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THE RIPE BERRIES MOON

STURGEON

The second moon of Shawnodese, Spirit Keeper of the South is the Ripe Berries Moon (July 23 to August 22) position on the Native American Medicine Wheel. The stone for this position is placed midway between the southern and western stones in the outer circle of the Medicine Wheel. Iron and garnet are the mineral totems for this moon, raspberry is the plant totem, and the sturgeon is the animal totem. The color is red, and the Thunderbird clan influences the position.

Iron teaches people in this position about their strength and garnet shows them their heart is the source of that strength. From the raspberry they learn about their sweetness and the thorns they project to protect this part of themselves from other people. The sturgeon shows them their depth and their need to teach. The Ripe Berries Moon teaches them how to work from the heart center, how to demonstrate affection, how to face fears, and how to develop leadership abilities. This moon helps develop courage and power. People experiencing the sturgeon energy need to guard against impulsiveness, arrogance, and a tendency to dominate any scenario.

ANIMAL:

Sturgeon is the animal totem associated with the Ripe Berries Moon. The sturgeon is known as the king of fishes. A primitive fish that has probably existed on the earth since around the time the dinosaurs disappeared, the sturgeon comes in a variety of sizes, but can reach twelve-foot lengths and at least 300-pound weights.

Sturgeons were considered the royalty of fishes among the Native people who lived in the Great Lakes area. In the Ojibwa nation there is a Sturgeon clan that is one of the teaching clans. To the Ojibwa people the sturgeon represents depth and strength.

The European people who came to North America did not have the same respect for this fish. At first they considered it a nuisance when sturgeons got in their nets. Later they almost fished it to extinction when they discovered the value of its roe, which is better known as caviar. The sturgeon is rarely found now.

Working with the sturgeon can teach you about your determination, perseverance, depth, knowledge, generosity, strength, and sexuality.

PLANT:

Raspberries, the plant associated with the Ripe Berries Moon. The raspberry itself is a delicacy, and the leaves and root of the plant have medicinal properties. The berries not only delight but also cleanse the system. They can aid in breaking up and expelling gallstones and kidney stones and stimulate the action of the urinary tract. The root is an astringent and has some antibiotic and healing properties. It can be used as a gargle for sore throats. The tea as a compress has been applied to wounds and cuts to slow bleeding. A tea from the leaves can be used to cure diarrhea, cankers, uterine problems, and menstrual issues. Raspberry leaf tea is one of the belt herbal teas for pregnant women, acting as a tonic. A tea from the twigs is good for colds, flues, difficulty in breathing, and for balancing blood sugar levels. Raspberry plants can teach you to find the sweetness within the thorns of life.

MINERAL:

Garnet and iron are the minerals associated with the Ripe Berries Moon. Garnet can help to balance your sexual energies. It is associated with the heart and blood and can stimulate the free flow of emotion in its wearer.

Garnet can help to strengthen those who carry it, can warn of danger, and can help you to lead a good and honorable life. It can also help you penetrate to the heart of any matter.

Iron is good for the blood and heart. It can remind you of the necessity of being tempered by life's experiences. It can encourage you to have a discriminating hardness that will allow you to know when no is the answer that will promote the highest good for all that are involved.