Yes, the northern lights has been stirring up a whole spectrum of feelings over the years and thus inspired to some of the most dramatic myths and legends throughout history.
There are many tales where the nordic lights play a role in Norse mythology. The Vikings celebrated the lights, believing they were earthly manifestations of their gods. Other Norse people feared them, telling stories of the dangers they posed and developing superstitions to protect themselves.
Odin was the all knowing God and ruler of Asgard, revered by all Vikings. Odin was believed to live in Valhalla, where he was preparing for Ragnarök – a series of events that would mean the end of the gods and the world as they knew it. In Viking legend, Ragnarök was predestined and would be Odin’s greatest battle, so he needed the bravest warriors at his side.
Odin therefore picked the warriors who would die in every battle that took place on earth and they would join him in Valhalla. Tasked with leading Odin’s chosen warriors to Valhalla were the Valkyries, female warriors who carried spears and shields. The Vikings believed the Northern Lights were the reflections of the Valkyries’ armour as they led the warriors to Odin.
Other stories refer the nordic lights to Bifrost, the glowing bridge between this world and Valhalla.
In Finland, the name for the nordic lights is revontulet, literally translated as ‘fire fox’. The name derives from the beautiful myth that Arctic foxes produced the Aurora, and it also helped to explain why the northern light is only visible during the winter. According to the myth the fire foxes tails swept snowflakes up into the sky as they ran, which caught the moonlight and created the Northern Lights. A similar version of this story tells that the fire foxes ran through the sky so fast that when their large, furry tails brushed against the mountains, they created sparks that lit up the sky.