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march

For more information on Easter
see Mystical WWW Easter Special.

‘Noble brothers and sisters,
be joyful and keep the Faith
and persevere in the little things
you have heard and learnt together with me.’

David (1 March)

Mars’, the Roman ‘God of War’, and fertility was the inspiration for the name ‘March’. As part of the seasonal calendar March is the time of the ‘Storm Moon’ according to Pagan beliefs and the period described as the ‘Moon of the Snow-blind’ by Black Elk (Black Elk Speaks, Neihardt). It has also been known as:

Lent-maand(The time of lent)
Old Dutch

Hreth-monath (Rough month)
Length-monath (Lengthening month)
Llyd-monath(Boisterous month)
Old Saxon

March is the second month of ‘Imbolc’ and a time in the Celtic church when it was believed that all the saint would redress the forces of darkness with the aim of driving out all negative energies and evil demons. The time of prayer is seen also within the Christian church with the advent of ‘Lent’ and ‘Easter’, which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fast from ‘Ash Wednesday’ to ‘Easter Sunday’ (usually end of March/early April) runs through the majority of this month hence this period became referred to as ‘Lencten-faesten’ or ‘Lent’. ‘Lencten monath’ was the name given by the Saxons to this month as day-by-day the length of the day increased which was said to be keenly felt during this time of fasting. 

The lorica of Patrick
(17 March)

‘For my shield this day, I call
Heaven’s might,
Sun’s brightness,
Moon’s whiteness,
Fire’s glory,
Lightning’s swiftness,
Wind’s wildness,
Ocean’s depth,
Earth’s solidity,
Rock’s immobility.’

In the seasonal calendar the herbs parsley and basil (For information on folklore see Mystical WWW Plants) were important believed to keep away the dangers of starvation. As a result the development of plant folklore was prevalent during this time, as was the need to toil the land and sow for an early harvest. The earth goddess and her support of Bel became vital to ensure the fertility of the land brought forth the needed foods, and provided luscious pasture for the animals that had been kept over the winter months. March is a time of spirituality, and the influence of the feminine aspects within nature within all faiths. At the same time Aries in the astrological calendar brings the power of the masculine, the sun, the seed, and also the determination and strength to succeed which is further reflected in the symbolism of Mark, of the gospels, preaching and glyph of the lion. The ram (Aries), and the fish (Pisces) are, like in February, important in the role and function of animal folklore at this time.

‘Feel the shift of balance
from darkness to light growing stronger.’

‘Welcome Spring! Now is the time for banishing Winter.’

As part of the astrological calendar, March has many associations. This is the month of the house of Pisces (20 February - March 20) and the house of Aries(21 March - April 18).

Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac, symbolised by the ‘Fish’ and the Roman ‘God Neptune’, also known as ‘The Mystic’. The ‘Age of Pisces’ witnessed the birth of Christ and the glyph more often associated with the Christian religion was, for the first five to six hundred years, the fish. This period is generally taken to have started before the birth of Christ, approximately 200 BC. The duration of the Age of Pisces has been calculated to be one-twelfth of 25,725 years, working out to 2,143. The figure most usually referred to though for calculating the length of the Equinox is 2,160 years. The Age of Aquarius which follows Pisces in the precession of the Equinoxes is generally thought to start at the beginning for the new millennium, around 2000 AD. There is dispute over he exact date of the dawn of the New Age. We can be sure that before Pisces was the Age of Aries, and before this the Age of Taurus, thought to be around 4000 - 2000 BC. The progress of the Ages follows the opposite path to the one most associate with the annual path of the zodiac. Within each period it is also clear that the symbol of the house has held much influence and importance, for example in ancient Egyptian mythology, the God Apis was highly revered during the Age of Taurus, with many cult groups taking the glyph of the bull to symbolise belief, obedience and respect.

The influence of Neptune is clear in the house of Pisces possessing the qualities of spiritual development, romance, lyricism, dreaminess, caring, perception and intuition. ‘Jupiter’ is the ruling planet of Pisces bringing with it a belief in the highest most positive powers of the universe. As the last house before Aries, Pisces strives to find peace before death with the cosmos, which must be achieved in order to move on, hence the extraordinary evolution that can occur as the month progresses. It is seen to represent the last stage of life and the ability to approach imminent change with ease, as of course Pisces represents the ability to progress from the material to the spiritual world. Pisces is a mutable and negative water sign associated with the statement ‘I am in harmony, in unison with the mysteries of the universe’.It rules the feet. Pisces is associated with Angelica, Iris, Orchids, Violets and Water Lilies, as well as Mosses, Ferns, and Seaweed (See Mystical WWW Plants, & Language of Flowers). Pisces is further associated with any tree that grows close to the water’s edge, including the Weeping Willow and also the Alder, Ash, Dogwood and Fig (See Mystical WWW Trees). Colours associated with Pisces are silver, sea greens, mauve, purple and violet. The main stone associated with Pisces is the Amethyst, whilst the main stone associated with the month of February is the Aquamarine (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Rhymes & Time - Language of Gems).Lucky number is seven, lucky day Thursday (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Days of the Week). Metals associated are germanium and strontium.

‘...I go my ways
And when I find a mountain-rill
I set it in a blaze...
So either way
I’ll get into the garden,
And I don’t care what happens.’

and distracted so try to exercise a little patience. The Aries is a force to be reckoned with as ‘Mars’ the ruling planet of Aries brings with it Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and represents the beginning of the journey that the sun will follow through the zodiac. symbolised by the ‘Ram’ and the ancient Greek ‘God Ares’, the ‘War God’ of the Iliad, son of ‘Zeus’ and ‘Hera’, who is the equivalent of the Roman ‘God Mars’. The vernal equinox, the start of spring begins on March 21 the same day as we enter the house of Aries. The horns, and the centre between the eyebrows and the nose of the ram are also used as signs for Aries, as the power force has long been associated with the head, the source of the Aries drive. Naturally then the Aries should possess a strong sense of intuition. In ancient Assyrian mythology Aries meant ‘Prince’, and the ancient Egyptians connected Aries with the ‘God Amun’, also ‘Amon-Ra’, the ‘Sun God’ revered as the leader of the universe and the creator.

The influence of ‘Mars’ is clear as Aries possesses the qualities of the pioneer, the leader, primal passion, initiative, creativity, courage and self-will. On the negative side Aries can appear to be brusque, impulsive, impatient an extremely powerful force that can at times be unstable. As the first sign Aries is full of energy like the child who is curious, and is likened to the first stage of life. Aries is a cardinal and positive fire sign associated with the statements ‘I amor I am first’or‘I will be first’(needless to say that this assertiveness can be mistaken for arrogance).Aries is associated with the Poppy, Honeysuckle, Bryony, Thistles and Ferns, Peppermint and the Anemone (See Mystical WWW Plants, & Language of Flowers). Aries is further associated with the Alder, Blackthorn, Dogwood, Hawthorn, Pomegranate, Spruce and Weeping Willow (See Mystical WWW Trees). Colours associated with Aries are scarlet, all shades of red, carmine The main stone associated with Aries is the Diamond, whilst the main stone associated with the month ofMarch is the Bloodstone (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time :Rhymes & Times - Language of Gems).Lucky number is nine, lucky day Tuesday (See Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Days of the Week). Metal associated is iron.

 

‘At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun.’

James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring.

 

Movable Celebrations

 

Dimanche de Brandons
(date varies : 1st Sunday in Lent)
All Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark) : Traditional ‘Fire Festival’.

Hola Mohalla
Sikh festival and holiday (March 25, 1997). 

Third Thursday in March
Market Weighton, Yorkshire, England : Traditional ‘Kipling Cotes Derby’ race.

Palm Sunday
Hentland, Herefordshire, England : Traditional ‘Pax Cakes’ Distribution.

Monday (before Easter)
Anglesey, Wales : Traditional ‘Easter Egg Clapping’. (For more information on Easter Traditions, Eggs see Mystical WWW Easter Special).

Shrove Tuesday
Traditionally this day has associations with the Daffodil. (For more information on flowers see Mystical WWW Plants).

(For more information on Easter, Eggs see Mystical WWW Easter Special).

Maundy Thursday
Traditionally this day has associations with Chervil. (For more information on flowers see Mystical WWW Plants).

For more information on Easter see Mystical WWW Easter Special.

Good Friday
For more information on Easter see Mystical WWW Easter Special.

All Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark) : Traditional ‘Egg Rolling’; Limpets and gache, a local cake, is eaten.

Alciston, Surrey, England : Traditional ‘Skipping’ celebrations.

Midgley, Yorkshire, England : Traditional ‘Pace Egg Play’ (See Mystical WWW Eggs, Mumming).

Liverpool, Lancashire, England : Traditional ‘Burning Judas’ activities.

Workington, Cumberland, England : Traditional ‘Uppies and Downies’ festivities.

Easter Saturday
(For more information on Easter see Mystical WWW Easter Special).

Bacup, Lancashire, England : Traditional ‘Nutters' Dance’, a form of Morris dance. (For further information see Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris).

Workington, Cumberland, England : Traditional ‘Uppies and Downies’ festivities.

Easter Sunday
Christian celebration of the ‘Resurrection’. The exact date each year is calculated according to the full moon, which indicates its relation to pagan worship also. Easter Sunday occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon which follows 21 March.

Wicca lunar spring observations to the ‘Goddess Eostre’ / ‘Ostara’, (usually the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox).

Easter Monday
(For more information on Easter see Mystical WWW Easter Special).

Hallaton, Leicestershire, England : Traditional ‘Bottle-kicking’ and ‘Hare-pie Scramble’.

Thaxted, Essex, England : Traditional Morris Dancing Events. (For more information see Mystical WWW Arts : Dance, Morris).

Biddenden, Kent, England : Traditional ‘Bread and Cheese Dole’ activities.

Preston, Lancashire, England : Traditional ‘Egg Rolling’. (For further information see Mystical WWW Easter, Eggs).

Easter Tuesday
(For more information on Easter see Mystical WWW Easter Special).
Workington, Cumberland, England : Traditional ‘Uppies and Downies’ festivities.

Nearest Thursday to March 31
St. Clement Danes, Strand, London, England : Traditional ‘Oranges and Lemons’ Children's Service.

  

Unlucky March Dates

16. 17. 20.

According to the English historian Richard Grafton these certain dates of the month were unlucky as published in the ‘Manual’ in 1565. Days throughout the year were identified and of course could have related to any day of the week. The date was the most important point to consider. The work was reputed to have some credence with support given by astronomers of the day. Exactly why these dates are unlucky is unclear today but by looking at the calendar of days an idea of the major occurrences can be seen.