Everything You Need to Know Before the Solar Eclipse, According to Pop Culture (and a Psychic)

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Original photo by Paul Gilham/ Getty Images for BEGOC.

On Aug. 21, Mother Nature will gift America a complete solar eclipse for the first time in 38 years. Aside from the experience of one of the greatest spectacles on Earth, what does this all mean for humanity exactly? Well, astrophysicists will spend their four minutes studying the sun's corona; astronomers will collect important data; and witches (yes, they're real) will utilize the eclipse as a powerful time to carry out spells to conjure sudden and dramatic changes.

And that's just the start. Bay Area astrologer, psychic medium and intuitive counselor Jessica Lanyadoo tells KQED Pop: "From an astrological perspective, eclipses tend to bring about some sort of crisis or meaningful change. Some people will experience big, ground-shaking shifts, while others will be confronted by themes that spark deep transformations over a longer period of time. It represents a time that will allow us to become more whole or to sink deeper into our blocks."

It is literally about to get dark in here, y'all.

We should have listened. Pop culture has been trying to warn us for years about the crazy stuff that goes down during solar eclipses, and now it's finally time to take heed.

First, remembering the lessons of Little Shop of Horrors, watch out next Monday for the arrival of all-singing, overly demanding shrubbery. That's right! Seymour Krelborn's blood-thirsty plant came to Earth during a solar eclipse:


And then there's the classic 1940 Disney movie Fantasia, which suggested that solar eclipses can bring about complete global chaos, including tidal waves and what appears to be the breaking up of Pangaea. Hang onto your pants!

So, on the day, assuming the ground you're standing on doesn't break open and annihilate everything in the vicinity, be sure to use eclipse-safe viewers to protect your eyes — lest you go blind like Marge Simpson did in this 2009 episode of The Simpsons.

Once the eclipse is over and you begin to take stock of your situation, be sure to pat yourself down and see if you've acquired any new superpowers -- it was a solar eclipse that turned regular people into superhumans in the NBC sci-fi series Heroes.

Now, if you're planning on soundtracking the occasion, you're not going to find anything more fittingly dramatic than what Stanley Kubrick (and, you know, that Strauss fellow) came up with for the opening eclipse in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Of course, if your nerves are frayed and you need something a little gentler, look no further than this Pink Floyd classic:

And finally, if you want to get super-literal, there's always the power balladry of Bonnie Tyler. Truthfully, this one's only getting included here because it's a gratuitous opportunity to watch the greatest/worst video of all time, and everyone could probably use some frivolity right about now. Cue the laser-eye choirboys!

Viewing parties are happening all over the Bay Area -- San Francisco, OaklandRing Mountain, Palo AltoNovato, Menlo Park and more. May your eyes be protected, your views unobstructed and your transformations positive.