Yes, it’s nearly that time again, the time of the full moon. I know some clebrate the new moon, but for me it is the glory and the brightness of the full moon that lifts my heart, energises me, and causes me to lift my head and give thanks to the Source of All. And, who can’t resist looking for their moon-shadow at such a time.
- information about the next two full moons,
- an ancient story to ponder upon, and
- maybe something to do, by way of celebrating these two full moons.
‘Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.’. Rumi
Infact, because the lunar cycle is about 29.53 days and the first full moon is at the very beginning of the month of March, the full moon after that is right at the end of March (it being a long month, too).
Yes, there are two full moons in March, and so the second one is therefore known as a blue moon.
The next full moon, then, is on Friday, 2 March in the constellation of Leo – look east – and is known by various names: the Full Worm Moon, The Full Crow Moon, or The Lenten Moon. To ancient and latter-day Celts, Christian Celts, Druids like myself, and others many know it as the Moon of Winds.
Moon-Earth Distance: 374,573.6 km
Moon-Sun Distance: 148,290,091.0 km
You can tell I’m an amateur astronomer, cant you?
And the full moon, later in March, is on Saturday, 30 March in the constellation of Virgo, and near the bright star Spica. Look eastward, though as dawn approaches it will sit low in the west.
Moon-Earth Distance: 381,199.6 km
Moon-Sun Distance: 149,475,451.0 km
And this moon’s name? Maybe, as for the moon’s name earlier in the month, but prefix the name with the word ‘later’ ie the Later Full Worm Moon, the Later Moon of Winds etc. However, this full moon is between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and that Saturday is known by some as Joyous Saturday, so perhaps we could call it the Joyous Moon (especially as Lent will have ended by then). But, you get to choose.
‘If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.’ William Blake
Although many talk about the man in the moon, and look up and see a face etched onto the surface of the full moon, other cultures see things differently.
There are a number of fables and myths about the moon – and you know me, I love stories. Here’s one, wonderful, story from the Buddhist tradition, and which is prevalent in China, Japan, South and North Korea.
This tale is about a monkey, an otter, a jackal, and a rabbit who decided to extend charity on the day of the next full moon, believing they would receive a great reward. At that time, an old man met them and begged for food.
When the old man asked the monkey for food, it gathered fruit from a tree and gave it to him. The otter collected fish and presented them to the old man. The jackal stole a lizard and a pot of milk, and gave them to the old man.
When the old man encountered the rabbit, the rabbit was embarrassed and was
upset that he only knew how to gather grass, and believed the old man wouldn’t welcome that as food. Immediately, the rabbit threw himself into a fire – self-sacrifice, to provide the old man with some tasty food. However, the rabbit didn’t die. Infact, the rabbit wasn’t even burned!
The old man then revealed himself to be Sakra, the embodiment of the Universe, and blessed the rabbit for its sacrificial love. In honour of the rabbit’s intention, Sakra drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see, for all eternity.
Perhaps, when you look up at the next full moon, you might be able to see the outline of that rabbit?
‘Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!’ Psalm 148:3, The Book
You may want to celebrate this full moon. I do, and I’d heartily recommended it as a way of marking time, celebrating the circle of the moon and nature.
In many ways the best way to celebrate and/or give thanks is to go out and gaze in awe and appreciate the wonder of that full moon, and the Source of All who made it, in the stillness of the night. But, in addition, you might like to:
⦁ say a few words of gratitude out loud or to yourself, or incorporate it in a ritual that you might do periodically, and maybe drink a celebratory drink as you gaze in awe, or
⦁ remember a loved one who has passed-on, and bless them, and remember good things about them as you look up, or
⦁ send up good-thoughts or a prayer about an upcoming event or for someone known to you that might need energy or healing, expecting the Source of All to hear and respond.
‘Maybe the wolf was in love with the moon, and each month they cried out for a love it would never touch.’ Amy Steele, The Wolves
Meanwhile, wishing you and yours many blessings at this time of the Full Moon. Tadhg.
[Many thanks to Pennie Ley for the use of the moon ‘header’ photo. Copyrighted]