March New Moon – Persephone’s Return

Today’s new moon, which will be the April Full Moon, is known as the Egg Moon, Planting Moon, Pink Moon, Growing Moon, Seed Moon and Awakening Moon.

Days began getting longer, the air and ground is warming up and the sunlight has a warmth to it that you only get this side of the Equinox. For the Greeks this was the time that Persephone was released from the clutches of Hades and the Underworld and rejoined her Mother Demeter, who showed her gratitude and unbidden happiness by returning fertility to the land. The earth became a garland of her welcome return.

Northern Native Americans were the ones most likely to call April’s full moon the Pink Moon. That is a name that is associated with the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the early flowers of the spring that is commonly found in this area of the United States. The Dakotah Sioux called this the Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation (or at least that’s our translation). The Choctaw called this the Wildcat Moon and the Cherokee called it the Flower Moon. A Medieval name was Seed Moon and a Celtic name was the Growing Moon both for obvious reasons! The New World colonists were always concerned with their own manipulation of nature and so referred to this month as the Planter’s Moon.

Farming folklore says to plant root crops during the waning moon (after the full moon and until the new moon) and plant above ground crops during the waxing moon (as the moon thickens, like the wax drippings of a candle) from the new moon until the full moon. The belief was that the moon’s magnetic force pulls everything that contains water. So, the ocean, our blood, and the water in plants and seeds are affected by the Moon’s pull. Our green leafy plants will seek the moon during its waxing phase, while root crops growing below the ground will need to push their energy down, away from the moon, during its waning phase.

In England the April moon is usually called the Egg Moon in the old Almanacs, if it is the full moon before Easter. This year that’s true. Easter day is the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox.

Why egg moon? Not only do domesticated hens begin laying more eggs with longer days, many wild bird species also lay their eggs now. Eggs have also long been a symbol of spring, regeneration, and rebirth.

The pre-Christian Saxons had a spring goddess called Eostre, whose feast was held on the Spring Equinox, around 21 March. Her special animal was the spring hare,  so it is believed that Eostre’s association with eggs and hares, combined with the rebirth of the land in spring was adapted for the Christian holiday of Easter.

Herbs for the Egg Moon

You have to work with what you have! I would recommend using Sorrel for New Moon rituals and for eating as its fresh young leaves are always the tastiest and they are beginning to appear now. Use dried as a smudge or eat in omelette and salads. I would also use a infusion of Rosemary and Lemon for cleansing and cleaning spaces ready for the invigoration of the new season. You may be lucky enough to have some Wild Strawberry Leaves too coming up, use a handful in some hot water with a squeeze of lemon for a delicate, cleansing tea.

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