Every full moon is named for the season, and August’s full moon is known as the Sturgeon Moon.
We can thank early Native American tribes for most of the moon names we still use today. The lunar cycles were a way for people to keep track of time without the 365-day calendar. Tribes christened the moon every month based on the flora, fauna, weather, and tribe activities during the seasons.
The Sturgeon Moon is also sometimes referred to as the Red Moon, Barley Moon, Green Corn Moon, or Grain Moon.
When Is the Full Sturgeon Moon?
The Sturgeon Moon arrives in August. It comes after the Buck Moon in June and the Harvest Moon in September (although every third year, the Harvest Moon is in October instead, making September’s full moon a Corn Moon).
The Sturgeon Moon in August will reach its peak on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 2:31 p.m. ET.
This year, there will be two full moons in August, and they’re both supermoons! This means that they’ll appear slightly bigger and brighter, especially as they rise. The Blue Moon later this month will be the closest supermoon of the year.
Learn more about supermoons and understand how the heightened energy of a supermoon will affect your lunar rituals.
Full Sturgeon Moon Meaning: Why Is It Called a Sturgeon Moon?
The fishing tribes referred to August’s moon as the Sturgeon Moon because this type of fish was abundant in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. During this time of the year, fishermen brought in large quantities of sturgeons.
People often call these fish “living fossils.” Sturgeons have been around for at least 136 million years, and they have a prehistoric appearance. They can live up to 150 years. Today, there are about 29 species worldwide, including the type from the Great Lakes that inspired the August full moon’s name.
Unfortunately, the lake sturgeon is rare today. In the 19th century, human activities such as intense overfishing, pollution, and destruction of their habit greatly reduced their numbers.
The Spiritual Meaning of the Sturgeon Moon
The Sturgeon Moon occurs at the beginning of the three harvest festivals in the Wheel of the Year. Symbolically, it’s a time of abundance.
This prosperous energy is reflected in the personal intentions and symbolism as we celebrate the Sturgeon moon. Spiritually, we can embrace this moon as a prime opportunity to focus on the positives in your life that can be collected, appreciated, and even stored for later.
It’s important to remember that the harvest is a time for both appreciation and preparation. Winter was a difficult time for people living off the land, so while they were grateful for the bounty they reaped from the harvest, they were also mindful of the difficult times ahead and stored their food appropriately.
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We apply this same preparation mindset during our meditation and full moon ceremonies. What sacrifices can you make today that will help you through tough times later? How can you be proactive to prepare for the future?
Remember that the Sturgeon Moon represents the early harvest, which means we gather some of our rewards but not all of them yet. There’s more to come.
Altar Tips, Colors, & Crystals for the Sturgeon Moon
Common altar colors for the Sturgeon Moon are yellow, red, and orange. To truly tap into harmony with this moon, you can coordinate candle colors to match your Sturgeon Moon altar and intention-setting rituals.
Seasonal flowers and scavenged natural items are always good additions to your altar. Consider what is currently blooming in your garden that you can harvest as a tribute. Search for unique stones, shells, bones, moss, bark, driftwood, nuts, or even antlers that have been naturally shed.
Early vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, etc. can be featured on your Sturgeon Moon altar to celebrate the supermoon, and then afterward, you can cook a fresh meal for your own personal harvest celebration.
The best crystals to use with the Sturgeon Moon are tigers eye, garnet, red agate, and carnelian. Most full moons are an optimal time to charge your crystals in the moonlight, and the Sturgeon Moon is no exception. Since this supermoon represents prosperity and abundance, it brings intense positive energy to purify any accumulated negative energy.
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Sturgeon Moon Ritual Ideas for a Solitary Witch
Making moon water is a wonderful way to tap into the Sturgeon Moon’s prosperity. You might also consider holding a harvest ritual and doing some protection magic as you prepare for the darkest part of the year. Although the days are still long, we’re slowly but steadily losing daylight every day.
There’s a lot of energy coming from the summer full moons. If you’re struggling to cope with it, think about adding relaxing activities to your ritual. Spend some time in your thriving garden and feel the seasonal prosperity all around you. Give grounding (also called earthing) a try by making prolonged skin contact with the earth so your body can transfer electrons and heal.
Meditation or a ritualistic bath can help you further relax. If you’re looking for natural bath soaks, spa sets, organic soaps, bath bombs, or crystal candles, I highly recommend Hemlock Park. They have a great range of natural products, plus they partnered with One Tree Planted to encourage reforestation with every order.
The Sturgeon Moon is a good time to consult your runes, tarot cards, or oracle deck to see what you need to let go of and where you should be directing your energy.
Remember, however you celebrate the full moon is completely up to you and on your own schedule. There is no right or wrong way; just do what feels best for you.
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A monthly subscription box is a fantastic way to celebrate the full moon! See my top witchy/spiritual box recommendations.
For more information on full moons, see the 2023 full moon calendar with names, dates, and meanings here.
Award-winning fantasy author, freelance writer, spiritual explorer, and sole founder of Green Witch Lunar Witch. She created her first website in 2016 and published her first novel two years later. Sara spends most of her time writing, creating, and daydreaming.