Saturday, May 19, 2012

Solar Eclipse Superstitions, Beliefs and Spells

The solar eclipses, astronomical events explained scientifically long time ago, continue to be faced with subjectivity in different places of the earth, according to established superstitions, customs, traditions, and even spells … Regardless of education,  these spectacular changes from the sky  caused many people to throw away logical explanations and  to cling to lore, myths and superstitions that have crossed centuries or millennia.

- Resounding screams and cries were the means by which people from ancient Rome tried to cast out the demons who overshadowed the solar disk.

- In many regions, it was believed that eclipses occur when the sun is attacked by evil mythological creatures: a giant turtle in Vietnam, a jaguar in Latin America, a dragon in Asia, a werewolf in Romania.

- In the mythology of ancient China, the eclipse was caused by a dragon or a mythical dog who guzzled a piece of the sun. This astronomical event was seen as a bad omen, heralding a natural catastrophe or the death of a king. Moreover, the Chinese word for eclipse, "Chih" is equivalent to the verb "to eat". To save the sun and to chase away the dragon, chinese people used to shoot fireworks in the sky and made a bigger hullabaloo, shaking bells or beating in gongs, pots and drums

- Similarly, in Ethiopia, people made as much noise as they could and practiced various rituals in order to return the sun in the sky. After the sun comes back, they  celebrated this event with animal sacrifices.

- In ancient Egypt, the solar eclipse was seen as a result of the struggle between Apophis the serpent god Apophis and sun god Ra. Apophis was the winner, and to restore the sun in the sky, the Pharaoh (direct descendant of the sun) went around the temple of Osiris until the eclipse was over.

- In India, people believe that the air is injurious when the sun is covered by the moon. To avoid poisoning the atmosphere around, they keep a fast about 12 hours, during which they don't eat, don't engage in dangerous activities,  and pray to be saved.

- To purify the evil effects of a solar eclipse, Hindus bathe in the Ganges and other holy rivers.

- In Japan, the wells were covered to be protected from the poison that could fall from the dark sky. During a solar eclipse, Shinto believers hung an amulet with a shiny gem in a Clauria tree, to compensate for the lack of the solar light .In other regions, for the same purpose, were lit fires.

- Although famous for their astronomical knowledge debt, people from Mesopotamia lit candles during solar eclipses, trying to bring back the fire to the sun.

- Jawa Island natives remain locked in houses and not dare to venture outside.

- Even in ancient Greece, people wove beliefs and superstitions about solar eclipses. In Odyssey, Homer describes this astronomical event with these words: "The sun has gone down from heaven and an evil darkness covered all the things for an hour in the middle of the day."

- During the solar eclipses, the pregnant women from Mexico and other parts of Latin America use to wear bright red pants, to which attach safety pins. It is a native tradition coming from Inca and Mayan times, when it was thought that a solar eclipse can cause birth problems, so the pregnant women dared to go outside only if they had a belt tied around the waist, fastened with a red arrowhead. In other regions, the pregnant women are forbidden to sew and cut vegetables and herbs, so preventing the give birth to children with malformations.

- Muslims turn to Allah during eclipses of the sun and the moon, because these astronomical events are the signs of the apocalypse, as it says in the Qur'an (75:6-9): "He asks:" When judgment day comes? "This day will come when the vision will be blurry and the moon will go into eclipse, the sun and the moon will merge depriving us of their light. "

- In the Romanian traditions, solar eclipses occur because of the human sins, because of the werewolves, or because the moon darkens the sun so that God may not see it passing near sun. Eclipses are interpreted as bad omens, warning of trouble, pestilence or drought.

- In some traditions, eclipses do not necessarily announce disastrous or evil events. In Tahiti, for example, these astronomical phenomena are interpreted as periods when the sun (Padi) makes love with the moon (Amarok).

- A magic spell in the time of a solar eclipse,  which can bring  new opportunities and changes into your life:

 Light a white candle for the Sun god and a black one for the Moon goddess. Then repeat the verse:
"As the Sun god and Moon goddess embrace today,
May new opportunities start to come my way,
During this eclipse, the Moon’s shadow is cast on the Earth,
Ushering in a time of balance, magic, and re-birth."

Allow the spell candles to burn out in a safe place.

Related articles:

Full Moon in Superstitions, Beliefs and Spells


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