Aurora…legends, Mythology, and Art

Aurora or Northern Lights
In Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, and other places close to the North Pole the night brings a wavy curtain of green, blue, red and other colored lights stretching across the sky. As evening passes to midnight and on to dawn, the folds of the curtain make fantastic decorations over the heavens, forming arcs, rays, and wreaths.

These are some of the many legends concerning Aurora, which still exist in various parts of the world:
– Ancient peoples of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland believe that the Aurora is the fire of torches lighting the way to heaven for the spirits of the dead. The beautiful pink rays, which sometimes appear, are thought to be the color of blood shed in the struggles between the spirits.

– In Japan, an entry in the ancient Nihon Shoki “Chronicles of Japan is an epical monument of Japanese literature, a cycle of myths and historical legends written in 720A.D.” is thought to refer to the aurora.

– In China many sketches resembling the aurora remain. The dark red aurora was considered to be an omen of ill fortune.

In Roman Mythology
Eos, Goddess of the dawn, was known as Aurora and was the sister of Helios, the Sun. Every morning she would rise from her bed and drive Helios into the sky. Four of her sons are the four winds (north, south, east, and west). According to one myth, her tears cause the dew as she flies across the sky weeping for one of her sons, who was killed by Achilles during the Trojan war. Among the handsome young men whom she carried off as lovers were Orion and Tithonus. Eos asked Zeus to give Tithonus immortality but forgot to include ?everlasting youth? with her request.

In Greek Mythology
She is Eos Goddess of the dawn, the daughter of the Hyperion and Theia and the sister of Helios (sun) and Selene (moon). She was the mother of the four winds: Boreas, Eurus, Zephyrus, and Notus; and also of Heosphorus and the Stars. She was depicted as a goddess whose rosy fingers opened the gates of heaven to the chariot of the Sun. Her legend consists almost entirely of her intrigues. She first slept with Ares; this earned her the wrath of Aphrodite who punished her by changing her into a nymph.

In Art and Literature
– In the 17th century Aurora the goddess of dawn became a popular figure in Baroque decorations, where she appeared in a chariot driven by the winged horse Pegasus. She often spread flowers while passing by.

– Shakespeare referred to her in his famous play Romeo and Juliet

– Giuseppe Ungaretti, once wrote this epic verse: “Aurora, of the rosy fingers?”. This he recited at the start of a movie on the Homer poem “The Odyssey”. Heard this verse and was touched by its descriptive image and immediately saw in his own mind this mythological figure crossing in the sky at dawn.
In October 1994 he started to work on Aurora. His initial difficulty was to avoid the figure becoming too heavy and massive. He avoided this by giving to the piece an incline that creates an ethereal perspective and weightless atmosphere. He also used a two wheeled chariot instead of a four wheeled one, as more commonly represented in the past.

Finally here is a poem “Goddess of The Dawn” From Aurora Threat’s Behind the Line

As fascinating as the northern lights
To which many are drawn
Luminous in the nights
The Goddess of the dawn
It took some years
For me to understand
The many spears
I’ve had to withstand
I am like the borealis
A beautiful arch of light
While my address is not a palace
I am rich in delight
I am like the sunlit sky
Upon my face a bright smile
Radiant, without a try
Unique, savvy and not hostile
Like a clothing brand name
You try to give me a tag
To lower my head in shame
With gossip and gag
But I am like a twinkling star
When you raise your eyes above
You’ll see me dazzling from afar
Sparkling and overflowing with love

Published in: on November 24, 2005 at 2:56 pm  Comments (42)  

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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. very interesting post.

  2. Off point:
    I have just noticed that you deleted the names in the impression tag.
    I am sorry dear if my tag caused you problems. It is so strange to have aggressive comments cause I’ve read the post, and I didn’t feel anything was offensive
    yalla ma3lish,

  3. Glad u found the post interesting dear wonderer…in fact Northern lights usually amazes me…
    Listen, your tag was good and really cool to get a feel for each other…it is that people don’t understand how to enjoy things that’s it…I don’t know how it came agressive, but as long as they think so….khalas…but begad it was nice ūüôā

  4. please do find out about the horse called the white aurora

  5. salam

    great article!

    i have few comments:

    “In Japan, an entry in the ancient Nihon Shoki ‚ÄúChronicles of Japan is an epical monument of Japanese literature, a cycle of myths and historical legends written in 720A.D.‚ÄĚ is thought to refer to the aurora.”

    at the beginning i thought that the quote is actually an entry in the nihon shoki talking about the aurora, then i realised it was just a definition of nihon shoki itself.

    after reading your enlightening article, i still cant grasp at the relation between aurora (Dawn) and Northern lights. Obviously the name (aurora) was given to northern lights after the disappearance of roman civilization. Besides, i dont think there are northern lights in Greece or Rome, so my indication is that the name aurora was given to the northern lights phenomenon with no reference to the noun’s mythological history.

  6. This doesn’t really give that much ‘right there’ information…if you understand what I mean. I just need the main information on her.

  7. I just love the bueaty of the aurora borealis, i’m actually writing a scifi book on it! it really fascinates me! I’m hoping to get it published, and really, thanks for the help!

  8. Ugh, i hate when people make the mistake you did. Zeus is greek, aurora is ROMAN! their for she had nothing to do with zeus, the roman equivalent of zeus is jupiter.

  9. P.S. Helios and Serene are Eos’s sibling, Aurora’s are Sol and Luna, still sun and moon. Roman not Greek.

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Peter Thompson, Lynda Kitchikeesic. Lynda Kitchikeesic said: RT @InvasiveNotes: Aurora‚Ķlegends, Mythology, and Art (Reading while eating…) […]

  11. […] Aurora…legends, Mythology, and Art « NermeenaNov 24, 2005 … Aurora or Northern Lights In Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, and other places close to the North Pole the night brings a wavy curtain of … […]

  12. heyyy yallll

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