- Education and Science
Superstitions About Celestial Bodies
THE fear of the unknown is natural. This terror goes back to thousands of years and emerges from various beliefs regarding supernatural existence, celestial bodies' and so on. For the young, it is easy to laugh off the fears of various space-related phenomena which were imbedded in their forefathers' beliefs. But the question of how far these ‘old-wives' tales' bear truth remains ambiguous, since some of the superstitions and beliefs do not allow scientific explanations and so.For centuries, the quest for discoveries was hindered by the supernatural phenomena that men harboured in their minds and hearts. And even though, despite everything, science has progressed beyond imagination but superstitions have managed to linger throughout this time. People, for example, still have very curious beliefs about celestial bodies and their affects on the human personality and the notion of presaged.Among these celestial bodies, the sun and the moon have played a prominent role of a devil and an angel. Similarly, the solar and lunar eclipses are looked upon with awe, fear or ill omen and often regarded as divine wrath upon the place where they occur. So much so, that even famine, plagues, or other disasters are often believed to be the work of the devil.
When people say ‘old-wives' tale' they actually mean it. In most cases, women are first to believe in superstitions about eclipses, and first to feel insecure regarding health, life, house and the family prospects.
How these superstitions started?
These superstitions are not a figment of the modern imagination. More often than not, they are passed from generation to generation, engraved deeply into minds of the younger ones by the older lot. And may angels help pregnant women during the time of an eclipse. They are frightened into believing that the celestial bodies' emissions and rays can actually harm their unborn child!
Not only that, but there are other many such superstitions that plague a pregnant woman's life. For example, cutting something with knife will lead to lacerate some parts of the foetus, kneading dough can result in abscess on any part of the body or the skin and also, drawing or marking can lead to some awful blots on child's skin.
However, it is proved medically that if a child is born with any such deformity, has nothing to do with superstitions like eclipses. The medical problems with newborns could actually be hereditary. But unfortunately, such superstitions never die.
Apart from the fear present on such a domestic level, there are other mysteries regarding the cosmic bodies, which forces humans to regard them with a wary eye. In the West, several researches have been conducted on the effects of these cosmic bodies affecting the human mind and behaviour. It was found that the energy emissions during the full moon and eclipse penetrate violent, criminal instincts, wildness and ‘lunacy' in certain people and they act accordingly.
The effect of the full moon on human behaviour also draws violent responses from people. It is believed that the biological tides in human emotions during this time can be the cause since human body consumes 80 per cent of the water.
Superstitions about moon:
The lunar eclipse strongly affects the human nature, and people some times become insane or behave in a weird manner. Whereas, some people find the mystery rays of this cosmic body energising and often feel boosted with strength.
Furthermore, the lunar eclipse is much more enigmatic than we can think of since it does not only affect the human nature, but also the mighty ocean's tide since during eclipse, the sea is at high tide.
In many cultures, the waning moon is thought to be the best time to harvest and to celebrate marriage ceremonies, whereas, the waxing moon is taken as the angst which caters the evil forces from the moon and the outer space to bring dread upon them.
Interestingly, if we glance into the ancient times, we will find that lunar eclipse was always thought to be an ill omen and since people did not understand the causes of eclipses, they believed that something was eating away the moon. In fact, in ancient Chinese, the term for eclipse is ‘chih', meaning ‘to eat'. This further concretised their perception that the moon is being eaten, with ‘blood' spreading across its face.
But poor moon is not the only celestial body that ingrain fear in peoples mind; our sun also plays a major part in that. Although, the sun is the basic source of all life on earth, solar eclipse still managed to play the devil in the ancient Greece, Egypt, China and other oldest dynasties.
Superstitions about sun
In early China, the solar eclipse was regarded as the heavenly sign, ‘an omen in the sky' that debunks the future of the State and Emperor and coalesce the cultural and supernatural worlds. According to them, at the time of eclipse, a gigantic celestial dragon gulps down the sun to show off its wrath and anger.
Solar eclipses are awe-inspiring phenomena. It is no wonder then, that in many early cultures, the eclipses were believed to be the end of civilisations or prophecies of prosperity or disasters. Yet in other places it was believed that the eclipses emit harmful radiation, or cause sickness.
The existence of the superstitions is so old that people are quite unaware of its actual meaning and significance to the time when they were first created. That aside, it is plausible that the presence of dozens of planets in the cosmic world may have an effect on the human mind and behaviour courtesy their mysterious rays.