What do the Northern Lights mean for us?

The other day I stumbled upon a short marketing film by the Finnish government about the Northern Lights.  It’s lovely and I’ve linked to it at the end of this post.

 The Science

The film opens with the following statement:

“Aurora is a natural light display in the sky, particularly in the polar regions, caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth’s magnetic field.”

Hmmm!  That’s a very nice scientific explanation, but what are they really?

Those of us who view the world with spiritual eyes will have our own explanation.  And the Native peoples of northern regions have their own.

 The Legends

An Eskimo legend says there is a land of giants living in the far north and whenever they are out with their torches to spear fish, they brighten the sky.

Another legend says they are torches in the hands of our Ancestor Spirits, lighting the way for the souls of those who have just died, to lead them to the hereafter, a place where illness and pain are no more, and there is an abundance of all kinds of food.

According to the Eskimos, the Ancestor Spirits communicate with the people on earth making a whistling noise and the Earth people can answer back only in a whisper. Sometimes the wind whistles, could that be our ancestors calling to us?

The Eskimos teach that they are able to call on the Aurora and converse with it, and they send messages to their deceased ancestors through it.

The lower Yukon River Eskimos believed that the aurora was the dance of animal spirits, especially those of deer, seals, salmon and beluga.

An Algonquin myth tells that when Nanahbozho, creator of the Earth, had finished the task of the creation, He traveled to the north, where He remained. He built large fires, of which the northern lights are the reflections, to remind His people that he still thinks of them.

The Aboriginal Tribes of Australia have similar stories about the Southern Lights.

Think about it.  All of the above could be true!!

 Personal interpretations

When we learn to view the natural world around us as mystical and meaningful, our lives are enriched in countless ways.

When I look at the northern lights in this two-minute film, I see our ancestors dancing around a sacred fire, lighting the way for us when it’s time for us to cross over from this physical world and join them.

You can watch them here:


What do the Northern Lights mean to you?  Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

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  1. Jane

    I had the amazing opportunity to experience this beauty of the Northern Lights – twice.
    Seeing this Dance took my breath away as I stood in this moment. I believe these are our Ancestors dancing around the Sacred Fires in the night sky.

    The first time I saw the Northern Lights was when I traveling on the ALCAN crossing the border from Canada into Alaska. What a welcome!!!!
    And the second time was on my birthday while living in Alaska!

    It is a chapter in my life I will never forget and I give thanks each time my memory returns to the moments in time I experienced the Northern Lights.

    This video that you found Molly is done very well!!! Thank you.

    • Molly Larkin

      You are so lucky to have seen them in person!

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