13 Thirteen Grandmother Moons

Loretta Gould painting: Guided by Our Teachings

All over the world, cultures and communities have mapped the moon cycle, which happens 13 times per year, in cycles of 28 days. For many Nations, including the Anishinabek Nation, there are teachings and other culturally important aspects of the moon cycle, which is associated with women’s menstrual cycles as well as other natural phenomena like the tides. Indigenous teachers and knowledge keepers can provide more specific information on the teachings that go with each moon, which will depend on their particular history and culture.

Since this etextbook was made in the territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit (Anishinabek Nation), the moons laid out here are those of the Mississaugas. The moons correspond to the seasonal changes happening to the land; thus, Indigenous communities in different parts of the country will have different moons. What is common to all communities is the idea that these moons orient us to the passage of time, the changing seasons, animal migrations, and plant life cycles, and that each moon cycle has associated spiritual and moral teachings.

Interactive 3.1 13 Moons


Muskrat Magazine. (2016, March 17). Ojibwe moons. Retrieved from http://muskratmagazine.com/ojibwe-moons/

Uniting Three Fires Against Violence. (n.d.). Grandmother Moon: The female energy [Brochure]. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan: Author.

Kanawayhitowin. (n.d.). Moon teachings. Retrieved from http://www.kanawayhitowin.ca/?page_id=214



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