Persian Pregnancy Magic Superstition

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Roxana recalls a folk magic superstition from her Persian culture that she learned from her mother at about seven years of age while growing up in Orange County, California. The context in which this magic superstition is relevant, is with a woman who is carrying a child.

Roxana recalls, “My Mom said, ‘When I was younger, I heard that if you touch your pregnant belly on a full moon, your child will have a birth mark wherever you touched your belly. So, when I was pregnant with you,’ she told me, ‘I touched my belly on the full moon.’ And then, when I was born, I had a huge birthmark on my stomach. We tried to remove it because they said it might be cancerous, so now it’s a six-inch scar.”

Roxana feels like she has no choice but to believe this superstition, especially since it seems to have happened to her. She says, “If I’m ever pregnant, I want to keep my hands away from my belly. What if my child comes out with a huge birthmark on his face? I’m like, ‘hand off’ on that day.”

Upon further investigation, I found that the superstition usually applies to pregnant women going outside during an Eclipse, not a full moon (which makes more sense, since Eclipses are much more rare).  However, Roxana seemed pretty sure her mother had said a full moon, so I’m not sure if she made a mistake or simply was taught a different version of the same superstition.

Another superstition involving pregnancy, but with Mexican-Americans, warns that if a pregnant woman walks outside during a full moon the baby will be born with a harelip, or with the features of a wolf. To prevent this from happening, these women are encouraged to tie a bunch of keys around her waist so the keys deflect the moonlight. While this isn’t the exact Persian superstition, it provides variety to a very similar superstition, making this cautionary performance unarguably folklore.