Aurora Borealis Lights Up Sky, Internet
This year has seen some spectacular aurora borealis displays, in incredible displays of brilliance in the night sky of the northern hemisphere (the southern hemisphere boasts its own phenomenon, the aurora australis). But the Internet has been buzzing today with incredible new videos of the aurora borealis from several people who were able to capture it.
The Huffington Post reports:
Aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, is a natural occurring phenomenon that lights up the sky in northern latitudes’ polar region. The aurora borealis most often occurs around the equinoxes, and a similar spectacle happens in the southern hemisphere, known as the aurora australis. Auroras occur when increased solar activity sends charged particles toward Earth…
Many spectacular aurora borealis videos have surfaced this year, including a Norwegian photographer’s amazing time-lapse video, and another photographer accidentally stumbling upon an airplane view of the northern lights when documenting a flight from San Francisco to Paris.
(Click through to check out the videos.)
Norse and Roman mythology had striking spiritual theories about the aurora borealis (text from Wikipedia):
In Bulfinch’s Mythology… there is the claim that in Norse mythology: The Valkyrior are warlike virgins, mounted upon horses and armed with helmets and spears. /…/ When they ride forth on their errand, their armour sheds a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, making what men call the “aurora borealis,” or “Northern Lights.”
While a striking notion, there is not a vast body of evidence in the Old Norse literature supporting this assertion. Although auroral activity is common over Scandinavia and Iceland today, it is possible that the Magnetic North Pole was considerably further away from this region during the centuries before the documentation of Norse mythology, thus explaining the lack of references…
In ancient Roman mythology, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn, renewing herself every morning to fly across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun. The persona of Aurora the goddess has been incorporated in the writings of Shakespeare, Lord Tennyson and Thoreau.
What do you think—what’s the spiritual significance of the aurora borealis?