14 October 2023

Utah Superstitions About Eclipses

Utah superstitions about eclipses, to enjoy on this annular solar eclipse day (Oct 14 2023)!
The Oct 14 2023 annular solar eclipse, as viewed from SLC.

These are all from the book Popular Beliefs and Superstitions from Utah (1984), compiled by Anthony S. Cannon.

The locations and dates in parenthesis are where/when the belief was cataloged.
  1. If a pregnant woman sees an eclipse, her baby will be born cross-eyed (SLC, 1963).
  2. If a person is born during an eclipse, they will suffer poverty and misfortune (SLC, 1938,); …they will be poor (Provo, 1947); … the mother will be stricken with poverty and misfortune (Helper, 1925).
  3. Looking at an eclipse of the sun will make you blind (Bountiful, 1962).
  4. If you and your lover look at an eclipse together you will be together forever (SLC, 1959).
  5. If an eclipse of the sun occurs on the 29th day of the month, there will be many deaths on the first day of the next month (Helper, 1959)
  6. An eclipse of the sun means destruction of the world (SLC, 1959)
  7. When there is an eclipse there is going to be a war (SLC, 1964)
  8. The world is going to end in 1972 because of the eclipse of the sun at that time (SLC, 1959)
Bonus beliefs, eclipses of the moon:
  1. If a pregnant woman touches her body during an eclipse, the baby will have a birthmark where she has touched (Bountiful, 1971)
  2. If a pregnant woman goes outdoors on the eclipse of the moon, her baby will have a harelip (Magna, 1961); …a cleft palate (Magna, 1949)
Reasons for eclipses:
  1. An eclipse is the pursuit of the sun and moon by two enormous wolves who now and then nearly succeed in devouring our chief sources of light (SLC, 1963).
  2. An eclipse is caused by an enormous bear that is trying to devour the sun and now and then nearly succeeds in doing it (SLC, 1950s).
  3. The solar eclipse is caused by a great dragon attempting to swallow the sun (Vernal, 1959).
You can peruse the book at Internet Archive (with a free account): https://archive.org/details/popularbeliefssu0000unse/

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