October is the Falling Leaves Moon


By Toya Stewart Downey, October 1, 2015

For generations, the Anishinaabe have kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. The names of the moons are associated by each month, rather than its phases during the month.

There are eight distinct continual phases that the moon travels through each month. There are four main lunar phases: first quarter, full moon, third quarter and the new moon.

The moon, or giizis, for the month of October is called Binaakwe-giizis, which means falling leaves moon.

Band Elder and traditional Healer Herb Sam said it’s important that the Anishinaabe respect the moon.

“It’s another relative of ours…another relative that helps us,” Herb said. “It helps to understand the moons and that there are different types of moons.”

He added that the moon is another spirit that Anishinaabe can ask for help so people need to humble themselves before it.

The Inaajimowin will include the name of the moon for each month going forward. Those who want to share stories about a particular moon or contribute to the teaching about the moons are welcome to assist.