Monday, November 6, 2017

The Ojibwe have Many a Name for it.

The past few evenings have been marked by almost clear Spring skies and a full Moon. In the early hours when all is still and quiet I have stood and watched the moon rise over the hills across the other side of the estuary and cast its silver beams upon the wide waters. It is almost magical.  A full moon can bring more than lunatics out at 2am. American Indians gaze up at the same moon too. Some of those fellows are quite smart, and like m'self will stand and gaze and smoke a pipe, and know their seasons.

The view I have is magnificent. It is good for the soul. If an Indian medicine man could capture it, dry it and powder it, he would keep it in his wampum bag for those really difficult illness that befall Chief's daughters.

My friend Richard Carl Silk came by with some folk-lore that I did not know, from folk I did not know, so I paid attention.  He introduced me to Javier Barbuzano.  It was a quiet evening after all the bonfire folk-lore hoohaa of the past few days and he had quite different new old matters at hand.

Richard and Javier brought Miziweyaabikizi dibiki-giizis into discussion.

Yep. Me neither. But let's take a look.

That is from the language of the Ojibwe. It is the heritage language of more than 200,000 Ojibwe - or Anishinaabepeople, one of the largest Algonquin tribes who reside in the United States and Canada. Ojibwe Country primarily extends from Quebec, across Ontario and Manitoba to Saskatchewan in Canada, and from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota in the United States.

Ojibwe is not a single standardized language, but a chain of linked local varieties, grouped into nearly a dozen dialects. Each dialect (and within dialects, each local variety) differs in details of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar from the others, with differences between non-adjacent dialects often being great enough to impede understanding between their speakers.

Speakers of Ojibwe consider their language to be precise, descriptive, and visual, and feel that it is among the greatest treasures of their cultural heritage.

They have words, as difficult for an old Knight to pronounce as the big one above, for the moon.  Lots of them. But let us hear what Javier had for us.
Native American Full Moon Names
What do you call the full Moon? Various Native American tribes each had their own full Moon names — we introduce the most common names and the traditions behind them.
The lunar cycle — the period of time between one full Moon and the next — has been a common time-keeping device for human beings across the world. Each lunar cycle is 29.5 days long, a constant and handy time unit that’s easier to use than individual days for tracking seasonal events, such as the length of summer or harvest and hunting times.
But the lunar calendar has its limitations. Earth’s seasons are linked to the solar year, which is longer than 12 full moons. For that reason, the lunar calendar goes out of sync with the seasons it’s supposed to mark. To compensate, a 13th moon has to be added to the lunar year at regular periods.
The calendar we use today is the Gregorian Solar Calendar, which Pope Gregory XIII introduced in 1582. It’s a refinement of the Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, which improved upon to the Egyptian solar calendar that already divided the solar year into 365 days. This solar calendar, unlike the lunar calendar, guarantees a date for every day of the year and maintains the equinoxes —and thus the seasons— on (roughly) the same dates every year.
Nevertheless, the lunar cycle was long used to keep track of time when exact calendar dates were less important. 
Its usefulness is reflected in the popular full Moon names used throughout the year. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, an American publication that has been in print since the late 1700s, includes a list of full Moon names it attributes to a group of Native American tribes: “. . . the Algonquin tribes who lived in regions from New England to Lake Superior. They are the names the Colonial Americans adapted most.”
The origins of the Old Farmer’s Almanac list are difficult to trace; moreover, a single list poorly reflects the richness, subtleties, and regional variation of native cultures. But these names have been embraced and are still widely used, which speaks to the power and usefulness of the lunar tradition, both as a cultural vehicle and timekeeping device.
In reality, most Native American tribes have their own set of full Moon names, and those names reflect each tribe’s customs and regional climate and ecology. Nevertheless, some common themes are easy to spot: winter weather, crop availability, and fishing and hunting cues find expression in Moon names. In native cultures, those names were accompanied by legends and oral traditions that transmitted knowledge and cultural customs.
The following list includes the most commonly used names for each full Moon of the year. In parentheses, to give an idea of the variety of names used among different tribes, are the names used by the Ojibwe, one of the largest Algonquin tribes in the Great Lakes area.
I will save your tongues the trouble by rendering the English !! 

But..... should you wish to persue that course, go here for starting orders, and take a pint to sup.

Full Wolf Moon (Great Spirit Moon): In January (or the first full Moon after the winter equinox), it’s easy to picture packs of wolves howling at the Moon outside the villages in Europe and North America, as the winter’s rigors deprived the animals of food.
Full Snow Moon (Sucker Fish Moon): The second full Moon of the year. The winter is still alive and well and the snow covers everything. The Ojibwe named this Moon after the sucker fish, an important resource for their winter survival.
Full Worm Moon (Hard Crust on the Snow Moon): As the temperatures begin to rise, the snow melts and the earth softens and becomes mud. Worms begin to crawl in the ground, heralding the return of birds, which will feed on them. Also called the Sap Moon, because it’s the time to tap the maples for their sap.
Full Pink Moon (Maple Sap Boiling Moon): Attributed to the growth and blossom of the moss pink. Other names for this season make reference to flowers, eggs, fish, and the return of spring.
Full Flower Moon (Budding Moon): In May, spring is typically in full force, and various Moon names recognize the budding and blooming of flowers. Other names for this Moon make reference to the period when corn should be planted.
Full Strawberry Moon: Strawberries are ripe and ready to be picked. The Ojibwe and many other tribes use the same name for this Moon. This month promises a feast on easy food provided by Mother Nature.
Full Buck Moon (Mid-summer Moon): Buck’s antlers are growing at full force during this Moon. Also called Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are common during this time of the year.
Full Sturgeon Moon (Ricing Moon): The sturgeon fish catch will peak during this moon. For the Ojibwe, this Moon marked the season to harvest wild rice, an activity with cultural and ritual importance.
Full Corn Moon (Leaves Changing Color Moon): Also called Harvest of Fruit Moon, this is the Moon nearest to the autumnal equinox and can happen in October or September. At this time of the year, the fall crops are ready to be harvested.
Full Hunter’s Moon (Falling Leaves Moon): This is the best time of the year for hunting. The game is fat after a summer of eating and fattening for the winter. Many trees have lost their leaves and the fields are free of the crops that might have served as a hideout for prey. Also, it’s the right time to start storing food and furs for the winter.
Full Beaver Moon (Freezing Moon): This month’s Moon makes reference to the right moment to hunt beavers for their furs for the winter.
Full Cold Moon (Little Spirits Moon): In December, the cold returns and the closes the cycle. The long nights bring back the snow and it’s time to gather by the fire.
Once in a Blue Moon
Since the solar year is longer than 12 lunar cycles, some years will have 13 full Moons rather than the usual 12. Most Native American tribes had names for those moons, but many of the names or their meanings have been lost.
The so-called “blue Moon” grew out of the same solar/lunar predicament. The modern custom of calling the second full moon in a calendar month a Blue Moon started as late as the 1980s, and derived from an editorial error in the pages of Sky & Telescope (magnified by a popular radio show and the game Trivial Pursuit). 
Since folklore is constantly evolving, we can’t say the modern Blue Moon definition is wrong, but it doesn’t make much sense from the point of view of people who doesn’t use the lunar calendar.
Before that glitch in the matrix occurred, the name Blue Moon was typically reserved for the third full moon in a season with four, as a way to keep the list of names running smoothly and still keeping important markers at the right time of the year.
I think Richard deserves a pint waiting on the bar from now on. Javier can come any time too.

Drink up.



  1. There's a whole host of songs related - Blue Moon, Werewolves of London, Bad Moon Rising and this:

  2. Blue Moon.....
    You saw me standing alone...
    Without a dream in my heart...
    Without a love of my own...(great song)

    Love the pictures!

    I never miss, a full moon.

    1. You are missed behind the bar, playing the drums, Dear Heart.

  3. Joyanna is now on my main blogroll.

    1. Joyanna is prolific as a blogger and was the 'urge' behind the initiation of the Tavern. The original Drummer. Her focus is on the USA and she manages to draw diverse matters together to make highly humorous and insightful connections.

      Additionally Joyanna was my Campaign Manager when I ran for the US Presidency against Obama the first time around. With her gallant efforts this 'Durn Furriner' Party and a $0 budget achieved a placing just behind McCain, with 47 votes :)

      She will Grace your blogroll.

  4. Many ancient stone constructions have been revealed to be aligned to sun and or moon alignments. I find it fascinating reading studies of research from those that have taken the time to measure and compare the alignments.

    Our ancient ancestors (including Native Americans) knew a lot more than most people give them credit for. They knew the cycles of the moon or sun and the necessity to know the cycles for the optimum time for planting, harvesting, hunting etc

    They created calendars in stone and probably other materials that have long since deteriorated so that they knew the optimum time of year for each activity.

    As the moon, sun and earth change their relative position over time the calendars may seem to be incorrect but when taking into account the changes those that have researched this have proved the calendars to be extremely accurate.

    1. And there are some places - countries - where examples are clearly seen and revered.

      The average person thinks little of ancient peoples, but when they do it is most often stimulated by 'claims' that border on the ridiculous. I am fairly confident that ancient peoples suffered from the same delusions of knowledge as today but were perhaps more firmly rooted in the day to day than we are. Claims of spectacular technologies that 'we' have 'lost' or have yet to 'rediscover' litter literature, and the meaning of stone circles and henges are based more on speculation than real evidence.

      Mind you, I am also pretty sure that many an ancient person scratched their heads (and other parts ) over just what the PTB of the day were really up to with their massive constructions and forced labour. I wonder if they had conspiracy theories.

    2. I could direct you to some books that direct to the mathematics of the alignments of the structures (that I referred to) ;-)

    3. I am sure the maths 'add' up to something, but then so does the maths behind particle physics. All good reasons (it seems) to sink VAST sums of taxpayers' monies into large metalic circles underground as well as not quite as large stone ones on the surface.

      If its a bit of maths and a lot of deep thought you are after, and firmly connected to the God question, try "The Mind Matters", by Hodgson.

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Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..