What Indigenous Cultures Believed About Solar Eclipses

We’ve already talked a couple of times about how different cultures and ancient civilizations viewed solar eclipses. However, this is just such a fascinating topic that I just had to touch on it one more time. And today, it’s all about indigenous cultures. It’s no secret that indigenous cultures worldwide are mostly spiritual groups of people. And in their belief systems, celestial bodies almost always had an important role. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they would perceive solar and lunar eclipses as something extraordinary. However, each of them did so in a completely unique way. So, let’s embark on a captivating journey to uncover the diverse beliefs surrounding solar eclipses in indigenous cultures.

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Navajo Traditions

The Navajo Nation holds a deeply rooted respect for the sun, viewing it as the embodiment of vitality and balance. During a solar eclipse, when the sun briefly fades, the Navajo perceive it as a sacred time for spiritual rejuvenation. They won’t eat, drink, or sleep while a solar eclipse is going on. However, ceremonies, including prayers, chants, and rituals, are executed. The goal of this is to restore harmony within the universe and strengthen the connection between all living beings and the celestial realm. 

You have to understand that these rituals for them aren’t any type performances. These are heartfelt expressions of gratitude toward the sun, the source of life. This is their way of strengthening the bond with the cosmic order, preserving their cultural heritage and spiritual connection to the natural world. As the sun’s light returns, the Navajo emerge from the eclipse with a renewed sense of harmony and purpose, guided by the timeless wisdom of their ancestors.

Inuit Mythology

How could we not mention the Inuit culture? Their beliefs about both solar and lunar eclipses are truly unique. Even though we’re talking about the Arctic’s frozen landscapes, there have been some complex tales to explain the mysteries of solar eclipses. Within Inuit mythology, celestial bodies take on the image of gods with complicated relationships. To keep it short, we have the goddess of the sun, and the god of the moon. So, two polarities or two genders. 

And when I say that they have a complex relationship, I mean that they basically hate each other. What makes it even weirder is that they are also supposed to be brother and sister. During a solar eclipse, the sun goddess, Malina, is being r*ped by the moon god, Aningaat. All men were supposed to stay home, in order to prevent them from becoming sick. On the other hand, the Inuit women would make offerings and do different types of performances. These ceremonies would include dances, concerts, and rituals. 

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Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime

In the indigenous communities of Australia, especially among the Aboriginal peoples, they believe in the Dreamtime, a special time when ancestral spirits shaped the land and its creatures. During this time, solar eclipses are seen as powerful signs or messages from the spirit world, indicating big changes ahead. Just like with the previous examples, they believed that the sun and the moon were symbols of the two fenders. And eclipses were their ways of… reproduction? Or giving birth to a major event that would impact the whole world. They would be super careful during eclipses, respecting the natural order and the privacy of the celestial bodies.

Kanita is a wanderlust-fueled traveler with an inclination for unraveling the mysteries of history, the paranormal, and the bizarre world of medicine. As a true crime buff, Kanita's nights are often spent delving into the depths of chilling mysteries. Yet, it's not just the paranormal that captivates her—her background in medicine fuels a fascination with the weird and wonderful world of medical oddities, from twisted historical practices to the myths and legends that shroud the field. From exploring haunted locales to uncovering the strange and morbid tales of medical history, Kanita is your guide to the unconventional, the unexplained, and the downright eerie.

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