The July full Moon for 2012 occurs on Tuesday the third, I try to choose a new full Moon name each year that I post. And there are plenty to choose from.

The names of the moons indicate what each tribe thought was important in the season. It usually pertains to weather, their crops or food they could gather. July for many tribes was the time of summer crops, mainly corn, which begins to ripen for the harvest and was the staple crop for many American Indian tribes.  July is often the hottest month of the year for much of the Northern Hemisphere, and with the ripening corn is also tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers.

Field of camas lilies

Here are some of the names different tribes had for the Full Moon at this point in the year.

Abenaki –Grass Cutter Moon
Algonquin –Squash Are Ripe Moon
Cherokee –Ripe Corn Moon
Choctaw –Little Harvest Moon, Crane Moon
Comanche –Hot Moon
Cree –Moon When Ducks Begin to Molt
Dakota Sioux –Moon of the Middle Summer
Haida –Salmon Moon
Hopi –Moon of the Homedance
Kalapuya –Camas Ripe (the bulb of the camas lily was a staple food to the Kalapuya)
Lakota –Moon When The Chokecherries Are Black
Mohawk –Time of Much Ripening
Ponca –Middle of Summer Moon
Potawatomi –Moon of the Young Corn
Shoshone –Summer Moon

Roasting ears of corn are ready and this was once the traditional Native American time of the “Green Corn Dance” or festival. This is the customary time for commencement of the Stick Ball games traditionally called AniStusti, “Little War”. Today they are known as “LaCross”. Stick Ball dances and festivals are commonly held at this time.

This Full Moon was also associated with the corn by American Colonists and other cultures. Colonists called it the Corn Tassel Moon, so we can see the stage that corn was in for Northeastern settlers versus Southwestern Cherokee.

For Druids, this is the moon during which the harvest is celebrated. It is generally called the Claim Song or Claiming Moon. Now is the time to claim the first harvest and celebrate. Lughnasadh, Lammas, or Gwyl Awst are names for the festival after this Full Moon (celebrated in Druidry and most new Paganisms on or around August first).

Brits use use the word autumn and Americans use the word fall but the older word for that season after summer is harvest and this full signals the start of harvesting.

The July Moon is also called the Thunder Moon because of the frequents thunderstorms produced by the hot days. It is called the Buck Moon or Deer Moon because deer begin to show antlers which are in their “velvet” stage.  Some farmers refer to it as the Hay Moon.

roasting ears of corn

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