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From SunBear's Medicine Wheel Notebook:
Sturgeon is the animal totem associated with the Ripe Berries
Moon (July 23-August 22). The
sturgeon is known as the king of fishes. A primitive fish that
has probably existed on the earth
since around the time of 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 sturgeon can teach you about your determination,
perseverance, depth, knowledge,
generosity, strength and sexuality.
Doing a web search I came up with this information on Sturgeon,
my reference books held no
more than I've already posted.
SALMON/STURGEON: 22 July-21 August
Enthusiastic and self-confident, Salmon people enjoy running
things. They are uncompromising
and forceful, and can occasionally seem a little arrogant or
self-important. They are easily hurt
by neglect. Sturgeon people have a great talent for teaching
others. If they can avoid the
tendency to be a bit to domineering, they are able to hide all
their insecurities behind a positive
approach to life.
STONE Red garnet.
GIFTS Dominant, powerful, courageous, playful.
TEACHING Must curb their tendency to be too dominant and appear
Beneath the surface, Sturgeon people are usually very
sensitive. They hide this well with their great big smile. Because
of their keen intuition and
perceptions, they usually feel what others are feeling and can
be easily hurt.
Next come the moons of Spirit Keeper of the South, Shawnodese,
who protects the rapid growth
in nature and trust in relationships among people and natural
forces. The Strong Sun Moon (June
21 - July 21, totems of Flicker, Wild Rose, and Carnelian Agate)
begins at the time of the
summer solstice. Then follow the Ripe Berries (July 23 - August
22, totems of Sturgeon,
Raspberry, and Iron) and the Harvest (August 23 - September
22, totems of Brown Bear, Violet,
and Amethyst) Moons. Those three summer moons guided by the
powers of Shawnodese,
usually give birth to people who are capable of rapid spiritual
growth, but only if they have
firmly grounded themselves into the earth. Such people are loving,
friendly, and gregarious and
can easily touch many others with their energy, knowledge, and
Sturgeon is the king of fishes. It is the keeper of long life
and a fruitful old age and represents
power and endurance. It also teaches us to count our blessings,
to avoid waste, to conserve and to
Moon of the Ripe berries or Moon Of the Red Hawk (In Cherokee)
The animal totem here is the
Sturgeon, king of the fish from whom humans beget caviar and
roe. Sturgeon teaches us about
opulence, strength, endurance and power.
Creation of the Totems In the origin stories of the Menominee
people it is the Bear Clan that was
the first totem. The first leader of the Bear Clan was named
"Sekatcokemau" or Great Chief. A
female followed and as soon as they saw each other they were
pleased and recognized that they
were to be mates. One of Sekatcokemau's first acts was to build
a wigwam for their home. Next
he invented a bark canoe and a spear so that he might go out
on the waters and catch sturgeon,
which were very abundant at the foot of the nearby cataract,
where they had been created for the
use of man. This was so that his people after him will also
take the great fish. Sekatcokemau was
very successful in taking sturgeon. He brought home a large
quantity which his wife prepared.
First she split them from the head down and drew them; then
she hung them over a frame to dry.
When they were sufficiently cured she cut them into flakes and
made the first sacrifice and
ceremonial offering to all the powers.
Another version of the creation story is this "When the
first Menominee's came into the world
they brought a kettle with them. They carried the kettle to
the river which they found to be full of
sturgeon, the Tribe's leader "Sekatcokemau" used the
kettle to feed sturgeon to his people." It
became a totem of one of the Tribe's clans. It is interesting
to note that the Sturgeon Clan is a
sub-group under the principal clan of the Ancestral Bear.
In all creation stories of the Menominee, it is explained that
the place of origin is at the mouth of
the Menominee River where Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee,
Michigan are now situated.
The story is a good example of an indigenous people of this
land originating in their aboriginal
territory. Many Native Americans were forced out of their home
lands but the Menominee who
are indigenous to this area, against all odds, managed to stay
in our aboriginal territory and exist
to this day. Not many tribes can claim this fact.
July 22 - August 21
Sturgeon people have a great talent for teaching others. If
they can avoid the tendency to be a bit
to domineering, they are able to hide all their insecurities
behind a positive approach to life.
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