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Americans and the “Blood Moon” Rising

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The news divisions of the US broadcast network have “comforted” the Americans with the announcement that they will have an opportunity to witness the “blood moon” eclipse.

In astronomer circles, “blood moon” is the term for the part of a total lunar eclipse when the projections of sunrises and sunsets on the surface of the Moon give it a crimson color as it passes through the shadow of the Earth.

However, our ancestors, like many peoples today, explained the phenomenon in their own way, believing that the Moon was bleeding from wounds inflicted by the forces of evil. For example, the Chinese thought the Moon was being devoured by a dragon, the Germans thought it was a wolf, the Incas presumed it was a jaguar. The Africans believed that during a full blood moon there was a war between the Earth’s satellite and the Sun.

In any case, a lunar eclipse, let alone a “blood” one, did not augur well in the beliefs of many countries. In all cultures it was considered dangerous to even look at a full blood moon. Sometimes there were coincidences that served to confirm the phenomenon was a harbinger of trouble. Thus, in the 160s there was a persecution of Christians just after a lunar eclipse. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides, who chronicled the Peloponnesian War, linked this event to the Sicilian expedition during which the Athenians attempted to capture Syracuse, the birthplace of Archimedes, but the Athenian army was defeated and its commander, named Nicias, was executed.

The belief from the minds of pagans has even passed into the Bible: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” Christian websites, for their part, cite words from the Book of the Prophet Joel: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and........

© New Eastern Outlook

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