Lent began on Ash Wednesday and is a time for sacrificing as it’s the season of penance and prayer, which is why many fast, give up something (food or otherwise) that they normally enjoy, and I think it can be connected in secular ways to lots of other ways of welcoming the season with a “spring-cleaning” for your life.
I have been writing about this time of year and about spring planting and planting by the Egg Full Moon for a few years. The March Full Moon is also called the Planter’s Moon sometimes, but this year it comes too early for me to be in the garden. There are still patches of snow and lots of mud.
But I am hopeful in this season of seed and garden catalogs that the melting snow, spring rains and warmer days are coming and I can prepare for planting, even if it’s not warm enough to actually plant where you live.
Moon folklore about planting says that you should plant root crops during the waning moon (after the full moon and until the new moon) and plant your above-ground crops during the waxing moon (as the moon thickens, like the wax drippings of a candle) from the new moon until the next full moon.
Why? This unscientific practice was based on the belief that the moon’s magnetic force pulls everything that contains water – from oceans to our blood and including water in plants and seeds. Following that line of thought, green leafy plants will seek the moon during its waxing phase and root crops growing below the ground will push their energy down, away from the moon, during its waning phase.
If it’s too cold for garden work where you are, as it is in Paradelle, then you can consider the possibilities this Egg Moon season. Long symbolic of spring, regeneration and rebirth, eggs are associated with both religious holidays and cultural celebrations. Domesticated hens do begin laying more eggs with longer days and many wild bird species also lay their eggs now.
Humans are imitators with their decorated eggs. That goes back to the ancient Persians who painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the Spring equinox. In Persepolis, there are paintings of show people carrying eggs to the king.
At the Jewish Passover Seder, a hard-boiled egg dipped in salt water symbolizes the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.
The pre-Christian Saxons had a spring goddess called Eostre, whose feast was held on the Vernal Equinox, around March 21. Eostre’s special animal was the spring hare (rabbit) and that association of eggs, rabbits and spring is all mixed into the cultural aspects of Easter.