Sturgeon Moon
Source: Aron Visuals/Unsplash

The Sturgeon Moon Arrives at the End of August — but What Does That Mean?

What is the Sturgeon Moon? It's going to be visible this coming autumn, so get ready for a seriously incredible celestial phenomenon.


Aug. 13 2021, Published 4:16 p.m. ET

July’s festive midsummer came and went, and now we're in the midst of lazy, sweltering days of August. At the end of the month, however, comes the Sturgeon Moon — a clear passage into the pumpkin-spice laden days of fall. The Sturgeon Moon signifies the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest season, but what differentiates this particular moon from all the others that come before it in a given year?

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What is the Sturgeon Moon?

The Sturgeon Moon is the name given to August's full moon — though it could also be used to describe the entire lunar month. It might seem odd to name a specific moon, but according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the etymological origins of this particular moon can be traced back to several different sources. Both the Native Americans and early Colonial Americans had a name for this moon, though there are European sources that mention it as well.

Full moon at Autumn
Source: Ganapathy Kumar/Unsplash
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When is the Sturgeon Moon set to occur?

According to Time and Date and The Old Farmer’s Almanac, The Sturgeon Moon will begin on the night of Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. It will reach its apex and full illumination the following night, on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. Interestingly enough, 2024’s Sturgeon Moon will actually be a Blue Moon, which means it will be the third full moon in a four full moon season.

Sturgeon fish
Source: Getty Images
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What is the meaning of the Sturgeon Moon?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac indicates that it is called the Sturgeon Moon because of the sturgeon — a giant, prehistoric-looking fish that live in the Great Lakes region. These fish can grow to be around 10 feet in length and can trace their lineage back over 200 million years, according to The Peculiar Brunette. In addition to their impressive size, unique appearance, and armored scales, sturgeon can also live to be over 100 years old.

Native American folklore regards the Sturgeon Moon as a herald of the coming harvest, connected to how easily the sturgeon and other freshwater fish were caught towards the end of the summer. The link between the moon and the sturgeon themselves is also a spiritual matter to many people. Strong, adaptive, and resilient for countless millennia, the sturgeon represents perseverance of spirit, which is something that many folks might need with winter just around the corner.

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Moon in haze during wildfire
Source: Getty Images

What is the spiritual meaning of the Sturgeon Moon?

Narayana Montúfar, a senior astrologer for SunSigns, recently spoke to Refinery29 about the effects of the Sturgeon Moon on humankind. Montúfar indicates that the sturgeon’s innate perseverance should inspire people to keep fighting. "From its current position in Aries, Mars is the ultimate warrior staple that, when channeled appropriately, can help us to keep our inner fire going," Montúfar told Refinery29.

Whether you’re working towards a difficult goal or attempting change on a grand scale, say, through climate change activism, use the Sturgeon Moon to push yourself forward.

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