The moon, which is the brightest and largest object in the night sky, “makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planet’s wobble on its axis, leading to a relatively stable climate,” according to NASA. It causes tides and creates a rhythm that has been guiding humans for thousands of years — not only with respect to science but astrology too. Every 29.5 days, the moon completes a full cycle from new moon to full moon, which has a crucial effect on the 12 zodiac signs. The year 2023 has 13 full moons, and the March full moon is known as the worm moon and marks the end of the winter season.
Starting from the wolf moon in January and the snow moon in February to the pink moon in April, the harvest moon in September and finally the cold moon in December, these full moons reach their peak illumination when the sun and the moon are aligned on either side of the earth.
Also dubbed as the sugar moon by Old Farmer’s Almanac, this year, the worm moon will reach its fully illuminated phase before the spring equinox begins on 20 March. The full moon will peak at 7:40 am ET (6:12 pm IST) on 7 March 2023.
Here’s everything you need to know about the worm moon
What is a worm moon?
The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which began publishing American moon names for each month of the year in the 1930s, suggests two different meanings behind March’s full moon being called the worm moon. It was earlier believed that the reference is to the earthworms that begin appearing during this time, inviting robins and other birds to feed.
However, later research revealed that it is tied to beetle larvae that emerge from tree barks each spring. This explanation came after Captain Jonathan Carver visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and other Native American tribes in the 1760s, and shared his take on the meaning of worm moon.
The worm moon comes with various other nicknames such as the eagle moon, sugar moon and the paschal moon.
The northern tribes of the northeastern United States call the March moon as the crow moon, owing to the cawing of crows signalling the end of winter. It is also known as the full crust moon because the snow cover turns crusted from thawing by day and freezing by night in some parts of the world.
Additionally, the worm moon holds importance with respect to religion as well. In Christianity, it is called the paschal full moon if it is the first full moon of spring to appear after the spring equinox.
The moon is termed ‘lenten’ if it is the last full moon of the winter season to appear before the spring equinox. This makes the worm moon of March 2023 the lenten moon.
When to spot the full moon in March?
The last full moon of the winter season will appear both on 6 and 7 March.
One doesn’t need to wait till midnight to spot the full moon. While the peak illumination time can be a prominent time to spot March’s worm moon, the dazzling moon can also be experienced the next evening as it rises above the horizon.
However, catching the moon in all its glory also depends on the weather. The March moon will appear the largest from the earth’s vantage point when it’s near the horizon. This is caused by the moon illusion, a phenomenon that makes the moon look bigger when it is near other objects, compared to when higher in the sky without any other comparative objects near it.
If there’s rain on the days of the moon’s peak illumination, one might be lucky to even spot a moonbow — a rare marvel which occurs when the moonlight is refracted through the droplets of water in the air. Moonbows only occur when the full moon is comparatively low in the sky, so it is advisable to look out for a moonbow after sunset hours.
You can check when will the moon be visible in your area here.
Moon phases for March 2023
According to Old Farmer’s Almanac, the following are the dates and times for the March moon phases.
Full Moon: 7 March, 7:40 am ET (6:12 pm IST)
Last Quarter: 14 March, 10:10 pm ET (15 March, 8:40 am IST)
New Moon: 21 March, 1:26 pm ET (11:56 pm IST)
First Quarter: 28 March, 10:33 pm ET (29 March, 9:03 am IST)
For local times, check the moon phase calendar here.
In which zodiac sign is the March 2023 worm moon positioned?
The March moon is positioned in the house of Virgo, the sixth sign in the zodiac wheel. This positioning allows one to seek clarity and order.
Virgo, as a zodiac sign, is aligned with productivity, employment and health. This practical and efficient zodiac sign is considered best for any spring cleaning — a series of repetitive yet simple physical tasks that can act as a form of meditation.
How will the worm moon impact the zodiac signs?
Aries (21 March – 19 April)
The worm moon in Virgo has in store numerous work-related responsibilities for the fire sign. Favoured by the stars, professional feats may increase tenfold for Ariens during this period — a milestone in terms of a project awaits. However, Ariens should keep a check on their health and diet, and visit the doctor if needed.
Taurus (20 April – 20 May)
With love and happiness in store for this sensuous-natured fixed earth sign, this full moon is giving single Taureans the best time to hit things up with probable dates. For the ones in relationships, physical intimacy with a hint of adventure can be a fun way to spice things up.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This air sign may use the opportunity of this full moon in Virgo to focus on a loved one’s health. The otherwise playful and inquisitive Gemini who is known for harbouring varied passions and career goals may also require stepping back from work to tend to family life. Real estate may bring in upsetting news as well.
Cancer (21 June – 22 July)
Sometimes full moons can cause drama too and looks like this emotional water sign will need to proceed with caution. Problems may arise in terms of communication-related projects and Cancerians may be tempted to play the blame game. However, focusing on being authentic may bring good results.
Leo (23 July – 22 August)
The fixed fire sign denoted by the lion surely needs to gauge a financial crisis this worm moon. It may help if one refrains from overpaying and making significant purchases during this period. Additionally, Leos may also be at risk of losing income sources. However, new side gigs, pay raises and job opportunities await.
Virgo (23 August – 22 September)
The earth sign may come across a breakthrough in life. During this full moon, Virgos need to open their mind gates and let their desires flow. A potential partner may be at odds. However, Virgos may use their logical approach in life and get their footing back with reasoning.
Libra (23 September – 22 October)
The seventh sign of the zodiac needs to focus on giving the mind and body some rest. While the weighing scales are tipping in Libra’s favour, difficulties at the job may surface. If one faces such situations, taking time off work can be a good move.
Scorpio (23 October – 21 November)
March’s full moon is all about meeting new people and having a great time together for Scorpios. However, details of one’s private life may become entertainment for others, so it’s better to stay guarded. This lunation also brings in minor conflicts in relationships for this loyal water sign.
Sagittarius (22 November – 21 December)
The ninth sign of the zodiac may be rewarded with a breakthrough in a career. Real estate deals may require one to be more cautious. The March full moon also indicates that a Sagittarius may need to focus more on the family.
Capricorn (22 December – 19 January)
The ever-ambitious Capricorns may find themselves tapping into creative media projects and academic opportunities. Travel is also on cards for this zodiac sign. For the ones dealing with legal matters, consultation with a lawyer is pivotal.
Aquarius (20 January – 18 February)
It is advisable for this fixed air sign to move forward conclusively and be cautious of impending disagreements. One may also expect a few weak financial arrangements. However, an Aquarius can take a polite approach while dealing with such issues.
Pisces (19 February – 20 March)
Relationships take the centre stage for Pisceans this full moon — be it on the business front or love. It’s a good time to take a step forward in terms of weddings, engagements and even separations. The otherwise calm water sign may also become emotionally vulnerable during this full moon.
(Main and Featured Image: Courtesy Ganapathy Kumar /Unsplash)
This story first appeared here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: The worm moon is special because it is the last full moon of the winter season to appear before the spring equinox and is also known as the lenten moon.
Answer: The full moon in March 2023 is known as the worm moon. According to the 'Old Farmer's Almanac', the worm moon will appear on 6 March and 7 March, and will reach its fully illuminated phase before the spring equinox begins on 20 March. The full moon will peak at 7:40 am ET on 7 March 2023.
Answer: The full moon has various names. There are two different meanings behind March's full moon being called the worm moon. The first is in reference to the earthworms that begin to appear at this time, while the second is tied to beetle larvae that emerge from tree barks each spring.
Answer: In 2023, the worm moon will occur in March.