Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bad Moon Rising (Thursday Thirteen #37)

I see a bad moon rising
I see troubles on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today

Did you all see last night’s lunar eclipse? Here in Chicago, we had a spectacular, albeit very cold, view!

I had no idea how many superstitions were associated with eclipses (or anything for that matter) until I met my first (now ex!) husband. An eclipse had occurred during my pregnancy with our daughter and he was freaked that I wasn’t going to wear a red shirt that day.


My ex-husband, being born and raised in Mexico was quite superstitious. He told me that if I didn’t wear a red shirt, therthe baby would be born with a cleft palate. I had never heard this before, but then again I had never heard about anyone curing children of “orange trees growing in the stomachs”, like his mother could do, either.

I was working at the police department at the time, and they don’t take to kindly to anyone accessorizing the uniform with red shirts, so I took my chances that day. All turned out fine, of course.

I think of this story, though, every time there is any type of eclipse! I thought it would be fun to find out some other eclipse related superstitions.

Today is Thursday Thirteen....and here’s mine!


1. Hope you got your things together. Hope you are quite prepared to die! BOO! According to superstition, werewolves, ghosts and other creatures of the night come out to play during a lunar eclipse! If they’re playing in Chicago, they better bring their sub-zero parkas, that’s all I have to say.

2. Not a superstition, but interestingly, A lunar eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus. Since he was being an ass, the Jamaican natives stopped helping him after he had been marooned on an island there. Knowing an eclipse was coming, he told the natives that God was going to punish them and this sign would come when the moon had darkened. It worked, they continued to feed Columbus and give him supplies until his rescue.

3. As late as the 1800’s, the Chinese navy fired cannons at a lunar eclipse to scare away whatever it was that was attacking the moon.

4. In Japan, some people still cover water wells to avoid contamination from the lunar eclipse.

5. In India, any food cooked before the lunar eclipse should be thrown out due to contamination.

6. In Mexico, superstition says a pregnant women should not touch her stomach during an eclipse or the child will be born with a noticeable birthmark.

7. Eskimos turn over their eating utensils to avoid contamination.

8. In Africa, it’s been said that evil spirits causing the eclipse can be chased away by the beating of drums.

Don’t go round tonight
It’s bound to take your live
There’s a bad moon on the rise

9. Many people all over the world believe that a lunar eclipse is a precursor to an impending negative event of huge proportions, such as famine, disease or natural disasters.

I hear hurricane’s a blowin’
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers overflowing
I hear the voice for rage and ruin

10. In India, pregnant women should not hold any sharp object during an eclipse to avoid her child being born with a cleft lip.

11. It’s probably not a good idea for anyone in India to be holding sharp knives during an eclipse as superstition states they will cut themselves.

12. Some people in India lock themselves in their homes to avoid being sickened by any bad rays from the eclipse.

13. Whatever you do, don’t look at a lunar eclipse without special glasses! Many people believe that the increased darkness allows that your pupils dilate more than normal and lets more bad rays into your body to contaminate you with sickness, demon possession and/or endangers your eyesight. You only need eye protection from a solar eclipse, not a lunar one.

Looks like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye
Don’t go round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise.


Karina said...

I'm always fascinated by superstitions, and how different cultures have such a variety of them. One of my very best friends is Cambodian, and I've never met a more supersticious person. I'm not really sure how she makes it through each day without jinxing herself several times over. ;-)

Vixen said...

Truly a fascinating post Jessica. Like Karina, I have always been interested in people's superstitions. Great read.

Di said...

Oh...the India stuff comes a day too late as my friend is back on US soil after her brief visit to India.

YellowRose said...

That's cool stuff!! I was outside watching the eclipse and it was so beautiful!

Happy TT!

pussreboots said...

We had too much cloud cover to see the moon last night. Happy TT.

JAM said...

Having grown up in America, we've had enough education to not be so superstitious over these things, but I can understand people being frightened by them.

Imagine being a cave man or something. That had to be scary.

JAM said...

Oh yeah, I took photos of the eclipse the other night, and put a couple on my blog a couple of days ago.

My view was probably quite different than yours. Lovely Wife and I sat outside with me in shorts, a t-shirt and we were barefooted. I had a handkerchief with me to wipe off the sweat as we sat there.

It actually wasn't hot, but there was zero wind, and one of my new medicines makes me sweat easily.

But still, it's amazing that y'all have had below zero weather and it was 70 degrees here at 10pm.

Jessica Morris said...

That was so interesting!! I love the image of Chinese navy men trying to shoot the moon!! :)

Damien said...

Last night I watched Caruso in a CSI episode where the guy killed under a lunar eclipse.

random comment LOL

Crystal said...

Now that was interesting! The shooting at the moon thing was hilarious.

It was really cloudy and foggy here so I totally missed it. :(