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Worm Moon: March full moon

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Originally written on March 19, 2021. Updated on March 6, 2023


The final full moon of the winter season will appear on the nights of Monday, March 6, and Tuesday, March 7.
And, specifically, March’s full Worm Moon reaches peak illumination at 7:42 A.M. ET on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the middle of the night to see the Moon, as you can look for the spectacularly bright Moon as it rises above the horizon on Monday evening and, If your weather is poor on Monday night, try again on Tuesday!
If you have just a bit of rain on either of these nights, you may even get to spot a rare phenomenon called a moonbow, just like a solar rainbow, but is created by moonlight (rather than sunlight) when it is refracted through water droplets in the air.
Moonbows only happen when the full Moon is fairly low in the sky, so look for one in the hours after sunset when the sky is dark!
Moreover, this March Moon will look especially large to us when it’s near the horizon because of the “Moon illusion,” basically when it looks bigger when near comparative objects than it does when it’s high in the sky (and without any references).


As we already know, the full Moon names come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, but also European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, and not only to the full Moon.
As the Northern hemisphere begins to warm and the soil begins to stir, so rises the Worm Moon.
Also called Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon, Sugar Moon, Seed Moon, Chaste Moon, or Lenten Moon, this is traditionally the prime time to start thinking about planting new shoots in the garden.
March is in fact the month when Spring finally come, around the time of the Equinox, and we see new life begin to spring forth.
As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, heavy rains and gray skies abound, the earth is being showered with the life-giving water it needs to have a fertile and healthy growing season.
But this is also a time of equal parts light and darkness, a time of balance.

Depending on where you live, this moon may be called in several ways.
For instance, Anglo-Saxons called this period Hraed-monat (rugged month), or Hlyd-monat (stormy month): a stormy March was an omen of poor crops, while a dry March indicated a rich harvest.
Moreover, this month’s moon is sometimes called the Full Sap Moon, even if the Worm Moon is its most popular name, without wonder, since after a storm, there are worms all over the place!
As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins and other birds to feed—a true sign of spring!
An alternative explanation for this name comes from Captain Jonathan Carver, an 18th-century explorer, who wrote that this Moon name refers to a different sort of “worm”: beetle larvae, which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time.

The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter, or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.
The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variant.
As the weather can be anything but predictable, the month of March in your area might not see the same weather as other locations, because your environment depends on a number of factors.
There are a variety of other names for the March Moon that speak to the transition from winter to spring. Some refer to the appearance (or reappearance) of certain animals, such as the Eagle Moon, Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree), or Crow Comes Back Moon (Northern Ojibwe), while others refer to signs of the season, such as Sugar Moon (Ojibwe), that marks the time of year when the sap of sugar maples starts to flow.
The Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo) refers to the strong windy days that come at this time of year, while the Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine) highlights the blinding rays of sunlight that reflect off the melting snow of late winter.
An alternative name for March’s full Moon is the Sugar Moon. Sugar maples are tapped in late winter, sap buckets gather the sap, which is later turned into maple syrup!
March’s full Moon often plays a role in religion, too. Specifically, in Christianity, this Moon is known as the Lenten Moon if it is the last full Moon of the winter season (if it occurs before the spring equinox) or as the Paschal Full Moon if it is the first full Moon of spring (if it occurs after the spring equinox).

And this is the month for magical workings related to rebirth and regrowth. New life is blooming during this phase of the moon, as is prosperity and fertility.
Are you thinking about making a change in your career? Now is the time to tidy up that resume and get it up to date: start researching the companies you’d really like to work for and figure out what you need to do to make it happen. Make phone calls, send in applications, and take control of the reinvention of your career.
Spring tends to be the time of year to begin thinking about going back to school in the fall, also because for many colleges and universities, this is the season when acceptances are finalized.
If you’ve ever thought about changing your life (haven’t we all?), especially by making big changes, now is the time to plant the seeds for those efforts…


In 2021, March’s full Moon occurred after the date of the spring equinox (March 20), so it was also the Paschal Full Moon.
This means that its date determines the date of Easter (April 4, 2021)!

Images from web – Google Research

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