Thirteen Grandmother Moon Teachings: A Sacred Indigenous Journey

[The moon] symbolizes tranquility, guidance, and protection, and its phases are interwoven with spiritual teachings that span generations.

In Indigenous cultures, the moon holds a position of profound significance. It symbolizes tranquility, guidance, and protection, and its phases are interwoven with spiritual teachings that span generations. The Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, now known as North America, have long honored the moon’s wisdom through the Thirteen Grandmother Moon Teachings. These teachings, based on the lunar calendar, offer invaluable insights into the natural world and the human spirit.

1. Spirit Moon (Mnido Giizis – January):

Spirit Moon, the first moon of Creation, arrives with the Northern Lights. It encourages us to embrace silence and recognize our place within the vast tapestry of Great Mystery’s creatures.

2. Bear Moon (Mkwa Giizis – February):

Bear Moon, the second moon, marks the beginning of a vision quest initiated in the fall. During this time, we learn to see beyond the ordinary and communicate through energy rather than words.

3. Sugar Moon (Ziissbaakdoke Giizas – March):

Sugar Moon, the third moon, coincides with the running of maple sap, one of the Anishinaabe’s vital medicines. It encourages balance in our lives, much like regulating our blood sugar levels.

4. Sucker Moon (Namebine Giizis – April):

Sucker Moon, the fourth moon, illustrates the journey of the sucker into the Spirit World, where it receives cleansing techniques. Upon its return, it purifies the path for the spirits and cleanses the water beings.

5. Flower Moon (Waawaaskone Giizis – May):

Flower Moon, the fifth moon, celebrates the Spirit sides of plants as they bloom, offering powerful healing energy. It encourages us to explore our spiritual essence.

6. Strawberry Moon (Ode’miin Giizis – June):

Strawberry Moon, the sixth moon, carries the medicine of reconciliation. Communities often hold annual feasts during this time, emphasizing unity and letting go of judgments.

7. Raspberry Moon (Mskomini Giizis – July):

Raspberry Moon, the seventh moon, ushers in great changes. It teaches gentleness and kindness and the wisdom to pass through life’s thorns.

8. Thimbleberry Moon (Datkaagmin – August):

Thimbleberry Moon, the eighth moon, honors the thimbleberry, a protector of the sacred circle of life. It helps us recognize and understand teachings from the Spirit World.

9. Corn Moon (Mdaamiin Giizis – September):

Corn Moon, the ninth moon, teaches us about the cycle of life. Each cob of corn with its 13 rows of multicolored seeds symbolizes future generations, and we must prepare for their Earth Walk.

10. Falling Leaves Moon (Biinaakwe Giizis – October):

Falling Leaves Moon, the tenth moon, adorns Mother Earth with vibrant colors. It’s a time when all of Creation offers gratitude, reminding us of the miracles around us.

11. Freezing Moon (Mshkawji Giizis – November):

Freezing Moon, the eleventh moon, brings the Star Nation closest to us. It’s a period of preparation for fasting and a time to learn sacred teachings and songs.

12. Little Spirit Moon (Mnidoons Giizis Oonhg – December):

Little Spirit Moon, the twelfth moon, represents a time of healing. It offers visions of the spirits and good health, guiding us on the Red Road with pure intentions.

13. Big Spirit Moon (Mnidoons Giizis – Blue Moon):

The thirteenth moon, the Big Spirit Moon, serves as a purification and healing phase. It involves a three-month spiritual journey and imparts knowledge about the healing powers of the universe.


The Thirteen Grandmother Moon Teachings are a testament to the deep connection between Indigenous peoples and the natural world. These lunar teachings remind us of our place within Creation and the profound wisdom that surrounds us. They guide us through life’s seasons, encouraging us to embrace silence, unity, balance, and healing. As we journey through the lunar calendar, we not only connect with the Earth but also with the spirits and our own inner truths.

Source: The 13 Grandmother Moon teachings are from “Kinoomaadiewinan Anishinabek Bimaadinzinwin, Book Two. Author Arlene Berry.
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