If March 2018 feels like any other month to you, think again. This is a particularly beautiful month for so many reasons. The most important one being the vernal equinox on Mar. 20, which signifies the beginning of spring. Goodbye cold noses and teeth-clattering shivers and hello, newly blooming flowers and some sunlight for a change. We also have two full moons this month, just like we did in January. Having two sets of blue moons in one year is beyond extraordinary and the next one isn't slated to happen until 2037. All celestial rarities aside, the coolest thing about March is the meaning of the Worm Moon happening on Mar. 1. As gross as the image may sound, its symbolism is so poetic.
Before we get to that, you may be wondering where such a peculiar name for a full moon even comes from. Well, Native Americans have a unique name for every single full moon of the year. In ancient times, people didn't track seasonal changes through the 365-day Gregorian calendar and instead, relied on the lunar cycle to understand what time of year it is. Each full moon is accompanied by a name that reveals imagery associated with the current season.
The Worm Moon happens every March and it is always the last full moon before the first day of spring. Around this time of year, the ice that has been clinging to our world begins to thaw as winter comes to an end. The earth is wet, raw, and nutrient enough for the greenery of spring to finally grow. This is often when earthworms reappear, wriggling their slimy bodies through the soil and exposing themselves to hungry robins, eager to eat after such a long and barren winter. The return of these worms is usually the first sign of spring, a sacred period of renewal, rebirth, and new beginnings, according to Time and Date's website. And so, the "Worm Moon" came to be.
This moon is also known as the "Sap Moon," according to the Farmer's Almanac. This name comes from the sap oozing from maple trees that can be made into maple syrup. Also, the "Crow Moon," which alludes to the constant cacophony of cawing crows that tends to foreshadow the beginning of spring. Actually, there are many different names for the full moon in March, as there are several signs in the natural world that indicate the seasonal change. There's even the "Lenten Moon" which has its roots in the Christian celebration of lent that occurs around this time of year.
These unique names span every month out of the year, reminding us that beauty surrounds us at all times, no matter how boring or dreary a month may appear. While our lives may seem uninteresting, the natural world never ceases to be a marvel.
This Worm Moon on Mar. 1 rises at 5:33 PM in New York City and sets the next day, around 7 AM. If you happen to live in a rural area or even just plan on watching the full moon from a place of nature, maybe you'll be able to spot some of these worms yourself. As gross as most people find these slithering creatures, they hold major significance for the passing of time. Maybe the poetry behind the Worm Moon will help you see them in a different light?
However you decide to process winter's transformation into spring, there's no doubt this spiritual renewal affects every living creature, from us humans to even the creepy crawlies that live in the dirt.