Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August Full Moon with Eclipse

August's full moon is known by a few different names: Grain Moon, Corn Moon, Barley Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon. The corn, barley and grain names reference the fact that this is the time of year when the fullness and harvesting of these crops occurs. These staple food items long ago became an integral part of our diets.

People gave thanks for the success of these crops with festivals and ceremonial offerings, like baking loaves of bread from the first harvests and having them blessed by priests at the Loaf Mass (Lammas) which is usually celebrated at the first of August. This tradition, originated in the older goddess oriented cultures. The development of agriculture with its regular abundant harvests produced on pieces of land that were continuously cultivated, was key to changing cultures from hunter/gatherer tribes and establishing towns and villages and all of the cultural changes that flowed from these settlements.

Sturgeon moon comes from tribes in the midwest who would find this to be a great month to catch these large Great Lakes fish, which could be smoked and dried for eating later, as well as for immediate consumption.

It could also be known as the Red Moon, because seasonal and atmospheric changes appear to give the moon a reddish color as it rises this month.
Thus we celebrate the first of the waves of harvest. The September full moon is the one we call the Harvest Moon, with that being the time of year for harvesting pumpkins, squash, nuts, grapes, apples, and other fruits and vegetables. At the Blood Moon in October, people celebrated the harvesting and hunting of meat, gleaning of the fields of any remaining produce and laying in a stock of firewood for the winter.

Each harvest was celebrated a bit differently, with different folklore and traditions attached, but always with an underlying theme of gratitude, because the weather could have everything to do with the success of the harvest and thus, survival. The cooperation of friends and neighbors was also a factor.

Nature moves in cycles and waves, and people who learned to work with these, and coordinate their energies with these shifting energies of nature were most successful. In successive months, different tasks presented themselves to be done, each in their turn. Even though we are not all farmers or hunters, there are still ways in which we benefit when we harmonize our selves with the cycles of moons and seasons.

Heighten your intuition by spending a little time reflecting or meditating with the full moon. Just as it influences tides, it influences feelings and insights. There will also be an eclipse on this full moon, and an eclipse brings an extra bounce, or jolt of energy with it. Full moons are always a special time, and the things done on a full moon are bathed in the magic of this special light. If you feel a special wave of subtle energy tonight, this is why. Open your heart, your creativity and your third eye, and bask in the gift of energy from this eclipse full moon.

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