“Sometimes all it takes is a moment under the Northern Lights to remember that there is still wonder and beauty in the world
Soulbirds and the light of dawn
Most European languages have a word to describe the Northern Lights. Aurora borealis was coined by the famous astronomer Galileo, some 400 years ago in 1619, from the Roman goddess of the dawn – Aurora – and the word borealis, meaning “northern.” Aurora is also Latin for morning glow or light of dawn.
The Northern Sámi word for auroras – guovssahasat – is derived from the same word body as guovssu, also meaning morning / evening glow. Guovssahasat also means the bird Siberian jay, which has colorful feathers and a lively character. Ancient Finns believed that the soul of a hunter passes on to a Siberian jay, which were thus regarded as soulbirds. Killing a Siberian jay would bring bad fortune to a hunter. Auroras, like the Siberian jay, have often been thought of as spirits of the dead.