The August Moon is often called the Sturgeons Moon, and this year it is followed by a Blue Moon. This is the perfect time to take advantage of some powerful energies and create a special sacred water. So let’s jump into it!
Different cultures have different names for the August Full Moon
The Flying Up Moon is a Cree term referring to a time when young birds are ready to take the leap and depart from the nest. A symbolization of the growth between child to adult – moving from a state of dependence to independence – from learner to teacher.
Corn Moon or Harvest Moon may be the most commonly associated names as August is seen as the time of the first big harvests. The beginning of Reaping the Bounty of what you have sown and nurtured throughout the year – that which will sustain you through the darker, colder months of winter.
Mountain Shadow Moon is used by some indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. It refers to the shifting angle of the Earth and how it changes the appearance of the mountains. That shifting, signaling the coming of winter and time for preparation.
For me, as a death worker, the August Moon is the Sturgeon Moon.
Sturgeon are a fresh water fish, found in the Northern hemisphere, that have been around for millions of years. Often referred to as “living fossils” due to their long history on earth – their long life spans (around 150 years old) – and their prehistoric look. In August, the sturgeon rise from deep depths of the dark waters, up to the surface.
Symbology of Sturgeons
Although their numbers have dwindled due to over fishing and the harvest of their eggs for caviar, they are still an important symbol for us on a magical level. They represent strength, endurance, and perseverance due to their long life spans, hearty construction, and ability to survive through earth’s many evolutions. By tapping into the power of the sturgeon, we also also tapping into our inner strength and boosting our endurance for the challenges ahead. The inner work and reflection that comes with the shorter days and longer nights of winter.
They are seen as Keepers of Knowledge and Wisdom due to their long age and history, as well as the biological aspects of passing down knowledge and instincts to their descendants. With age and experience, comes the ability to do deep reflections with the advantage of hindsight. From my perspective they also represent the wisdom that can be gained from ancestors, and those who lived before us. August is the perfect time to start tapping into that energy and strengthening that communication.
Rising from the depths! The act of rising from the darkest depth of the waters to the surface is another significant symbolization. From a self perspective, you could view it as your inner self rising to the surface – your authentic self or your shadows. Illuminating the things that have been kept in shadows – whether within you or on a broader scale.
For a death worker, this is also a symbolization of the spirits rising. To pass along secrets, illuminate what has been hidden, and to connect on a deeper level with the living. The coming season is one where more people tend to think about and remember those who have passed, celebrating and honoring them. Thus the spirits tend to be more active and at the forefront. The name sturgeon refers to “stirrer” which is very reflective in these concepts.
For me, all of these things come into play. Although the spirits are always present, talking and sharing with us, due to the collective shift/ focus to that realm it becomes more intense and they become more restless in general. The collective has made this the time of the Dead, and thus the Dead have claimed it.
It is a perfect time, especially for those just getting into ancestor – medium – or death work, to start building those skills and connections. The energy is already heightened so it will make it a little easier. The spirits are also more present around us due to what I stated above, so it is easier to feel, perceive, and communicate with them. Many times the larger “we” seem to reserve this time especially for October, but it actually begins in August – rising to the surface just as the sturgeon rise. (So for you Halloween/ Samhain lovers – feel free to start decorating!)
Sacred Waters for the Dead
Not only does this August bring the Sturgeon Moon, it is also bringing us a Blue Moon. So we will begin the month in a full moon and end it it that way!
It is perfecting timing for a very special sacred water. One that can be used to enhance our powers of communicating with the dead, as well as, walking with them. I will start this the Night of the Sturgeon moon and end the process with the power of the Blue Moon.
**Note – this water is not for drinking/ consumption. It is one you can you topically like a perfume or to bless/ charge tools and items with.
Mandrake root has several connections and symbolization for death work. First off, the root itself takes on a very human like shape. So a person laying below the ground (the dead) being uprooted and bringing it into the light. This is very symbolic of them rising from the depths, the underworld, and into the land of the living. It was also used magical for things such as luck/wealth charms, flying ointment (hallucinogen), and in baneful work. For this water, the intention is focused on bringing the dead forward, into the light, into the land of the living, and divulging their secrets.
Lotus Flowers have a variety of meanings in different cultures. For the Egyptians it was seen to have the ability to resurrect the dead. Due to it’s interesting life cycle and behavior though it is thought to represent life, death, and rebirth at it’s core. It stays above the water in the daytime, and at night submerges itself beneath the water – thus living, dying at night, and then being reborn again the next morning. There are other meanings for this flower, but my focus is on the death aspect and connections. Calling forth the dead to us – allowing them to be “reborn” in the sense of being remembered and hearing their stories. That is the intention being infused here.
Lavender has a long history with death. Often used by funerary people to mask the smell of death before burial. This particular connection is beneficial in two ways. The first, being a smell, and perhaps the last smell the dead encountered/ associated with death. The second being our own mindset and the relaxing state lavender can induce. Using lavender is a good way to inspire communication between the living and the dead, and will be the intention set here.
I’ll be honest, I used to hate the smell of lavender. It was never the relaxing or beautiful smell to me that others portrayed it to be. However, when I started diving deeper into death work, that completely changed. I really love it now and find it to be excellent for communication work. It does have to be a more pure/ higher quality product for me though, otherwise the smell is not right. So if you hated it before, perhaps try again with different sources to see if it changes.
The morning of August 1st I will build the water in a large glass container (perhaps two since it will be at least a year or two before the conditions will be right to make this specific water again). Setting specific intentions/ jobs for each component to do within the water.
I will place it on my altar with the mirror next to it until it turns dusk (I will explain this particular mirror next week). Then I will move the container outside to sit in the energy of dusk, the Sturgeon Full Moon, and the next dawn. Incorporating all the liminal times and the power of this moon. It will house the energy of death, The Well, and the rebirth. Afterwards it will return to the spot by the mirror.
Everyday between the two full moons I will be doing some work with it that is specific for the use I am making it for. A special Galdr/ chant with the Goddess Hel – Repeating the instructions directly into the water (talking out loud to it infusing the power of words into the water) – and a special prayer to the dead.
On the Blue Moon, at the end of August, I will repeat the dusk to dawn charging. Then it will be ready to use. It will be a sacred water that I will be using throughout the year long Death’s Emissary course as well as, my own personal work.
You do not need to be a death worker or even work with spirits to harness this amazing energy in August.
Do you need to do some inner work or shadow work? Use the various energies this month to help you through the process. Let it help bring everything to the surface and walk you through the healing process.
Are you looking to overcome some blockages? Pull in that strength, endurance, and power to break through it.
Do you need to close out one chapter of your life to clear the way for the next?
So many options! Just think about all these energies at play – then where you are or what you are wanting to accomplish this month – and see what energies present would help you the most.
With two full moons in one month, it gives you a good opportunity to forge in a different order. Starting by going within yourself on the first moon, pulling it all outwards throughout the month, and releasing all that magic with the next moon – bringing it to fruition.