Burien, Washington

 

 

 

Mewsings from Millie

Hello and welcome back to my musings!

I overheard someone the other day talking about the Wolf Moon. I wondered what that meant. After my people left for the day, I decided to hunt around on the internet and see what I could find out.

It appears that giving different names to the full Moon dates back to Native American tribes ranging from New England to Lake Superior. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. The name was then applied to the entire month in which the full Moon occurred. Early settlers continued the custom and created some of their own names. Below is a list of full Moon names according to the Farmers Almanac.

January - Full Wolf Moon - The wolves are heard howling hungrily outside the Indian villages amid the cold and deep snows of winter. It is also referred to as the Old Moon or the Moon After Yule.

February - Full Snow Moon - The heaviest snow usually falls during this month, hence the name for February's full Moon. Some tribes called it the Full Hunger Moon as weather conditions made hunting difficult.

March - Full Worm Moon - As the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear bringing the return of the robins. Northern tribes called this the Full Crow Moon because the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter. It is also known as the Full Crust Moon because of the crust formed on the snow due to it thawing during the day and freezing at night. Because this time of year marks the time of tapping maple trees, it is also known as the Full Sap Moon.

April - Full Pink Moon - This name comes from the herb moss pink or wild ground phlox which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon and the Egg Moon. Some coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because the shad would begin to swim upstream to spawn.

May - Full Flower Moon - Flowers are blooming everywhere during this time, hence the name. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

June - Full Strawberry Moon - The season is short for harvesting delicious strawberries during the month of June so the full Moon is named for this scrumptious treat.

July - Full Buck Moon - New antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur creating this name. It is also called the Full Thunder Moon due to the frequency of thunderstorms this time of year and also the Full Hay Moon.

August - Full Sturgeon Moon - During August, sturgeon are most readily caught. Some tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because it can appear reddish as it rises and it is also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

September - Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon - This full Moon marks the time when corn is supposed to be harvested. If it occurs closest to the autumn equinox, then it is called the Harvest Moon. This can occur in September or October. This would be the time to gather corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice.

October - Full Hunter's Moon or Full Harvest Moon - The leaves are falling, the deer are fattened and it's time to store meat for the long winter ahead. It's also easy to spot fox, rabbit and other game in the harvested fields. This moon has also been called the Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon.

November - Full Beaver Moon - This is the time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Also, the beavers are actively preparing for winter. This moon has also been called the Frosty Moon.

December - Full Cold Moon or Full Long Nights Moon - Nights are at their longest and darkest and the cold of winter fastens its grip. It is also called the Moon Before Yule.

A legend from the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest explains how Raven brought light to the darkness at the beginning of the world. When the Great Spirit created all things he kept them separate and stored in cedar boxes. He gifted these boxes to the animals who existed before humans. When the animals opened the boxes, all the things that make up the world such as mountains, fire, water, wind and plant seeds came into being. Seagull was given the box that contained all the light of the world.

Seagull coveted the box and refused to open it. All the people begged Raven to persuade Seagull to open the box and release the light. Raven asked, demanded, flattered and even tried to trick Seagull into opening the box. Seagull still refused. Finally Raven became angry and stuck a thorn in Seagull's foot until the pain became so great it caused Seagull to drop the box. The box flew open and out of it came the sun, moon and stars allowing the first day to begin.

I hope you have enjoyed my little bit of "moonlighting". Now, for me, it's lights out!

Until next time,

Millie

The Muse of Mews