The Northern Lights were in the past used to explain how the spirits of the dead traveled to the Sun to be purified, before they were sent back again. Just like impure ore can be purified by fire and turned into pure metals, the Sun could purify the spirits of the dead. The purer the ore is, the more pure metal will be left after this process, but all ore will be purified by this and leave only pure metal.
Ukrainian Pagans jumping through fire to purify themselves.
The European idea is that in life we can grow or whither, we can become stronger or weaker than we were, and we can remain pure or fail to do so. In the end though, the Sky God weighs us in his hands (the Sun and the Moon) on the sky and…
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