When I look around for full moon calendars I often, if not always, stumble upon ones that use Native American terminology and meaning. I think these calendars are great and have beautiful meaning and purpose but they just don’t make sense or apply to us here in the Land Down Under. You will find moon names such as The Snow Moon in February, which is one of the hotter months for us, so a name like that doesn’t fit. I felt it was high time we got our own full moon name calendar, using the seasonal knowledge of the indigenous people of our great land.
The seasons according to the Nyoongar Calendar
The Nyoongar people of SouthWest Australia believe in a six season calendar year. Each of the seasons coincides with a natural phenomenon that has been recognised by the Nyoongar people and used as a way of predicting the season.
Typically Nyoongar seasons can be long or short and don’t run calendrically, instead changing with the ebbs and flos of mother nature. However, for the sake of ease they have created a calendar which aligns with Western calendars, that provides an overview of when to expect each season.
Below you will find a small breakdown of the Nyoongar seasons, including their names and definitions.
Birak – First Summer
December – January, is a season of dry heat and fire. Known as the Season of the Young.
Bunuru – Second Summer
February – March, is the hottest time of the year. Known as the Season of Adolescence.
Djeran – Autumn
April – May, the cooler weather is starting to come. Known as the Season of Adulthood
Makuru – Winter
June – July, the coldest and wettest part of the year with frequent storms. Known as the Season of Fertility.
Djilba – First Spring
August – September, beginning to see a mixture of wet days and dry days, with pleasant temperature during the day and colder temperatures at night. Known as the Season of Conception.
Kambarang – Second Spring
October – November, less and less wet days as the weather warms up. Known as the Season of Birth.
January 11th – Fire Moon
This is the time of the year traditionally used for land burning, we also see many bushfires at this time.
Burning was used as a way to reduce the amount of fuel for natural bushfires, help encourage germination of seeds and foliage growth which would in turn feed the animals of the land and also as a means to create easier paths through the terrain.
Fire is both cleansing, destructive, you could use this Full-Moon to do a banishing ritual involving fire to rid yourself of any unwanted negative energies (note: always use caution when dealing with fire).
February 9th – Dry Moon
This is the driest and hottest time of the year with little to no rainfall. Wind is usually hot during the day and cools in the afternoons, particularly along the coast.
This hot and sunny season is an important time to take care of our skin, try making your own homemade, natural moisturising cream. You can use herbs you grow in your own garden or source some locally grown or made herbs & essential oils. Call upon your favourite beauty Goddess while making it and ask her to protect your skin from the hot, baking sun. You could chant something like the phrase below while mix your cream up in a clockwise rotation.
Beautiful Aphrodite, with skin so fair & fine
I call upon you, to help me protect mine.
Let the sun only kiss it, please don’t let it burn.
With this offering I give you, I pray your blessing I earn.
After mixing up your cream up and calling upon Aphrodite don’t forget to leave her an offering. Her favourite things include perfume, roses, honey and wine. To pack an extra punch, make your cream on the night of the full moon.
March 10th – Fish Moon
March is still a fairly warm month in the southern hemisphere and indigenous Australian’s would have spent a lot of time near the waterways during this month. Their diet during this time was therefore made up of a lot of freshwater and sea creatures.
This full moon try your hand at a bit of kitchen witchery. Whip your family up a magickal fish dish, imbuing it with whatever magick you see fit. There are plenty of kitchen witch recipes online and I’m sure you’ll find one that will make even the fussiest eaters happy.
April 8th – Ant Moon
During April we finally start to see a break in the hot weather with the nights getting cooler and the winds picking up. With those stronger winds we often see an increase in flying ants, among other flying insects.
During this Full Moon as we think about Ants, we should take a minute to think about those who are smallest in our society – or who have the smallest voices. This would be a great time to consider giving back, whether it be serving the homeless at a local soup kitchen or having a sort out of your house and donating goods to a local charity. If you are struggling to think of how you can give back take sometime to meditate and commune with Eleos, the Greek personification of pity, mercy, clemency, and compassion. Ask him to show you how you can help those who need it most – he was often honoured through the act of cutting hair, so if you feel comfortable doing so, cut a small lock of hair and leave it on your altar for him as an offering.
May 7th – Seed Moon
May is a time when the weather really begins to cool off. We start see some smaller flowers blooming and lots of seeds starting to form, Indigenous people typically collected and stored seeds for eating during this time.
During the Full Moon this month take a trip to your local plant nursery, see if they have any seedlings on offer that you can plant and grow in your own garden.
June 6th – Hunters Moon
June is the wettest and coldest month of the year and this is when the indigenous Australians moved inland away from billowing winds of the coast. This meant that their diet changed from that of seafood to game meats such as kangaroo.
However, the aboriginals didn’t just use the animals they hunted for meat. They used every single part of the animals from skin to bones.
This full moon I am suggesting a ritual that has modified choices, I understand that some people may not want to participate in actual hunting. The first is a hunting ritual, plan your hunt for the full moon if possible and choose to hunt an animal that you know you will be able to use every part of (or as much as possible).
If you are not interested in hunting an animal think of something you have been desperately trying to find, maybe a cauldron for your altar, now put yourself in the mindset that you are hunting for it.
Before you start your hunt call upon Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, to be with you and guide your hand. You could say the following:
Artemis, I adore and praise you,
your arrow seeks it’s target quick and true.
Let your wild and free hands guide mine today.
May my offerings be worthy of you, Mistress of the Hunt.
This, I pray.
Make sure the offer her something on the altar before you start your hunt. She is partial to game meats, honey and libations. After you successful hunt, ensure that you make her another offering from it. If you went hunting this would be some part of the kill as well as dedicating the kill to her. If you went metaphorically hunting – dedicate the item you found for your altar to her.
July 5th – Storm Moon
During the month of July we see the weather take a turn to the darker side with an increase in storms and overcast days. Luckily, this type of weather is perfect for meditation, shamanic journeying or astral projection.
If any of these are something you are interested in doing take time to prepare yourself and research what approach you would like to take.
On the Full Moon spend sometime attempting your chosen activity, remember meditation, shamanic journeying and astral projection all take time and practice to master, so don’t expect to much if this is your first time.
For beginners there are lots of resources online, my personal favourite are the guided videos on YouTube that talk you through step-by-step. There is something for everyone!
August 4th – Kangaroo Moon
The weather is starting to transition from cold to warm and we begin to see an increase in animal activity, especially land-grazing animals such as emus, wombats and kangaroos.
As weather warms up you will start to see the first babies of the season, proud parents teaching them how to scrounge and forage for food.
This Full Moon, take time reflect on your spiritual growth this year. Do some affirmation and manifestation work to keep you on track for the remainder of the year.
September 2nd – Bird Moon
During September, many of our birds are still nesting and as such we see a big increase in protective behaviours. An especially protective bird is the Australian Magpie, which is known for swooping during this month.
On the Full Moon of September take time to become like the Magpie and protect your home, you sacred space. Cast protection spells and smudge your space to clear negative energy.
October 2nd – Snake Moon
In October we see the most activity from native snakes as they begin to awaken from their winter slumber.
In Aboriginal Culture the snake holds an important place, The Rainbow Serpent is the creator of Earth and life. This Full Moon, channel your inner creative, spend sometime on a DIY project or piece of art you have been putting off. Make yourself a besom or sun-catcher. Whatever it is you decide to do, be creative, follow your heart. The act of creating is magickal in itself.
November 1st – Flower Moon
Wild flowers are abundant at this time of year as our native plants, trees and bushes bloom a rainbow of colours.
Spend sometime in nature this month amongst the wildflowers. Pick some (be cautious of which ones you can and cannot pick) and take them home to dry and turn in to botanical smudge sticks.
December 30th – Frog Moon
The warm weather has definitely taken hold now as we enter Summer. The only relief is a cool breeze off the waterways in the afternoons.
This time of year some reptiles typically begin to shed their old skins. This is a perfect time to start thinking about that new years resolution and what you would like to leave behind as you enter the new year.
Plan a manifestation ritual or spell to help you realise your New Year wishes and shed negative patterns.
I want to finish this post off with a quick disclaimer. I am not an indigenous Australian and do not in anyway claim to be through this post. The moon names you read here are not traditional aboriginal moon names, I looked at the aboriginal seasonal calendar and their observations of the land at that time and used that to create these moon names. I tried my best to make it relevant to the Southern Hemisphere, but the observations came from the Nyoongar people (South West Australia) and as such will have more meaning in that area. For more information on Indigenous Australian weather knowledge click here.