Daily Stuff 7-3-20 Waldport Fireworks

Hi, folks!

Featured photo by Ken Gagne. Minus Tide at 6:08 AM of -1.5 feet. The shop is open, limited hours, 1-5pm, Thursday through Monday.

It’s mostly cloudy, cool and still. 58F, wind at 0-1mph, AQI38, UV9. 10% chance of rain today and tonight. The grass pollen is back up through the roof! Temps are starting to climb, but only into the low 60’s, even through the end of the 10-day forecast. Today is likely to be pretty typical. Clouds in the morning, breaking up for some sunshine in the afternoon and clouding back up at night.

Yesterday went very quickly. We were open on time, although I was in back, doing some clean-up for awhile. Tempus got us coffee and then spooned up some of the tomato and sausage dish that I made the night before. That turned out really well! We had a number of customers through during the day, only one of whom I had to remind about his mask.

Dennis showed up and we’ve re-stocked our shungite! We have several kinds of pendants, only one pyramid, a couple more bracelets, some sphere and some pebbles. Not everything is in the case at the moment. Our pricing gun is dying, so some are still sitting on my desk. Just ask!

Mandi showed up with sister and boyfriends and we got to chat a little. Pilgrim popped in to say that Aslan has reappeared…. and by the time I had 1/2 the shungite into the case, my 2nd cup of coffee was consumed and worn off and I was fading. I really didn’t sleep well, the night before, goodness knows why.

So I slept until nearly 11pm! Tempus was long gone on the bulk route by then. I got my stuff together and curled up at home with book and embroidery and then called him. We chatted for a bit and then I got up to work on setting up newsletter frames for the week. After those were done I put today’s newsletter together, got myself a snack and went to bed, hoping to sleep, but planning to embroider for a little while, regardless.

Today I need to do the meatballs and the dumplings as early as I can and I need to set up a pickling broth.  Tempus needs to cook up bacon for sandwiches and we save the grease for bread and other cookery. I’ve got to do that at the shop because we get a good draft through. We should be open on time. Tempus needs to run some errands, although he’s already paid the rent a couple of other bills. Hoping for laundry.

A photo by Ken Gagne from 5/29/16

Today’s celebration is the Waldport Fireworks! None this year, though. <sigh>

The towns along the coast alternate days, so Newport and Yachats have displays on the 4th, but Waldport and
Depoe Bay are on the 3rd. It’s pretty darned crazy as far as traffic goes, since even the Alsea Bridge traffic 220px-Tybee_island_georgia_july_4_fireworksstops moving during the display. The fireworks go off from Bayshore Point and are visible all up and down the bay and through most of town.

Fireworks go back to the 7th century in China and are part of religious celebrations and festivals all across the world. The techniques used to create the displays are amazing. Wikipedia has a good article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireworks

Plant motif Hawthorn Huath Celtic Tree MonthToday’s Plant is Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn , may, mayblossom, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn, motherdie, and haw. It has edible buds, flowers and fruits, which are full of antioxidants . Particularly sacred to the month of May and to Beltane, it is used extensively as a hedge plant. – Fairy energy, May interfere with digitalis medications. – Masculine, Mars, Fire. – Increases fertility and/or celibacy. Carry on a fishing trip to ensure good catch. Brings happiness to the troubled or depressed. Protects house against lightning and storms, evil ghosts may not enter. In cradles to guard from evil spells. Most Witch’s gardens contained a hawt hedge. Sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree triad of Britain. More on this species:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_hawthorn More on the genus Crataegus here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus

The shop is open, limited hours, 1-5pm, Thursday through Monday. Need something? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org

Love & Light,


Today’s Astro & Calendar

Waxing Moon MagickThe waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 7/4 at 9:44pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 7/3 at 9:44am. Full Moon – The day of, the day before, and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on at 7/6 at 9:44am. 

Even now in its off season, Cassiopeia can be seen inching along sideways low in the north.

To casual starwatchers or those without a good northern view, “Cassiopeia in July” might sound as wrong as Christmas in July. But already Cas has passed its lowest evening position of the year and is gradually gaining altitude in preparation for the coming fall and winter. Look for its flattened W shape low in the north-northeast. And the W is no longer quite level.
Asteroid 56 Melete skims past a magnitude 6.3 field star in Scutum tonight. To find the asteroid, look roughly 6.5° west of M11, also known as the Wild Duck Cluster. You might find your asteroid hunt challenged by a nearby waxing gibbous Moon in Sagittarius. Our satellite has less than 2 percent to go to Full (it will reach this phase just after midnight EDT on the 5th). You’ll definitely want to come back to this region later in the month; Melete doesn’t travel more than 3° west throughout July, and there are several deep-sky objects to hunt down nearby when the bright Moon has left the sky.is at opposition this morning at 10 A.M. EDT. It occupies the same region of the sky as Iris and this time to the northeast (left) of — the Teapot asterism. It’s about 6.7° north-northeast of Kaus Borealis and glows at magnitude 9.5.
Mercury is hidden in the glare of the Sun.

Old Farmer’s Almanac July Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-july-summer-triangle
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 –
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh),

Runic New Year and half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992 Runic half-month of Uruz/ Ur, 7/14-28 According to Pennick Ur represents primal strength, a time of collective action. A good time for beginnings! Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992

Sun in Gemini
Moon in Sagittarius enters Capricorn at 9:48pm.
Mercury  (7/12), Jupiter (9/12), Saturn (9/29), Neptune (11/28), Pluto (10/4) Retrograde

Color: Purple

©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright


Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 – The oak of myth and legend is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). It is sometimes called the great oak, which is a translation of its Latin name (robur is the root of the English word “robust”). It grows with ash and beech in the lowland forests, and can reach a height of 150 feet and age of 800 years. Along with ashes, oaks were heavily logged throughout recent millennia, so that the remaining giant oaks in many parts of Europe are but a remnant of forests past. Like most other central and northern European trees, common oaks are deciduous, losing their leaves before Samhain and growing new leaves in the spring so that the trees are fully clothed by Bealltaine. Common oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America, as are the similar native white oak, valley oak, and Oregon oak. Oaks are members of the Beech family (Fagaceae). Curtis Clark

Duir – Oak Ogam letter correspondences
Month: May
Color: Black and Dark Brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: D
Meaning: Security; Strength

to study this month – Eadha – White Poplar or Aspen Ogam letter correspondences
Month: None
Color: Silver White
Class: Shrub
Letter: E
Meaning: Problems; Doubts; Fears.


Tides for Alsea Bay

F    3      Low   6:08 AM    -1.5   5:37 AM     Set  4:09 AM      92
~     3     High  12:40 PM     6.1   9:04 PM    Rise  8:03 PM
~     3      Low   5:48 PM     2.5
~     3     High  11:44 PM     8.6


Affirmation/Thought for the Day – My hopes keep my fears at bay.


Journal Prompt – What does this quote say to you? –  The Earth is given as a common for men to labor and live in. – Thomas Jefferson



~   A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. – Herm Albright
~   Change means movement. Movement means friction. – Saul Alinsky
~   Prometheus’ mythical ability to see the future isn’t the continuous ability of infallible prophecy, but the lightning quick insight of epiphany to know what is possible. – Adam Blodgett
~   Create like a God; command like a king; work like a slave. – Constantin Brancusi

Black bees on the clover-heads drowsily clinging,
Where tall, feathered grasses and buttercups sway,
And all through the fields a white sprinkle of daisies,
Open- eyed at the setting of day. – Abba Gould Woolson (1838–1921)


Lughnasadh Magick – Eclipses of the Moon

A lunar eclipse takes place when the earth’s shadow crosses the moon. Image by Diane Miller/Photolibrary/Getty Images

[Anja’s note – Do Eclipse Magicks after the eclipse is over!]

Lunar Eclipse Magic & Folklore by Patti Wigington – Updated September 14, 2016 – https://www.thoughtco.com/lunar-eclipse-magic-and-folklore-2562384

The magic of the moon is something that many modern Pagans find compelling. After all, for thousands of years the moon has been a source of folklore, myth and legend. One of the most intriguing aspects, from a magical perspective, is that of a lunar eclipse. Since the moon doesn’t emit any light of its own, what we see if it in the night sky is sunlight reflected off the lunar surface. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s rays, causing it to appear temporarily darkened.

Unlike with a solar eclipse, which can only be seen in a few parts of the world as it happens, a lunar eclipse can be spotted by anyone on the nighttime side of the planet.

There are actually three different types of eclipses. A penumbral eclipse takes place when the moon passes through only the outer edges of the earth’s shadow, or penumbra – it’s often very subtle and many people don’t even notice it. A partial eclipse involves part of the moon traveling through the earth’s umbra, which is the more direct, centralized part of the shadow. Because the earth, sun and moon don’t form a direct line during a partial eclipse, we’re often still able to see the moon in the sky during one of these events.

The total eclipse is what we see when the earth’s shadow completely blocks the moon, and it goes fully dark for a period of time. Many times, the moon appears to be a reddish or bloodlike color as the event takes place.

This is what many people think of when they hear the words “lunar eclipse,” and it has been a harbinger of major events in many cultures for a long time. Let’s look at some of the myths, legends and magic that surround the phenomenon of the lunar eclipse.

  • Christopher Columbus knew that a lunar eclipse was coming in February 1504, thanks to his handy-dandy almanac. He used this knowledge as a way to scare Jamaican natives into offering food and shelter to his men, telling their chieftain that God was angry that the natives wouldn’t help him. He said that God would turn the moon blood red, and then make it go away completely, as a way of expressing his displeasure. Sure enough, the moon disappeared, and there was a great deal of terror among the locals. Right as the eclipse was about to end, Columbus said that God was going to forgive the natives as long as they kept the sailors fed. The moon reappeared, and Columbus and his men ate well until the next Spanish ship arrived.
  • A tribe in Benin, Africa, sees the lunar eclipse as a period of battle between the sun and the moon, and chants and dances are done to encourage reconciliation in the sky. They use this time as a way of resolving quarrels amongst themselves, much as the sun and moon resolve their feud at the end of the eclipse.
  • In the Norse eddas, a monster named Managarmr, the Moon Hound, swallows up the moon and stains the skies with blood during Ragnarok. According to the Gylfaginning, Managarmr is also known as Hati Hróðvitnisson, and is the son of Fenrir, the grey wolf, and a giantess.
  • Some practitioners see the eclipse period – which is generally pretty short – as being the equivalent of an entire lunar cycle packed into one brief event. After all, the moon has the appearance of waxing, waning and reappearing during an eclipse.

In some modern magical traditions, a lunar eclipse is considered a sort of metaphysical bonus round – in other words, any spellwork you do during this period is amplified and has a bit of extra power behind it.

Lately, a few people seem to have latched onto the idea that it’s just plain dangerous to perform magic during a lunar eclipse, especially if you’re a “newbie Pagan.

” There is absolutely no logical basis for this theory. If you’re worried enough about the state of your psyche that you believe it could be somehow damaged by doing magic during an eclipse, then you need to either (a) not do magic at all, or (b) learn how to groundcenter and shield so you won’t self-sabotage any workings you do.

So, what kind of workings should you focus on during an eclipse? Well, remember, an eclipse only takes place during the full moon phase of the lunar cycle, so this is a good time to do rituals focused on personal growth and spiritual development. Some examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • Any working related to developing your magical skills
  • Rituals that honor lunar gods and goddesses – now is a really good time to make an offering to them!

Finally, remember that even if an eclipse is taking place where you can’t see it – it’s raining, there’s a cloud cover, or you’re just stuck inside for some reason – you can still take advantage of its power and energy. It’s out there and it’s happening, so make the most of it and use it to your own benefit.

Eclipse Superstitions Are a Thing of the Past, and the Present By Calla Cofield, Space.com Senior Writer | August 8, 2017 07:30am ET – https://www.space.com/37727-eclipse-superstitions-then-and-now.html

All around the globe, ancient cultures and religions attempted to explain solar and lunar eclipses. Many of those stories involved gods, demons, dragons and other creatures that prowled through the sky and threatened to devour the sun or the moon. People prayed, made offerings or hurled things into the sky to chase off the invaders.

Today, as the U.S. prepares for the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, when the moon will cover 100 percent of the sun’s disk, areas that lie in the path of the total eclipse are planning festivals and multiday celebrations. In the modern age, scientists can predict when and where these cosmic events will occur, and skywatchers can appreciate their beauty rather than fear that the events might bring devastating consequences. It seems that humanity’s perception of eclipses has changed over the centuries.

And yet, the stories and superstitions of ancient times haven’t completely gone away, said E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and an expert on cultural aspects of astronomy including eclipse folklore and superstition. And even though most people today have access to science-based information about eclipses, misinformation, myths and superstitions continue to surround these celestial events. [Where to See the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, State by State]

Serious trouble

What causes the moon to turn a deep shade of red during a lunar eclipse? A story from the Toba people of South America claimed it was because the spirits of dead people had taken the form of jaguars and attacked the Earth’s lunar companion, leaving it bloody in the sky, Krupp wrote in his book “Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets,” (HarperCollins, 1991). When the Toba people saw the moon turn red, they would have to shout and make their dogs bark at the sky in order to scare off the jaguars and stop the slaughter.

There is great variety in the world’s many myths and folktales that attempt to explain the occurrence of solar and lunar eclipses. But these ancient stories tend to have a few things in common, Krupp told Space.com: They often involve eating or biting, and they tend to portray the eclipse as bad news.

“There’s certainly a uniform response — and by that I mean worldwide — that most people, most of the time, thought eclipses of the sun or the moon were trouble. Serious trouble,” he said. “And the nature of the trouble had to do with the fact that the foundation of their world seemed to be at risk [during an eclipse].”

People living in the modern world might not often think about why eclipses would be so deeply terrifying to ancient groups, Krupp said, but the lives of those people would have relied deeply on the “fundamental rhythms of the sky.” Things like sunrise and sunset, the lunar cycle, and the change of seasons gave order to the world, traced the passage of time, and in many ways determined people’s ability to survive, he said.

Throughout history, different cultures and religions have told stories to explain celestial events, including eclipses. Greek stories about the arrangement of stars in the night sky persist in modern culture. Shown here, Sagittarius the centaur and archer.

“So, when a tremendous break in the rhythm happens, like the sun going even partially out or the moon disappearing, it is more than just an astronomical inconvenience. It’s actually serious business for them,” he said.

The people who held these beliefs about eclipses also carried out rituals  included shouting or wailing at the sky during an eclipse, firing arrows into the heavens to chase off beasts, or making offerings to the creatures responsible for these events. “Themyth and the ritual are all part of interpreting and engaging the forces that make the world the way it is,” Krupp said.

In his book, Krupp excerpted a passage from a book by a Spanish priest named Bernardino de Sahagún, who lived with Aztecs in ancient Mexico. According to the priest’s account, when a solar eclipse became visible in the sky, there was “tumult and disorder. All were disquieted, unnerved, frightened. There was a weeping. The common folk raised a cry, lifting their voices, making a great din, calling out, shrieking … People of light complexion were slain [as sacrifices]; captives were killed. … It was thus said, ‘If the eclipse of the sun is complete, it will be dark forever! The demons of darkness will come down; they will eat men.'”

Fear of eclipses didn’t end with the dawn of the scientific era. Krupp noted that total solar eclipses can be somewhat unsettling to behold because they are “an extraordinary reversal from what should be” — specifically, day turning into night. Modern skywatchers have reported being so hypnotized by these events that they completely forget to do things like snap a photograph or execute a scientific experiment. Skywatchers who have witnessed total solar eclipses may understand why people throughout history, and even into the modern era, have felt that these celestial events were a sign from another world.

Take, for example, the story of a Roman emperor who witnessed a total solar eclipse in A.D. 840. In his book “American Eclipse” (Liveright, 2017), journalist David Baron reported that the emperor was “so unnerved” by the sight of the eclipse that he stopped eating and eventually starved to death, “plunging his realm into civil war.”

On a somewhat happier note, in the sixth century B.C., a battle in Asia Minor between the Medes and the Lydians came to a halt when a total eclipse darkened the sky, Baron wrote; following the event, the soldiers were eager to make peace, believing the eclipse was a sign for them to stop the fighting, reports say.

An edition of Harper’s Weekly describes the total solar eclipse of 1869.

Credit: Harper’s Weekly

Total solar eclipses continued to have such dramatic effects on people at least into the 19th century. In the summer of 1878, a total solar eclipse swept down through the continental U.S. In his book, Baron chronicled the deep impact this eclipse had on 19th century astronomy, due largely to observations of the eclipse performed by a young Thomas Edison, and the scientists James Craig Watson and Maria Mitchell.

But despite relatively extensive news coverage of the event, and despite the fact that astronomers knew not only when the event was coming but also where it would be visible, some of the people who witnessed the event swore it was a sign of the end times, Baron’s book said. A man named Ephraim Miller believed the eclipse marked the coming of the apocalypse, and rather than stay to see the horrors that were sure to follow, he took his own life, right after he murdered his son with an axe.

“The way beliefs work, it’s rare that someone suddenly lifts the shade and everybody changes their mind,” Krupp said. “There’s a spectrum of understanding across any culture.” [Solar Eclipses and Thailand’s Kings: A Curious History]

A demon’s revenge

Out of the many folktales Krupp has heard from around the world that provide an explanation for the eclipses, one stands out as his favorite, he said. “There’s nothing quite so elaborate and colorful and entertaining,” he said, as the eclipse myth from the Hindu textknown as the Mahabharata.

The very simplified version of the story goes like this: A group of gods wish to create an elixir of immortality, so they enlist a few demons to help them churn the cosmic ocean (using a mountain for a churning stick). The ambrosia eventually emerges like curds in milk. This process also leads to the creation of the moon and the sun, among other enchanted things. The gods promise to share the elixir with the demons, but when the task is done, the god Vishnu disguises himself as a woman, enchants the demons and steals their portion of the elixir.

In the Hindu text known as the Mahabharata, the demon Rahu creates eclipses of the sun and moon by periodically swallowing the celestial bodies.

The demon Rahu then sneaks into the camp of the gods and manages to steal a swig of the elixir, but the sun and the moon spot him and blow the whistle on him. Vishnu cuts off Rahu’s head, but because the demon is immortal, this doesn’t kill him. He’s angry at the sun and the moon for ratting him out, so he chases the two objects through the sky. Every once in a while, he catches up with one of his betrayers and swallows it, but because he’s just a severed head, the sun or the moon slips back out through his disconnected neck. Nonetheless, the demon continues his pursuit indefinitely.

The complete story is beautiful and entertaining — not to mention one of the less ominous eclipse myths — and it did not disappear as people who practiced Hinduism learned about the science of the planetary bodies, according to Krupp. As Eastern astronomers deciphered the orbital geometry of these three bodies, the story was adapted, not abolished. In particular, the demon Rahu became associated with what are known as eclipse nodes, Krupp said.

During a lunar eclipse, the Earth lies directly between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the lunar surface. During a solar eclipse, the moon is between the Earth and the sun, casting its shadow on the Earth’s surface. The moon’s orbit is tilted with respect to Earth’s orbit, so the three bodies don’t line up every time the moon loops around the planet. The points where the moon’s path crosses the path of the sun are called nodes, and both the sun and the moon must be located at those nodes for an eclipse to occur (this can include partial or total eclipses, as well as annular solar eclipses). The sun and the moon both come close to these two nodes about every six months, when Earth experiences an “eclipse season.”

As Western astronomy from Greece and the Mediterranean made its way east to regions like modern-day India, Hindu astronomy adopted geometric and mathematical models of the motions of heavenly bodies, Krupp said. The demon Rahu was associated with the two nodes, and eventually one node became associated with Rahu while the other became associated with the demon Katu, which is actually Rahu’s tail, Krupp said. The nodes are invisible, and so are the demons; the nodes change position in the sky, as the demons are pictured to do. By tracking the movement of the nodes, astronomers could eventually predict when and where eclipses would occur.

The story of Rahu’s vengeful pursuit of the sun and the moon is also depicted on a wall of the main temple on the predominantly Hindu island of Bali, Krupp said. In 2016, when a total solar eclipse passed over Indonesia, representations of this traditional story were used extensively in advertising, he said. Two competing beer manufacturers on the neighboring island of Java (which is predominantly Muslim) both used images of the demon Rahu on their eclipse-themed brews.

“It shows you that [the story] is part of the living tradition in Bali,” Krupp said. “And then if you were to ask the devout Balinese people, ‘Do you believe these Hindu stories?’ … The answer is yes. And probably if you asked many of them ‘Do you understand how the solar system works?’ they’d say yes. And that is a confirmation of the extraordinary human ability to talk out of both sides of the mouth at the same time.”

The people of Bali aren’t the only ones carrying these historic interpretations of eclipses into the present day. In many languages, Krupp said, the words used to describe eclipses are the same words that mean “to eat” or “to bite.” In the English language, “eclipse” is derived from the Greek term “ekleipsis,” which means “an omission” or “an abandonment.”

Modern myths

In 1963, a total solar eclipse was visible in Alaska and parts of Maine, while a partial eclipse was visible from much of North America. That year, Charles Schultz produced an eclipse-themed edition of his famous “Peanuts” comic strip. In it, the character Linus states, “There is no safe method for looking directly at an eclipse. And it is especially dangerous when it is a total eclipse.”

Linus’ statement is entirely untrue. One can look directly at an eclipse with the help of solar viewing glasses, and when the moon fully covers the solar disk (a total eclipse), skywatchers should absolutely remove their eye protection and view the event with their naked eyes. Space.com columnist and night sky expert Joe Rao said he deeply laments that this eclipse myth was spread by Schultz — so much so that Rao wrote a children’s bookto help dispel it.

Observers at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field football stadium use solar eclipse glasses to view the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012.

Credit: Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado

The false belief persists; many people have a general fear that looking at a total solar eclipse can be worse than looking at the unobscured sun. And Krupp said that in modern-day society, many people have reservations about looking at the eclipsed sun without eye protection, because so much emphasis is placed on not looking directly at the sun at any other time. Doing that can in fact cause blindness or other permanent eye damage. (Having never seen a total solar eclipse myself, I confess I was skeptical when an expert told me that observers should look at the totally eclipsed sun with the naked eye.) Krupp said this concern or a fear of a liability issue could persuade parents or teachers to keep children from viewing the eclipse.

Fear of eclipses has not been completely snuffed out in the modern age. Krupp wrote an article for “Sky and & Telescope”magazine about a persistent belief that eclipses can cause birth defects in unborn fetuses or miscarriages in pregnant women. He said there is clear evidence that this belief arose in central Mexico around the time that European settlers arrived there (people also thought that during an eclipse children would turn into mice), but the idea is not unique to that country. Over the decades, the observatory has received multiplecalls from people wanting to know if this belief is true, so that they might protect themselves or a pregnant loved one, Krupp said.

To be clear, there is no evidence that eclipses harm pregnant women or their fetuses.

For the Aug. 21 eclipse, NASA and the American Astronomical Society have conducted a massive campaign of public awareness. In addition to providing people with information about eye safety, the organizers are warning people about the massive crowds that are expected to gather in the path of totality. Traffic is likely to be nightmarish if too many people drive into the path of totality on the day of the eclipse, experts have warned. Gasoline could become scarce near the path, and people should make sure they have access to food, water and bathrooms. Angela Speck, a researcher at the University of Missouri who is part of the AAS Eclipse Task Force told Space.com that conditions are “going resemble a zombie apocalypse.”

While humanity may have moved beyond some ancient responses to eclipses, the 2017 total solar eclipse could be an example of a new mythos surrounding these awe-inspiring cosmic events.

Editor’s note: Space.com has teamed up with Simulation Curriculum to offer this awesome Eclipse Safari app to help you enjoy your eclipse experience. The free app is available for Apple and Android, and you can view it on the web. If you take an amazing photo of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, let us know! Send photos and comments to: spacephotos@space.com.

Follow Calla Cofield @callacofield.Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.


Silliness – To Help You Smile – I feel quite light today. Pounds aren’t what they used to be.

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