The Paschal Moon — Nicole Sallak Anderson

Nicole Sallak Anderson
7 min readApr 6
image courtesy of Pixabay

Today, for the first time since arriving back in California in early March, the sun was warm enough for me to have my coffee and pray with the bees. I’ve written about the importance of speaking with the bees in my life, and I’ve missed my time with them. Granted, I did have on three sweaters, but there was no chill in the air. Instead, I could feel a warmth radiating up from the ground, an energy pulsing from deep within the earth that seemed to whisper, “I’m waking up.” The bees were active, as were the birds. I could smell the bark of the trees, the blades of grass, and the fresh dirt. Yet, I was expecting this, for today is the first full moon after the spring equinox. A cosmic event that always signals the rebirth of the world.

The first full moon after the spring equinox is called the Pink Moon, and it ushers in a phase of extreme growth in nature. For the past twelve years, I’ve had the pleasure of living with the bees, and it never fails-the hive will become very active as soon as this moon rises and within a month, swarming will become the norm. I’ve been curious about this for a while and kept records for the longest time. While those records burned in the fires, I still have my experiences. In the beginning of my beekeeping adventures, I thought that swarms were always happening just before Mother’s Day, but then I noticed sometimes they began late April. Being raised Catholic, I’ve long celebrated Easter and after my third spring living with the bees, I realized that no matter when Easter occurred, the swarms began a few weeks after. But Easter isn’t the same day each year, so why would the bees follow it? The date of Easter is determined by the first full moon after the equinox, which is why this full moon is also called the Paschal or Ecclesiastical Moon. The timing here varies, the spring equinox is always March 20 but the first full moon after it can appear as soon as March 21 and as late as April 16. Thus, sometimes I’d get swarms mid-April, other years mid-May. It starts with increased activity around the Paschal Moon, then they increase in number, lastly, a few weeks later, they swarm. I’ll see tornadoes of bees swirling around the neighborhood for a few days, and then it’s all over.

This same thing would happen with my goats’ fur. I had the pleasure of living seven years with two Pygora goats, Barttimus and…

Nicole Sallak Anderson

Novelist, California wildfire survivor, essayist. Find my latest novel, It Takes Two, a romance with a reincarnation twist @Amazon.