Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eclipses cause birth defects?

Some people argue that the Mexican culture was built around superstitions.  One of the superstitions that I can relate to very personally is that Mexican people believe that pregnant women should not look at an eclipse.  If a pregnant woman looks at an eclipse her child will most likely be born with a cleft palate.  When an eclipse occurs, pregnant women are supposed to wear red clothing and carry around with them a metal object such as scissors.  I was born with a cleft palate, my mother had never heard of this superstition before until she met other people who had the same birth defect or children’s mothers at hospitals.  My parents are very religious and very superstitious as well so they used this superstition as an answer to why I was born this way.  My mother could not remember if she saw an eclipse or not while she was pregnant but she decided to think of my defect as God’s will and that she should not question it. 

            Now that I am older, I began to question this superstition so I looked for information online.  There are many testimonies about pregnant women finding out about this superstition actually protecting themselves “just in case.”  There is no scientific evidence to support this superstition but it is said that it is a very ancient superstition that probably originated from the Aztecs.  I went on to try to find more information because this birth defect shaped my life and I wanted to know in what other ways I could relate an eclipse to cleft palates.  To my surprise, I found out that there was a solar eclipse on April 19,1995, four moths before I was born.  Also, this solar eclipse was completely visible from Southern Mexico where my mother was living at the time.  This would be a case of an assumption according to the elements of thought.  This superstition is taken so for granted all over Mexico and it is spreading throughout the world as people learn more about it and spread the word around.  Also, no mother wants to put their unborn child in danger so most women will follow this superstition “just in case.”

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