Honoring Ancestral Wisdom at the Sturgeon Moon
Do you feel a yearning to rediscover ancient wisdom, to bridge the gap between your modern life and the sacred ways of your ancestors? Do you long to experience a profound connection with nature, to truly align your spirit with the cycles of the Moon?
The August Full Moon, known as the Sturgeon Moon, offers us a perfect opportunity to do just that. Join us on a journey beneath its radiant glow as we unlock the deep wisdom this celestial body holds.
We'll immerse ourselves in a time-honored ritual, engage in ancestral storytelling, and foster a sacred space to honor our lineage.
Prepare to delve deep into the mystic waters of your spiritual heritage, rekindling lost connections, and emerging with a sense of unity and reverence for the rhythms of Mother Nature and Grandmother Moon."
The Story of the Sturgeon Moon
During our first dive into the rich waters of ancestral wisdom, let’s explore the origin of the name "Sturgeon Moon". As Mother Nature's calendar, full moons have been named by various cultures throughout history to denote the changing seasons and the passage of time. In Native American cultures, particularly the tribes living around the Great Lakes region, the full moon of August was named the "Sturgeon Moon" for a very practical reason: this was the time when the sturgeon, a large and abundant fish, was most easily caught. The moon's name, thus, serves as a reflection of this bounty, reminding us of a time when our ancestors lived in harmony with the natural world, honoring her cycles and gifts.
It’s also called the “Grain Moon,” “Corn Moon,” “Lynx Moon” and “Lightning Moon. Flying Up Moon is a Cree term describing the time when young birds are finally ready to take the leap and learn to fly.
The sturgeon is not just a symbol of abundance - it also holds deep cultural and spiritual significance in Native American and Colonial American societies. For Native American tribes, the sturgeon was not merely a source of sustenance but also a spiritual symbol, representing determination, strength, and persistence. For colonial settlers, the sturgeon became a symbol of survival and adaptation in the new world, a testament to their endurance in an unfamiliar landscape. By honoring the Sturgeon Moon, we pay tribute to these values and the profound wisdom carried forward from these cultures.
The spiritual symbolism of the sturgeon
Now, let us delve deeper into the spiritual symbolism of the sturgeon. As a fish that thrives in the depths, the sturgeon embodies the courage to plunge into the unknown and to seek wisdom beneath the surface of our everyday lives. Its size and longevity are a testament to the value of perseverance and resilience, of weathering life's storms and emerging stronger. When we honor the Sturgeon Moon, we engage with these powerful symbols. We invite you to reflect upon your own life – where can you embody the determination of the sturgeon? How can you dive deeper into your own depths, to uncover the ancestral wisdom that lies within?
When to See The ‘Super Sturgeon Moon’ Rise
August has two full Moons this year! The full Sturgeon Moon reaches its peak on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
This year’s “Sturgeon Moon” occurs on the date of Lammas, a traditional pagan celebration of the first harvest of the season. It’s an astronomically significant date. August 1 is a cross-quarter day—the halfway point between June’s solstice and September’s equinox. As such, it’s one of the way-markers of the annual orbit of Earth around the sun.
The second full moon of summer in the northern hemisphere, the “Sturgeon Moon” will turn full while 357,311 km from Earth—only slightly farther away than the next full moon, the biggest and brightest of the year.
And then we have a full Blue Moon on Wednesday, August 30, 2023—and it will be the closest supermoon of the year!
You may have heard that there are four supermoons in a row this year; the August 1 supermoon is the second supermoon of this unusual sequence. “Supermoon” is a catchy term for what astronomers call “a perigean full Moon” which is when the full Moon happens at (or very near) the exact time when the Moon is closest to us in its orbit.
A supermoon exceeds the disk size of an average-sized Moon by up to 8% and the brightness of an average-sized full Moon by some 16%. You may not perceive the difference in size, but a supermoon will appear brighter in the sky.
The August 30-31 supermoon will be the closest, biggest, and brightest full supermoon of 2023. It’s exceptionally close in Moon miles from Earth (222,043 miles). The next time we’ll have a closer full supermoon is November 5, 2025, when the moon lies 221,817 miles from Earth.
For supermoons, distance is everything. The moon’s orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. This means that the moon’s distance from Earth varies throughout its orbit.
The closest point in the moon’s orbit is called perigee and the farthest point is called apogee. A supermoon is a full moon that occurs when the moon is at perigee.
The upshot is that a perigee full moon—a supermoon—appears about 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at apogee.
Best Time to See The ‘Super Sturgeon Moon’
The best time to see a full moon is as it rises in the east during dusk, so very soon after sunset. The “Super Sturgeon Moon” will officially be 100% illuminated at 1:33 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, with the moonrise a few hours later the best time to view it.
In New York, sunset is at 8:13 p.m. EDT and moonrise is at 8:44 p.m. EDT whereas the moment the moon turns full is at 1:33 p.m. EDT.
Honoring the Sturgeon Moon with an Ancestral Altar
As we gather under the Sturgeon Moon, it's time to delve deep into the waters of our lineage and explore the wisdom that resides there. Ancestral Altars are a great way to do so.
Ancestral altars are sacred spaces, serving as a tangible link between us and the generations that came before. They offer a unique gateway to connect with, honor, and learn from our ancestors.
This connection to our ancestors is more important now than ever. Just like the sturgeon, our ancestors navigated the turbulent currents of their lives with resilience and wisdom, overcoming challenges that we can only imagine. By creating and interacting with an ancestral altar, we invite their guidance into our lives, finding strength in their experiences and lessons to illuminate our path forward.
Steps to Creating an Ancestral Altar
Creating your own ancestral altar is a deeply personal and transformative process. Start by choosing a peaceful and respectful location in your home, a place where you feel comfortable, safe, and serene. Cover the space with a cloth that resonates with you, be it a color, pattern, or fabric that evokes a sense of connection to your ancestors.
Begin populating your altar with photos, heirlooms, or items of significance that connect you with your lineage. You might also want to include elements from nature – a nod to the Sturgeon Moon. Perhaps a glass of water to represent the lakes where sturgeons thrive, a stone for earth, or a feather for the air.
A candle can serve as a beacon, guiding the wisdom of your ancestors towards you. You may wish to include incense or essential oils to engage your sense of smell, drawing you deeper into the sacred experience. Remember, your ancestral altar is an extension of your intention to honor and connect with your lineage, so make it uniquely yours.
The Role of the Ancestral Altar in Our Spiritual Journey
Your ancestral altar is more than a collection of objects. It is a sacred space, a spiritual tool that deepens your connection with your roots and enriches your spiritual journey. It serves as a constant reminder of the wisdom and strength that has been passed down through generations, imbuing your life with a sense of purpose and continuity.
When you engage with your altar, you're not only honoring your ancestors, but also inviting their wisdom into your life, allowing it to guide and inspire you. This is the true power of the ancestral altar – it's a bridge to the past, a guiding light for the present, and a wellspring of wisdom for the future. Under the illumination of the Sturgeon Moon, may your connection with your ancestors deepen, your wisdom expand, and your spiritual journey be enriched.
Ancestor Meditation: Connecting with the Wisdom of the Past
In tandem with creating an ancestral altar, we can connect with our ancestors through meditation or journey work. The practice of ancestor meditation creates a spiritual thread that links us to the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors. It's a practice of mindfulness, a journey inward, and a profound connection to the roots that give us strength. As we gaze at the Sturgeon Moon this August, we're reminded of the vast depths of wisdom that lie within our lineage, waiting to be discovered.
Sturgeons, the ancient fish named by our ancestors as the symbol for this full moon, are living fossils. They have survived countless ages, adapting and thriving through the waves of change. Their resilience mirrors that of our ancestors who navigated the unpredictable currents of life. The Sturgeon Moon, therefore, calls on us to dive into the depths of our being, to connect with our ancestors through meditation and to bring forth the wisdom they offer.
Fieldwork: Guided Ancestor Meditation for the Sturgeon Moon
Now, let's embark on a spiritual journey together. Sit comfortably and gently close your eyes. Picture yourself standing on the shore of a vast, serene lake under the glow of the full Sturgeon Moon. Feel the cool sand beneath your feet, the gentle breeze caressing your skin, and the soothing sounds of the night.
Imagine a path of moonlight guiding you into the water. As you walk deeper, you see a school of sturgeons swimming gracefully, navigating the currents just as your ancestors did. Feel their ancient wisdom resonating around you.
Now, invite your ancestors to join you. See them emerge from the moonlit path, feel their presence, their love, their guidance. Share a moment with them, feel free to ask for their wisdom or simply bask in their comforting presence. Spend as much time as you need here.
When you're ready, thank your ancestors for their wisdom and guidance. Watch them return to the moonlit path, leaving you with a sense of connection, love, and deep gratitude. Slowly make your way back to the shore, carrying with you the wisdom of your ancestors. As you open your eyes, remember this journey and the deep connection you have to your past.
Reflections on the Meditation Experience
Following your meditation, it's essential to take a moment to process and reflect on your experience. What feelings surfaced during your meditation? Did your ancestors convey any messages or insights? What wisdom have you gleaned from this interaction?
Reflecting on these experiences enhances your understanding and integration of the wisdom shared. It can also inspire you to bring these insights into your everyday life, using the wisdom of your ancestors to guide you on your journey. The Sturgeon Moon serves as a symbol of this wisdom, a monthly reminder of the depth of knowledge and strength that you carry within you.
The Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius: A Shift in Consciousness
The sign of Aquarius is synonymous with innovation, revolution, and a progressive vision for the future. It's known as the Water Bearer, a symbol of knowledge being poured out to humanity. This innovative energy blends with the ancestral wisdom of the Sturgeon Moon, urging us to consider how the lessons of our past can guide us towards a more harmonious future. What innovative ideas or changes are calling to you this Full Moon?
The Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius marks a time of introspection and spiritual awakening. The wisdom-bearing Sturgeon Moon combined with Aquarius' forward-thinking energy creates a potent blend that encourages us to explore our individual roles in the grander scheme of things. How can we use ancestral wisdom to fuel our vision for the future?"
Practical ways to channel the Aquarius energy during the Full Moon
"During the Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius, you are invited to tune into this cosmic energy. Reflect on your unique contribution to humanity's progress, nurture your visionary ideas, and honor your ancestors' wisdom in navigating these waters. Engage in practices such as journaling, discussing your thoughts and ideas with others, or simply spending some quiet time in contemplation."
As the mystical journey of the Sturgeon Moon concludes, we invite you to carry these reflections and rituals into your daily life. Enriching your connection with your ancestors doesn't have to end here. The wisdom and spiritual connection you've unearthed can serve as a guiding force, empowering you to navigate life's waters with courage and insight.
In our next video, we will continue exploring celestial wisdom by delving into the mysteries of the September Full Moon - The Harvest Moon. How does this Moon help us reap the fruits of our intentions and efforts? And how can it aid us in our personal transformation? Stay tuned to learn about this and more.
If you enjoyed your experience today, This spiritual journey is part of our Moonlit Pathways program at the Temple of Ara. Here, we bring together Nature Mystics, Mages & Witches like you to deepen our relationship with the natural world and the wisdom of our ancestors. Enroll now, and experience the transformative power of aligning with nature's cycles, fostering a profound sense of balance and infusing sacred practices into your everyday life.
Moonlit Pathways is not just a program, it's a journey towards inner wisdom and peace, reconnecting with Mother Nature and Grandmother Moon and honoring the sacred within us. Join us as we continue this incredible journey under the glow of the next Full Moon.