Across our world there are many ways of creating relationship with Mama Earth and Father Sky, aligning with their energies and connecting with their rhythms.
For instance, one way to connect is through the naming the Full Moon or the Lunar Months. Typically these describe the qualities or activities happening at that time each year, such as the various names for the March Full Moon — Full Worm Moon, Full Crow Moon, Full Sap Moon, Full Lenten Moon, etc.
Many of these names come to us primarily from the First Nations of North America. And you likely already know that I like to name my own Full Moons, to strengthen my connection with Mama Earth. For me, it’s always interesting to look into the history of where we live, the peoples and ancestors who lived there in older times and explore how they named their moons.
For instance, although I am originally from the UK, with strong Irish roots, I now live in Vancouver Canada which is on the unceded and traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples — the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations. The Coast Salish people had a 13 moon system which guided “their interaction with their environment; it stresses the importance of ancestors and leads the Coast Salish to see themselves as the youngest of all creation, as students who must learn from their environment.” (as quoted in “The First Nations of the North West Coast- Coast Salish; Connections to the environment, involvement in conservation.” Click here to read the full article.).
For the Wsanec (Saanich) Coast Salish people this month is Pexsisen, The Moon of Opening Hands aka the Blossoming Out Moon (mid-March to mid-April). All the plants and trees are opening up their hands again and the moon meets their welcome. (Source)
The naming of the moons can be part of larger systems, such as astrology or zodiacs, where there are even more correspondences such as animal allies, elements, directions, etc.
In the Earth Astrology system as described by Chippewa medicine men Sun Bear and Wabun Wind in their book “The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology”, this month is “Budding Trees Moon”, the first of the Spring Moons.
With the Spring Equinox, we move into The East and the first of three Spring moons of Wabun (The Spirit Keeper of the East): Budding Trees Moon month. Its animal ally is Redtail Hawk.
The Redtail Hawk is a raptor, and birds are strongly associated with The East, with the Air element. The Eagle is the totem for all of Wabun (Spring, East). Perhaps there are no Redtail Hawks in your locale or bioregion. . . but there are raptors across the world. Take some time to look into the raptors found in your part of the world. Perhaps you already have a connection with them.
What is a raptor?
You may know them as the birds of prey, birds with strong taloned feet and powerful beaks that survive by eating other animals. Species include hawks, kites, harriers, vultures, eagles and owls.The following is an extract from “The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology” on the correspondences for the month and season:
💨 Wabun, Spirit Keeper of the East 💨
Power: Illumination & Wisdom
Time of Day: Morning
🦅 Budding Trees Moon, 21-MARCH to 19-APRIL 🦅
Animal: Red Hawk / Redtail Hawk
Mineral: fire opal
Qualities: innovative, energetic, optimistic, clear-sighted, feisty, adventurous
To learn more about this First Nations’ system of Earth Astrology, read the classic book by Sun Bear and Wabun, The Medicine Wheel Earth Astrology, available online or through your favourite local bookshop
I discovered the Medicine Wheel earth Astrology about 30 years ago I guess. It continues to be meaningful to me and is the basis for many of my rituals for the season changes. We have a medicine wheel outlined in native rocks in our back yard. It is really fun to read your blog and I love love love how you bring together information from so many sources. I am enjoying the Grandmother Moon course also. It is so enriching.
Thank you so much Gail, very much appreciated. I am definitely envious of your backyard Medicine Wheel (and having a backyard. . . I have only a balcony!).