August Moon

Continuing our exploration of what celebration looks like in modern Pagan families, this is the first in a series of blogs from the Children & Families Team write about the traditions they have developed to celebrate the 13 moons of the year with their children aged 3 years and up; continuoing with the August full moon.

The August full moon is known by many names but in my house, it’s referred to as the grain moon because August is the month of the grain harvest which in our practice, we consider to be important as grain provides our family with a food staple.

The August moon is associated with the Earth and Air elements so to honour the moon this month we will toast her with grain goods such as home baked cakes, a glass of water and light a joss stick. There are many herbs associated with the August moon so our joss stick will be scented with one of them. It could be chamomile, Angelica, bay, fennel, rue, rosemary, jasmine, lilac, violet or calamus.

Our moon gardening task for the day of the full moon will be either planting, transplanting or grafting, or maybe all three.

Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team

August brings a new moon in Leo on August 8th and full moon in Aquarius on August 22nd.  If we start at Lammas, we can make the whole of August a celebration of our personal harvests, asking our children to share what they are proud of about themselves and what they’ve achieved.

Leo energy is all about letting ourselves shine and the new moon in Leo is a beautiful time to set intentions around creativity, perhaps sowing the seeds of a new project or skill with our children or simply encouraging them in their confidence and self-expression. Leo is also the sign of the divine child and of play and we might find that our children have something to teach us about that!

This is the second full moon in Aquarius this year, with July’s full moon falling at the beginning of Aquarius and the August full moon at the end. So, we have a second chance for all that Aquarius magic, celebrating our unique selves and our contributions to collective evolution. Leo and Aquarius are dynamic ends of the same polarity, and we can bring them into balance by celebrating our own unique talents and then putting those talents in service of something greater than ourselves.

London District Liaison, Children & Families Team

August 23rd’s full moon is energetically strange, hanging between the peak of the Perseids meteor shower and the Autumn Equinox, an important data for many Pagans. Avid sky gazers may be able to catch the tail end of the Cygnid meteor shower if we’re blessed by clear skies. In North America, August’s full moon is sometimes called the Sturgeon Moon, due to larger numbers of sturgeon appearing to fisherfolk during this time. A more appropriate name for these isles is, perhaps, the Fruit Moon. Look out for crops of blackberries, rose hips, the first “haws” or hawthorn berries, rowan berries, and late apples around your local area. You might be surprised how many different species of delicious fruits grow nearby, even if you live in an urban area. You might also notice that you don’t see some of these fruits for very long, as many birds and small animals will start to gorge themselves on the readily available food before the cooler weather starts to set in. If you go foraging, always leave some for the local wildlife, as a sign of respect and thanks. Look out for opportunities that may be hidden at first and be joyous in your achievements.

Secretary, Children & Families Team

We call the August full moon, Harvest Moon, as it coincides with the first harvest of the year, grain.

As described last month, our full moon ritual was quite simple.  We would draw our circle, call the quarters, and light our candles; for the August moon, we had a choice of yellow, red or orange.

We shared some bread that we would have made that day (or tiger bread from the shop, if I hadn’t had time) and during the ritual, in preparation for Samhain and if the harvest had happened, we would make a corn dolly.

When my children were really little, the full moon is when we would leave our protection spray outside for the moon to bless it.  This powerful spray (which looked remarkably like an orange scented room spray put in a plain spray bottle) kept away all monsters and things that go bump in the night.  To use, we would spray the bedrooms at bedtime and say ‘Day is done, it’s time for bed, Lady bless my sleepy head.  When the morning sun does rise, Lord bless my open eyes’.

Deputy Manager, Children & Families Team