Will the Blood Moon Come Too Soon?

Serpents, dragons, jaguars, bats and wolves are all associated with the eclipse, according the Smithsonian Magazine’s What Folklore Tells us About the Eclipse.  You have probably heard of the myth of the wolf who swallows the sun or moon causing an eclipse or the end of the world. In Germanic tradition it is Mani who guides the moon. When the world is being destroyed (Ragnarὂk), the moon is swallowed by a wolf.

We have always celebrated the eclipse here at OGOM. Kaja has previously pondered the big question that all Goths will be asking on Friday 27th July What Happens to Werewolves in a Solar Eclipse?

The other question on everybody’s lips will be What is a Blood Moon? Apparently, total lunar eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth and the Moon perfectly line up. The most spectacular part about a total lunar eclipse is that when the moon is fully in Earth’s shadow it turns red. This phenomenon has ominously become known as ‘The Blood Moon’.

It is easy to get to grips with the science. The red colour apparently happens because sunlight is deflected through Earth’s atmosphere. The process is called refraction and it bends red light from the sun like a lens into the space behind Earth – and so on to the surface of the eclipsed moon. And here’s  something from one of my colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire,  Dr Sam Rolfe, who researches Astrophysics and Astronomy. She has written a special eclipse blog entitled Coming Soon: Total Eclipse of the Moon

What is more intriguing for OGOMERs perhaps is the Terrifying History of Blood Moons. There  is a lot of folklore. No good will come of a child who is born into a red moon! In Romania there is an eclipse demon the VARCOLAC or VIRCOLAC.  It’s an evil vampiric, wolfish, spirit that eats the sun and moon, causing the eclipse.  Some believe these creatures to be the souls of unbaptised children, who are cursed (Rosemary Guiley).  Supersitions about the eclipse are well documented by scholars such as Agnes Murgoci and Jan. L. Perkowski, who specialise in Slavic and East European vampire lore.

For me the eclipse will always be linked to the vampire, not the wolf or werewolf. The vampire is a creature of darkness who loves the shadow and the shade. For this reason I was delighted to learn that Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ is a love song for a vampire and was originally named ‘Vampires in Love’.

Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there’s only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart

Love song for A Vampire: A Total Eclipse of the Heart is the full story of my love affair with these eerie eclipse lyrics!

If you are planning on getting out your telescope or just doing some red moon gazing here’s a really helpful what you need to know video

Remember though Beware of the Big Bad Blood Moon!

 

About Lucy Northenra

Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire
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5 Responses to Will the Blood Moon Come Too Soon?

  1. Pingback: Will the Blood Moon Come Too Soon? — Open Graves, Open Minds « strangegoingsonintheshed

  2. What about Meat Loaf’s apparently vampiric “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”? I’m not a fan, but possibly Meat Loaf’s big comeback song was influenced by the Bonnie Tyler song. Not dissimilar music videos … and, interestingly, the ambiguous phrase “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that!” first popped up in her song “Getting So Excited”. Not that I’m an expert on this genre. Enjoyed the post! 🙂

    • Thanks and yes, I am sure there is a connection and I think it is Steinman! Steinman also produced the Sisters of Mercy’s seminal ‘This Corrosion’. I have learnt and the original ‘All Coming Back to Me Now’ with a suitably subtle video by Ken Russell. Who would have thought the 80s mainstream was so gothic!! So interesting!

      • Ah, interesting – I didn’t know anything about Jim Steinman.
        “Steinman worked with Terry Jones of Monty Python fame on a heavy metal version of The Nutcracker”. If only there was a Ken Russell film version!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. I also love the Long Victorian blog! The story goes that after seeing ‘Meat Loaf’ perform ‘Bat Out of Hell’ live on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ a relatively unknown Tyler approached his producer Jim Steinman who eventually wrote ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart” for her. He later confessed to have been writing a musical version of Nosferatu!!

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