Thursday, March 21, 2013

March myths and other stuff by Barbara Edwards

When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb is one of my favorite predictors since my birthday is March first. I like to think I’ve been a lion for the first half of my life and can look forward to mellowing in the coming years. Maybe.
March is an interesting month. We have a soothsayer warn Caesar to Beware the Ides of March in the play by William Shakespeare and the famous portrayal of his assassination by his friend Brutus. This is a must read for anyone.

The celebration of St Patrick’s Day when everyone is Irish is another example. I don’t drink green beer or wear green hats. I do have a pair of emerald earrings that I enjoy putting on and love to watch children dancing. The Irish Tenors with their Irish Ballads make my heart weep any time of the year.

The first day of Spring occurs in March. The March equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, is on March 20 in 2013.
I noticed it doesn’t always fall on the Spring Solstice a holiday celebrated by Wicccans. In researching this date I found it’s not called the solstice: that only occurs in winter and summer. On the first day of spring—the vernal equinox—day and night are each approximately 12 hours long, the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator.

How about the most well-known birthstone for March? Aquamarine is a color variety of the mineral Beryl. Blue Beryl is called Aquamarine while green Beryl is called emerald. Maybe the reason I love both. Beryl often occurs as veins with other minerals. It is very hard and resists weathering. Only diamonds, sapphires and a few other gemstones are harder.
Romans named the Aquamarine. It’s derived from "aqua" meaning water and "mare" meaning sea because the stone looks like seawater. It was believed that the origins of aquamarine were the jeweled trunks belonging to the sirens. The stones were said to have been washed up on the shores from the depths of the sea. Aquamarines were said to be sacred to Neptune, the god of the sea.
Because of aquamarines' association with the sea, the stones became popular with sailors. It was 
believed that carrying an aquamarine with one to sea would bring prosperous and safe journeys, protecting the sailor from sea monsters. Greeks were known to have carried aquamarine amulets with them as early as 500 B.C.

     The Romans believed that aquamarine would heal ailments of the digestive system as well as the mouth and throat. During the middle ages, aquamarine was used as an antidote against poison. In additional to its medicinal powers, it was strongly held that aquamarine was used by fortune tellers to read the future.

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Margo Hoornstra said...

More examples of March being a busy month. Lots of interesting information, Barbara. Enjoyed it!

Barbara Edwards said...

Thanks Margo. I always wonder if my blog is interesting enough.

Jannine Gallant said...

I love aquamarine. As my youngest was born in March, I have a necklace with her birthstone on it. Great post!