Caroline Hurry
Caroline Hurry

Officially, the aurora-borealis comprises electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with gas molecules but the more arcane among us know these celestial emanations mark the entrance to a lush twilight paradise lit by a twin sun, where a race of advanced beings, including a few Germans from the Vril Society, elves, pixies, giants, and assorted Lemurian descendants, have lived in perfect health for hundreds of years.

The sky is a great dome arched over the Earth that contains an entrance through which the spirits pass to the true heavens, explains the explorer Ernest W. Hawkes in his book The Labrador Eskimo. Torches lit by the existing Selamiut ‒ forsaken ghosts of humans who suffered violent fates ‒ forms the aurora to guide the new arrivals.  The aurora’s whistling crackling noise conveys the voices of these spirits, who ‘should always be answered in a whispering voice,’ adds Hawkes:

The colours of a Reykjavík winter sky. Picture supplied by Visit Reykjavik
Photographed by: Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson

While whispering might not always be possible if you’re an Icelandic woman in the throes of childbirth, then at least avert your eyes from the dancing lights. Looking at them will not only result in a more painful birth but also the strong likelihood of your child being born cross-eyed. The Northern Lights feature prominently in Norse mythology as the glowing, pulsating Bifrost Bridge that leads fallen warriors to their final resting place in Valhalla.