Windy Moon

The Moon was quite bright in Paradelle last night, but the Full Moon arrives on March 27 at 4:27 am around here and I’m sure it will wake me up.

I think many of us would agree with a Cherokee name for the March Full Moon – the Windy Moon, Anvyi, the first Moon of the new season. It is the traditional start of the new cycle of planting and a time when new council fires are made.

“Kanati & Selu – Cherokee”        painting:

The figure used to portray this moon is Kanati, one of the many beings created by the “Apportioner,” Unethlana.

Kanati is “The Lucky Hunter” and is sometimes called First Man. He lives with his wife Selu (“Corn”) in the east where the sun rises, and their sons, the Twin Thunder Boys, live in the west.

These “helpers” were variously charged with the control of the life elements of the earth: air/earth/fire/water. Their domains are the sky, earth, stars and the Seven Levels of the universe.

Kanati has a magic cave forever stocked with game animals and Selu has a magic bowl that always contained corn.  When their spying children undid their magic, Kanati and Selu were doomed to be mortals.

Some of the other seasonal names for this Moon are the Full Sap Moon, Oak Moon, Storm Moon, Seed Moon and Maple Moon.

The warming temperature and ground means that earthworm casts appear, and so the Worm Moon is another name. And those worms mean the appearance for some of us of the returning winged symbols of spring,  robins.

Other Native Americans called this Crow Moon for the cawing of crows that signaled the end of winter, or the  Crust Moon for the crusted snow cover from thawing and freezing cycles of this fickle month.

To earlier English speakers, this was sometimes known as the Lenten Moon. I only learned recently that in the late Middle Ages, as sermons began to be given in the vernacular instead of Latin, the English word lent was adopted. This word initially simply meant spring and lent was the name for the season. (Compare as in the German language lenz and Dutch lente) from the Germanic root for “long” because in the spring the days visibly became longer.

As a child, my father taught me in the garden that certain seeds and plants were safe to put in the ground when the oak tree had leaves that looked like a mouse’s ear. I would have accepted the name Oak Moon for that reason. But it actually goes back to the Celtic oak tree god or king. Oak was considered to be the wood from which people were first created.

Pooh & PigletThinking of this as a Windy Moon actually turns me back to reading as a child and then again to my own children about Pooh bear and his blustery day.

Some March days are  kite-flying weather. Some days are for the garden. Sometimes a coat, sometimes a sweater, sometimes only a shirt.

March is an uncertain month that can have crocuses and early flowering bulbs covered with snow.

We say if the month comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. We had a lion entry in Paradelle, so I hope the lamb arrives for Easter.

Depending on the weather (and ignoring the “officialness” of the equinox), you can think of this as the last Full Moon of winter or the first of spring. I’ll opt for the first of spring and on this windy day, I plan to go to my own thoughtful spot and be somewhat thoughtful.