The Sturgeon Moon Arrives on August 1 — but What Does That Mean?


Aug. 1 2023, Updated 9:08 a.m. ET

Sturgeon Moon
Source: Aron Visuals/Unsplash

July’s festive midsummer came and went, and now we're in the midst of lazy, sweltering days of August. At the beginning of the month, however, comes the Sturgeon Moon — the beginning passage into the pumpkin-spice laden days of fall.

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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?

Full moon at Autumn
Source: Ganapathy Kumar/Unsplash
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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 Native Americans and early Colonial Americans had a name for this moon, though there are European sources that mention it as well.

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 afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. It will reach its apex and full illumination at 2:32 p.m. during the day. In August 2023, a second full moon, or Blue Moon, will appear later in the month on Aug. 30.

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Sturgeon fish
Source: Getty Images

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.

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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 is also a spiritual matter to many people. Strong, adaptive, and resilient for countless millennia, the sturgeon represents perseverance of spirit, which many folks might need with winter just around the corner.

Moon in haze during wildfire.
Source: Getty Images
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What is the spiritual meaning of the Sturgeon Moon?

According to astrologer Brilla Samay from Bustle, the Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius on Aug. 1 indicates a strong collaborative vibe, creating a positive "ripple effect" on your community. People should also expect to close some chapters, as full moons are the end of the lunar cycle and signify endings or conclusions.

Whether you’re working towards a difficult goal or attempting change on a grand scale, say, through climate change activism, let the Sturgeon Moon help you along to see the bigger picture.

This article, originally published on Aug. 13, 2021, has been updated.

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