“God created man in order to tell stories.”—Hasidic saying

The scurrying arctic blizzard was done and in the enormous white silences settling like a sigh across the huge expanses of frozen sea ice, up here, high above the Arctic Circle, a savage cry cut the winter night—“Aooooooow”. It was the lonely song of the wild wolf. The searching call seemed to quiver into form on the air, as if the cry itself had suddenly turned into the eerie coloured lights, flickering brilliantly across the great black canvas of moon-clad night.

The glowing astral pathway rose through the winter cold like billowing curls of blue-green smoke, sweeping up off the ice sheets and into the air in a drifting arc around the moon, the single Pole Star, and the great constellation hanging there in the heavens, men in more wondering days knew as Arktus, the Greek word for a bear.

The Aurora Borealis the modern language of science calls these strange astral lights, although the Sioux Indians traditionally believed they are the spirits of unborn children, and some Inuit tribesmen, the ghosts of their dead ancestors: phantoms, swirling in the darkened skies. Closer to their freezing earth world, the Eskimo claim the famous Northern Lights as favourite beasts instead: like caribou, whale, or dancing salmon. But the Lera, the wild animals of the earth, truly know what they really are, and so they call them The Beqorn – “Those that bite with their teeth.”

If the language of science is to classify them, in truth the magical display of Northern Lights is really caused by the sun’s superheated flares, bursting in outer space, sending out the solar winds through the void, that charge unseen particles in our upper atmosphere, making them swirl and flow toward Magnetic North. Yet, as the wolf howl came again, calling out in nature’s most primitive tongue, the ice itself seemed alive with a real magic this deep winter night—a storyteller’s magic.

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