August is one of the few full moons without a really strong consensus on what its name is. Most full moons have one or two names that are most common, such as the Strawberry Moon in June or the Thunder or Buck Moon in July. It seems like we most frequently see August referred to as the Sturgeon Moon, which is the Algonquin name for the month, but I find this to be remote and not relatable in the 21st century.
The other name for the August full moon, which is significantly less common, is the Wyrt or Wort Moon. I imagine the reason this full moon name appears less often is because the word is pretty archaic, but “wyrt” is just an old Gaelic term for an herb. Basically, the August full moon is the perfect time to work with herbs in a magickal or healing capacity! This of course ties in beautifully with the abundance and harvesting themes of Lammas, just last week.
This August Wyrt Moon ritual is intended to celebrate plant life and our relationship with herbs.
Tools and Supplies Needed
- White or green candles (or herb scented candles)
- Sage or cedarwood smudge stick
- Fresh herbs planted in a pot
- Tea made from your favorite herbs
- Scissors or garden shears
Brew the tea to your desired strength. Light the candles and place the pot of fresh herbs in the center of your altar.
Light the smudge stick and wave the smoke over your altar and the potted herbs to purify them. Place the stick in a ceramic bowl or a shell.
Sit at your altar and sip the tea, carefully considering each of the herbs in the tea in turn. What are their healing functions? What are their magickal associations? How do you relate to the herbs personally?
Hold your hands out over the potted herb or herbs and close your eyes. Feel the energy the plants give off and try to send positive healing energy down into them. You might silently thank the plants for sharing their energy during harvest.
When you are ready, snip a few leaves or stems from the plant. Be sure to snip the stems at the juncture of two leaves so that it will continue to grow abundantly. Join the stems you have harvested together and wrap them securely in twine. Tie the twine off and hang up in a dry spot or above your altar to dry.
When the herbs have dried in a few days, cut away the twine and finely chop the leaves. Store in a glass jar for use in cooking, teas or magick.
How will you be celebrating the August Wyrt Moon? Learn more about monthly moon names and how to create your own custom moon rituals in my online course, The Modern Witch’s Guide to Following the Lunar Cycle!