Bill Jarosin Presents: Moon-Phase Astrology at Tree of Life

The Worm Moon
March 4 – April 3, 2011

The third full moon after the winter solstice—the last full moon before the spring equinox—is called the Worm Moon or, depending on the tradition involved, any number of other names: Storm Moon (which can also refer to the previous moon), Crust Moon, Chaste Moon, Crow Moon, Sap or Sugar Moon, Lenten Moon, or Seed Moon, which is also what Annette Hinshaw in Earthtime Moontime calls it.

This is the time of year in many climates when birds swoop in for a new, pre-spring bounty—earthworms, newly returned in numbers to the light of day. We too meet our spring teasers: a warming sun, longer days, our yawn-and-stretch capacity waking up to new hopes, dreams, intentions, and calls to action. We are best occupied with planning and structuring new beginnings, thinking of when and how to take first steps. Vitality is inching up the trunks of trees, some flowers bloom, perhaps too early. But everywhere can be heard the first cracks in a long winter’s ice.

Wherever one is on the globe, however, this is a time to feel the earth’s “change of heart” and our own renewed capacity to act in accordance with the changing life force. (Again, I thank Annette Hinshaw for providing ideas formative to this understanding.) One is roused from either winter hibernation or summer languor into a new warmth (or new chill) in the air. Things are on the move. How will you respond? What will it mean? What happens first and what’s next? What needs to be let go, what embraced? Now’s the time to peer through the morning mist and consider the high road or the low; they diverge from this crossroads in time, the equinox, which is a time, twice a year, for heart and mind to stand together, shake off the past, and embrace the future.

The Phases

As mentioned in the introduction, the four quarter phases are discussed here. They are 1. new (in the heart of the dark moon, though some argue that “new” should refer to the first sign of the crescent sliver), 2. first quarter, 3. full, 4. last quarter, and 5. the dark moon. The crescent phases are incorporated, where noteworthy, into the quarter information. (Complete information about the phases and this column as a whole is in the Introduction .)

Dates given below are for the “height” of each phase, based on angle to the sun. Exact times on the 24-hour clock are given for GMT (Greenwich Mean Time: London), EST (Eastern Standard Time: New York), and PST (Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles). Note though, that Daylight Savings Time begins on March 13, and the listed Pacific and Eastern times will reflect that; Greenwich time does not change.) In practical terms, there is no precise delineation from one phase of the moon to the next. Expect about one day either side of the date for a “coming into” that phase and a “passing onto” the next. Allow two days either side for the full moon.

March 4
New Moon in Pisces (13°)
20:46 GMT, 15:46 EST, 12:46 PST

New moons cannot be seen; they are “held inside” the sun—conjunct, in astrological jargon. From the Earth’s viewpoint, the sun and moon are aligned (though usually not precisely with the Earth; that would be a solar eclipse). The day before and for about a day afterwards here (February 2–4), a New Moon is more specifically called the Dark Moon, a time to retrench, rest, re-imagine, and get ready. This is not primarily physical, except as our spirit and emotions are carried in energetic patterns within the body. It is a time for introspection, a retrospective upon the previous cycle. Should you actually stop the day and withdraw? No. This phase is a time or remembrance, a time to include reflection in (and on) one’s daily activities.

With the new moon in Pisces, we can expect a doubly reflective beginning to the already meditative moon energy. But this is appropriate to our “new beginnings” theme in the Worm Moon overall. During this week, rest, pull in, act with mindfulness about your daily activities—stop, look, and listen, because the train picks up speed as we very quickly rush on to the full moon. Consider, in this time of repose, what you would bring to the new season dawning. What was unaccomplished last year whose seeds are still in the ground waiting to sprout? How would you bring forth these dormant hopes and needs into the warmth of a new day? Doing this inner work prepares you for the call to come.

March 12
First Quarter Moon in Gemini (22°)
23:45 GMT, 18:45 EST, 15:45 PST

The first quarter is about building the road from inner to outer. Gemini seeks expression, communication of your plans, and dialogue with others. State your intentions, if not to others, than at least outwardly; write it down, dance your desire, sing a song. If you hope to feel warm again, be warm—go for a hike, plant a tree, cook a hot meal—all with awareness, that’s the difference; consider the meaning of what otherwise would seem ordinary activity: it’s to bring forth, declare by action, alert the world that your root is rooting (for you!)

March 19
Full Moon in Virgo (29°)
18:10 GMT, 14:10 EDT, 11:10 PDT
(Sun enters Aries on March 20 at 16:21 PDT. Vernal Equinox, beginning of Spring. Ostara)

We have arrived! Spring has sprung! (well, in about seventeen hours from the fullest part of the full moon). Okay, we got ready, got set, now go—into harmony, reason, and balance. The full moon comes at the very nip of the tail end of Virgo, moving into Libra. Think, how can you be of service to beauty? What’s on your altar to welcome spring? (or in the altar of your body and mind). It’s time to—not exactly let go of that bad old dark winter, but rather move gracefully into the slowly dawning spring. It’s like waking to a beautiful day. Loosen up, don’t explode. Do some soul-stretching exercises, shoot an arrow of thought into the unknown beyond that distant hill and imagine a successful, resplendent summer. Have an iced tea. Enjoy.

March 26
Last Quarter Moon in Capricorn (6°)
12:07 GMT, 08:07 EDT, 05:07 PDT

Are we having fun yet? Capricorn grunts and asks where the bathroom is. But the sun is in Aries, and the last-quarter moon enjoys the fruits of its labors—the introspection, planning, and bringing forth of a new vitality. It’s time to carry-on. This week is not about thinking, but doing. Aries sun brings enthusiasm and drive; Capricorn moon provides earth-sense and persistence. A good time for daily chores and new endeavors both—by turns, talking to each other in support of each other, the left hand shaking the right, the whole self danced into spring.

April 1–3
Dark Moon in Pisces and Aries
(New Moon on April 3)

Take five. Let your soul wander. What was beyond that distant hill imagined under the full moon? Anything special to single out and pursue under the coming moon that will move you fully into spring? Time to dream again, but keep your walking shoes (or wings) close by. The seed sprouted, but now will head towards bloom. Are you going in the right direction, growing towards the light?