Winter’s Last Full Moon and the Ides of March

The Full Moon that happens on Friday this week will be the last Full Moon of the Winter Season, right near the star that marks the tail of Leo, the lion. Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, we’ll see it sweep over the star at the chest of the Lion, eta leo, a place of pride in the cosmos if ever there was one.

In ancient Roman times, the calendar days were aligned to the phases of the Moon, with each month divided into three fixed points: Nones, which was six or seven days before Full Moon, so Nones marked Moon at first quarter; then Ides, which coincided with Full Moon and was considered the middle of the month; and Kalends, which was two weeks after Full Moon, which meant it synced up with New Moon and marked the first day of the next month.

If we still used the Julian system, then this week’s Full Moon on March 18 would be the “ides of March” a notorious date in ancient Roman history because it marked the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, which basically ended the Roman Republic and led to the rise of the Roman Empire.

In Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” he has a soothsayer warn Julius a full month ahead of time that the next 30 days will be dangerous for him, and that he must “beware the Ides of March.” Historically it seems that this was prompted by the fact that Julius had sacrificed a Bull at the Lupercalia festival in February, and it was found to have no heart ~ a bad sign for sure!

So, if you want to get all Roman this week, you can look back to see what was going on at last month’s Full Moon, around the 16th of February ~ to see if anything prophetic revealed itself that you might want to heed now, since the ides of March are upon us.

The March Full Moon happens this week on Friday, March 18 at 3:19 am

Catch this episode and many many more, in fact over ten years of archives, at The Storyteller’s Night Sky on Interlochen Public Radio, and on my podcast (same name).

Grateful in the moonlight,


Image from Sky&Telescope