This morning (August 15 8:31 A.M. here), the Moon went full. It was so close to being full earlier in the week that it made it more difficult to see any of the Perseid meteor showers.
The most common name for this August Full Moon is the Sturgeon Moon. But I suspect that for the vast majority of Americans the sturgeon or even fishing is not a big part of their life this month. The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month.
Because I pay attention to threatened and endangered species, I want to note that all five U.S. Atlantic sturgeon distinct population segments are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. These populations are threatened by entanglement in fishing gear, habitat degradation, and habitat impediments such as dams and other barriers and vessel strikes.
In many cultures, the Full Moon names were actually applied to the entire month that followed. The Farmer’s Almanac has a list of Full Moon names with brief descriptions.
In Colonial America, the Europeans may have called this the Dog’s Day Moon.
Among the American Indian tribes, there were many variations in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were used among the Algonquin tribes from New England on west to Lake Superior. In the book This Day in North American Indian History the author looks at events, including Full Moon names, going back to the construction of Mayan temples in A.D. 715 to modern political activism and governmental legislation. It has 50+ native peoples.
I chose the Dakotah Sioux name Moon When All Things Ripen. The Cherokee called this the Fruit Moon.
The Klamath people are a Native American tribe of the Plateau culture area in Southern Oregon and Northern California, centered around the area around the Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath, Williamson, and Sprague rivers. They subsisted primarily on fish and gathered roots, berries, and seeds.
Different tribes started the year at different times. For example, the Juaneno people started the year with the winter solstice. The Klamath people started the year with today’s Full Moon. They marked the months/moons on their fingers, so this moon was marked on the thumb and was called the Moon When Berries Dried.
This is the Celtic Dispute Moon, and it is the Neo-Pagan Lightning Moon.
If you’re feeling the heat and humidity where you are today, here’s a cooling thought: In the Southern Hemisphere, the August Full Moon is often called the Snow Moon. That’s a name we use in the North in January or February.