For those in North America, today we had a rare chance to witness a solar eclipse. Anyone in the path of totality, which unfortunately was not me, got to see a wonder of the universe that has been steeped in mystery, and often horror, throughout ancient history.
Most myths about Eclipses are all doom and gloom. Modern myths involve eclipses being harmful to pregnant woman and children in the womb, food being poisoned if it is cooked during an eclipse, and general bad omen beliefs. Of course, science has debunked these myths. Despite this, there are some parties that are still predicting that today’s eclipse is a sign that the world will end soon; they seem to predict this every other year and still nothing.
I am waiting.
I suppose if they keep saying it and something bad happens, they can claim they were right. They just need to keep saying it every couple of years.
In Ancient times people believed everything from wolves catching the sun and moon (Norse), a bear fighting the sun (The Pomo in North America), to just your general angry gods omen (Greek). There are as many ancient eclipse beliefs as there are cultures.
Of course, in modern times we know what an eclipse is; however, that does not make us obsess about it any less than our ancient ancestors. For the last month, I have seen so many articles and news segments about eclipses. Not to mention the reminders and advertisements to buy the special glasses. I have even had a live demonstration on how to make pinhole cameras, which I have not had since the elementary school.
Why in our, mostly, scientific time do we still obsess with something so easily explained? It is because of their rarity? Maybe. However, I believe we are closer to our ancient ancestors than we think. Yes, science has explained many things, but we still hold the same awe as people who came before us, and part of me hopes we never loose it.
If you are in North America, did you get to see the eclipse?
Why do you think we are still obsessed with natural phenomena that are easily explained?
Want to know more about Eclipses? Check out the articles below.