Posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 5:54 am | See all Auroras Entries.
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Atsannik (Aurora, Baffin I.), by Peter C. Stone. Oil on Canvas. Artist featured in Polar Attractions.  


In Roman mythology, she is the goddess of the dawn. I swear I’ve met her many times. And here, dwarfing the manmade lights on the shore, she appears as luminous ribbons and streamers of light sometimes visible in the night skies, the aurora borealis. Her curtains of translucent reds, blues, yellows and greens, are made manifest by the bombardment of the atmosphere with charged solar particles that are guided along the earth’s magnetic lines of force.

An integral part of Arctic myth and spiritual lore, she is sinister in nature to some. It is thought that singing or whistling at the aurora could invite bad luck, as if she might descend to smother or burn the insolent offender. But among northern peoples she may be caused by the frolic of unborn children, or by torches of the dead to assist the living in hunting through the winter.

The epitome of mystery and radiance, to the Inuit she is known as Atsannik, the Northern Lights.  -Peter C. Stone

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