herbs and roots. During that period, many of us have slacked off on our spiritual growth – it’s a natural occurrence since there are only so many hours in the day. Yet, after many months of putting things on the back burner, our spiritual plates are either filled with excess information or nearly empty. Once we start to finally slow down, we come to the realization that something’s amiss and needs immediate attention; thus starts the beginning of a huge change cycle.
The point of realization is also the point of a potential problem, if we aren’t prepared. Too much information leads to nothing getting accomplished usually; we feel overwhelmed and passive. Too little leaves us feeling directionless and easily led astray. But, if we’ve properly prepared for this change, then it’s business as usual. Ironically, just speaking about it is the first step in the preparation; becoming aware in advance that it’s coming gives us time to schedule, budget our time, and plan time for spiritual healing. Often we need to play “catch up” or often “pick up” from where we left off in the spring.
There are many methods to get back in the swing of things. Some people keep a personal journal of their personal growth while others go a step further and write down a step by step plan. Some use the cycle of the moon to measure growth in conjunction with their own spiritual cleansing. Regardless of what method you choose, remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. If you are feeling overwhelmed with an overfilled plate, take time to organize, categorize, and prioritize. I’ll repeat those three key things, because they need to be put to memory. Organize, categorize, and prioritize; organize your life so that you have time to address things; categorize them into groups that pertain to the same topic or a group of topics, and finally prioritize them. What is most important? Which ones are “low hanging fruit” that can be dealt with quickly and free up time to focus on other things? Do you need help with some of them? By asking yourself questions, you can order things in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming and actually make progress.
Another important thing to consider when you are processing a lot of information – it might sound like a good idea to just say you’re planning to get rid of everything and move on, but that will only leave lingering thoughts that may stick with you for a long time. Remember that cleansing and clearing go hand in hand – it’s not worth cleansing something if you can’t permanently clear it from your spirit. True healing and growth will only come if you release the negative fully and completely and refuse to give it any energy, ever again.
Cleansing and Clearing
As we do on each full moon, we gather together to release negativity; to burn that which needs burning, and ultimately to reduce mental clutter. We also search for things to refill that empty space – this is where understanding becomes so important. It’s not difficult to identify the things dragging us down; we may not show it on the surface, but deep down each of us knows exactly what is the root cause of our troubles. Unfortunately we don’t always do corrective action. We often opt for the easy routes in life, sometimes accepting or settling when we could instead be growing and languishing in a life which meets out spiritual and emotional needs. It all comes down to understanding, making choices, and refusing to compromise our core needs, for any reason.
So tonight, before we commence in our monthly cleansing through burning session, take time to think about our lesson on change. Are you prepared to sift through everything and weed your personal garden? Will you follow through and rid yourselves of anything that has no value? Also, think about how you can harness the positive energies coming from your harvests and late summer activities. Look for ways to keep that magick alive in your life during the hard months of winter. Bring some of the outside into your home so you’ll have a constant reminder of where your life is grounded. Look for ways to excel rather than just settle. Seek out those energies and store them inside your spirit, so that you don’t regress when things are dark.
<Offer participants pen & paper to write down anything they wish to permanently banish from their lives>
Approach the fire and burn away that which no longer serves you !
<once everyone is finished, take a few moments to meditate in silence>
Cleaning and releasing is only half of the job. Do not allow negative energy to refill the spaces you’ve created. Trade the bad for something better; something enlightening and pure. Leave here with a smile on your face, the understanding that there is more to life than just existing, and that change is always part of our lives, but also that you’ve got this! Change won’t stop you from growing. Stop sitting on the sidelines and engage with the things that take existence to living. Blessed Be!
Closing the Full Sturgeon Moon Circle
Spirits of Earth, guardians of the crops and the fields, we thank you for your presence in our circle tonight and for all that you provide us. As we watch the change from season to season, we shall again call upon your guidance to maintain our grounding and focus. <extinguish green candle>
Spirits of Water, cleansing, sustaining, and flowing, we offer our praises for your never-ending refreshment and thirst-quenching magick. We know our lives will rise and fall, just as the ocean tides do, but will trust in your strength to keep us from sinking. <extinguish blue candle>
Spirits of Fire, source of all passion, heat, and warmth, we are humbled by your collective energies gathered in this circle tonight. We sought to understand your many faces, so that we may work harmoniously with you throughout the changing seasons. <extinguish red candle>
Spirits of Air, where wisdom resides, and motion is never ceasing – we thank you for reminding us that change is inevitable but nothing is impossible unless we surrender our ambitions and choose to fail <extinguish yellow candle>
Beloved Goddess, Mother of all living things, we thank you for your comfort in times of sorrow; your compassion in times of weakness, and your never-ending wellspring of spiritual love for each one of us <extinguish Goddess candle>
This Full Sturgeon Moon circle is open but never broken!
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