The fear of Comets is known as Cometophobia. People who suffer from this phobia will exhibit symptoms of anxiety and even physical illness, when they see a comet in the night sky.
Reasons For This Phobia
Comets are made up of a mixture of rock particles, ice, and dust. They streak through the sky, illuminated and glowing against a dark sky. Comets carry a tail or atmosphere that gives them their distinctive, “streaked” appearance. For some, the sight of a comet may provoke thoughts of disaster or doom.
The Story Of Heaven’s Gate Cult, And The Hale-Bopp Comet
In the past, certain religious cults have used the appearance of comets as harbingers of the end of the world. For this reason, the sight of a comet may inspire trepidation in certain people. The Hale-Bopp Comet is one of the most famous comets in recent history, and it appeared in 1997. For a group of UFO cult members, known as Heaven’s Gate, the appearance of this comet was a “sign”. They prepared to leave their “flesh bodies” behind through a mass suicide, which they thought would take them on a journey to a distant star (Sirius). This cult used the comet as a portent, believing it was carrying a spaceship in the wake of its glowing “atmosphere”. If they all killed themselves, they could escape the end of the world, and ascend to another level of being.
Heaven’s Gate members gave their lives to leave their flesh bodies behind, and board the mythical spacecraft that hovered behind the Hale-Bopp Comet. For people who are familiar with this macabre tale of delusion and mind control, the comet can be a symbol of destruction.
Some fear comets because they feel they will be hit by one: they simply fear for their physical safety. The speed and unique glow of a comet will inspire awe in some – and terror in others.
People with phobias regarding comets may have watched sci-fi or other fantasy-based programs, or read books that fed into their anxieties. Often, sci-fi features Armageddon scenarios that are designed for maximum drama and shock value. People who watch a lot of disaster flicks, where meteors or other large entities plunge through the atmosphere, ready to hit Earth, may believe that a comet can hurt them, too.
Symptoms & Treatment
The symptoms of Cometphobia are the same of the symptoms of most phobias. Being around comets, or images of comets, will provoke nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and headaches. Sometimes, a bad memory or repressed childhood experience can subconsciously affect the way a person reacts to triggers. If you feel anxious around comets, but aren’t really sure why, certain therapies and treatments may help you release any subconscious memories. Panic treatments and counselling may provide a lot of insight into the reasons for your phobia. Making progress is possible with traditional or alternative therapies.
The fear of comets is also referred to as:
- afraid of comets
- comet fear
- comet phobia