The First Heaven Fully Illuminated

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the Moon will be full, for the last time this season. If we were to talk about it as medievalists, we wouldn’t be content to just give it a name, or speak about its phase, but to say instead that in the mid-week, the first heaven will be fully illuminated.

Prior to the 16th century, the prevailing belief was that the earth was fixed at the center of the cosmos, embraced by seven planetary spheres, or seven rounds of heaven. The medieval poet Dante Alighieri said in his “Divine Comedy”: …that One, whose wisdom knows infinity, made all the heavens and gave each one a guide, and each sphere shining shines on all the others, so light is spread in equal distribution…(Inferno, Canto VII, lines 73-76).

The guide of each the heavenly rounds is a planet, or a Moon. So on Tuesday, the first heaven will be fully illuminated, shining with the light of all the other heavens, spreading it in equal distribution throughout the world. What a thought!

Also on Tuesday, the guide of the seventh heaven will change his throne of discretion for a throne of magnanimity. Said another way, the planet Saturn is moving from Aquarius, where it’s been for the last two years, into the sign of Pisces. This realm of Saturn is referenced in the Apocalypse of Paul, where he describes how he went up to the seventh heaven, where he saw an old man in a white garment, seated on a throne that was brighter than the sun by seven times. The old man asked Paul where he was going. Paul replied: “I am going to the place from which I came.”

So what do we do with this now, in March 2023, at the last Full Moon of the season when Saturn is changing signs? We can reflect on where we’ve been for the last two years, and take what we’ve learned to free ourselves for going forward.

In awe and wonder,


This episode of The Storyteller’s Night Sky will air Monday morning March 6, 2023 on Interlochen Public Radio and can be heard on podcasts everywhere, anytime.