12 Different Beliefs About Lunar Eclipses From Around The World
The Navajo people believed lunar eclipses restored balance to the world.
I know a bunch of my horoscope-obsessed friends are feeling a lil' anxious about the impending planetary alignment, so I figured I'd do a Deep Dive™ into the different cultural interpretations of the blood moon eclipse. Ya know, in hopes that not all of them are bad. ANYWAY, here's what I found:
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In Wicca culture, the moon is believed to hold a
special spiritual power that heightens magic. During lunar eclipses, many Wiccans have reported feeling a greater sense of peace, and a higher overall level of understanding.
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Ancient Mesopotamians, who lived in what is now considered western Asia, saw the blood moon as some sort of
otherworldly attack on the moon. In their culture, the perps were seven demons.
They also believed that what happened in the sky was a direct result of what was happening on Earth, so their eyes immediately turned to their monarch, who, to them, represented their land and society. Because they believed in this correlation, they assumed any eclipse was an assault on their king. Taking precautions, they would hide their leader for the duration of the eclipse.
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Hindu folktales attribute lunar eclipses to
the demon Rahu drinking the elixir of immortality. The sun and moon then decapitated Rahu, but since he drank the elixir, Rahu's head remained immortal. Seeking vengeance, Rahu's head then chased the celestial bodies to devour them. An eclipse is what happened if he caught them.
In addition to the story of Rahu, the people of India also believed that lunar eclipses
brought bad luck. Food and water were kept covered to prevent contamination, and many cleansing rituals were performed.
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In Christianity, many people saw a blood moon eclipse as
an indication of the end of the world or the second coming of Christ. The connection was made from the Biblical passage of Joel 2:30, which read: "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness. And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord."
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In astrology, people believe that the moon controls emotions. Many astrologers believe that eclipses then cause a
resetting of such emotions and unleash emotional and spiritual clarity that eliminates past emotional baggage.
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A Vietnamese myth said that an eclipse was when
a frog or toad ate the sun. In fact, the Vietnamese word for eclipse is "shih," which directly translates to "to eat."
The Batammaliba people
In the African countries of Togo and Benin, the Batammaliba people thought that an eclipse meant that
the sun and moon were fighting, and it was their job to help them reconcile. It was also seen as a time to lay one's own feuds to rest and let go of pent-up anger.
The Navajo tribe
The Navajo tribe, of what is now the southwest region of the United States, believed that eclipses
restored balance to the universe. They would then take time to reflect on their lives, play games, sing songs, and spend time with their families. BuzzFeed Daily
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