Last night was another cold and starry one and I was up late watching a crime series. From my armchair I noticed a strange light on the night sky – it was pale and oddly shaped, like a giant column. I couldn’t figure out what it was and went out on the balcony to have a better look. From there I could see more similar shaped “light columns” althought these ones were a bit more vague in colour and shape. I then realized that what I saw was actually the northern lights! It is normally not visible from the middle of Sweden and can also appear in different colours and shapes, that was why I first didn’t recognize it.
The last time I saw the northern lights was about ten years ago, when I lived in the country. I remember walking home one night when I saw formations of light swirling around in the sky above me. What struck me that time was that the lights seemed so low that it was almost a bit eery, like it suddenly could have gone so low that it would touch me. An optical delusion I am sure, but it still left me feeling a bit uneasy. I stood watching the lights for a while as they swirled and danced above the fields but after a while I started to feel dizzy and went into the warmth and cosiness in my cottage. The Cree Indians in North America apparently call the northern lights for “the Dance of the Spirits”, and after that experience I can certainly understand why :)
While reading about the phenomena, I also found 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”.
I just find it fascinating to think about what people fantasized about and imagined a long time ago. With no television, internet or even books, a thing like the night sky, which we now hardly notice because of all the electric lights and the hurry we constantly are in, must have been a wonderful source to storytelling and myths.
I think the reason to why I got the chance to see the northern lights yesterday was because of the solar storms that seem to be active at the moment. About ten years ago there were also major solar storms taking place so it makes sense. I will definetely keep an eye out for new phenomena on the nights sky after this. 4 months ago