We approach the month of March with trepidation, never knowing if the “BIG” blizzard will repeat its fury like the blizzard of 1993, which dumped over 22 inches of snow. Not to say, beating the snow history of 1890, with over 3 feet of snow.
The old Wales proverb, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” was used to predict early March weather in the early 19th century. For Wales, the old adage was used more often for the month of April because of its borders—evermore exposed to the elements of the Irish Sea.
Why a “lion?” — a large, usually tawny-yellow, male cat, native to Africa and southern Asia, having a tufted tail and a very large mane. There are Greek, Chinese and othe cultures defining the strength of the lion associated with the month of March.
When researching, I found the ancient Greek mythology story of Rhea, The Mother Goddess of Greece, to be most intriguing. Her power is celebrated in the month of March because March is a transitional month. To understand the transition and mother symbolism, one has to know the story of Rhea.
Rhea was considered the first Titaness, The Mother of the Gods. Her name means “flow” and “ease.” When her husband, Cronus, heard of the prophecy that one of his children would depose of him, he took to swallowing each of them as soon as they were born. In secret, Rhea gave birth to her youngest son, Zeus, and hid him away in a cave in Crete. Rhea wrapped a stone in cloth and gave it to her husband to eat, duping him into thinking he had devoured all of his children, including Zeus.
We think of March as the last of dark winter days looking forward to the light of spring. To see this light for Rhea was quite horrid for her as all but one of her children, Zeus, was swallowed by her husband. Once Zeus matured, symbolizing the light or springtime, all of Rhea’s children were released from Cronus’ gorged belly and bowels.
The purging or rebirth perhaps gave Rhea the answer to her hope—what she needed as she approached the light, symbolizing spring…a renewal, calming as a lamb—having her children returned.
This brings me to the idea of weather and life as a balance. Is it too much to think the two go hand in hand? When an event roars into your life as the bitter cold of March does, shouldn’t it eventually heal—or go out like a lamb—into springtime? I’d like to think so.