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Once upon a blood moon in Georgia

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POSTED: July 22, 2014 11:00 a.m.
NASA photo by Fred Espenak/

This eclipse that resulted in a blood moon happened in 2010.

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Not a single person in my breakfast club has mentioned the “blood moon.” And that includes me, until now.  I wasn’t really sure what it was even though my emails from some preacher have hammered me recently with a “better beware” kind of verbiage.
And no, it has nothing to do with staying off the moors because a werewolf might be prowling. This preacher implies that it predicts the rapture or the end of time as we know it. Scientists, on the other hand, said it’s just a lunar eclipse with a particular red hue.
Now according to what I was able to dig up, this “blood moon” happened sometime in the wee hours on Tuesday. I was asleep.
According to a story on the internet, much fear has been stirred up over this particular blood moon, since it coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, and comes soon before Easter. Pastor John Hagee  wrote a book called “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change.”
Well as we all know, there have been many people who have tried to predict the end of time or the second coming of the Lord. Perhaps one day, someone will be right. Or as my friend, The Earl of Stumpworth by The Ochlocknee, has often said, “Shoot in the creek long enough and you’re bound to hit a fish.”
I have found no one who expressed any fear about the “blood moon.” The general response was something like, “Say what?”
Giving it a name like “blood moon” makes it sound a little spooky as opposed to calling it a “deep orange moon” or even a “red moon.”
Scientists say this blood moon is special because it is the first lunar eclipse that is part of a blood moon tetrad. A tetrad is a series of four lunar eclipses that happen within six-month intervals of each other.
Tetrads themselves are not extraordinarily rare. According to Fred Espenak, a NASA astrophysicist, there are nine sets in the 21st century.
I’m far from being an astronomer. I do good to find the Big Dipper and the North Star. I am, however, fascinated by the heavens. And I realize there is much superstition about the stars and planets. But there is a greater abundance of science.
When I was a kid, I recall a time when a friend got very concerned because he didn’t have his sweet potatoes harvested even though they had been dug. Seeing his anxiety, I gave up a fishing trip to help him. I learned later that his rush to get them in the barn was because of his belief that if a full moon shone on them, they would rot.
Another person I knew in my childhood said if man ever set foot on the moon, it would turn to blood. Both of these people were genuinely good folk but obviously they were not candidates for NASA. But then neither am I.
Surprisingly, there has been no link expressed about this “blood moon” and the increased unrest in the Mideast. At least I haven’t heard any such speculation. Nor have I heard it linked to the Dow Jones averages, crime rates, or an increased chance of finding a Bigfoot.
If I was going to hope that somehow this occurrence was mystical and might shape human events to some degree, I would opt for it causing us to have a smarter Congress. But then that would probably be something more poetically linked to a “blue moon.”

Walden is editor/publisher of the Moultrie Observer. Email: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com. This column was written in April.

 

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