Month of March Meaning and Symbolism
Symbolic March Meanings
Much of the mystery about March meaning and symbolism is solved when we learn the month is named after Mars. Martius, the moniker for Mars is actually the original term for the month of March in Roman calendars.
So what’s the big deal about Mars, and why is it associated with March?
Originally, Martius (March) was the very first month of the Roman calendar. Symbolically, we can make sense of the arrangement. In their geographical region, the grips of winter are just beginning to lose their hold in March. It makes sense that a year should begin as a new season of life begins too.
Interestingly, before he became popularized as a war-monger, Mars was actually fertility and agricultural deity. He, along with other deities like Ceres and Cybele oversaw the new growth of spring, and encouraged the continuation of life (fertility, sex, procreation in human, plant and animal realms).
“March on. Do not tarry.
To go forward is to move toward perfection.”~Kahlil Gibran
Whether a god of war or agriculture, the personality of Mars is charging, unrelinquishing and brutally assertive. We find this kind of fervent focus in March too. At this point in the year, there is no stopping the burgeoning birth of new life. March (and Mars) is a high-speed locomotive on a single-focused monorail with only one objective: Explosive Expression.
And so, March meaning embodies a kind of reigniting of the hearts and consciousness of humankind. This month we feel the initial kicks of Spring from the deepest womb of the Mother (Earth). And like our ancestors, we are quickened…our soul- palettes are whetted for new conquest and bold assertion and we set a course for forward-momentum.
Keeping this symbolic propulsion of Mars/March meaning in mind, let’s take a look at other signs and symbols native to the month:
Symbolic Trees of March
It’s highly prized tree for its resilience, and that kind of resilience translates well in the month of March. The wood of the ash is incredibly strong, and has been used to create all manner of helpful tools and sacred items. From baseball bats to magic wands, spears and bows to besom handles – the ash gives humans a sense of industry – while remaining flexible to work with the will of man.
March, as already observed, is a potentially raucous month – filled with transition as the land pries itself from the “death” grip of Winter. Alder is a protective tree in a time of deep transition. It reminds us to remain flexible and also prepare for upcoming change while also retaining a level of adamancy about our personal expectations in life.
Flowers and Month of March Meaning
In the Victorian language of flowers, the Daffodil speaks to us about forgiveness, trust, honesty and true love. The flower looks like a trumpet to me, and I like to think the energy of the Daffodil announces the arrival of spring. I can hear the otherworldly trumpeting of the Daffodil, and its sonic-booms peel away the aging paint of my consciousness.
The Shamrock (also referred to as clover) can rock our worlds with symbolic insight. They are remarkable survivors and can endure seemingly insurmountable challenges in their stubborn determination to live and thrive.
Festivals of March
We can learn a lot more about symbolic March meaning when we investigate the rituals, parties, holidays, ceremonies and festivals that take place this time of year.
St. Patrick’s Day:
March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death (461 A.D.) is memorialized in Irish history. He was an incredible individual, and to my view, he embodies the unsinkable, charismatic and doggedly determined theme of March. Why?
Symbolic Mothers of March Meaning
♦ Nuwa – Chinese Creation Goddess. Nuwa is credited for the creation of humans in the most ancient myths of China. Apparently, life was cold and lonely for Nuwa as she was the only entity around at the beginning of time. Weary of her own company she took it upon herself to craft the first humans of earth (which she made from clay). We can see a connection with her celebration in March and the procession of the seasons. Winter is a brutal, cold cruel season in China – conveying a sense of bitter isolation and even death. Embracing the creatrix Nuwa in March is synonymous with becoming alive, reanimated and renewed with Springtime’s return.
♦ Rhea – Mother Goddess of Greece. She is ancient – one of the first (Titan) of her mothering kind. Her power is celebrated this month for much the same reason many other mother goddesses are recognized – because March is a transitional month – a time in which we are each born out of the dark days of winter and into the light of spring/summer. We see this theme in quite a macabre light with Rhea. All of her children but one (Zeus) were swallowed by her husband (and brother) Cronus. Upon maturity, Zeus (symbolizing the return of light) releases all the children from Cronus’ gorged belly and bowels – more themes of birth.
♦ Ostara – Germanic Fertility Maiden Goddess. She is the epitome of celebrating new life. She is the expectant one – and her vision only sees potential. In every nuance of experience, Ostara sees indwelling life, and keeps her attention honed there. She’s the reason spring unleashes its vitality – because Ostara has kept her light bright, her vigil of life strong and her focus of promise remained stoic even in the leanest months of winter. Trace your history and you will find this nurturing goddess at the prime root of the festival of Easter. Ostara is also connected with the vernal equinox (by the same name) which occurs March 20-21st.
Also, check out my page on Mother Symbols here.
Animal Symbols of the Month of March
Ever heard the term “madder than a March hare?” I have (my mom says it). It has to do with rabbits going bonkers around this time of year. They feel the call of spring just as strongly as everyone and everything else – perhaps moreso. Creatures of all kinds feel the tremors of springtime’s return and respond to it in wild courtship.
Another symbol of fertility, for sure and a great addition to March meaning and symbolism. Creation, actually. Countless creation myths begin with a grandiose and/or cosmic egg. Upon breaking open, the contents ooze out and begin forming the universe as it is known in whatever culture is telling the story.
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Symbolic Meaning of Trees
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