Icelandic ancestors associated the lights with childbirth, and believed that they would relieve the pain of delivery as long as the expectant mother didn’t look at the Aurora whilst giving birth, because the child would be born cross-eyed!
One of the famous myths comes from Finland, where it was believed that the lights were caused by the fire fox who ran so quickly across the snow that his tail caused sparks to fly into the night sky…creating the Aurora. The Finnish word for the Northern Lights “revontulet”, translates literally as “fire fox”. Another belief held by the Sámi people of Finnish Lapland, was that the lights were created from the spume of water ejected from whales.
In Sweden, the Aurora was often seen as a sign of good news. Many Swedish forefathers believed the lights were a gift from benevolent gods, providing warmth and light in the form of a volcano in the north. In another area of the country, the Swedish farming community saw the lights as a sign of good harvest in the coming year.
The Northern Lights are featured prominently in Norse mythology. One legend suggests that the lights were reflections or glow from the shields and armor of the Valkyrie. The Valkyrie were female warriors, who would choose who will die in battle, and who may live to fight another day.