Lunar Eclipse 27 July 2018: 10 frequently asked questions about the longest eclipse
Lunar eclipse 2018 will take place on July 27, 2018. What makes it unique is that it is the longest lunar eclipse in the century with a duration of 1 hour and 43 minutes (11.44pm to 1am on July 28). And apart from the eclipse, there will be a Blood Moon as the light that reflects from its surface is refracted by the atmosphere of earth, creating a reddish tinge. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes behind the earth and is eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow.
There have been lots of lunar eclipse myths and superstitions. While some feel that lunar eclipse could have health effects, other feel that a lunar eclipse can have side effects on pregnancy. Even your zodiac signs or rashis could be affected by a lunar eclipse. We decode 10 lunar eclipse myths and facts for you:
Will a pregnant woman watching lunar eclipse suffer a miscarriage?
A. Unfortunately, this strong ancient belief still survives, but nothing can be further from the truth. The Moon has always been associated with femininity, probably because it works in tandem with the menstrual cycle. Lunar eclipse helps to rejuvenate the feminine energy and does not in any way affect pregnant women. Pregnant women can safely go about their chores outside during the lunar eclipse, but make sure they don’t slip in the dark.
Will partying outdoors during a lunar eclipse bring ill health and bad luck?
A. It was believed that anything done outdoors during a lunar eclipse may affect one’s health adversely and also bring bad luck. In today’s world, this really doesn’t stand to reason. Since the Moon has always ruled over emotions and feelings, it will continue doing so in a positive manner, lunar eclipse or no lunar eclipse. And what can be more positive than letting your hair down in an outdoor party, under the Blood Moon.
Is it okay to drink during a lunar eclipse?
A. If one can party outdoors during a lunar eclipse, what effect would drinking a glass or two have on a person. So, there is no reason for anyone not to drink during a lunar eclipse, since it doesn’t have any religious significance.
Is it okay to eat during the lunar eclipse?
A. Here’s a contradiction. It has been found that the physical changes that take place over 28 days during the full lunar cycle, happen within just three hours during a lunar eclipse. These out-of-the-ordinary changes impact the growth of bacteria in food, deteriorating its quality. Thus, it is advised not to partake food during a lunar eclipse, as its quality may get compromised.
Is travelling permitted during the lunar eclipse?
A. Ancients had advised against travelling during the duration of the eclipse. This may be because in ancient times depleted moonlight and absence of streetlights may have upped the risk factor for people travelling at night. Otherwise, this has absolutely no scientific or religious basis. Of course, in today’s fast-paced world, people re-scheduling meetings and other important engagements due to a lunar eclipse may come across as superstitious or ill-informed.
Does a lunar eclipse produce profound psychological effects in people?
A. According to NASA, science does not support this. The profound psychological effects seen in people, that invariably lead to physical effects, are due to the fear people harbour against eclipses, in general, and lunar eclipse, in particular. The age-old belief that eclipses are bad omens has much to do in giving rise to such effects.
Lunar eclipse is known to affect animal behaviour. Is it true?
A. Since antiquity, it has been believed that animals behave differently during a lunar eclipse. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology in 2010, found that owl monkey, a species of nocturnal monkeys, had a pronounced change in their activity pattern during the lunar eclipse. This actually had nothing to do with the Moon, but everything to do with the changed light levels during the passing of the Moon through the Earth’s shadow. Similar is the case with other animals who are seen to howl at the Moon or behave oddly during eclipse.
Is it true that a lunar eclipse accentuates mood swings, anxiety, depression, fatigue and the like?
A. Yes, it is true that a person may feel all these emotions during a lunar eclipse. However, lunar eclipse is not the culprit for these conditions. Moon is linked to creativity and provides success in creative endeavours. However, when this creative energy is not used and stifled, the depressing darkness accompanying the lunar eclipse may accentuate these negative emotions.
Why does a lunar eclipse makes it difficult to sleep?
A. It is not the lunar eclipse that affects one’s sleep patterns, but the anxiety associated with the occurrence of this celestial event. The brain is bombarded with all kinds of negative feed about the adverse conditions that a lunar eclipse creates. Worrying about the consequences, which in a true sense are baseless, is what makes it difficult to sleep. Accepting this phenomenon as a natural event improves one’s sleep patterns.
Are there more incidents of hospitalisations during a lunar eclipse?
A. Strange as it may sound, it is true. According to an American study, the incidents of hospital admissions went up during lunar eclipses. These were due to various reasons, such as cardiovascular problems, acute coronary events, urinary retention, variceal haemorrhage and the like. However, the correlation of these diseases with lunar eclipses has not been established.
(Dr Prem Kumar Sharma is a renowned Delhi-based astrologer)
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