Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Solar Eclipse

Did you get a chance to see the solar eclipse last night?  It was supposedly the most striking one we've had in decades.  Hopefully you didn't look directly at the Sun.  Did you?  Oh, no.  Did you?!

Or did you go all sixth-grade science project and make the cardboard cut-out to watch the eclipse properly? *raises hand*

Whenever anything like this happens, I always think about what people thought about eclipses and comets and other spacey-like things through the ages.  You know, back before people were glued to their television sets watching the latest riveting episode of Housewives of New Jersey

So I did a little research.  Here's some of what I found:

--In ancient days, people believed a solar eclipse was a monster gobbling up the sun.

--The Choctaw Indians attributed a solar eclipse to a black squirrel, whose eccentricities often led it into mischief, and, among other things, that of trying to eat up the Sun at different intervals.

--The Serrano Indians believe an eclipse is the spirits of the dead trying to eat the Sun or Moon.

--The Navajo Indians believe it is the Sun being reborn.  They also believe that you shouldn't gawk at it, out of respect for Mother Nature.

I love legends and stories, particularly those from Native Americans.  When you dig a little deeper, you always find profoundly simple wisdom.

8 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Indians were very creative with their explanations. And didn't see it on account of rain.

LD Masterson said...

I missed it but I love the Indian lore.

raelynbarclay said...

Yeah, we went all 6th grade science-like too. Sadly, that didn't result in any decent pictures. We have a few where the camera was pointed directly at the sun which look kinda cool but there's so much flare we can't see the moon's shadow in front. :sigh:

Love your research :)

LTM said...

Hang on... solar eclipse last night? I totally missed that. wah wah waahh... but how was it at night?

I remember being a kid and making one of those viewing boxes for a solar eclipse. Very cool~ <3

Sherry Ellis said...

I heard about the eclipse, but I didn't see it. It's interesting to learn how ancient people viewed an eclipse.

I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. you can stop by my blog, Mama Diaries, to pick it up.

Danette said...

I missed it too- too cloudy. I think the one about monsters gobbling up the sun is a good one.

Carol Riggs said...

Nah, we had too many dumb clouds to see anything that day/night. It's Oregon over here. :) But solar eclipses are very cool!

Cold As Heaven said...

Great picture. I saw a solar eclipse in 2008. Fantastic.

This time I was on the wrong side of the Earth, unfortunately.

Cold As Heaven