Jul 25, 2010

Cherokee Calendar

A little background first:
The Cherokee Tribe was basically an southeastern group, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia.
In the 19th century, white settlers in the United States called the Cherokees one of the "Five Civilized Tribes", because they had assimilated numerous cultural and technological practices of European-American settlers.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the Cherokee Nation has more than 300,000 members, the largest of the 563 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.
On the Native American thread on Etsy, we're learning to speak Cherokee or at least write the words phonetically.
*that was just a side comment*
I've always loved Native American culture

The Cherokee Moons Ceremonies were the ancient seasonal round of ceremonies practiced
during ancient times by the Ah-ni-yv-wi-ya or Cherokee People.
Although a modern calendar year comprises 12 months, there are actually 13 cycles or phases of the moon each year.

The seasonal round of ceremonies was based on 13 moons, and was considered a necessary spiritual element for growth and encouraged social gatherings among the Cherokee Clans.
They believed the number 13 was significant. Not only did this number correspond to the lunar cycles of the year, but by a startling coincidence, all species of turtles living in the ancient homeland (in fact, all species turtles in the world) always
had 13 scales on the back of their shells. As a result, Cherokee culture associated the spaces on the back of the turtle with the 13 yearly phases of the moon.

These phases have shifted over time and do not fall within the 12 month year calendar year, precisely every year...

Here's a quick overview of the months:

JANUARY: Cold Moon Unolvtani
A mid-Winter or "Cold Moon Dance" is usually held in the community as well, marking the
passing or ending of one cycle of seasons and welcoming the beginning of the new cycle.
Hearth fires are put out and new ones made.

FEBRUARY: Bony Moon Kagali
Traditional time of personal-family feast for the ones who had departed this world.A family meal is prepared with place(s) set for the departed. This is also a time of
fasting and ritual observance.

MARCH: Windy Moon Anuyi
Traditional start of the new cycle of planting seasons or Moons.New town council fires are made.

APRIL: Flower Moon Kawoni
First plants of the season come out at this time. New births are customary within this
time frame. The first new medicine and herb plants that taught mankind how to defend against sickness and conjury come out now.
A dance customary at this season was the "Knee Deep Dance" of the Spring or Water Frog.

MAY: Planting Moon Anisguti
Families traditionally prepare the fields and sow them with the stored seeds from last

JUNE: Green Corn Moon Tihaluhiyi
First signs of the "corn in tassel", and the emerging of the various plants of the fields. People traditionally begin preparations for the upcoming festivals of the ensuing growing season.

JULY: Ripe Corn Moon Guyegwoni
First foods or the new planting and the roasting ears of corn are ready. Towns begin the cycle festivals. A common reference of this moon is the "first roasting of ears" (of corn)...sweet corn-moon.

AUGUST: Fruit Moon Galoni
Foods of the trees and bushes are gathered at this time.

SEPTEMBER: Nut Moon Duliidsdi
All the fruits and nuts of the bushes and trees of the forest were gathered as this time. Hunting traditionally began in earnest at this time.

OCTOBER: Harvest Moon Duninudi
The time of traditional "Harvest Festival"

NOVEMBER: Trading Moon Nudadaequa
Traditionally a time of trading and barter among different towns and tribes for
manufactured goods, produce and goods from hunting. This was a time also when the needy among the towns were given whatever they needed to help them through the impending lean winter season.

DECEMBER: Snow Moon Usgiyi
Families traditionally were busy putting up and storing goods for the next cycle of season.
Elders enjoyed teaching and retelling ancient stories of the people to the young.

This next part is from my Llewellyn's date book...

First Sweet Corn, then dent corn ripen for the harvest. As a staple food and sacred
material, corn attracts much attention throughout it's life cycle.
To the Choctaw, this is the Crane Moon, recognizing the big wading birds. The Sioux call
it the Moon of the Middle Summer.

July brings a bunch of new foods, corn and tomatoes are ripening, along with squash and
cucumbers. Visit your local farmers' markets to enjoy the fresh seasonal produce.
Watch birds and other animals raising their young. But be careful and respect the sun's
Rituals in July celebrate the staple crops. Rituals to honour the Sun, light, fire, and so forth are also appropriate. Magically tap into the power of the Sun to full spells for success and prosperity.
The Cherokee call corn Selu and it's one of their Goddesses...

This represent the Corn Goddess and the Trail of Tears and not forgetting
So ends tonight's lecture....

Kicking Bear is the one who's graciously teaching us Tsalagi (Cherokee)
Wado KB!


  1. The Trans Celts were in the Carpathian Mts hence related to the Scyths.

  2. Selu is not a goddess. We don't have gods and goddesses like Europeans. Selu is a spirit being, an Elder, but not a goddess. Although we always translate from what we understand already, there is an important conceptual difference linked to our culture and our view of the universe. One creator, many spirit beings.


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