Enjoyed this Strawberry Moon Teaching.
ODE’MIN DBIK GIIZIS = STRAWBERRY MOON
We now enter into the cycle of teachings held by Nookimis Ode’min Dbik Giizis (Grandmother Strawbery Moon). This moon is one of my favourite moon cycle teachings as there is so much richness and love to be received from this time. The strawberry is called “Ode’min” in Anishnaabemowin means “Heart Berry”. The shape of this berry resembles a heart and its colour is red like our blood. The strawberry plant is connected by a vast system of leaves and sends out its roots in runners. So it is that the heart is connected to all other parts of the body. This is also showing the connection we hold with our loved ones families and communities.
Ode’min shows her love and abundance by being the only fruit who bears her seeds on the outside. The heart berry reminds us to treat everyone and everything in creation with kindness. During the strawberry harvest time many communities gather together to celebrate and feast. It is a time of welcoming and a time of forgiveness.
It is told that 2 young brothers were wrestling as brothers will do against the advice of their parents. One of the boys fell and struck his head on a rock and perished. The other brother was overcome with guilt and fear of what people would say so he buried his brother in the woods. He returned home and when he was questioned as to where his brother was he lied and said he didn’t know. A large search was held over several weeks but they could not find the boy. The other brother returned to where he buried his brother and there in the exact spot was a plant with 3 leaves he had never seen before. When he returned again the plant had a pristine white flower. The brother broke down and sobbed that he was so sorry what he had done and that he missed him terribly. When he returned for the 3rd time the white petals had fallen from the flowers and replaced by a white berry. Finally the brother was so distraught that he admitted what had happened to his parents. When they returned to the place where he had buried his brother the white berries had turned red. He was told to gather the berries and return to the community. A ceremony was held and the brother was told by the elders that his brother had forgiven him and offered up the berries so that he could again remember the sweetness of life.
The strawberry holds an important role in teaching young women about “moontime”. The time when a young girl transitions into womanhood. It is at this time when a young woman fasts from strawberries and receives teachings from the grandmothers. The 3 leaves of the strawberry represent the 3 rites of passage that woman undergoes. That of being a young girl transitioning into womanhood and motherhood and then to being a grandmother. Each stage of the strawberry plant represents these transitions and carry teachings.
Miigwetch Ode'min ... Creator's reminder to always look to kindness and be grateful for the sweetness in life.