This entry has nothing particularly stringent to do with the occult, but more with beauty. I just spent the past two days north, past Athabasca (where Nightbreed, the movie based on Clive Barker’s Cabal, has its city of monsters, Midian, located somewhere nearby ? we’ve never found it) at a small lake called Baptiste, and all last night ? between drinking and fireworks mishaps (no injuries, though a few would’ve been funnier in retrospect) ? the aurora borealis were out, aka “northern lights.”
Because I’ve spent little time in the U.S. outside of my experiences staying in Seattle (and being attacked by what I swear was a leper, while attempting to purchase a tasty croissant), I have no clue whether as many people have the opportunity to witness this amazing fucking phenomenon first-hand? Two things to living this far north are that a) the sun is up till like 23:00 in the middle of summer, allowing for much more bare-clad women and drinking without stumbling over what you can’t see, and b) in the dead of winter we get maybe seven hours of daylight, if that, and it’s hard to explain how far my penis shrinks back inside of body when the temperature drops to -30?C on a regular basis (I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but it’s freakin’ cold). Benefits, year-round I think, are that we do happen to get northern lights.
And it’s just impossible to explain how insanely cool it is to sit beneath a sky aflame in green and red plasma. It’s kind of like Star Trek or something. Some years ago, I was driving down a major road in Edmonton and traffic just stopped. The whole of the sky, literally a good 80 per cent of the sky had erupted into brilliant pink and deep reds. They light up everything, the city, forests, mountains, lakes, et cetera. The whole city stopped to watch, it seemed like.
We are all surrounded by beauty, and while I don’t have the fortune of aurora every night, I tend to personally lose myself in the cloud formations we get during summer here. I love the skies.
Perhaps next time you’re outside (or wherever) consciously see if you can actually find something you like to just lose yourself to. It’s a god-given gift to be able to see beauty, and I think so many of us forget that or take it for granted.
Aurora folklore, via Wikipedia:?
It is believed that during the first millennium AD, auroral activity was low. This might be the explanation as to why northern lights are never mentioned in the Eddas of Norse mythology. The first Old Norse account of nor?rlj?s is found in the Norwegian chronicle Konungs Skuggsj? from 1250 AD.
An old Scandinavian name for northern lights translates as herring flash. It was believed that northern lights were the reflections cast by large swarms of herring onto the sky.
The Finnish name for northern lights is revontulet, fox fires. According to legend, foxes made of fire lived in Lapland, and revontulet were the sparks they whisked up into the atmosphere with their tails.
The Sami people believed that one should be particularly careful and quiet when observed by the guovssahasat.
In Inuit folklore, northern lights were the spirits of the dead playing football with a walrus skull over the sky.
Other older theories speculated in that aurora borealis were the fires of the purgatory mountain on the reverse side of the globe; that the sun flares could reach around the world to its night side, or that glaciers could store energy so that they eventually became fluorescent (because of the midnight sun, northern lights can only be observed during winter in the polar regions).