This time of year, is traditionally known as SX̱ÁNEȽ- BULLHEAD MOON
NIȽ ȽḴÁLJ ŚW̱TÁĆELS TŦE ȻOSEN NEÁTEṈ EȻS PIOTEȽ. TUO OL HOI TŦE ĆEḴ ŚPW̱ELO, EN SU
YÁ, SȽO I ȻNIȽ EN SU QENEW̱TŦE SX̱ÁNEȽ SÁSU. U MEQ TŦE QEQSEĆEN I TŦE SX̱EDJELI TÁĆEL.
ȻNIȽS TU ÍYSOTs TŦE SCÁĆEL. I ȻNIȽs YÁs ĆELÁU TŦE SW̱E W̱OEŦ YÁ, ȾOḰES LÁE TŦE STOLU.
ENÁ, I WÁWE EṮ TENĆOLEḰ.
TW̱E YOŦ OL U SÁSU TŦE QEȽ W̱ILṈEW̱ȽTE. ĆEUIN SELÁLEW̱I U YÁ, SȽO. ÁMEĆEṈ SU ṮELÁENs
EȻs ȽÁUḴEM I TŦE S₭Á, U ȻENTOL E TŦE ȽEKES. I HO SW̱YÁ, ṮEȽNÁLEṈ I NEȾÁW̱I ĆTEĆ SW̱E
TŦE ŦOTX ENÁ, ŦOṈ TŦE ŦOTX ĆENETES TŦE ṈENES. ȻNIȽ SU ȻILS TŦE ṈIED ṮÁU Í, SIȽEN ÍY,
SX̱ÁNEȽ- BULLHEAD MOON
In this moon, the PIOTEȽ (a group of three starts in Orion’s belt called the Duck Hunters) appears on the horizon. During the SX̱ÁNEȽ there is a big wind, and thereafter, the bigbullheads (a type of sculpin) appear on the shore and the swallows arrive.
This is the season where good weather is the norm and these days can bring sudden thunder
and lightning storms.
Our people would spend more time on and around the water. During this moon the elder ladies knew to take their baskets to the beach and gather bullheads from under the rocks.
The ladies would poke sticks under the rocks and big bullheads would say “S₭Á”, which is
their name. The bullhead is a great delicacy. This was also a great time for harvesting seaweed (ȽEKES).
The halibut spawn during this moon and the halibut fishing ends but on land the grouse
have hatched and the almost full-grown grouse could be snared in the woods.
This illustration of the W̱SÁNEĆ calendar, SḴÁU ȽTE, by artist MENEŦIYE is located on S,DÁYES (South Pender Island). The illustration depicts the four seasons, the 13 moons and the culturally important plants, food, medicines, animals and marine life.
Based on the sacred interconnectedness of all things, the observation of the 13 moons is part of W̱SÁNEĆ natural law. Each of the 13 moons provides guidance as to what cultural and economic activities are best suited for the time of year, as well as what weather to expect and what food is most abundant.
Artist Briony Penn, copyright Tsawout First Nation.
“It was not our way to separate these activities when we lived a traditional life because all was sacred to us. Our art, language, spirituality and our everyday activities were all one. In our homes and in our longhouses we continue to observe the wisdom of the past.”
~The Saanich Year, by Earl Claxton (YELḰÁTŦE) and John Elliott (STOLȻEȽ).
The 13 moons don’t line up exactly with the Gregorian 12-month calendar, but loose associations between months and the moons can be made, as shown above.