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Myths and magic

1 super-moon

I photographed the super-moon last night. In the past people attributed all-sorts of things to the moon, it was thought to be magical. It made people behave weirdly, hence the term lunacy. In England, we had lunatic asylums.

The moon is a powerful force and last night it was at its closest to earth. The gravitational pull exerting an even greater influence on tides. This was the headline on the website of the Daily Express:

SUPERMOON LIVE: Beautiful lunar event could trigger ‘END OF DAYS’

Such sensational headlines attract readers and sell newspapers, they also perpetuate myths. The super-moon coincided with the UK getting hit by the tail-end of a hurricane, but that wasn’t the end of the world was it?

Myths are perpetuated by the media who seem to think they are our guides in all things; like parents trying to scare us into a mode of behaviour that they approve of. Don’t be naughty or the boogie man will get you. It’s not effective for a parent to tell a child to do as they’re told because they are older and wiser and know the dangers. They invent a danger, which is often an evil spirit, a policeman or a boogie man. No wonder kids grow up believing all-sorts of rubbish.

People forget to turn a light out and later that evening they become convinced that a ‘ghost’ switched it back on and this belief is passed on to their impressionable kids. The wind blows a door shut and it has to be gran sending a sign from the dead. I have noticed that people who see ghosts, usually see them in hallways and not the bathroom. They could serve a much more useful function in the bathroom in the fight against constipation…

Primitive man came to all-sorts of conclusions about the natural world. Before they discovered how to make fire, their only experience of it was a grass fire in a hot summer or maybe a lightning strike would start a fire. Imagine how scary that would be with so many myths attached to thunderstorms. The gods send loud bangs and flashes across the sky and suddenly a tree starts burning and they see fire. That would be a rarer than seeing a super moon. The discovery of how to make fire, made man a technologist and they went on to invent the wheel and conquer their fears of the natural world. At least some of them did…

The more advanced people are in a technological sense, the less they believe in the myths. Belief in gods, ghosts and the boogie man belongs in the annals of our primeval history. It has no place in our computerised world. Does it?

You can share your views of spooky things in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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