The whisper of the northern lights
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are not just an impressive natural phenomenon. For centuries, people in the far north have believed that these dancing lights in the sky are the spirits of their ancestors, bringing messages from the afterlife. Some ancient legends say that if you whistle among them on a clear winter night, the Northern Lights will come closer and dance, but beware – too much attention could arouse their wrath!
The sauna: a portal to another world
Equally old and deeply rooted in Scandinavian culture is the tradition of taking a sauna. But the sauna is more than just a place for cleansing and relaxation. In ancient times, the sauna was considered a gateway between worlds, a sacred place where the boundaries between the earthly and the supernatural blurred.
Imagine sitting in a hot sauna lit only by the warm glow of glowing charcoals. Outside, through a small window, you can see the northern lights dancing across the sky. The heat of the sauna and the cold light of the Northern Lights create a sense of timelessness.
Old stories tell of sauna visitors who had visions at such moments. Some claimed to have heard the voices of their ancestors, conveying wisdom and advice from beyond the grave. Others spoke of mysterious creatures, elves and spirits appearing in the steam and dancing around the sauna, attracted by the energy of the fire and the magical lights in the sky.
A ritual of connection
If you’re lucky enough to be sitting in a Scandinavian sauna under the Northern Lights, try this ancient ritual: Close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel the heat and steam on your skin. As you exhale, imagine your energy mixing with the steam and rising to the sky to connect with the Northern Lights. Listen into the silence. Maybe, just maybe, you will hear a message from another world.
The breath of life: Löyly – the mysterious spirit of the Scandinavian sauna
In Scandinavia, especially in Finland, where sauna culture is deeply rooted, the steam created in the sauna is called “Löyly” (pronounced [ˈløyly]). The term “Löyly” has no direct translation into German, but roughly means “spirit of life” or “breath of life.” It refers to the steam that is created when water is poured onto the hot stones of a sauna. This steam increases the humidity in the sauna and intensifies the heat experience. The infusion and the associated experience of löyly is a central ritual among Finnish sauna cultures. It is not only a physical experience, but also a spiritual one for many Scandinavians.
The connection between the Northern Lights and the sauna may seem unusual at first glance, but in the depths of Scandinavian culture there is a mystical bond between them. It is an invitation to feel the magic of the universe and connect with the mysteries that lie beyond our perception.